About SL Prielipp-Falzone

Sheri is a freelance writer and has held sales and executive management positions in the financial services industry. She lives in Michigan with her husband, Vinny Sal and they have two sons who are currently in college. As a pet rescue advocate, her other two children are Barkley LeRoy and Penelope “Penny” Louise.

Chillin’ in the Dog Days of Summer

Have you ever wondered where the expression, ‘dogs days of summer” came from?

The dog days of summer are the hottest, most uncomfortable part of summer. Oppressive heat, drought, fires, lethargy, sudden thunderstorms, and supposedly mad dogs and bad luck per Greek and Roman astrology. It’s historically the period following the helical rising of the Star Sirius.

White wine and rose’ are perfect for this time of year. Well, actually, I prefer white wine and Vinny Sal is a rose’ fan but let’s not quibble.

Vinny Sal’s Picks

Spanish Wine


His first recommendation is Albariño or Alvarinho, a white grape grown in Galicia, northwest Spain and in Monção and Melgaço, northwest Portugal. This white wine varietal was presumably brought to Iberia by Cluny monks in the 12th century. This white grape variety may be a Riesling clone, or rather a close relative of the French grape Petit Manseng. Sounds like to this Owl, it’s a case for Henry Louis Gates, Jr., educator and host of the PBS television series, The Roots.




Any hoot, another Spanish recommendation is a wine from the region of northwest Spain, Rueda. This is a refreshing white wine with zingy high acidity. Verdejo is the prominent grape variety, but can also be blended with Sauvignon Blanc and Viura.

Italian Wine

Soave.jpgSoave (pronounced So-Ah-Ve) is a dry white Italian wine from the Veneto region in northeast Italy, principally around the city of Verona. The main grape variety though Trebbiano di Soave and Chardonnay are permitted in varying percentages. While most Soave is dry, however, a sparkling spumante style is permitted as is the passito Recioto style (a straw wine or raisin wine that is made from grapes that have been dried to concentrate their juice).



Another Italian white is Falanghina, also called Falanghina Greco. It is a wine grape variety called, Vitis vinifera. It is an ancient grape variety with considerable character. It is cultivated on the coast of Campania north of Naples and frequently consumed with seafood.

French Wine


Aligoté is a white grape used to make dry white wines, especially in the Burgundy region of France where it was first recorded in the 18th century. Tolerant to cold, this variety is also cultivated in Eastern European countries such as Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Bulgaria. Aligoté is used to produce a varietal white wine that is sometimes included in the blend of Burgundian sparkling wine known as Crémant de Bourgogne. Aligoté adds acidity and structure to other varieties when blended. The grape is often blended with Sacy, a white grape that ripens early and is light-colored wine low in acid and alcohol.

Australian Wine


The Australian Tasmania sparkling wines make Vinny Sal’s recommended list. Tasmania’s cool climate has made the region a good location for the production of sparkling wine. France’s Moët et Chandon uses some Tasmanian grapes for Australian sparkling wines.

Tasmanian Rieslings have close similarities to a Mosel Riesling than that which is typically produced in Australia.

Greek Wine

From the island of Santorini is the white grape, Assyrtiko or Asyrtiko indigenous to the island. Assyrtiko is widely planted in the arid volcanic-ash-rich soil of Santorini, other Aegean islands, and can also be found scattered in other regions of Greece. This grape blends well with Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Malagousia. Assyrtiko grapes do not lose acidity even if they are very ripe. Throughout Greece, the grape is vinified to make a variety of dry and sweet wines including Vinsanto-like musky and syrup-sweet dessert wines. In Retsina, it is often blended with the less-acidic Savatiano grape.

Moschofilero is another aromatic white grape of Greek origins with a pink-purple skin and quite spicy flavor with good acidity. This grape is used to make a dry and bold wine with spice and perfume. It is characterized by a “rose garden’ bouquet and is usually paired with fresh fruit or fruit-based desserts. The sparkling and dessert wines can have similar characteristics to a Muscat.


Unlike The Owl, these wines don’t age well.

These wines are to be served chilled at 45 degrees. Drink these wines now and try to find the freshest bottles available. There are many producers that have fine wines in the white wine category. Price points for these wines range from $12 to $25. The wine bottles shown are representative of some of the best white wines for these dog days of summer.

Mediterranean dishes pair well with these wines

Here are recipe links to some of our favorite dishes:

Lemon Herb Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
Mediterranean Bean Salad
Garlic Scallops
Garlic Lemon Mediterranean Chicken & Potatoes
Chicken Schawarma Wraps

One last hoot from The Owl

It must be the time for everything white… Vinny Sal got a new company car last week in “elderly white” (inside joke). But all joking aside, don’t invite bad luck the Greek and Roman astrology gods predict during these hot summer days. Drink responsibly. Employ a designated driver when enjoying your favorite alcoholic beverages.

Enjoy these last days of summer with family and friends!


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© 2018 TheCorkedOwl.com All Rights Reserved.

The Corked Owl

Welcome to the first post on The Corked Owl!

This blog is for our family, friends, and fans. We hope you continue to join us as we discuss the merriment of wine, spirits, beer, food and the joys of being opposites. As in every family or group of people, it’s difficult to please everyone.

Vinny Sal and I are opposites.

Vinny Sal loves wine. I love scotch.

We are opposites in just about everything. Still we have been married for over 25 years. Here is but a snippet of how we are opposites.

Vinny Sal loves wine. I love a good scotch. Vinny Sal is the quiet domestic type. I am all about adventure and having a discussion with just about anyone. Okay, both of those things are reasonable, right?

On the topic of food, Vinny Sal loves to cook. I detest everything about cooking. He loves to season food, and I say leave all fruit off the meat including most of the herbs. “Just a little pepper, please.” Imagine a big Vinny Sal eye roll. He cleans the kitchen as he cooks. He says the kitchen explodes whenever I try my hand at cooking.

Obviously, since Vinny Sal does the cooking, he does the grocery shopping. I’ve been barred from accompanying him on his grocery excursions. He is a strict by the list kind of shopper and I am, “Oh, this looks good.” I also wander and leave the cart which means he must control the cart much like the television remote control. (Another Vinny Sal eye roll.) Speaking of television, he loves all the food and nerd channels and I like all the sports channels.

He’s a fall, winter season guy because he enjoys being indoors, cooking, holidays and I am a spring, summer person who enjoys being outside by Lake Michigan with warm, sunny temperatures. Another opposite tidbit, Vinny Sal must have the air conditioning and fans running at sub-zero temperature while I am huddled underneath a comforter in mid-July. I say, “Open up the windows and enjoy the fresh air! Humidity be damned!”

He prefers driving a car listening to NPR. I prefer driving my SUV in silence. When we are together, it is the vehicle that decides whether the radio blares or is turned off.

He enjoys rock, classical and opera music while I enjoy Prince, R&B and Motown.

My favorite color is blue. His favorite is the “dirt” palette.

Vinny Sal’s favorite pastime is golfing. My favorite pastimes are reading, writing and watching football… everysinglegame from preseason to the Super Bowl… college and professional. “Shush! The game is on.”

Three people we would invite to a dinner party.

Vinny Sal is a WWII buff. He would like to invite Adolf Hitler. “Are you kidding me??” I answered. “NO!”

Alternatively, he would choose President Abraham Lincoln, Leonardo da Vinci, and Queen Elizabeth I. (He loves that History Channel.) I would choose President Obama, so I could apologize to him for not voting for him in either election, Ernest Hemingway, my favorite author, and the Virgin Mother Mary.

What else is on the menu?

We will be having guest bloggers from time to time like our good friend, Nick. Nick claims to be a novice beer critic, but no one is a novice when a person is as passionate about sampling beers as Nick does while sitting on his back porch, grilling and yelling at his three rambunctious sons. Nick, who also hails from the Great State of Michigan, the home of over 200 craft beer breweries will be focusing on IPA’s. An IPA is an India Pale Ale known for its hoppy style in the broader category of pale ale beers. Hoppy, meaning the flowers of the hop plant that are used primarily as a flavoring and stabilizing agent in beer…. But more about that later. He’s also passionate about bourbon barrel aged stouts too.

Tastes, Trends and Tensions

The Corked Owl will be exploring the tastes, trends, and tensions with wine, spirits, and food. We are often asked our opinions (it’s actually Vinny Sal’s opinion) on wine and food pairings, wine and spirits tastings, vineyards around the world, and the what, why, where would he recommend (insert question topic here)?

Tensions come into play when opposites are gathered together. How to serve and enjoy the being together when everyone gathered has their own tastes and opinions. How do we navigate the differences and savor not only the beverage, the food, but the guest conversations too?

Also highlighted will be small businesses that cater to the topics, holiday festivities and crafts, and reviews on cookbooks, online sources, and more.


Our shared values and love for one another make everything work! Here’s to opposite attraction and great conversation!

Please, when enjoying your favorite alcohol beverage, remember to drink responsibly employ a designated driver for you and/or your guests. We want to see all of you right back here at The Corked Owl.

Your hosts,

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Vinny Sal & The Owl



© 2018 TheCorkedOwl.com All Rights Reserved.