Noshing Around

Ancient History Lunch

When the tomb of King Midas was excavated in Turkey, archaeologists unearthed an unexpected culinary windfall: Remnants of the funeral feast were perfectly preserved. On April 26 at 12:30 p.m., Slow Food Tucson is re-creating that meal of golden elixir--spicy fire-roasted sliced leg of lamb with Mediterranean lentils, Turkish mezze, red wine and traditional fig tart--at Olive Tree Restaurant, 7000 E. Tanque Verde Road. Al Leonard Jr., UA classics professor, archaeologist and chef, speaks about the Midas tomb excavation by the University of Pennsylvania scientists and the techniques used to analyze the leftovers. All inclusive $28 for members, $32 non-members. E-mail for reservations. Slow Food, a nonprofit international movement with more than 60,000 members based in Bra, Italy, is dedicated to furthering the understanding of food and culture.

Three-buck Chuck

Three-buck Chuck, or Charles Shaw wine at Trader Joe's, has been causing a near stampede. Known as two-buck Chuck in California (the transporting over state lines must mean that we pay a buck more), Chuck has received coast-to-coast news coverage touting taste and price. But Charles Shaw is a fictitious winery, just like the other dozen labels (Forestville, Black Mountain, Glen Ellen) owned by the Bronco Wine Company, whose inventory ranges from $1.99 to $24.99 wines. Since it's a buyer's market and wine flows cheaply, Bronco--the eighth-largest wine producer in California--is buying bankrupt vineyards and destroying grapes in its path. Why? In four years, you won't be able to buy a bottle of California wine under $10. It's all about economics--supply, demand and shrinking the competitive pool. Although TJ's says Chuck will be around for awhile, drink up while the glut is good.

James Beard Foundation

Although no restaurants were nominated this year (Janos won in 2002), Tucson's very own food goddess of the air waves--Jennifer English's The Food and Wine Radio Network--earned its third Viking Range Broadcast Media Best Radio Show About Food Award nomination for Food & Wine Radio Network Short Snorts. English won the James Beard award in 2002. Winners are announced Monday, May 5. The show airs locally on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. on KTKT 990 AM.