Where simple and delicious recipes are shared, wine is celebrated and life is lived to the fullest! 

MY STORY

First, and probably the most important thing about me is that I’m married to the love of my life. He’s my biggest cheerleader and fan. He’s the taste tester and often my muse when it comes to food. I love cooking for him. He loves cooking for me. In V+P you will see a lot of this love in the recipes and wine pairings that I share.

One of the inspirations for this blog came from our travels. We lived in Stuttgart Germany for 3 years and traveled all over Europe eating and drinking our way through big cities and little towns. 

I can’t wait to share the foods of Germany, Spain, France, and Italy with you! My love of food started well before our travels, though.

I’m a foodie. Have been since I was old enough to understand that home-cooked food was love.

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And that’s what it is to me. Delicious, thoughtful, flavor-filled food from my kitchen and the kitchens of my friends and family are symbols of love.

When you prepare a meal for another person you are giving a part of yourself in that meal. You are saying “you are important to me, I care about you”.

I watched my Grandmother bake and cook for us. She also sewed, but I’m not quite there yet. My mom cooked almost everything from scratch. Not because she was particularly fond of cooking but more because it was cheaper. My dad cooked almost everything he ate as well. He loved grilling and made a mean pot of spaghetti sauce.

I have recipes from all sides of my family that I can’t wait to share with you.

I guess cooking and baking are in my genes.

Vine + Plate is a tribute to my family but also a place for me to *finally* put my recipes and concoctions in one place.

I’ve also spent the last 10 years learning about food from a home chef’s perspective. I even have a fantasy restaurant plan in my head that may never come to be, but it’s fun thinking about.

Whenever I or my husband make something delicious, I’ll always say “that’s going on the menu!”.

For now, this is my restaurant. This will be the home of all these delicious recipes that keep coming out of the kitchen.

That’s the ‘plate’ part of the blog.

Eiffel Tower in Paris

Now comes the ‘vine’ part.

I fell in love with wine in about 20 years ago. I remember the day clearly. At the time, I was a trainer for an international company and I traveled a lot. This particular day I had just finished training in Anaheim California at the Disneyland Resort.

This was before California Adventure was built. On the grounds around Disneyland were hotels and shops and restaurants. I don’t even remember what it was called, but there was a wine bar in this little shopping area.

I went in and sat for a minute staring at the wine menu. I had no idea what to pick.

All I really knew about wine at the time was that there were red, white and pink ones.

Oh, and I knew my mother’s favorite wine came in a gallon jug and she kept it under the sink.

Anyway, I did what a lot of people do. I picked the most expensive wine by the glass because the most expensive wine must be the best, right?

I’m not sure if it was the best wine from their list, but it sure was good. It was a Clos du Bois Marlstone, I think it was a 1998.

For the first time in my life, I really tasted the wine. All of my days of ordering White Zinfindel (gasp!) were over. I was hooked.

There was just something about this wine that clicked for me and from that day forward I vowed to drink wine and learn as much as I could.

Wine became a regular part of my week. Enjoying it with friends and family, rewarding myself for work or personal accomplishments, you name it, wine had a place in my life.

Capri

Then…I went to Italy. In December of 2004 I went on a 3 week journey through Italy.

Between the art, history, food and wine, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Every liter of wine that I drank was perfect. And it was the house wine! Only a few euros a liter!

How was this wine so good? And so cheap!?

I had, up to this point, only focused on wines from California. That vacation cemented in me a love for wine that I didn’t know was possible.

Fast forward to today.

I buy wine like I used to buy books. The more the merrier. I have bottles everywhere. I even keep the empty bottles of the wines I love to remind me of them. Yes, I need more wine storage, who doesn’t!

I’m currently taking Italian language classes and studying for the CSW — Certified Specialist of Wine. I thought about the Sommelier training but I don’t ever plan to work in hospitality or restaurants. I do plan on writing about wine and sharing my love of wine with you. The CSW will definitely be a plus.

So, welcome to Vine + Plate. I hope to inspire you, make you smile and help you bring simple, delicious foods to your plate. I will also be sharing my love of wine with you and demystify wine pairings.

I’d love to get to know you! Feel free to email me at lisa@vineandplate.com or follow me on any of the social channels below.

Some of our favorite places…