Saturday, April 03, 2021

Weekend Cooking: Coffee and Wine

As you read this, we are in transit on our way back from visiting Uluru in Central Australia. It is the first time for the both us to see the world's biggest monolith, and visiting Northern Territory, not to mention the first time leaving our home state of Victoria since the end of 2019!  My plan is to post about our visit in next week's Weekend Cooking post.

Yesterday I posted about a book called Sweetheart by Sarah Mayberry which is part of a multi-author series set in a Vermont cafe. As you would imagine there's plenty of food mentions when you read a book set in a cafe, but for this week I thought I would share this quote about coffee and wine! 

Part of the reason for choosing these quotes because I am not much  of a connoiseur when it comes to wine or coffee. What I do know is when I like or or I don't but that's as far as it gets. I do like the idea of the processes that goes into making both of them. I like the idea that both coffee and wine vary depending on where it is grown and can be influenced by so many things from the makeup of the soil, how rocky it is, whether it was picked under a full moon. That all fascinates me. But yes, give me a glass of wine or a glass of coffee and the most I can probably tell you is if it is smooth or not.

"Come on in to the apartment and meet Larry," Beck said.

"Sounds good," I said, wincing at how bright and chirpy I sounded.

Beck's mouth twitched again, as he led me down a short corridor. After passing his office and the packing room, we walked through a doorway into a large space that run the full width of the building. Two big metal machines were spaced along the far wall, while pallets piled high with burlap sacks filled a corner.

"Are these the roasters?" I asked, forgetting to be nervous for a second as I went to examine the large circular tray attached to the front of one of the machines.

"Yep, these are our babies," Beck said. "That's the cooling tray. Beans go in there, and once we get past first crack, and we're happy with the roast, we pour them out here to cool. " He pointed to a large hopper on top of the machine, then to the tray.

"First crack is when the beans open up in the heat, right?"

He raised his eyebrows. "Bang on the money."

"I did some googling," I admitted. "But Google didn't tell me how you know when you've got first crack."

The space was scrupulously clean, and the delicious smell I'd noted the other day in the packing room was stronger here, a mixture of the baked bread scent and caramelized sweetness he'd just described.

"So this is where the magic happens," I said.

And then a bit later

Beck glanced down at the wine I'd brought and a broad frown crossed his forehead.

"I wasn't sure what we were having and the guy in the store said this was good with almost anything," I said.

"Where'd you go? Hunger Mountain Co-op?"

"How did you know?" I asked, surprised.

Beck stepped over to the fridge and retrieved a familiar bottle.

"We bought the same wine," I said, getting the joke

"From the same manager, I'm thinking, since I got the same spiel."

We both laughed and any residual tension I'd been holding melted away.

"If it sucks, we can go back and complain together," I said.

"Let's give it a shot."

He opened the wine and poured two glasses, handing mine over. We both took an experimental sip.

"I'm tasting wine. I think there's a top note of wine in there, too. And maybe a little wine on the palate afterwards?" I said

"Definitely," Beck said, taking another mouthful and swirling it around his mouth ostentatiously, sucking his cheeks in and out and generally looking ridiculous. "Pretty sure the grapes were picked on a Friday by a redheaded man with big feet and a gambling habit.'

"Insightful," I said.

"It's what I do," Beck said with a casual shrug.

Are you a coffee or wine connoisseur?

Weekly Meals

Saturday: Peri Peri Chicken with chips and salad
Sunday: Leftovers Quiche
Monday: Leftover Leftovers Quiche

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.


  1. I love coffee! I love reading! I will try to find this one from library to read. Sounds interesting!

    1. I hope you enjoy it if you do get to read it Bindu!

  2. I don't drink coffee. I have gone to wine tastings and had wines that knowledgeable friends picked out and learned some things about what I like (a dry red with less tannin, a dry white made from the semillon grape).

    1. I have been to a couple of memorable wine tastings - particularly one in Sonoma in California.

  3. I love coffee. I love wine. I know almost nothing about either of these.

    1. Maybe it is just as easy to just know that you love what you love right Deb?

  4. How did I end up the first link? ;-) Thanks to years of coffee tastings and tests and presentations, back in the day, I was certified Starbucks "Coffee Master." I have done a spat of wine tastings and trainings over the years and even took a weekly course on teas and did copious tea tastings, but at the end of the day, like you, I like what I like. I stopped trying to articulate what I taste beyond the point that it helps me know what I like--if that makes sense! ;-) Sounds like a fun book/series.

    1. Haha! I wonder if our Starbucks do that. Not so much for me but definitley for my husband.

  5. Oh, I love coffee, wine and books. My favorites. As a matter of fact other than water that's about all I drink. I'm with yoou, I know what I like and we tend to urchase the same brands/labels of wine. We went through a period where we tried many different wines and it was costly. Now I love my Dreaming Tree brand.

    1. I have a couple of brands I tend to buy Tina, and a couple of regions that I gravitate towards too!

  6. You haven't been to Uluru! We loved the Sounds of Silence dinner we had there.
    I'm not a connoisseur but I like my coffee and wine. Like you, I like what I like.
    I am going to have to remember that funny wine tasting from that book!

    1. I have now Jackie! We did Sounds of Silence dinner and loved it!

  7. HAHAHAHAHAHA -- love the quote. Hope to get to your country one of these days -- sooner than later. I love coffee and wine, but we're only a tiny bit knowledgeable about them.