New Mexico Wine Takes Silver in San Francisco—This February, judges at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition were asked to "snift" through more than 3,300 wine selections from around the country in what has become the largest and most distinguished American wine competition in the world. California was heavily represented—and an easy favorite. Still, a little winery based out of Southern New Mexico managed to walk away with one of the competition's top honors. Willmon Vineyards garnered a silver medal in the "Bordeaux Blend—$30 and Over" class for their 2002 Willmon Vineyards Quatro. What's Quatro, you ask? Basically, it's a tasty red blend of Bordeaux and Cabernet Sauvignon that's aged in French oak for about two years. This is the second internationally recognized award for the Willmon's Quatro. You can sample some for yourself at the vineyard's two retail tasting rooms in Ruidoso, the End of the Vine (www.endofthevine.com) and Viva New Mexico (www.viva-nm.com). Cheers!
And Speaking of Wine—Gulp is helping (or is that enabling?) us poor wine folk to live richly, thanks to their new 20/20 wine list: That's 20 different varietals at just $20 a bottle. Grab a few girlfriends and share a bottle of Yalumba "Y" Series Viognier or Rocca Della Macie Sangiovese. It'll break down to just a few dollars per glass.
Kick Hunger to the Curb—The Curb Café (3400 Constitution NE, one block west of Carlisle) took over the space of the old Café Riviera a few months back; but perhaps more interesting is the fact that the new restaurant is not-for-profit. See, the café is a division of Streetwise, Inc., which does job coaching and job placement, life skills training, and case management resolution. I'm not entirely sure how it all works, but the café itself sounds like a pretty cool concept. Sample their Mediterranean-based menu of gyros and deli items from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., or stop in for live music or a poetry reading at night. You can even sip a latte while surfing one of their seven computers, conveniently loaded up with wireless Internet capabilities.
Café au Lait (Sixth Street at Central) has Closed—But word is they'll resurface again in Old Town sometime soon. I don't know any details beyond that, but I'll keep you posted once I figure out what happened. In the meantime, get your morning beans down the street at Java Joe's (Ninth Street and Park).
I'm in Peru enjoying guinea pig, sweet potatoes and maté. Leave me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or 346-0660 ext. 260. I'll get right back to you.