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Amy C. Collins
Interests: reading, writing, essays, fiction, wine, food, cartoons, design, color, drawing, painting, cooking, eating, gardening, observing, talking.
Recent Activity
Like so many of the books that sit around my apartment untouched a year or more after the first passionate interest drove me to acquire them, I can not remember where I discovered Liebling. It was James Salter's 1986 introduction, quoted on the back of the book, that led me to finally pick it up (again) a couple of weeks... Continue reading
Posted 3 hours ago at Pig&Vine
I promise not to keep chattering on about my road trip like I've never been anywhere before, but I have to tell you about this gorgeous Chinon rosé I found in New Orleans. Marc Plouzeau is a new producer for me, though he and his father, Pierre, before him began turning the property into rockstar wine producing vineyards in 1989.... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Pig&Vine
There's freedom in taking to the road. The hours of sitting in the car are strung together in a static-kinetic time warp, and the whole day becomes a wash. Or it can, if you don't take the opportunity to stop along the way and discover something new. Sometimes you just need to get there and, in all honesty, I have... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2015 at Pig&Vine
I've been hanging out in Austin, Texas, for the past several days eating, drinking and checking out the city. My friend and host took me to Perla's on South Congress for lunch on Friday and I quickly indulged in a few oysters on the half shell. Their raw bar carries 20 plus different kinds from both coasts, and I let... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2015 at Pig&Vine
I have enough oyster memories to fill an essay and, frankly, I just might do that some day. But those memories aren't really about eating oysters, per se, as I only just learned to like them a couple of years ago, when presented with a barely-dressed little gem at The Catbird Seat, one of Nashville's most elusive and acclaimed restaurants.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2015 at Pig&Vine
Robert and Kim Cripps bought the Poujol vineyards in the Languedoc in 1994. The region abuts Provence, the Southern French coastal region famous for it's rosé wines. Poujol drinks very much like the quintessential dry pink from that part of the world: bright, light, refreshing. Robert is from England and Kim is from the U.S., which makes them unique wine... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2015 at Pig&Vine
No, not really. There are still plenty of other refreshing whites available if this one were to suddenly go out of stock. But I'd be disappointed. Every once in awhile, a little wine comes along and crosses your lips, flows across the tongue and slips down the throat with such grace and ease it makes you want to toss aside... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2015 at Pig&Vine
I first discovered Montinore Estate Gewürztraminer this past winter at an Oregon wine event in Birmingham, Alabama. The event is an annual collaboration between distributors in the state to show their Oregon selections, accompanied by winemakers and winery representatives, and titled "Pinot Camp," a nod to the Oregon wine industry's summer jubilee that educates and entertains wine trade professionals. I've... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2015 at Pig&Vine
I've been working behind the bar at The Carriage for a few weeks now. There's about a decade between today and the decade I spent in the food service industry and, let's just say the re-entry has been physically surprising. I underestimated how exhausted I would be at the end of a five-hour shift. I also underestimated how much fun... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2015 at Pig&Vine
The Domaine Chevillon Bourgogne Passetoutgrain 2011 is showing the best of both worlds: juicy, ripe cherry fruit and rustic pinot flavors only this part of the world can produce. On the nose, ripe and dried cherries, a bit of game and fresh earth, float from a ruby red hue. On the palate, more delicious cherry fruit and mineral tones accompanied by bright acidity and firm, smooth tannins. A lingering finish keeps the attraction strong. Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2015 at Pig&Vine
Is it just me, or is there a sauvignon blanc renaissance happening? Or maybe it's always been the "it" grape and I've just begin to notice again how lovely and enticing a good sav blanc can be. To be honest, it's never been a favorite grape of mine, except Sancerre (and only on occasion), but lately I've tasted so damn... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2015 at Pig&Vine
"When trying to talk about wine in depth, one rapidly comes up against the limitations of our means of expression... We need to be able to describe the indescribable. We tasters feel to some extent betrayed by language." - Émile Peynaud Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2015 at Pig&Vine
The Lima Vinho Verde 2013 is a classic example of the easy, bright wine from the Vinho Verde region in north west Portugal. Known as "green wine," Vinho Verdes are often racy wines with lemon notes and a tiny hint of sparkle on the tongue, and most often made from the alvarhino grape (albariño in Spain). This one's a little... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at Pig&Vine
Domaine de la Berthète Côtes du Rhône rosé, "Sensation" 2014: Wild strawberry and candy greet the senses on both nose and palate with medium body and just enough acidity to be taken seriously. Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2015 at Pig&Vine
I first tasted this wine at The Carriage Wine and Market, with whom I collaborate on my monthly Vine Club, a little while back. They were pouring it by the glass at their bar adjacent to the retail space, and I LOVED it. So did everyone else. It seemed every time I went in there, the bar was lined with... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2015 at Pig&Vine
This is the out of print Folio edition, illustrated by Natacha Ledwidge. Alice B. Toklas was the life partner of American avant-garde writer Gertrude Stein. They met in Paris in 1907 through a mutual friend - Alice had gone to France to escape her earthquake and fire ravaged hometown of San Fransisco and the assumed responsibility of taking care of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2015 at Pig&Vine
The Domaine de l'Enchantoir "Terres Blanches" Saumur 2011 was only the second vintage from this husband and wife team, Pierre & Brigitte Van den Boom, in the southwestern reach of the Tourraine region in France's Loire Valley. This part of the world is known primarily for its Anjou blancs and rouges, but Saumur grows the same grapes on a predominantly... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2015 at Pig&Vine
An illustrated guide to opening that bad boy like a pro. Just a few more hours before the new year rolls in and we toast with friends and lovers through blurry vision, full of hope for the 365 days to come and scorn for those past. "2015 is going to be my year!" you proclaim. Or you're at home in pajamas watching/not watching the ball drop, impervious to resolutions and contrived timetables. Either way, if there's a special bottle of bubbly in the mix, you'll want to make the most of it by reserving every drop and avoiding damage to yourself or others. Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2014 at Pig&Vine
Bailly Lappierre Crémant de Bourgogne Pinot Noir Brut Lean and nuanced, slightly yeasty-nutty, like raw cashew and hazelnut, just-ripe red fruit with a long, satisfying dry finish. It had a complexity common for pinot noir bubblies, and plenty of jazz to keep it interesting. Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2014 at Pig&Vine
someone posted a photo of a bubbling pan of lasagna on Instagram the other day and I was hit with a craving for the same. I haven't made lasagna in years, college maybe. I went looking for a recipe in Bittman's tome How to Cook Everything and came out with a mash-up of three. Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2014 at Pig&Vine
Bacchanal has been around for about 15 years, in a building over 200 years old on a corner in the Bywater neighborhood, part of the 9th Ward that escaped flooding during Hurricane Katrina. The entrance opens into a retail shop where you select your wine and cheese plate, if you are so inclined, and a back door leads to the open air backyard dining room where you grab a table and order food at a modest window. We drank a friendly bottle of Croatian Babic, an indigenous Croatian wine grape. Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2014 at Pig&Vine
There's something inherent to acupuncture that invites a heightened sense of self-awareness. When you're lying on the table in your underwear with needles stuck in your toes, calves, belly, side, neck and jaw, there's little choice but to keep still and feel your own presence. Miso Soup with brown rice, tofu and cilantro... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2014 at Pig&Vine
Anytime, CityGirl. Come back for more!
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2014 on Esporão Portuguese Red Reserve at Pig&Vine
Esporão red Reserve is a tasty sipper made from a blend of Alicante Bouschet (a French varietal grown mostly in the south), Arogónêz (called Tempranillo in Spain), Trincadeira (a Portugues native variety that favors the dry, hot climate of southern Portugal) and Cabernet Sauvignon (French/international variety). Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2014 at Pig&Vine
I can't remember exactly when I had my first runny egg, but I'm fairly certain my father prepared it. At the very least, he influenced the moment. He often ate a soft boiled egg for breakfast, gently broken into a bowl and eaten with a spoon, while sipping black coffee and reading the Florida Times-Union front to back. On Christmas morning, eggs benedict was a tradition, with poached eggs and Hollandaise that oozed across my plate, savory gold and decidedly adult. Liquid yolks were my first "adult food" I embraced with 100 percent of myself, no urging necessary. Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2014 at Pig&Vine