May 23 2009


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The Casual Connoisseur:   Kristin Hanson, Originator, Primary Writer and Editor-in-Chief


Kristin Hanson, a native Californian, is a former long standing Napa Valley resident, attorney, writer, artist, and self-described “casual connoisseur” of California wine and food.  She has contributed to tasting notes, developed recipes and provided wine and food pairing recommendations for local Napa Valley wineries.  Her parents, both professors, avid gardeners and food lovers themselves, instilled in her a lifelong love of wine, gardening and cooking.   

She has a casual approach to wine, food and entertaining.   Her backyard hosts a full vegetable and herb garden, which was primarily started from seed.   The concept of sustainability, meaning that which is grown herself, is intrinsic to her recipes and only supplemented by that which is seasonably available.    Her recipes are original and have been time tested on family and friends on countless occasions over the years.  The purpose of this web site is to provide inspiration and encouragement to others such that they can create dishes which can be paired easily with wine.  She believes that wine is meant to be enjoyed anywhere, any time and by anyone. 

“Wine is meant to be enjoyed, regardless the setting or formality.” 

~ The Casual Connoisseur ~



Rocky Mountain Vine:   Jan Littlefield, Correspondent Connoisseur


Jan Littlefield resides near Denver, works as a real estate and environmental paralegal, and was educated as a librarian.  A former assistant editor for a publisher of reference books, she has published some 500 book reviews.  Jan is also an avid knitter, a beader, a beginning silversmith, a fiber artist, and a founding member of a gourmet group of over 20 years’ duration.


Inspired by parents who were interested in food, wine and gardening, Jan is a fearless cook.  She travels to the Western Slope frequently, visiting wineries, orchards and farmer’s markets in Colorado’s growing wine country.  While gardening is limited, she uses organic and local ingredients whenever possible.  Jan’s collection of hundreds of cookbooks are thoroughly read and treasured, but seldom used for cooking; her recipes are original – tested and approved by family and friends.  Jan believes that cooking should be exhilarating and that pairing Colorado’s wines with food is not a mysterious process. 


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