Wine Resolutions 2014

wine resolutions


This year I decided my resolution should be to explore more wine options and expand my wine knowledge base.  Hard resolution to follow, right?
I felt I needed to do some homework to actively make this happen, or I would just fall into my normal wine patterns.  I couldn’t just do this on my own though, I asked Chad Culley, one of the owners of Crush Wine Bistro and the Cellar in Anchorage to start my wine exploration off right.

This audio clip explores some of these new wines I’ll be adding to the wine rack.  Chad’s given me four delicious wines and suggests some vintages that we all might want to try going into 2014.

Besides the easy task of just “tasting a lot of wine,” Chad also recommends some great wine books to expand my wine knowledge base.  His top four favorites?  “Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer’s Tour of France” by Kermit Lynch.  He considers this to be one of the best wine books ever written. He’s not alone as it’s being widely celebrated on it’s 25th anniversary and will be my first read.  Next, for folks who need a basic book or a refresher course, “The Dummies Guide to Wine” which Chad suggested reading cover to cover. The newest book on his list is  “The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste” by Jon Bonne.   He got this one for Christmas and it’s become a favorite.  He’s been captivated reading about the new generation in California wine growers, their culture and the wines they are producing.  Finally, “Naked Wine: Letting Grapes Do What Comes Naturally” by Alice Feiring rounds out list.  “Naked Wine” explores one woman’s quest to learn and produce organic wines and along the way.

Looks like 2014 is starting out right.  Cheers!

Winter Farmers Markets

potatoesPeople have been asking when and where the farmer’s markets are for Anchorage in the winter.  Right now, there are three that I know of…

The Center Market at Sears Mall

600 East Northern Lights Blvd inside the Benson entrance

Wed 11a to 6p  Sat 11a to 7p

Vendors include: AD Farm organic, Country Health Foods, Rempel Family Farm, Northern Lights Mushrooms, Capriccio Specialties, Earthworks Farm and Abeille Alaska, Alaska Sprouts.

From their website:  Inside No Matter The Weather!
Fresh Organic Produce – Pork  –  Seafood – Spices
Local Honey  –  Goat Cheese  –  Free Range Eggs
Sausage  –  Mushrooms  – Duck  – Chicken
Natural Cosmetics and more!

South Anchorage Winter Market

Inside the Dimond Center above Old Navy

10am to 4pm Saturdays

It’s a fairly new winter market but in recent weeks vendors have included:  Glacier Valley Farms, Alaska Sprouts, Mat Valley Meats, Arctic Choice Seafoods, Honey Bucket ranch, Stockwell Family Farm, Maryjane’s Breads and Earthworks Farm.

Palmer Monday Market  This is brand new and will take place on Monday’s at the Palmer Depot. It started from a Food Day celebration that happened about a week ago.. so if you are in Palmer on Monday’s check out the depot!

Your Alaskan Holiday Feast

robdemo Rob’s going to be at the Anchorage Waldorf School on Saturday, November 9th from 1-3pm to demonstrate great uses of local foods in your holiday feasts with our amazing friend, Alaskan urban farmer Dohn Wood.

Not only will you get some great recipes and conversations about local foods, you’ll get to taste some holiday dishes and leave with a gift bag full of Alaska centric fun!

You can purchase tickets at for $15  or pay at the door.

AK Public Northern Foodways Roundtable: Kids and Cooking


This month’s Northern Foodway’s Roundtable “Kids and Cooking”  will be on Monday, September 9th in the AK Public studio at 7pm.  Our in studio audience will enjoy some delicious kid friendly foods made by our guests.

This month’s Kids and Cooking roundtable guests are:

Erica Koitzch a creative and crafty mom,

Katie Butler, FNP specializing in pediatric and adolescent care with Alaska Center for Pediatrics,

Stefanie Cromarty a health educator at Southcentral Foundation’s Health Education and Wellness Center. ,

Warren Jones, a dad who cooks a combination of Alaskan, Argentinean and western food for his family

Anna Warnock a high school student and young chef in Anchorage

We’ll be discussing topics related to Kids and Cooking including healthy eating, how to get your child to try different foods, foods for different stages of childhood, food related activities for your kids and how to inspire the young chef in your house.  See you at the AK Public studios at 7pm on Monday for a fun, informative and tasty roundtable.


Alaskan Barley Risotto with root veggies, citrus vinaigrette and sprouts


I’ve really enjoyed working with the Alaskan Barley and Alaska spouts are a favorite.

You can find both at many of the farmer’s markets in Anchorage.

plated at the northern foodways roundatable

plated at the northern foodways roundatable

Alaskan barley Risotto with Root Veggies and Citrus Vinaigrette

Citrus Vinaigrette

-2 oranges juiced

-2 tsp dry mustard

-1 tsp roast garlic puree

-1/4 star anise- ground in spice grinder

-pinch of red pepper flake

-6 oz salad oil


1.   combine all of the ingredients in a blender EXCEPT THE OIL

2.   Using a buerre stick, incorporate the oil slowly, until fully emulsified.

3.   Add a splash of water if too thick.

Alaskan Barley Risotto

-1 oz salad or cooking oil

-1 tsp minced garlic

-1 yellow onion

-2 stalks of celery

-4 oz pearl barley

-10 to 12 oz vegetable stock or water

 Post cooking:

-2 oz butter

-1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated

root veggies

Roasted Root Veggies

1 ea Beet, medium dice

1 ea Carrot, medium dice

1 ea Parsnip, medium dice

2 oz salad oil

**If you roast broccoli or cauliflower, blanch first in boiling water for 1 minute before roasting.


1.   Roll in oil and roast at 400 degrees until cooked through, about 20 minutes.

2.   Set aside to finish barley risotto.



To Bloom Barley:

*In a thick gauge medium sized pot, sweat garlic, onion, celery-

*When translucent, add barley to coat with oil (add a little more if needed)

*Add roughly a third of the cooking liquid and stir frequently.  When the    liquid is absorbed, add another third,

*When it is bloomed, if you are going to use later, spread on a cookie pan and let cool, so it does not over cook. 

To Finish the Barley

*heat pan to medium, put 3 oz liquid into, when steaming, add barley and veggies-

*remove from heat, add butter, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and top with Alaska Sprouts when serving.



Northern Foodways Roundtable at AK Public Media: Creative Solutions to Alaska’s Food Challenges

Rob will be hosting a monthly Northern Foodways roundtable at AK Public Media.

This first hour long roundtable promises to be lively. The topic is Creative Solutions to Alaska’s Food Challenges and it begins at 7pm on Tuesday, August, 13th at AK Public Media.  Although it is a roundtable discussion with our guests, we will be taking questions /comments from the audience as well!

Our guests are:

Brendan Babb:
Brendan works for UAA and NASA researching Mars Rover Image Compression. He recently was invited to the White House for a Champions of Change in Open Data and Civic Hacking and helps organize hackathons in Anchorage.

Matthew Schmitt:
Matthew is a Natural Resource Specialist and environmental scientist for the Tyonek Tribal Conservation District. Matthew has been working with the conservation district for about 2 years and is responsible for much of the research and technical design behind TTCD’s projects. Matthew is originally from Minnesota where he worked as a fishing guide and studied ecology and watershed science.

Christy Cincotta:
Christy  is the Executive Director of the Tyonek Tribal Conservation District.  Since starting with the organization in 2011, she has been involved with a variety of projects including the development of the Tyonek community garden and fish passage improvement.  Originally from RI, Christy has previously implemented conservation projects in New Jersey, California, Georgia, and Washington.

S.J. Klein:
S.J. is the grower and owner of Alaska sprouts

Rob will be making bites for the audience from ingredients representing our guests.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!  If you can’t make this one, it is being recorded by AK Public radio and will air on a later date.