Al Spoler

Host, Cellar Notes and Radio Kitchen

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.

His most rewarding immersion in cooking came through his work as a television director at MPT.  Spoler served as off-line editor and assistant director on two series featuring the legendary French chef Pierre Franey.  He also worked with Mexican chef Patricia Quintana, and with Bed and Breakfast expert Gail Greco on her series "Country Inn Cooking". Al says traveling all over the US visiting country inns and taping recipes that they prepared in little makeshift television kitchens was an incredible education.

Spoler's tastes in cooking are influenced by regional tradition and contemporary casual French fare. Never slavish to recipes, he is never happier than improvising a Sunday dinner with whatever ingredients come to hand.

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Cellar Notes
2:20 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

Kendall-Jackson "Jackson Estate" Wines - 7/29/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

 Jackson Estate Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley '13 **1/2 $$
(Silky, intriguing pinot with lush cool country fruit flavors)

Jackson Estate Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley '13
(Creamy tropical fruit, with complexity and fine structure)

Jackson Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley '12 **1/2 $$
(Affordable high quality Alex Valley cabbernet blend)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com

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Radio Kitchen #1343
8:27 am
Tue July 28, 2015

Stuffed Peppers Rioja Style

July 28, 2015 - Radio Kitchen - Stuffed Peppers Rioja Style

It always happens:  I go on a trip and I try a wonderful dish and I want to recreate it at home.  In this case I was in Spain, in a lovely restaurant in Salamanca where they served us a dish of red peppers stuffed with shredded beef, smothered in a tangy pepper and tomato sauce.  The menu translated the name of the dish as Stuffed Peppers Rioja Style.

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Cellar Notes
8:42 am
Wed July 22, 2015

Midsummer Whites - 7/22/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Martel Blanco Verdejo, Rueda '12 ** $ VALUE
(This is why Rueda is Spain's most popular white.)

Quinta do Casal Monteiro, DO Tejo, Portugal '13 *1/2 $
(Made from Arinto, perfect with seafood, a lovely easy drinking white.)

D'Arenberg "The Hermit Crab" McLaren Vale '15 ** $
(Reliable Aussie winery, a solid white made from Rhone varietals.)

Husch Chenin Blanc, Mendocino County '13 ** $
(A quality off-dry chenin blanc, perfect for spicy Asian cuisine.)

Fairview Goats do Roam, South Africa '14 *1/2 $  VALUE
(Inexpensive, loveable, unusual, a crowd pleaser.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com

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Radio Kitchen #1342
8:49 am
Tue July 21, 2015

Maryland Peaches

July 21, 2015 - Radio Kitchen - Maryland Peaches
    
I'm not quite sure why it is, but I don't think Maryland gets enough credit for its peaches.  This is high season for this wonderfully sweet and versatile fruit.  My favorite farmers, like Dave Hocheimer of Black Rock Orchards, are bringing their peaches to the market by the ton.  And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School can attest, there's a lot to like when it comes to peaches.

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Cellar Notes
2:12 pm
Wed July 15, 2015

Cordoniu Cava - 7/15/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Cordoniu Classico Cava *1/2 $  
(Ridiculously inexpensive for the quality) VALUE

Anna de Cordoniu Brut Rosé ** $  VALUE
(Delightful rosé bubbly at an incredible price.)VALUE

Anna de Cordoniu Brut ** $  VALUE
(Chardonnay based with a dollop of traditional Parellada)

Cordoniu Vintage 2012 ** $
(Pinot Noir makes an appearance in this very good wine)

Gran Cordoniu Reserva Chardonnay ** $
(Chardonnay based Cava, a first in Spain)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com

Read more

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