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Spring Newsletter
The Return of the Sun
Prepare for Summer . . . Warmth, Light, Food and Wine



What's in this issue...

Summer blooms and dazzles each day into a Pacific Northwest paradise, where the days stretch lazily onto a blanket underneath a glorious sun! After a blossoming spring; the long, winter funk has faded into a dull memory.

In celebration of the sun's return, Table & Home proudly introduces our spring newsletter. This newsletter opens a discussion with other Table & Home enthusiasts in hopes of exchanging tips for utilizing and enjoying your most loved tableware, as well as some that soon may be.

In our newsletters, we share with you our favorite products, uses for these items, amazing deals, and provide suggestions about how to better enjoy life by using these items to create a unique and personal atmosphere. Since colorful, stylish, and unique table settings reflect the personality of the hostess, we invite you to join the discussion by shooting us an e-mail, giving us a call, or stopping by the our Seattle store and sharing with us your successful experiments in entertaining.

2006 is a phenomenal time to enjoy table settings and tableware. Now more than ever, affordable china, earthenware, stoneware, and crystal allows you to entertain at home and invest quality time in your friends even if you are working with a small budget.

Our newsletters make practical suggestions for entertaining that don't involve four or five course meals, but instead offers quick and easy tips that permit you to visit with your guest. Though we are thrilled when we match customers with china that they love, it is not necessary for reading and gaining knowledge from our newsletter. In short, we simply want to talk about china and table settings because we love these subjects and desire to explore our interests with others!

Pouring into Summer . . .

The summertime allows us to appreciate our balconies, patios, and back yards to the fullest. Also, summertime inspires us to linger long after dessert in random conversation that often is both illuminating and enlightening. Since a great table setting encourages us to appreciate the beauty in life, we want to revel in the a few new options for entertaining friends and family outdoors this season.

Though a savvy table setting is not necessary for dining with friends, it ties the evening together with style and demonstrates the hostess or host care enough about their guest to invite them into their home and entertain them. Style evolves from discovering and expressing personality. Our aim is to provide you with the tableware you need to best express your spirit.

For our first newsletter, Susan and I discuss alfresco dining. Since warm weather allows us be outside, we don't want to miss a single day of beautiful weather. For us, outdoor dining compensates for the many meals we had indoors while listening to the sound of raindrops falling against the window pane.

We want to celebrate the sun's return by having an outside dinner party for our friends and family. Our focus for this dinner is to invite our friends to celebrate with us the season. We put our heads together and decided to focus on wine for our first newsletter. Specifically, we are uncorking the wine and pouring wine into the appropriate Reidel glass, which has been designed to enhance the flavors of the wine. Hence, the title of this newsletter—Days of Dionysus. Dionysus's Roman equivalent is Bacchus. One of Dionysus's representations is the god of wine. We not only have great suggestions for appreciating wine, but also we offer exceptional suggestions for buying wine.

The main purpose of this spring's newsletter is to provide some helpful tips for enjoying to the fullest summer wines. In fact, we have talked to wine experts and have paired three wines with the glasses that enhance and deliver the message. No doubt, you are going to love these wines . . .a Pinot Nior, a White Reisling, and a Souvignon Blanc. We also give you pairings for these wines, as well as thorough descriptions. Entertaining the idea of entertaining . . . Simple and beautiful table setting for a tasteful meal. . .

Many folks feel like throwing a dinner party is too costly and time consuming. However, the key to effective and affordable entertaining is to keep it simple. Keeping it simple inspires more entertaining because guests understand that it doesn't have to be a huge hassle.

The focus of your dinner should be to let your family and friends know you appreciate your relationship. By inviting them into your home and providing a meal, you let them know you care. Remember, the meal doesn't have to be extravagant, and the setting doesn't have to be costly. Work with what you have, and you will be surprised how you can pull off a tantalizing evening practically out of thin air!

  1. Forming a plan. Most of us are limited with our time. Allot a certain amount of time to get your part together. Remember, a plan saves time. Know what look, mood, and ambiance you want to create. Sketch out a budget and time schedule to create a theme. Remember a theme can be anything, as long as it is consistent and pulls the evening together.

    A few suggestions are: pineapples, grapes, sailboats or a water theme, a particular holiday, a spiritual motif, a time period, and an exotic location. Your theme should encourage the mood you desire.

  2. Send out invitations to your guests. Whether by Internet or snail mail, invitations reflect forethought, while allowing you to strut your creativity! Include your theme on your invitation from the beginning. This foresight indicates your great organizational skills and gives guest something to ponder while they await the appointed evening.

  3. Follow up with your guests so that you can prepare accordingly. Feel free to give them a call or write them an e-mail a few days before your dinner. Knowing how much food you need to buy and prepare is pragmatic, not rude. And, it also acts as a friendly reminder. 3. Decorate with your theme. If you don't have a theme, make sure your place is suitable for guests. You don't have to strip and wax your floors, but simple things like sweeping them and cleaning the bathroom is highly recommended.

  4. Prepare for guests by creating the dishes. Lots of dishes you can pick up at the deli of your favorite supermarket, so you are not hidden away in the kitchen for the majority of the day. Remember, this evening should be enjoyable for you and your guest. If you love to cook, feel free. If you don't enjoy cooking, don't feel burdened. Your guest would rather have you happy and stress free than aggravated and tired—even if the food is savory and memorable. Remember . . . the focus of the evening is appreciating friendship and family; this idea included you!

  5. Make a floral centerpiece to add a fresh tone to your table setting. Mix a variety of colors, shapes, and textures for a fresh and clean arrangement. A few summer flowers, include Verbena, Centaurea, Geranium, and Roses. Summer is the best season for buying bunches of flowers at bargain prices. Use a wide mouthed pitcher, vase, or jar to create a casual arrangement. Be sure and cut the stems at an angle to extend the life of your bouquet.

  6. Enjoy a wonderful evening with your family and friends.

A Bonus Recipe
Summer is attuned with the fire element, associated with the heart, expansion, and outside activities. The summertime is a lively time that is filled with plentiful and varied fruits and vegetables.; the main tastes are bitter. Some great foods to eat during the summertime are tomatoes, asparagus, red lentils, raspberries, strawberries. Also, pungent, dispersing spices are favorable.

Though there are many fabulous dishes for summer dining, we are sharing with you a recipe from Mrs. J.W. Lyman of Baton Rouge. This dish is not only savory, but it is also heath conscious. If you have a recipe, we request that you send it for publication in our newsletter.

Spirited Breast of Chicken
4 whole chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of thinly sliced green onion
¼ cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup canned consommé
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
½ cup of peeled, chopped tomatoes (no seeds)

Skin the breast. Salt and pepper them and sauté until light brown in a Teflon skillet. Remove chicken and onion and mushrooms. Sauté 1 minute. Add wine and cook 1 minute. Add consommé, parsley, and tomatoes. Return chicken to this mixture and simmer until slightly thickened. Cover and place in oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Serves Four. Cheers to . . .

At some point in the evening, make a point to raise your glass and share a few special words with your guests. You don't have to make a speech or stand up from your chair, though you may want to go the extra mile. Most important, you should let your friends know how much you appreciate their having shared the evening with you.

The Wining Part of Dining
Why We're Wining about Wine . . .
Wine magically transforms another meal into a fun, memorable evening. Sharing a bottle or two of wine with friends celebrates the joy of dining. The aromas, the taste, the finish inspire us to appreciate a uniquely pleasurable summer evening.

Very few things in life are better than a carefully selected bottle of wine paired with summer's robust flavorful foods when you are dining with loved ones. The wine suggestions we make are also perfect for an outdoor picnic during late afternoon while watching the sun set with the one you love.

We recommend Riedel glasses because they seamlessly combine form and function. There is not a better wine glass available. This statement is a fact, not an opinion.

Why are Riedel's glasses superior?
Wine enthusiasts go to great lengths to discover these wines, buy them in sound condition, store them properly, serve them at the correct temperature and in surroundings that enhance them. Shouldn’t they also drink them from glasses that bring out their maximum beauty and flavor?

Georg Riedel's mission is to provide precision tools in the service of wine so that each wine’s finest elements are the ones highlighted by the glass. Riedel has been known for over two hundred and forty years for designing the most finely tuned instruments for every level of wine sophistication. At this point, Riedel has designed over 100 glasses. As a connoisseur of fine wines and spirits, Riedel develops new glass shapes to enhance the world’s most exciting and complex beverages at tasting workshops with leading international wine and spirit producers rather than on a drawing board or by computer.

Most of Riedel’s glasses were created to highlight the finest characteristics of the particular liquids they would direct onto the palate. In brief, each glass was developed for a single individual beverage and therefore has a specific purpose.

In his highly regarded wine journal, Robert M. Parker Jr. of The Wine Advocate, says, “The finest glasses for both technical and hedonistic purposes are those made by the Riedel company. The effect of these glasses is profound. I cannot emphasize enough what a difference they make.”

In 1958, Riedel introduced the Burgundy Grand Cru glass, the only stemware on permanent display in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. Would like more information Riedel's superior wine glasses? Check out Riedel's Website-- www.riedelcrystal.com.

Riedel O
Riedel "O" is the new and innovative take on the wine tumbler. Perfect for everyday use, picnics, boating or small kitchens you'll find the "O" series to be effortless and fun. Based off of the shapes of Riedel's Vinum series, each glass is made for a specific wine . . . just without the stem! The "O" series is non lead, machine-blown and dishwasher safe. We sell "O" in sets of two, and special orders are available at no extra cost.


(O Chardonnay)
Set of 2 /$17.99

(O Riesling/Sauvignon Blanc)
Set of 2/$13.99

(O Cabernet/Merlot)
Set of 2/ $17.99

(O Pinot/Nebbiolo)
Set of 2/$17.99

(O Syrah/Shiraz)
Set of 2/ $17.99

(O Viogneier/Chardonnay)
Set of 2 $13.99

Why Susan Recommends O
I love the simplicity of it. I've been using wine tumblers for years and have found them to be casual and elegant all at the same time. It takes the stuffiness as (well as the casualties!) of wine drinking, and focuses it simply on good friends, conversation and a tasty drink. As well as the fact that I can't help feeling a bit French, sitting in a bistro, feeling nonchalant about my wine! However, with that said, I can't disagree that particular wines are well received and emphasized when tasted from the appropriately shaped glass. This makes Reidel's “O” series even better because it mixes the enjoyment of tasting your Pinot Nior from a glass that will help celebrate ourselves, and the fact that I'm also drinking this wine in the backyard, and stems would simply be impracticable. I encourage anyone who is looking for a new experience in drinking wine to try Riedel's “O” series. They are dishwasher friendly and fit neatly into the cabinets of small kitchens, boats and picnic baskets too!

In short, I love the O collection, because it increases my wine enjoyment without the formality that stemware evokes. The O wine tumbler casual appearance appeals to me. Its curves are clean, and it fits nicely in my hand, and I don't have to worry about my cat walking by and spilling my glass. Foremost, the form of the glass delivers the wine's message in a language I understand. For these reasons, I recommend the O series to anybody looking for a practical glass that celebrates the delivery of wine.

Feeling Indulgent?

If you aren't ready to give up the stem, there are Riedel Sommeliers, which also accentuate the taste of your chosen wine. The Sommeliers are a stem wine glass series that was introduced in 1973, achieving worldwide recognition for its concept of matching glass shape to specific wines.

Each glass in this 31-glass series is individually mouth-blown, and made of 24% lead crystal. Incredibly, each glass in the Sommeliers series is only handled by five people; creating truly incredible and unique wine glasses. We sell the Sommeliers series in sets of four. Special orders are available at no extra cost. Click here to see the Riedel Sommeliers.

Our Suggestions For Great Wine . . .
After talking with merchants and sommeliers, there are three wines we suggest for your alfresco event. These wines come highly recommended, and we assure you that you and your guests will not be disappointed! Since quality and price are most important, we have found three fabulous wines between $14 and $20.

With these suggestions of consistent, affordable wines, you can splurge on food and candles. Each wine demonstrates all the characteristics you could possibly desire from a wine! Delightful companions to alfresco dining. Each wine is case worthy and has those subtle nuances that separate good wine from better wine.

Castle Rock Winery, Napa Valley California Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

  • Produced in very small quantities from grapes grown in the Russian River Valley, which is recognized as one of the finest Pinot Noir growing regions in California.
  • A supple full-bodied wine. Dry.
  • Flavors consist of ripe, complex layers of plum, cherry, sweet vanilla oak, spice, cinnamon and floral notes, with a long velvety finish.
  • Serve at 60 degrees with baby Swiss or fresh mozzarella, duck breast or other game birds or foul as well as bar-b-que beef.
  • Price . . . about ten bucks!
  • More info at www.castlerockwinery.com

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Napa Valley California White Riesling:

  • Expresses the best characteristics of the grape. Moderately floral aroma, which consists of pineapple, honeysuckle and lemon blossoms. On the palate, flavors resemble peach, lychee nut, apricot and pear. The fruit flavors are balanced by flinty mineral characteristics on the palate, topped with a citrus note . . . fruit with structure.
  • Serve chilled with some good Alsace Muenster cheese and a crusty French baquette. Also, this Riesling goes beautifully with tempura shrimp and vegetable spring rolls.
  • Suggested retail price . . . $18 per bottle
  • more info at www.cask23.com

Cloudy Bay, Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

  • Pale straw green in color and mouth watering fragrant, the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc is redolent of a mid-summer kitchen
  • Ripe passion fruit, yellow plums, juicy lime and freshly picked basil. The palate is pure and refreshing with all the hallmarks of a small but perfectly grown crop. Flavors that echo the aromas, with piercing concentration, impeccably balanced acidity and a long crisp finish.
  • Serve with chilled with poached Alaskan Salmon or with an arugula salad with pear slices, Brie cheese, honey roasted walnuts and a citrus vinaigrettes.
  • The retail for Sauvignon Blanc . . . less than $20.
  • More info at www.cloudybay.co.nz

 

 

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