Food & Wine Pairing

Brotherhood Winery Blanc de Blanc

Monday, July 6th, 2009 | Chardonnay, Food & Wine Pairing, Hudson Valley, New York, Sparkling Wine, White Wine, Wines Under $20 | 5 Comments

Brothehood Blanc de Blanc

I don’t know about you, but I love all things bubbly… seltzer, tonic, soda, and of course sparkling wine. Last summer at Bounty of the Hudson we purchased two bottles of this Blanc de Blanc from Brotherhood Winery, located right here in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Blanc de Blanc sparkling wines are made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. The grapes in this bottle are all from the Hudson Valley. We thought it was a great accompaniment to our steamed lobster tails. It’s dry and crisp, but certainly not bone dry. I have to admit that I was wracking my brain for the best way to describe this wine for you. Obviously I’m out of practice and, truthfully, while reading wine blogs as a non-drinker during the last several months, I became painfully aware of how snooty some of the descriptions sound. I suppose there’s really no way around that, but I really will try not to sound too obnoxious.

The nose had a hint of white fruit on it. Drew first mentioned peaches, but then decided it was more like apricots. The wine itself had a vague citrus taste to it, making me think of grapefruit pith (but in a good way. It was very easy drinking and a good choice for a warm summer evening on the deck. (At least we thought so!)

At $10.99, it’s a very affordable option when you want to drink something like champagne, but don’t want to shell out the bucks for the French stuff.

2006 Domaine Brusset Côtes du Ventoux Les Boudalles

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008 | Food & Wine Pairing, France, Red Wine, Rhone, Wines Under $20 | 2 Comments

2006 domaine brusset les boudallesOne night last month I was trying to figure out how to use up some of the delicious vegetables we’d received from our farm share. I thought I’d try making a vegetable tart with zucchini, squash, tomato, and gorgonzola. To make things easy on myself, I simply used a refrigerated pie crust as the base. I couldn’t decide what wine to drink with it. Drew suggested the 2006 Domaine Brusset Les Boudalles ($10). He thought the Rhone blend would go well with our light dinner.

The 2006 Domaine Brusset Les Boudalles is 60% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre 15% Carignan, and 10% Clairette. Its APV is 13%. On the nose we found dried cherry, a hint of cheese, and a good bit of earthy scents like leaves and twigs. The wine was quite thin and watery — it almost seemed diluted (but not in a bad way). When we tasted it, the earthy flavors dominated, but were countered by tart cherry. The finish was quick and dry, but pleasant.

For the price, we agreed that it was a nice wine. It went really well with the vegetable tart. The earthiness balanced out the creamy gorgonzola cheese and made for a perfect summer dinner.

Here is the recipe for the tart. It’s a great way to make use of your garden’s bounty.

Summer Squash & Tomato Tart with Gorgonzola
(inspired by a recipe from Woman’s Day magazine)

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb mixed summer squash (zucchini, yellow squash, etc, cut into 1/4-inch rounds)
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 tso, chopped garlic
fresh ground black pepper
1 refrigerated pie crust
4 oz. gorgonzola cheese
1 large tomato, sliced and seeded
1 large egg, beaten
summer vegetable tartHeat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add squash and onions and sautee for 7 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat, stir in thyme, garlic and pepper to taste, cool to room temperature. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (a silicon sheet works great, too). Unfold pie crust on the parchment and roll out to approximately 13 inches. Crumble half the cheese over crust to within 2 inches of edge. Arrange squash mixture and tomato slices on cheese; fold edge of the crust over filling and brush crust with egg. Bake 35-40 minutes or until pastry is golden. Slide onto a wire rack to cool. Crumble remaining cheese over top. Cool to room temperature before eating.

Wine Questions Answered, Part II

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 | Food & Wine Pairing | 2 Comments

I know, I know… I go ahead and ask people to come to me with their wine questions and then I take forever to answer them. Well, I am going to get caught up this week! So without further delay comes a question from Christina:

What are some of your favorite wine and food pairings?  I’m thinking of doing a small wine tasting party next month, and while I can figure out cheese and chocolate to pair, I need suggestions for other foods (i.e. appetizers, desserts, etc. that go with petite syrah, prosecco, dry reisling, etc.).

Oh, this is a tough one. I don’t have a lot of confidence in my food and wine pairing, though apparently I do allright at it because customers used come back and tell me how happy they were :-) I’ll do my best here, and just because it’s a pairing that I enjoy, that doesn’t mean you will. I just feel that I have to give that disclaimer.

You mentioned petite syrah, which is a delicious variety, though quite a “big” wine. I think you need something meaty to stand up to it. If you’re looking to do bite-size food, maybe some sliced filet mignon with blue cheese crumbles on crostini? If you can find those small lamb chops, I think that would be fabulous too. (I don’t often prepare lamb, but I do enjoy those when I’m at parties).

With a prosecco I would serve either a cheese or something light such as cantaloupe wrapped with prosciutto or maybe even a light salmon mousse served on endive.

For a dry Riesling, though it seems obvious I’d go with a spicy Thai or Chinese-inspired dish. Maybe you could make some Thai chicken skewers and serve them with a spicy sauce? Or maybe even some kind of curry, though that might be tough for people to eat at a tasting party. Hopefully that will get your culinary imagination going.

If you’re ever looking for a quick and easy way to pair up food and wine, I would reccomend using Natalie McCleans’s Food & Wine Matcher. It’s free and easy to use and there are some great suggestions there. Good luck with your party!

Flayvors of Washington Recipe Contest

Friday, April 11th, 2008 | Food & Wine Pairing, Wine News | No Comments

columbiacrest.jpgLast May, celebrity chef Bobby Flay entered into a partnership with Columbia Crest wines to promote their brand and show how people can enjoy food and wine together everyday. I think that it’s important for people to understand that wine really can be an everyday enjoyment, so I’m excited about a contest that Columbia Crest is sponsoring. “The Flayvors of Washington” recipe contest will be hosted on the Food Network site and challenges you to take inspiration from Washington State’s fresh ingredients and Columbia Crest wines and create an original recipe. The contest will begin on April 15, 2008, and all entries must be received by midnight on May 31, 2008.  To submit an entry or find out more about the “Flayvors of Washington” contest, please visit www.foodnetwork.com/columbiacrest beginning April 15 (note that the contest portion of the Food Network’s Web site does not seem to be live yet — check back when the contest officially begins).

The entries will be reviewed and the top ten recipes will be narrowed to a selection of five finalists by Columbia Crest Winemaker Ray Einberger and Seattle Times restaurant critic and local NPR food commentator Nancy Leson. Flay and Food Network Executive Chef Robert Bleifer will then judge the top-five recipes and select a first-, second- and third-place winner.

The grand prize winner will enjoy a trip to New York City, and get to cook the winning dish with ”Boy Meets Grill” himself at one of his restaurants. (Sorry Canadians, this contest is only open to residents of the United States.)

2006 Hogue Cellars Genesis Riesling

Thursday, March 27th, 2008 | Food & Wine Pairing, Riesling, Washington, White Wine, Wines Under $20 | No Comments

2006 Genesis Riesling

I’ve been craving Indian food for way over a month. I thought that my belly would be satisfied after enjoying a delicious Indian buffet at Basera Indian Bistro (in the Hell’s Kitchen section of New York City), but that only intensified my craving. So yesterday I decided to try out a recipe for Indian Spiced Braised Chicken (it’s from the April 2007 issue of “Everyday Food”). It was a delicious blend of chicken, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and rich Indian spices. We had a bottle of 2006 Genesis Riesling in our fridge, and I thought we’d try that with the dish. The Genesis line of wines are Hogue Cellars‘ mid-tier line. They are produced in Washington state and the Riesling retails for around $15.00. The alcohol content is 13%.The wine was a lovely shade of light yellow. It had a floral nose (I thought of honeysuckle). It tasted slightly citrusy at first and then the flavors developed into slightly sweet kiwi with a hint of peach and nice minerality. It finished clean and dry, just the way I like it. The off-dry wine really complemented the spicy food. The bit of sweetness cut the heat, and yet the finish wasn’t cloying. I felt like my palate was cleansed and ready for the next bite. I don’t always nail my food and wine pairings, but this time I felt like I did. The Genesis Riesling was a wonderful accompaniment to the meal, and it would also be lovely to enjoy by itself.

Happy Pi Day!

Friday, March 14th, 2008 | Food & Wine Pairing, Holidays | No Comments

pi.jpgSeveral of our fellow wine bloggers have discussing Pi Day on Twitter. Pi, of course, is approximated to 3.14159… and goes on infinitely. Therefore, Pi Day is celebrated on 3/14 at 1:59. This made me start thinking about pie wines, and I set my Google Fu into action, hoping to seek out a few. But really, there aren’t a whole lot of pie wines out there. The Shallon Winery in Astoria, Oregon has a Lemon Meringue Pie Wine that they describe as so:

A little sweeter, tried to do in the style of Beerenauslese (how presumptuous can I get), tastes like lemon meringue pie (or so I think), and you can whip it and get a “meringue” on top, nice served with wine crackers to give the taste of pie “crust.”

But if you’re not able to get your hands on a bottle, you could always make your own apple pie “wine” (and trust me, I am using the term “wine” very loosely here, folks): 

Homemade Apple Pie Wine
1 gallon apple cider
2 quarts apple juice
3 cups of sugar
7 cinnamon sticks
1 pint of Everclear

In a large pot, bring to a boil everything except for the Everclear. After it boils, simmer for ½ hour, making sure to stir occasionally to dissolve all the sugar. Remove from heat, and add Everclear and stir. Let it cool completely.

Remove cinnamon sticks and strain through a coffee filter. Pour into a bottle. You can drink this warm or cold.

Makes 6 quarts

Now, since the “original” 190-proof Everclear is illegal in several states including Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Washington, California, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Virginia and West Virginia, you can look for Everclear 151, which is 151-proof, as you might have guessed. If you still can’t find that, I’d suggest using a 100-proof vodka. Absolut, Smirnoff, Stolichnaya, McCormick and Popov all make them.

Or you could just swing by a local bakery and pick up a delicious apple pie and pair it with a late-harvest Riesling, or a demi-sec sparkling wine. That’s what I’d do!

Days of Wine and Chocolate

Saturday, February 9th, 2008 | Food & Wine Pairing | 2 Comments

Image Credit: jypsygenWith Valentine’s Day just a few days away, no doubt many people’s thoughts have turned to chocolate. After all, who can resist those big red hearts full of delicious bon-bons? Some wines pair incredibly well with chocolate (particularly dark chocolate). The Mettler Cabernet Sauvignon that I wrote about a post or two ago is an example of a full-bodied red wine that really brings out the flavor in chocolate. I also read on KJCT8.com about a Colorado winery that has gotten a little creative with this concept.

Each weekend this month Friday thru Sunday Carlson Vineyard is tasting cherry ‘n chocolate. Featuring Carlson’s cherry wine combined with Enstrom’s premium semi-sweet dark chocolate rimmed around the glass…

“I think combination of cherry and chocolate goes back along way…you think of the German Chocolate Cake has the cherry in it…and again with cherry cordials, the chocolate covered cherry…its sort of like pork and applesauce…flavors that go well.”

I have to admit that the idea of drinking wine from a chocolate-rimmed glass sounds decadent and delicious. But what if you don’t live anywhere near Colorado wine country but want to try this combination? Carlson Winery will ship a bottle of its Cherry wine, complete with a dark chocolate heart tied around the bottle neck. The retail price is $13.95. I’m not sure you can still get it in time for Valentine’s Day, but if you’re interested, it’s worth a call. Head over to the winery’s Web site for more information.

This idea has my head spinning and now I’m thinking of other wines that would work in a chocolate rimmed wine glass. Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto D’Acqui springs to mind. Perhaps some Zinfandels, too. Do you have any suggestions? Let’s hear them!

About Me

I'm Carol, mom to three, knitter, crocheter, writer, and oenophile. I used to co-own a wine shop but discovered that I prefer drinking wine to selling it.

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