Cheers to 2011

The new year not only brings the promise of a fresh start, but also the first anniversary of La Gourmandesse. Looking back to January 2010, I found myself a bit bored and in need of some inspiration. Writing a blog devoted to the pleasures of food and wine was just the ticket to spicing things up.

Over the past year, I have found some wonderful new wines. My favourite $10 or less discoveries have to be Sogrape Gazela, Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc, Argento Malbec, and Farnese Sangiovese. I also tried at least 10-20 bottles that I’d rather forget. But, much like dating, trying cheap wine comes with risk and rewards.

As well as embarking on a $10 wine challenge, I tried bottles in the $15-$25 range. The best finds were Concha Y Toro Cabernet Trio, Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin, and J. Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon. Luckily, I have at least one bottle of each of these waiting in the cupboard for a happy occasion.

La Gourmandesse has given me a place to showcase the tasty treats I would have been cooking and baking anyway, and also spurred me to find other delicious food and wine blogs to draw inspiration from. My regular reads are Smitten Kitchen, Reems Eats, 1 Wine Dude and Pretty.Good.Food. I love to read about other people’s food and wine lives; the inclusion of great photography also never hurts.

Some favourite recipes I discovered this year were quinoa salad, fudgy layer cake, and new takes on blueberry muffins and banana bread. You can see my love of baked goods shining through there. I suppose that explains my need to hit the gym a little more frequently in 2011.

Thinking back on how delicious 2010 was, how much fun I had discussing affordable wine with people, and how much I loved hearing “I was reading your blog and…”, I’m really looking forward to what 2011 will bring. The $10 wine quest is definitely not yet complete,¬† there is always a new bottle or two to try.

2011 is bound to bring more chances to share great food and drink with the people that matter most to me, and also give me opportunities to showcase them here. So cheers to the new year, may it bring much inspiration and pleasure.

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