Anne Strainchamps

This article originally appeared in "Isthmus" on Oct. 25, 1996 more

Apr 7, 2011 2:00 PM From the archives

As I reached for a glass, however, I became aware that something was horribly wrong. There was a god-awful sound in the air. A hideous wailing, pulsing, ululating cry raked my eardrums with the spine-tingling decibels of a cat in heat. A sound I would, unfortunately, recognize anywhere: Elvis. more

Jun 13, 2008 2:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

What is biodynamic agriculture, anyway? Critics call it "vineyard voodoo"; others refer to it as "supercharged organic." In fact, it dates back to 1924, when Austrian philosopher-scientist Rudolf Steiner, the founder of a school of spiritual philosophy called anthroposophy, gave a series of lectures in which he argued that modern farming had lost its spiritual connection to nature. Steiner exhorted followers to consider a farm a living ecosystem, rather than a food factory. more

May 16, 2008 2:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

Not too long ago, I offered to bring wine to a dinner party and asked my host if he had any requests. "ABC," he replied: "Anything But Chardonnay." Ouch. more

Mar 21, 2008 3:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

I'm the kind of person who considers chocolate a food group of its own. If I had my way, the USDA food pyramid would look like a giant chocolate iceberg, with a little section at the top for cheese, pasta and extra-virgin olive oil. more

Feb 8, 2008 4:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

It's a week before Christmas and once again, I'm awake at midnight, wrestling with tissue paper, ribbon and packing tape, long after everyone else has gone to bed. more

Dec 21, 2007 4:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

"Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!" proclaims a brightly colored banner on the door of my neighborhood wine shop. Suddenly, what had been a gray and blustery November day seems gay and festive. I feel I should be wearing a beret and have a baguette strapped to the back of my bicycle. At the very least, I should buy a few bottles and invite some friends over, sing a French chanson or two, raise a glass to celebrate the labor of the humble vigneron and the fruit of the vine, non? more

Nov 21, 2007 4:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

Halfway through a family vacation in England this summer, my daughter turned to me with one of those clear-eyed, faintly withering looks that girls reserve for their mothers, and asked, "Are you trying to sound English?" I blushed and protested, somewhat disingenuously, that I had no idea what she meant. more

Sep 14, 2007 3:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

There's nothing like stirring the third pot of mac and cheese of the day, while listening to your son and his friends cackle maniacally "yo' mama's so old she farts out dust!" to make you feel that motherhood is grossly undercompensated. Two things saved my life that summer. My friends and a pitcher of sangría. more

Jul 19, 2007 4:44 PM FOOD & DRINK

It was my birthday the other week, and we were having a stretch of some of the loveliest June days I can remember. The peonies were bursting, the roses were in bloom, and to celebrate I filled the house with vases of heavy pink blossoms and invited friends to an impromptu tasting of rosé wines. It was like a grown-up version of a princess party: everything pink, pink, PINK! more

Jun 7, 2007 3:50 PM FOOD & DRINK

One of the loveliest ways I know to welcome springtime is with a glass of vin santo and a plate of biscotti. Vin santo (or 'holy wine') is a magnificent dessert wine made in the Chianti region of Italy, where it's drunk year-round. more

Apr 12, 2007 3:29 PM FOOD & DRINK

'Acidic wines actually are much better with food,' Banas says, pouring a glass of Chianti. 'At Coltibuono, one of the major Chianti makers, they say wines that are dry and acidic pull the saliva out of your tongue so your taste buds are ready for food.' more

Mar 8, 2007 4:56 PM FOOD & DRINK

Ah, January. Season of winter darkness and inner light, snowy woods (even if we have to imagine them) and brilliant stars. Time to curl up in front of the fire with a good book and a tiny glass of something mysteriously delicious. more

Jan 11, 2007 6:08 PM FOOD & DRINK

'The point is to think of champagne as wine again,' says Pike. 'Not as a luxury product sold at a discount, not as bubbles ' but as an artisanally made product, from a single family and a single terroir.' more

Dec 14, 2006 5:06 PM FOOD & DRINK

If you want to read some mouth-watering poetry, browse the aisles at your local wine store, where the advertising copy and wine reviews all seem to be channeling Walt Whitman. more

Oct 12, 2006 5:07 PM Cocktails