The PRIMA Vini VINE Monday, April 3, 2023

It was a chilly walk last night, for sure, but, suddenly, about half a mile from home, Ellie and I found ourselves magically enveloped in the warm, tantalizing fragrance of curry. Though I can’t vouch for Ellie, I almost swooned and, even though I had just eaten, I was sorely tempted to march up the driveway to the home from which this magnificent smell was emanating and demand to join them for dinner. Of course I didn’t- neighbors just aren’t that neighborly these days- but it did remind me of just how diverse ol’ San Ramon has become, and how much I’d love to not only share recipes with all our neighbors but spend a few hours breaking bread (or naan or rice or whatever) with them too. I grew up in a family where European roots and traditions held sway- meat, potatoes and overcooked vegetables just about every night. The discovery that other people lived and ate differently was something of which I was only dimly aware. I vividly remember being dragged to dinner at my parents’ Lebanese friend’s home and an exotic meal completely different from the food we ate at home. Frankly, those ‘foreign’ smells and tastes were a little scary for this then-seven year old. And, though, like all New Yorkers, we ate Italian food all the time in restaurants and at home, the first time I ate ‘Sunday Gravy’ at a crowded dining room with my high school girlfriend’s enormous family where the lingua franca was Jersey Italian and the meatballs went on for days, it was something completely novel and exciting. And being invited to the Blau’s Passover dinner when I was 13? What an experience! For a kid growing up, these were seminal moments. Not everyone lived the way I did and I learned to embrace it! Once I started living on my own, I learned to cook just about anything and worked my way through college in all kinds of restaurants, including a Japanese steak house that pointed me towards the Far East. After college, I moved there and many subsequent years of travel have given me the opportunity to enjoy meals in lots and lots of different smelling dining rooms- from Croatia to Korea- and I’ve learned to cherish each and every one. Anne and I have incorporated much of what we have discovered over the years into our own family’s food culture, so much so that people who come to our house to eat now claim we’re the exotic ones. Our kids learned early on that it wasn’t going to be just pasta and butter for them and I’m proud to say they’ve carried a love of all kinds of foods and cultures with them into their own adult lives. Food is love, after all, and both are meant to be shared. Maybe if we did a little more of it, we’d all be better off. Next time I smell our neighbor’s curry, I might not be able to stop myself…..
Buon appetito, everyone.

Dublin Wine Bar Tasting SPECIAL EDITIONS
Viva Argentina
This Saturday, April 8th

In honor of Brandon’s upcoming tour of Argentina (details below), the usual tutored Saturday tasting in our Dublin wine bar will feature a selection of terrific Argentian wines. There’s a lot more than just Malbec going on in this beautiful up and coming wine region! Join us between noon and 3 PM to discover some of your new favorites and maybe whet your appetite to join Brandon on this once-in-a-lifetime journey!