Fred the Hot Tranny Mess

Yes, today I share the magic potion that is Fred the Hot Tranny Mess.

Perfect for your Cinco de Mayo fiestas!

You will need:Cointreau

Tequila (decent, not sucky)

Cointreau (or other orange liquor)

fresh squeezed lime juice

cranberry juice cocktail

a Brut Rose Sparkling wine (nothing super fancy)

Fill shaker with ice.

Add 2 shots tequila and 1 shot Cointreau.

Squeeze the juice of one small lime into a bowl and remove seeds. Add lime juice.

Add splash of cranberry cocktail.

Cover shaker and shake vigorously.

Strain into glass with ice.

Top with a splash or two of Brut Rose and stir gently.

Makes 2 Freds.


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Serving up Sangria tonight @ Young Adults w/ Cancer Hootenany

Got Tumors? Cancer doesn’t have to suck while your in the prime of your life. Join Kairol Rosenthal, author of Everything Changes: The Insiders Guide to Cancer in your 20’s and 30’s for a book signing at Women & Children First tonight in Andersonville. Also on hand will be Jonny Imerman of Imerman’s Angels, Matthew Zachary of The Stupid Cancer Show and ME serving up Sangria and talking about my funny little cancer blog: Chemo and Vino.

August 12
Women & Children First Bookstore
5233 N. Clark Street
Sponsored by i[2]y

Here’s my Sangria recipe:

2 750 ml bottles cheap, but not sucky, dry white wine

1.5 c brandy

1 c sweetened lemonade  (I like Neuman’s Own)

10 oz frozen peaches

10 oz frozen raspberries

sparkling water and/or sugar to taste

Steep the fruit in the brandy and lemonade in the fridge for a few hours if possible.  Combine chilled wine and brandy. Taste and sweeten if necessary. Ladle into glasses and add a splash of sparkling water to each cup just before serving.

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Diva Wine Tweets

Those of you who are addicted to your crackberrys can now read my brief (but amusing IMHO) wine “tweets” on twitter. Follow me @chicagowinediva and get the lastest on good stuff that I’m eating and drinking – often in real time! You too can know exactly when I’ve been overserved by a fine dining establishment or my own friends, which I may well regret soon enough. In the meantime, enjoy! 

Full disclosure, you may get a few cancer related tweets here and there, but they are generally even more amusing than my wine musings, so don’t be freaked out. If the whole C-Dog thing is news to you and you want to get my story – check out my funny little cancer blog. Chemo and Vino: Breakfast of Champions. I’m really doing pretty darned well, but if you want to send me nice thoughts or cash feel free.



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I’m part of the Chicagosphere

Hey! I got a shout out on my recent Gapers Block review of Great Sea on new website Chicago Now. You read it here first!

Now, if only my tummy felt better….

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Great Sea = Great Chow


Holy Jebus! I just ate the best Wonton Soup of my life. This was accompanied by some life changing chicken wings and some unusually light and fluffy shrimp fried rice.

I should probably forewarn you that this post will not involve wine at all. I’ve been having tummy issues and when my favorite internal organ isn’t happy, neither am I.  The one food I am able to consume, no matter how miserable my guts are, is Wonton Soup. I am convinced it has powerful healing properties. My latest slurp of this medicinal goodness was simply amazing. Hence, I felt compelled to share. Likewise, I always know when I am truly sick when wine doesn’t sound good. So, something is seriously awry in my belly, and rest assured I will take this up with my docs. But enough about my GI track…

wonton_soupGet thee to Great Sea restaurant post haste. This joint has some sublime Chinese chow. Now, I have no idea if its authentic or regional or anything like that. I just know its good. Upon first glance at the menu, its nothin special. Just your usual Chinese take out fare. But lordy lordy, the execution of these dishes really sets this place apart.

Take for example, this Wonton soup.(Apologies all around for the crappy quality of my phone pics.) Its lightly salty, chicken-ish broth is nice, but its all the added goodies that blew my mind. Wide chinese noodles, tiny shrimp, greens, and wispy threads of egg are in generous quantity. Even the mushroom slices had real texture. Now, there are no dumplings in here per say, but who needs em when you have all the ingredients in tastier form swimming in the bowl?

Oh, and I bet you have an opinion on chicken wings. Really, who doesn’t? The Spicy Sweet Chicken wings here will blow your mind. First off, they are trimmed and fried to make a lolipop is crispy chicken form. The sticky glaze is sweet and spicy as advertised and plentful, which makes for a nice drizzle on a side of white rice.wings Not only are these little treats unbelieveably tasty, but way less messy than you average wings or drummies. The trimmed bone as handle keeps your fingers free of sauce. Next TV viewing party I host, I’m totally ordering up a ton of these. Start angling for your invites now, or hustle to Albany Park for your own.

Great Sea

3254 W Lawrence Ave
(between Sawyer Ave & Spaulding Ave)
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 478-9129

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Your opinion please?

Should i have separate twitter/facebook pages for Winediva and cancer stuff? Click on the link below to weigh in or leave a comment here. #twtpoll

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getting rowdy with Revelette Rose and Steve Cochran on WGN radio TODAY at 5pm

etiq_reveletteHey Kids!

As many of you have mentioned, I’ve been somewhat truant from Steve’s show lately. Totally, my bad. I’ll be on TODAY at 5pm (or round abouts that time) to chat about roses for summer quaffing and any boozy concerns you may have for the holiday. Cocktails, food pairings, brewski: I’ll do my best.

To my right (insert Vanna White gesture here) you will see the label for today’s tasty treat. A DRY…let me say that again…DRY…pink wine from southern France that is delish with a variety of casual outdoor fare. Slurp this up with grilled chicken, burgers, pig roast – whatever you have goin on for Memorial Day. (If you are roasting a whole pig, please invite me. Chances are good that I’ll bring wine that doesn’t suck.)

For those who want to know, the wine is made primarily from a grape called grenache and vinified by the saignee method. Unlike most producers, owner and producer Peter Fischer grows these grapes expressly for rose production. And greenies can feel good that his wines are certified organic, with many of his practices adhering to biodynamic standards.

You should be able to find a bottle (or a case!) at most Binny’s & Sam’s locations as well as In Fine Spirits and a few other boutiquey shops. Price is about $13.

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follow me and my drinking on Twitter

Hey wine lovin readers!

I’m experimenting with doing a twitter “review” or commentary on everything I drink or taste.

Follow me and give me your feedback!

My twitter name is chicagowinediva.

here’s a sample:

Lynfred Cabernet Reserve 2005 $40 winery only. Wow. A concentrated bundle of dark cocoa, gingerbread, and sweet creme. Needs age!

Epicuro Nero d’Avola 2006 IGT Sicilia $5 Trader Joes. like a pleasantly tart blackberry with earthy notes. Nice weekday pizza wine.

Just simple notes on decent wines that I’ve tried. See what ya think!

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a spicy valentine’s day menu and recipes

My profound apologies for dropping off the blog planet for so long. But, I have the greatest excuse ever – I have cancer. Yep, the BIG C dog. I had surgery in April and I’m DONE with 6 months of chemo and doing GREAT. So, maybe TMI, but I’m all about playing the cancer card when it works to my benefit .

If you want to read about my Great Cancer Smackdown, you can visit my other blog, Chemo and Vino: Breakfast of Champions.

 I should warn you that my cancer blog is completely uncensored and not meant to be as “professional” as my wine blog, so just know that I’ll continue this site in a responsible and entertaining tone. All bets are off on the other one.

Now, on to more entertaining stuff like food and booze. Enjoy!

Spice up your Valentine!

Valentine’s Day is coming up and with the economy sputtering, it’s the perfect time to spoil your beloved with a home-cooked meal. Here my pal Chef Jill Houk from Centered Chef and I give you a perfect Valentine’s Day meal with romantic wine pairings. The best part is that the food and wine are good for your heart in two ways. This meal will induce romance and keep you and your honey heart-healthy. Our meal is a spicy, tasty dinner for two that will give you enough energy for a long night of lovin, without bogging you down in extra calories. The ingredients were picked based on their aphrodisiac properties. Namely, we have:


Coffee-a stimulant that works both the body and mind, getting the drinker ready for extended physical activity.


Cilantro and Coriander-Arabian aphrodisiac thought to cure infertility.


Garlic-thought to be perfect for romance because it’s “bite” causes arousement. Also heart healthy in that it reduces cholesterol.


Ginger-this root is not only phallic, but it also stimulates circulation.


Nutmeg-an ancient Chinese aphrodisiac because it can cause hallucinations if you eat a large quantity.


Champagne-need we say more?


The Booze:


I think sparkling wines are simply essential for Valentine’s Day. The bubbles are festive, tickle the nose, and provide great acidity to lift spicy and savory flavors from the protein. If you’re not a bubbly fan, it might be fun to start with a South American cocktail to conjure up tropical climates. The two wines suggested for the shrimp are lightly sweet with very fruity and floral aromatics. The fruity wine can both quiet a bit of the heat in the dish and also echo some of the citrus in the dish. I love a juicy and fruity red or rose with the chicken and salsa. Bright berry tones should really pop with the earthy black beans and balance a bit of the heat as well. As for the dessert, be sure to taste the granita and the wine as you prepare it. Make sure the wine is still a bit sweeter than your dessert for the best match. The citrus in the granita will really sing with the Moscato and show off the mint as long as the sugar is well balanced. If you’re in danger of over-imbibing from earlier courses, a nice cup of coffee with a touch of vanilla liqueur should perk you right up.


Aperitif: Prosecco or Caipirinha

1st Course: Prosecco (Italy) or Torrontes (Argentina)

Mionetto il Prosecco NV, Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes 2007

2nd course: Sparkling Brut Rose (US or France) or lighter style, fruity Zinfandel (US)

Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rose Champagne NV, Peachy Canyon Incredible Red 2006

3rd course: Moscato d’Asti (Italy) or coffee with Licor 43 (a Spanish citrus and vanilla flavored liqueur)

Vietti Moscato d’Asti Cascinetta 2007


Grilled Shrimp and Pineapple Kabobs with Chimichurri Glazecenteredcheflogo1




For Skewers:

6 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

½ cup large pineapple chunks, preferably fresh

½ large red pepper, cut into 1″ pieces

½ small red onion, cut into 1″ pieces

6 wooden skewers, soaked at least a half hour in water


For Chimichurri Glaze:

1 clove garlic, crushed

½ jalapeno pepper, minced

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons lime juice

1 teaspoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


Serves: 2




1.       Pre heat grill to medium-high, or heat a grill pan over medium high heat.


2.       Onto each skewer, thread a shrimp, a chunk of pineapple, a piece of pepper and a piece of onion.


3.       Prepare the Chimichurri glaze by combining all of the ingredients and blending until smooth.  Adjust the seasoning as necessary.


4.       Brush both sides of each skewer with glaze and grill 3-4 minutes per side until shrimp is bright pink. Enjoy immediately!


Nutrition Information per serving: 19 calories; 1g fat; trace protein; 3g carbohydrate; trace fiber


Jamaican Jerked Chicken with Corn and Black Bean Salsa




For Jerk Marinade:

pinch ground allspice

pinch ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground espresso coffee

pinch ground nutmeg

½ jalapeno pepper, chopped

2 scallions, thinly sliced

½ bunch cilantro, stemmed

1 clove crushed garlic

½ teaspoon grated ginger

1 teaspoon canola oil, canola

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 ½ tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon brown sugar, packed


For Chicken:

12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)


For Black Bean & Corn Salsa:

¼ cup frozen corn niblets, defrosted

2 Tablespoons red onion, minced

3 Tablespoons red peppers, minced

3 Tablespoons green peppers, minced

3 Tablespoons tomatoes, minced

3 teaspoons minced cilantro

2 teaspoons lime juice

½ cup black beans, drained and rinsed




1.       In a sauté pan, toast the spices: allspice, clove, espresso coffee and nutmeg until fragrant, about 30 seconds.


2.       Prepare the jerk marinade by combining all of the ingredients and blending until smooth.  Adjust the seasoning as necessary.


3.       Marinate the chicken for 6-8 hours.  Remove chicken from marinade and grill 9-10 minutes per side over a medium grill or in a grill pan.


4.       Mix the ingredients for the corn salsa together. Adjust the seasonings.


5.       Place a grilled chicken breast on two plates and top each chicken breast with half the salsa. If desired, serve over a bed of lettuce.


Serves: 2


Nutrition Information per serving: 300 calories, 5g fat, 44g protein, 19g carbohydrates, 4g fiber.


Lemon Mint Granita




1/2 cup lemon juice


1 1/2 cups water


1/2 cup sugar


1 tablespoon grated orange zest


1/2 tablespoon grated lemon zest


1 1/2 tablespoons mint leaf, thinly sliced




Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved.

Remove from heat and let steep 30 minutes.

Strain into a metal baking dish, wrap with plastic and place in freezer.

After two hours, scrape with the tines of a fork. Re-wrap and return to freezer.

Repeat after two hours.

When completely frozen, serve by scraping half the mixture into a martini glass. Garnish with fresh berries.

Serves: 2


Nutrition Information per serving: 215 calories, trace fat, trace protein, 57g carbohydrate, 1g fiber


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On the Steve Cochran Show Today! (…early. oh my.)

brut-rosseGOOD MORNING! I’m up early just to bring you a fabulous cocktail idea for the holidays. Its perfect for brunch, an aparitif, or just something to knock back to make your family more interesting.coint_bottle175l_hires1 Tune in to The Steve Cochran Show at …gulp…7am to catch me. 720 am on the dial or stream live at

Poinsettia: a 1:4 ratio of Cointreau or another orange liquour to Champagne, with a splash of cranberry juice added for color. Garnish with a mint leaf and or a fresh cranberry.

A tasty treat! If you’d like more info on me, my business, or my “funny little cancer blog”, check out the post before this one from Thanksgiving.

Here’s the Rose bubbly I mentioned on the show today to go with shrimp cocktail and/or ribs. Deeeelish :).

Tune in to WGN tomorrow to catch me on Steve’s Christmas Show! I’ll be featuring the Domaine Carneros Brut 2004.winespage


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