There’s something for everyone in Molly Wizenberg’s sweet and lovely memoir about the ways food and cooking are woven into the moments of her life. Every chapter of A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table is a short essay on how the accompanying recipe resonated during a particular time in Wizenberg’s life, and all of the essays wonderfully tie together as she grieves the loss of her father through cooking, travel, family and love. The author of the acclaimed food blog Orangette, Wizenberg has a winsome and relatable voice that makes the pages fly by. Her convincing commentary on her favorite dishes will have even non-cooks itching to run to the kitchen, while her clear love for Paris will have you checking flights to experience her favorite food-related Parisian spots for yourself. —Raela Schoenherr
Raela Schoenherr is an editor at a Minnesota publishing company. She loves to talk books and writing on Twitter at @raelaschoenherr.
For me, rosé is always in season and should be enjoyed year-round. For this month’s pick, I’ve chosen Schramsberg Brut Rosé. This sparkling wine is great for your upcoming Easter dinner, or just a nice splurge when you want top-shelf bubbles. Schramsberg winery is located in Napa Valley near Calistoga, and specializes in “method traditionelle” sparkling wines. This means the wines are made just as true champagne is made, and from the same set of traditional champagne grape varietals (this wine is 60% pinot noir, and 40% chardonnay). Certainly a few steps above similar wines in quality, Schramsberg’s rosé gives you long-lasting, fine bubbles, with flavors of berries and cream. Schramsberg is vintage-dated and can age well, but I think the rosé is best enjoyed now. —Kevin Castellano
Kevin Castellano is the general manager of Wayzata Wine and Spirits and a lake-area wine and liquor expert.
Chris Stapleton’s latest release is like an old rocking chair: simple, purposeful and beautifully crafted. In that homespun vein, Stapleton certainly looks the part of the cowboy, and his father was a coal miner. From A Room: Volume 2 feels like an instant classic. With wife Morgane Stapleton as his consummate backup vocalist, the couple even has a Johnny and June Carter Cash vibe. The Kentucky native is also no stranger to crafting hits, ghostwriting for megastars such as Kenny Chesney, George Strait, and even Adele. Stapleton manages both brooding ballads (“Nobody’s Lonely Tonight”) and boot stomping honky-tonk numbers (“Hard Livin’”) on his third solo venture. He even lays down one heck of an earworm with “Scarecrow In The Garden.” Stapleton could clean up at the Grammys for the next decade, but if he never released another piece of music, I’d be just as happy listening to From A Room: Volume 2 on repeat. —Sean Schultz
Sean Schultz is a lifelong musician who enjoys consuming popular culture. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, new baby daughter and two dogs.
Read, Drink, Listen: April 2018