A good Michigan wine? — You know the joke, but this month might be a good time to take Michigan wines more seriously, as Gov. Granholm has declared April "Michigan Wine Month." Lousy weather often produces fine wine, and with Michigan's bummer summer last year, the state's wines should be better than ever. For more info, see michiganwines.com.
A whole new New World — Assaggi Bistro will host a tasting of wines from South America, featuring Argentine and Chilean wines, including Torrontes, Malbecs, Carmeneres and more, as well as delicious appetizers. At 330 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; call 248-584-3499 for reservations; $24 per person plus tax and tip.
Bunny Day — This week, we're sure to see lots of Easter brunches, and the Grill at the Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn is no exception. Their brunch, in the Presidential Ballroom, will include sushi and carving stations, a seafood-adorned ice sculpture, made-to-order salads and maybe even a visit from the Easter Bunny. From 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 4; $65 per adult, $30 per child, including tax and tip.
If you're ready to embark on an exploration of gastromony, take a look at A Visual History of Cookery (Black Dog Publishing, $55), which is loaded with text, photos and posters. Editor Duncan McCorquodale presents a compendium of historical developments that explain the foods that grace our plates today. From a photo of hot dogs resting on a red, white, and blue flag to an essay on El Bulli, considered Spain's finest restaurant, this is fascinating fodder for serious (and intrepid) gastronomes.
The tiny Louisiana town of Ponchatoula boasts that they're the strawberry capital of the world. The important thing here is that they provide the berries for Abita's light, dry and poundable Strawberry Harvest Lager. It's a limited seasonal wheat beer made with real fruit, and it only makes it to a few of the better beer stores this far north. Drink a few bottles paired with a fresh mozzarella salad and a good friend on a warmish spring afternoon.
Who can resist a delicious bundt, with a hollow tube in its center, perhaps filled with berries or chocolate mousse? The Nordicware Heritage Bundt Pan takes the presentation to another level, enabling a baker to serve a spectacular-looking cake reminiscent of an Eastern European kugelhopf. The commercial quality, heavy cast aluminum conducts heat well, producing golden crusts. Although the finish is non-stick, a baking spray with flour, such as Baker's Joy, is recommended for easy removal.
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