20080806-finds-0101.jpgTOSS THE DECANTER
All of you red wine drinkers know the last glass from the bottle is always the best because as wine breathes it opens up, improving both bouquet and taste. That’s why we persnickety wine drinkers insist on decanting the bottle before we take the first sip, a time-consuming process that is now passé thanks to an aerator that can make the first pour just as smooth tasting as the last. Hold the Vinturi over a glass and pour the wine into it — a single step that mixes the right amount of air for the right amount of time, allowing the wine to breathe instantly. “You can do one glass at a time. You don’t have to aerate the bottle,” says Gene Todaro of Marcello’s Wine Market Café on Kaliste Saloom, which uses the Vinturi on each glass of red wine you order. Both the café and Marcello’s Wine Market on Johnston Street also sell the Vinturi for $40. Call 264-9520 or 235-1002 for more info. — Leslie Turk

RICE IS NICE
Something so nutritious isn’t supposed to taste this good. Growing up with a tradition of everything with white rice, some people find it difficult to make the healthy transition to whole grain brown rice. But with Cajun Grain brown jasmine rice, doubters will have a difficult time resisting the rich flavor of this fragrant grain. Kurt Unkel farms 70 acres in Kinder. His rice is milled and bagged in small batches, about 100 pounds at a time, and sold fresh in brown bags. “Keep it in the freezer,” he advises. “Rice gets old quick, and the freshness is what makes the taste.” He’s very careful about the chemicals he uses as well. He avoids pesticides and only applies herbicides in small applications where it’s needed. “The chemicals take away from the flavor,” he says. Unkel also raises hormone-free, antibiotic-free, grass-fed cows, and free-range pigs fed on his brown rice. His rice sells for $5 for four pounds at the Oil Center Farmer’s Market on alternate Saturdays. His next trip to the Lafayette market will be August 22. — Mary Tutwiler

FOND MEMORIES

When it comes to Memories, Johnnie Allan’s got them. He already has a book by the same name, a collection of historic photos of south Louisiana musicians. Since the age of 13, Allan has been a fixture of the south Louisiana music scene as a singer and songwriter and has released over 13 albums and 60 singles. His latest CD on Jin Records highlights 22 of those singles from throughout Allan’s 50-year career. Memories features renditions of “I’m Not a Fool Anymore,” “I Don’t Know Why I Love You But I Do,” “Graduation Night,” “Crying Over You,” and “All By Myself.” Copies of Memories retails for $15.98. To hear sample tracks, visit www.flattownmusic.com. — R. Reese Fuller

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