Food for Thought: Tastings to offer rare vintages

By Loretto J. Hulse, Herald staff writerFebruary 27, 2013 

Explore the many different ways winemakers in Walla Walla and Napa Valley in California use one of the world's most widely used and recognized vinifera grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Walla Walla Wine Alliance will hold a series of tastings June 20-22. More than 70 Walla Walla and Napa Valley winemakers will lead special tastings of rare vintage wines, intimate winemaker dinners, receptions and more during the Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine three-day event.

Prices for each of the events range from $100 per person for winemaker dinners to $50 for a panel discussion and tasting.

Tickets and a schedule of events are available online at Or call 509-526-3117.

Tickets to the winemaker dinners are limited to between 10 and 20 people.

Salty veggies

Here's a tip from the American Heart Association: Canned, processed and preserved vegetables often have a very high sodium content. Look for "low-sodium" veggies or try the frozen varieties.

Compare the sodium content on the nutrition facts label of similar products (for example, different brands of tomato sauce) and choose the products with less sodium.

If you buy canned veggies, rinse them under cold water to reduce the level of sodium.

Dinner, dance, auction

CREHST Museum in Richland will hold its annual Spring Swing fundraiser April 13.

The dinner, dance and silent auction is from 6:15 to 11 p.m. at the Pasco Red Lion Hotel.

Tickets are $60 per person for members of the museum and $70 for non-members. Buy your tickets before March 13 and they'll be discounted $5.

Table reservations will be accepted for groups of eight or 10 people. Call 943-9000, 877-789-9935 or go to

Perfect potatoes

For great mashed potatoes every time, follow these tips from

The science is simple: Boiled potatoes develop swollen starch cells. When ruptured during mashing, the cells release starch. The more cells are ruptured, the gummier the mashed potatoes. So if you use an electric mixer or food processor to mash your potatoes, you'll probably beat them mercilessly. Instead, use a potato masher, or even better, pass the potatoes through a ricer or food mill before mixing them with butter and hot milk -- these devices are gentler on the starch cells, and they'll also prevent lumps.

New read

The book: The Glorious Pasta of Italy by Domenica Marchetti.

Cost: $30

Best for: The author has drawn on her Italian heritage to share more than 100 classic and modern recipes. She also included a glossary of pastas, step-by-step directions for making your own fresh pasta and a guide for pantry essentials for Italian cuisine.


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