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(Disclaimer:  any and all recorded comments are from a hazy wine-influenced memory.)

AS PART OF MY FOOD, INC. gathering last night, we tried out some regional wines.   Mitch brought a bottle of Mizzou Cellars Norton, bottled by the Missouri University Institute.  The wine is made with norton/cynthiana red grapes and is a full-bodied dry red wine.   Sounds like a good healthy drink to me! 

Christie brought a bottle from Texas called Texas Sunset, a red table wine from Bella Vista Cellars of Wimberly.   So, this is another red wine to keep in mind for your daily drink.

I picked up two bottles of Oklahoma wine:  Oklahoma Sunset, a dry rose, from Tidal School Vineyards in Drumright, and Oklahoma White Zinfandel (the name says it all) from Canadian River Vineyards & Winery of Slaughterville, just a few miles from here. 

We started from light and went to darker in our tasting.  Everyone agreed that the zinfandel was sweet, but I don’t really like sweet wines and it was pretty good, I thought.  So mildly sweet but not too bad.  This wine, Oklahoma White Zinfandel, was my favorite.   Altogether I think everyone liked this wine.

Next was the Oklahoma Sunset, more dry than the zinfandel, but very similar in taste.  A couple of people preferred this wine – Marcie said this was her favorite.   It was in my top two.

The Texas Sunset was next in line and it is a good red wine.  The flavor is not sweet, and not too dry.  Just a good solid wine.  I don’t think the Texas Sunset was anyone’s favorite, but again we all agreed it’s a good wine, and no one really disliked it.

Last in our line of wines was the Mizzou Vineyards full-bodied red wine.  Everyone liked this wine; it does have a full array of flavors.  Mitch, Tracy, and Christie said they liked this wine best.  That’s three of five people who participated.  I think we have a clear WINNER.  

I think I can speak for all of us in recommending any one of these wines.  This was my first taste of wine from any of these states –the great flavors really surprised me.   I can’t wait to try more regional wines, especially from Oklahoma.  OK, now, who makes organic wine in Oklahoma?   Off to research . . .

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THIS WEEK HAS BEEN so crazy!   I’ve been cooking and shopping for food, reading about cool things to do for Earth Week, and last night I had a group of friends over to watch Food, Inc.  One of the guests had seen it previously, so it felt good to share the info, albeit disturbing, with my good friends. 

We started off the evening with a little wine tasting of some local and regional wines.   Two guests brought wine (discussed in detail, above).   Tracy brought some delish homemade sweet bread, that we divvied up at the end of the night, we all wanted more!   Other snacks were chips & salsa (organic corn – genetically modified?  who knows – we discussed), a fruit salad and an agave popcorn mix I made (recipe on 14 Months to 50 Facebook ) .  

I had seen the movie before but had forgotten just how many facts are packed into it.  Almost every line of the movie, text on the screen or spoken, is a bit of amazing shocking information.   So much is learned about mass food production, farming, and the politics of the food industry from this movie.  And the viewer is introduced to such likeable people as Michael Pollan and farmer Joel Salatin, among others.   I said more than once, “Oh, I love this guy” as people were introduced in the movie.  

We had time to have small discussions during the movie, and had a more involved discussion afterward.  Some people were of the opinion that we can’t do anything about any of it, or that we can’t possibly find truly healthy food to eat.   I argued that we can, and that the bad food can be avoided, or that a person can at least try by eating organic, by finding organic locally grown food, by just being conscious when you eat and shop.  We talked about where we shop for organics locally.  We discussed if we eliminate certain foods from our diet, what foods could replace those.  I dragged some of my food out a couple of times to show what I buy.  Milk was a big topic, and we talked about almond milk as an option.  And we discussed the whole idea of voting with your purchases.  With purchases, consumers tell stores what they do and do not want on the shelves.  That’s a lot of power and influence that we all seem to forget we have.  Food, Inc. has reminded us all (those who have watched it) that we have that power and should use it wisely.

Altogether, I would say my friends went away from the viewing with a lot of things in their heads to sort out, new information and a new perspective.   I could tell that everyone was truly thinking about their own diet and food choices, and how they can improve their lifestyles for their own well-being.  I think everyone is fairly disgusted by the practices of the large food production companies, and no one wants to support those kinds of practices.

So, to my party attendees:   thanks to all of you for coming — I feel good spreading the word — thanks for letting me!   

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