Tom Kiszka the wine importer that we work closely with pairing wine with our food stopped by around 9:00 tonight with selections for tomorrows Home Restaurant and lots of information. We had been back and forth via email and telephone as the menu evolved. In total we are serving 6 different wines tomorrow night.

It is always good to see Tom and exciting to see the wines. Tom sat down with me for about 45 minutes, tasted a few things that we were cooking and shared his knowledge about the wines he brought with him.

We talked a lot about all of the wines that we are serving but spent the most time discussing the Vina Cubillo Crianza 2002, a classic Rioja. Rioja is a wine made from grapes grown not only in the Autonomous Community La Rioja, but also in parts of Navarre and the Basque province of Álava. Riojas have traditionally blended fruit from all three regions though there is a slow growth in single zone wines. Riojas are aged in Oak and Tom said that many Riojas are done in new oak which gives an exaggerated inauthentic flavor. He said many of these Riojas taste, "like they are on steroids". The Loez de Heredia family who make the wine we are serving use only old oak and make Rioja in a classic style. The vineyard has been in the family for 5 generations and practices have been carefully passed from generation to generation. Riojas are an ideal pair with vegetables. We will be serving this wine with the second seated course of stewed green zebra tomatoes, eight-ball squash and local garlic on cornbread with a sweet corn sauce.

We will finish the meal with Chateau de Vaux, XB Extra Brut 2003. Our Home Restaurant tomorrow night will be the first time this sparkling wine will be served in DC. This bubbly is made in the Moselle style which as Tom says, "makes for ferocious lively bubbles". It is 100 percent Chardonnay and from a tiny obscure vineyard in the North East of France that is a favorite of Tom's. We served a white from this same vineyard at a dinner a few weeks ago. Tomorrow we will enjoy the wine with an almond torte, figs from our garden and a bittersweet chocolate sorbet.