Wine Pairing Recommendations for Hometown Foods #SundaySupper

This week’s #SundaySupper theme is all about hometown and  the wonderful memories one’s favorite hometown foods may evoke.

What I call “hometown” has always been a challenge for me.  I was born in Chicago, but moved to California with my parents as a teenager. I’ve spent (way) more than half my life in California.  But most of my relatives still live in Chicago.  So when I think of what my hometown is, Chicago is top of mind, but I’ve been in California so long that I also feel that’s my home too.

But in terms of hometown foods, I’m going say “both”!.  Chicago and San Francisco are arguably, the top two food towns in the U.S. (with apologies to NY’ers – I guess I still have a bit of the Windy City chip on my shoulders when it comes to NYC;-)

Wine Pairing Recommendations for Hometown Favorites #SundaySupper

The first foods from my two hometown’s that come to mind are Chicago’s Garrett’s Mix popcorn – an amazing mash-up of Caramel and Cheddar popcorn that sweet and salty like Kettle Corn.  In terms of San Francisco, the first food that come to mind is the Hangtown Fry - arguably the first California cuisine. It originated during the Gold Rush and consists of fried breaded oysters, eggs, and fried bacon, cooked together like an omelet.

What’s your favorite hometown food?

Check out this week’s fabulous hometown favorite recipes put together by the #SundaySupper food bloggers and my wine pairing recommendations – all under $20!

Breakfast and Snacks

I say start the day with some bubbly!  Pair these breakfast favorites and snacks with Moscato d’Asti. One of my favorites is the 2013 Saracco Moscato d’Asti ($10). It shows a sweet, fragrant, delicate, floral, tropical fruit, and a hint of honey character.  It’s “frizzante”, which means it’s not as effervescent as most sparkling wines. 

Enjoy these dishes with one of the most versatile food pairing wines – a sparkling rose. My favorite “everyday” sparkling rose is Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé ($13).  It drinks well above it’s $12.99 price point and has a lovely soft texture with a delicious and inviting strawberry, and cherry character.

Drinks

Appetizer, Side and Main Dishes

Pair these dishes with Chardonnay.  Look for the 2013 Spellbound California Chardonnay ($12).  It’s has a lively, lush tropical fruit, apple, crème brûlée, and vanilla character. Delicious stuff!

Pair these dishes with a Sauvignon Blanc.  Look for the 2013 Patient Cottat “Le Grand Caillou” Sauvignon Blanc ($10).  It has a lovely tropical fruit, citrus, spice and mineral character with a tangy acidity. 

Pair these dishes with Riesling, the white version of a “goes with virtually anything” wine.   Look for 2013 Charles Smith “Kung Fu Girl” Columbia Valley Riesling ($10). It’s off-dry so it’ll handle some spice, and it fruit forward, and fresh with lychee, nectarine, peach and a bit of citrus character. 

Pair these recipes with a red blend.  Look for the 2012 Bogle “Essential Red” Old Vine Red Blend ($9).  It made from old vine Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. It has a juicy, smooth, fruit forward character with exotic dark fruit and vanilla character

Pair these dishes with Chianti.  One of my perennial faves is Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva($19).  It’s made from Sangiovese grapes and has a wonderful black cherry, plum, spice, and tobacco character.

Desserts

Pair these dessert with a Port.  Look for the Quinta do Noval Black Port ($18).  It’s a revolutionary new port from one of the world’s legendary estates. It’s fruity and sweet with a jammy, fig, blackberry character.  Excellent with chocolate dessert!

Pair these dessert with a Sauternes, a dessert wine from France. Look for the 2010 Haut Charmes, Sauternes ($14).It’s a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon that has been affected by Botrytis cinerea, also known as noble rot, that which intensifies its sweetness and gives it a honeyed character. It has a rich with fresh acidity and a pleasing tropical fruit characer.

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more greatSunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Skillet Kale Pesto and Seitan Pizza with Querceto Chianti Classico for #winePW

Wine Pairing Weekend is a monthly collaborative event for wine/food bloggers started by David Crowley of Cooking Chat.  It’s a great way to find food and wine pairings that work; along with tips on how to create your own food and wine pairing magic. The theme for this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend is New Wine Resolutions for the New Year

Go hard, or go home…that’s my motto…at least when it comes to resolutions.  With that in mind, I decided hit all three of my food and wine resolutions right off the bat…

  1. Cook at least one recipe from Cooking Light each month - I’ve been subscribing  to “Cooking Light” for more years than I care to admit, yet I rarely make anything.  It’s been years of looking at the pretty pictures, and thinking about, rather than acting on the great ideas for delicious, healthy food.
  2. Perfect my palate for Italian Wine -  I almost always consume wine with food and I think Italian wines are, across the board, the most food friendly wines.  Yet, I only enjoyed a grand total of 4 bottles of Italian wine in 2014. A pity. That will change in 2015!
  3. Eat meatless at least once a week - Surely I can carve out at least one day a week to invest in my health. Right?

The Food

There is was – fresh out of the mailbox – the January/February issue  of “Cooking Light”. With one of the main themes of the issue being “How to Eat Clean in 2015″, there were plenty of great ideas and recipes.  But I didn’t find vegetarian dishes that floated my boat.  So, I decided to convert the  Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza to vegetarian by swapping  Upton Naturals Italian Seitan for the Italian sausage in the recipe. Viola! Vegetarian!

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And what is seitan (say-tahn)?  It’s a plant based protein derived from the protein portion of wheat. It stands in for meat in many recipes and works so well that a some vegetarians avoid it because the texture is too “meaty.”

The other appeal of this recipe for me was Cooking Light’s claim that…

Cooking pizza in a skillet is a revelation: guaranteed dough success for even the most timid pie makers

“Cool” I thought because I disdain any recipe with the words “yeast” and “degrees” in it.  I’ve even experienced abject failure when using pre-made dough. It inevitably turns out oval or some other ungodly shape.  And that’s after I’ve struggled with the flour on the counter and my hands thing.

Could this recipe be my pizza pie making salvation?

Yes!  The pizza turned out beautifully!

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The pizza was actually round and the was dough was relatively easy to work with. Hallelujah!  It was also quite delicious and exceeded my expectations. I loved the meaty, ample texture of the seitan, and I didn’t miss the Italian sausage a bit!

Skillet Kale Pesto and Seitan Pizza
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 slices
 
"Cooking pizza in a skillet is a revelation: guaranteed dough success for even the most timid pie makers" - Cooking Light
Ingredients
  • 10 ounce refrigerated fresh whole-wheat or whole-grain pizza dough
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 ounces Upton's Italian Seitan
  • 3 ounces prechopped curly kale (about 3 tightly packed cups)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup pine nuts or slivered almonds, toasted
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about ½ cup)
Instructions
  1. Place dough on counter at room temperature; cover to prevent drying.
  2. Preheat broiler to high.
  3. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan. Add kale, 2 tablespoons water, and sugar to pan; cover and cook 2 minutes or until kale wilts. Place kale on 2 layers of paper towels; squeeze out excess moisture. Wipe pan clean with paper towels.
  4. Place nuts and 1 garlic clove in a mini food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add kale; pulse until finely chopped. Add 2 tablespoons oil; process until almost pastelike (add 1 to 1½ tablespoons water, if necessary). Add Parmigiano-Reggiano; pulse mixture just until combined.
  5. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Roll dough into a 10½-inch circle. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Fit dough in pan, pressing slightly up sides of pan. Top evenly with pesto; sprinkle with sausage and mozzarella. Cook 2 minutes over medium-high heat or until browned on bottom. Place pan in oven; broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut into 8 wedges.
Notes
I modified the recipe by adding 3 cloves of minced garlic rather than 1. I substituted 4 ounces of Upton Italian Seitan for 3 ounces of Italian sausage in the original recipe
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8 slices

The Wine

Castello di Querceto is a Tuscan estate owned by the François family who settled in Tuscany in the 18th century from their French homeland.

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My tasting notes on the wine follow:

Ruby color with savory black cherry, tobacco, dried mushroom, and cedar aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, elegant, and well structured with dusty tannins, and dried and backed black cherry, a hint of blueberry, vanilla and tobacco flavors with a lingering finish. This wine grew on me with each sip. Definitely a food wine and a good value at $17! 13 % alcohol 

The Pairing

I decided to go with the “what grows together goes together” tenet of food and wine pairing.  And pizza and Chianti is a classic pairing.  And I considered this a “good” pairing – one where the food and wine achieved peaceful co-existence, but didn’t quite make it to each made the other better.  The challenge was the pesto sauce, I thought the seitan would be the dominant flavor.  And it was  - on the front palate. But the kale pesto stepped to the fore on the back palate, and for me it was good, but not great. I think this would have been a much better pairing had the sauce been tomato rather than pesto.  Next time (and there will be a next time!), I’d try a Rosé, which I think will take the pairing up a notch.

Check out these great ideas food and wine combinations from my fellow #winePW bloggers:

Remember to join us for our Twitter Chat on Saturday, January 10th at 8 a.m. using hashtag #winePW.  

Join us next month when we solve all your Valentine’s Pairing dilemmas hosted by @CulinaryCam!

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Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Wine of the Week; 2010 Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva

Every Thursday I feature a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out.  My Wine Of The Week is the 2010 Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva.

The Winery

Cantele is a family run winery founded by Giovanni (“Gianni”) Battista Cantele, and his two sons Augusto and Domenico in 1979.  The winery is located between the villages of Fra Guagnano and Salice Salentino.

Today, the Cantele family owns 50 hectares planted to vine and the family’s current winemaker Gianni (one of Augusto’s sons) and agronomist Cataldo Ferrari manage another 150 hectares owned by other growers. Augusto’s other son Paolo is the winery’s brand manager and Domenico’s son Umberto is head of sales. Domenico’s daughter Luisa also works in the estate’s corporate offices together with Gianni’s wife Gabriella. The business remains to this day a true “family affair.”

Cantele produces about 2 million bottles/year, including indigenous Pugliese grapes such as Primitive and Negroamaro, along with international grape varieties like Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah.

The Wine

Cantele produces wine in Salice Salentino DOC of Puglia, which is located in “the heel” of the boot in peninsular Italy.  Puglia has had a reputation for producing mostly low-quality bulk wines (a.k.a. “plonk”).  In the 21st century though, a growing number of winemakers are more focused on quality rather than quantity.  For example, Puglia is the second largest producer (after Sicily) of organic wines.  And there have been substantial investments by the iconic Italian producer Antinori.

The flagship red grape of the Salice Salentino DOC is Negroamaro , which translated to English means dark (negro), and bitter (amaro).

This wine is made from 100% Negroamaro fermented in stainless steel and aged in 1-2 year old barrique for 6 months.

13% alcohol Retail – $9.99

Wine of the Week; 2010 Cantele Salice Salentino

My tasting notes follow:

Ruby color with inviting black and red fruits, bramble, and spice aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, vibrant, and deliciously spicy with plum, dried cherry, black raspberry flavors, dusty tannins and a supple texture. Medium+ finish. >>Find this wine<<

Rating: A-; Fabulous QPR on this wine!  And if you’re looking to try a different grape variety – give Negroamaro a try!

Pair with: Carne alla pizzaiola, meat lovers pizza, roast veal and beef, game, lamb, and ripe aged cheeses.

Sample purchased for review

Related post you might enjoy:

Ratings Key:
(A+) – 95-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 92-95/Outstanding
(A-) – 89-91/Very Good to Outstanding
(B+) – 86-88/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail
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Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings. Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Smoked Salmon and Potato Chip Appetizer with Louis Roederer Champagne for #winePW

Wine Pairing Weekend is a monthly collaborative event for wine/food bloggers started by David Crowley of Cooking Chat.  It’s a great way to find food and wine pairings that work; along with tips on how to create your own food and wine pairing magic. The theme for this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend is “Sparkling Wines and Appetizers

The Appetizer

I love the holiday’s, but I don’t enjoy the stress and frenzied pace that so often accompany the holidays.  The last couple of weeks, especially, have been that way for me. Things have been hectic at work since Thanksgiving. So much so that as much as I enjoy participating in #winePW, I was ready to bow out this week because I simply didn’t have time to put together the appetizer I chose last weekend (I had to work!).

Then our host, Jeff of FoodWineClick suggested something simple – Potato Chips and Champagne!

Simple!  And perhaps more importantly, fast (I’m talking less than 10 minutes)!

Who couldn’t use a quick but oh so tasty appetizer recipe this time of year?

Inspired by this recipe, I whipped up:

Smoked Salmon and Potato Chip Appetizer

Smoked Salmon and Potato Chip Appetizer with Louis Roederer Champagne for #winePW

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bag of quality potato chips of your choice
  • 1 package of smoked salmon cut into small pieces(to place on chips)
  • crème fraîche
  • Dill weed (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS:

Sort chips in a single file on a platter or plate.  Top with a small piece of salmon.  Place a tiny dollop (about a 1/2 teaspoon) of crème fraîche on top of salmon.  Finish with a pinch of dried dill on top.  Serve immediately.

Notes: Any kind of smoked fish will work on this really.  Also you may substitute fresh herb such as chives, or dill.  I tried both Trader Joe’s Sea Salt Kettle Potato Chips and Classic Lays Potato Chips.  I slightly preferred the Classic Lays. They had a lighter texture and a tad more salt.

The Wine

I drink more bubbly than most folks.  I enjoy sparkling wine at least 3 or 4 times a month. That’s because I’ve learned that sparkling wines have are one of the most food friendly wines and because I don’t limit my consumption of sparkling wines to holiday celebrations.

While it’s true that sparkling wines are the wine of choice for most celebrations, for me Champagne is the ultimate sparkling wine for a celebration.

With that in mind and a bottle of Louis Roederer Brut Premier I’ve had in my refrigerator for a couple of month, my wife and I celebrated the monthly anniversary of our first date (we celebrate one way or another the 10th every month)!

This wine delivers a lot of value for an entry-level Champagne.

It’s a multi-vintage blend of  40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Meunier sourced from only grand and premier cru sites.  And It includes a significant amount of reserve wines that are over 10 years old that add depth and nuance to this affordable bottle of bubbles ($40).  The wines are matured in oak casks.  It is aged three years on the lees and another six months after disgorgement.

While this wine is the perfect aperitif, it has enough body to continue drinking into the main course as well.

Smoked Salmon and Potato Chip Appetizer with Louis Roederer Champagne for #winePW

I prefer my Champagne in a Burgundy glass!

My tasting notes on the wine follow:

Pale yellow color with plentiful active tiny bubbles and yeasty, almond, apple, subtle grapefruit and a hint of smoke aromas. On the palate, it’s refined, lively and fresh with a delicate creamy mousse. Mixed tart apples, pear and lemon curd flavors dominate but hints of grapefruit, black currant and an appealing smoky minerality play in the background. Long finish.

The Pairing

The beauty of sparkling wines is their versatility with food.  That’s because it’s high-acidity and effervescence give it a wonderful palate-cleansing ability(think scrubbing bubbles!) that get your palate ready for the next bite of whatever deliciousness is before you.

Sparkling wines work especially well as a counter-balance to salty foods, rich and creamy foods, fried  and crunchy foods and raw fish.

Well what do you know?  My appetizer is all of the above!

The pairing of Champagne with this appetizer is a great example of a food and wine pairing guideline that I follow most of the time –  let either the wine or the dish take center stage.  If you want to show off a special bottle of wine, then the dish should play a supporting role.  If you want to showcase a spectacular dish, then choose a lower-key wine.

Much like two people in a conversation, in the wine and food partnership one mus listen while the other speaks or the results is a muddle – Evan Goldstein;Perfect Pairings

When you bite into the appetizer, it’s a party in your mouth.  Y ou get a nice combination of crunchy from the potato chips, a bit of salt, and the smokiness of the salmon, and the cool creaminess of the creme fraiche.

Ah, but when you eat one of these one-bite wonders followed by a sip of the Champagne, the wine makes the salmon taste a bit sweeter, and the smoky minerality of the Champagne also complements the smokiness of the salmon.  While at the same time, the appetizer elevates the taste of the wine, and make the wine taste less tart!

And that’s a winning combination!

Ready to try something new this year? Check out these great ideas from my fellow #winePW bloggers for Sparkling Wine and Appetizers:

Remember our Twitter chat today, December 13th at 8 a.m. Pacific Time. We’ll be talking about our tips and tricks for the best holiday wine pairings. We’d love to have you join us!

And, be sure to mark your calendars for January’s Wine Pairing Weekend, hosted by Christy at Confessions of a Culinary Diva. We’ll be sharing “New Wine Resolutions – Wine or Region you want to explore in 2015. Join in the #WinePW 8 conversation on Saturday January 10!

You can also visit our group Pinterest board to pin some great pairing ideas for later!

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Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Butternut Squash and Cheddar Bread Pudding with Donkey & Goat Stone Crusher for #winePW

Wine Pairing Weekend is a monthly collaborative event for wine/food bloggers started by David Crowley of Cooking Chat.  It’s a great way to find food and wine pairings that work; along with tips on how to create your own food and wine pairing magic.

The theme for this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend is “Creative Thanksgiving-Inspired Dishes and Wine Pairings”

The Food

As a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies, I almost always decide which wine I want to try, then decide which dish to pair it with.

But this time was different.

All I knew is I wanted an atypical main dish.  I poked around the web and found this Butternut Squash and Cheddar Bread Pudding recipe.  What’s atypical about it is that it’s intended to be a vegetarian main dish - a dish that can command the table…

A delicious savory bread pudding that rivals the big roasted bird.

This dish does the trick! It capture the eye with a brilliant splash of fall color, and it smell even better.  And despite the name it includes a healthy dose of kale too!

I pretty much followed the recipe, except that I cut the recipe in half because the baguette I didn’t yield enough torn bread pieces.  I also added a bit of Herbs de Provence to the custard used to soak the bread.

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I was turned on to savory bread puddings a couple of years ago when I tried one as a side dish for Thanksgiving.  That turned out good. This one turned out great!

Beside presenting beautifully, it’s hearty and it tastes sweet, and savory all at once!

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The Wine

For my wine, I went orange.  An orange wine that is!

For the uninitiated an orange wine, is essentially a wine made from white wine grape varieties (in this case Roussanne) that spends some time fermenting on grape skins (i.e. it’s vinified like a red wine. It’s the skins that give the wine its color).

This white (orange) wine will surprise as it spent 15 days on the skins in a 4 ton open top wood vat before we pressed off to complete fermentation in neutral oak barrels. Orange wines, as they are called, are fascinating for many reasons but most exciting for us is the incredible versatility at the table.

This one is from Donkey and Goat Winery, a family owned and operated urban winery located in Berkeley California.  They make food friendly wines from hand harvested, sustainably farmed grapes grown in Mendocino & the Sierra Foothills. The wines are vinified as naturally as possible with minimal intervention and minimal effective SO2.

I firsT tried this wine a couple of vintages ago, and I make sure I pick up a bottle of two each year (Doh! That reminds me I’ve got to get my ’13 for this year’s Thanksgiving!)

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I aerated this wine for 20 minutes or so to let it warm up to cellar temperature and to give it some air. Unlike most wines made from white grapes this one has tannins and benefits from some aeration

My tasting notes follow:

Slightly hazy golden-orange color with charming, exotic honeysuckle, baked apricot, spiced orange rind, and jasmine aromas. On the medium-bodied, dry and fresh with dusty tannins and baked apricot, nectarine, heirloom apple, mineral and spice flavors, and a lingering finish.

The Food and Wine Pairing

This was a great pairing on all levels for me.  The wine possesses a combination of very good acidity and just enough tannins to complement the full-bodied richness of the bread pudding.  The wine has ample exotic fruit flavors and those flavors are amplified with you take a bite of the bread pudding followed by a sip of the wine.  The bread pudding made the wine taste better and the wine made the bread pudding taste better.

And that’s what food and wine pairing is all about!

Check out what my fellow #winePW bloggers have created for the November “Creative Thanksgiving-Inspired Dishes and Wine Pairings:

Sides

Turkey, Tempranillo and Sweet Potatoes by Cooking Chat
Thanksgiving from the Veneto: Turkey, Pomegranate Sauce & Valpolicella by foodwineclick
Norwegian Meatballs by Confessions of a Culinary Diva
Shepherds Pie Casserole with Barnard Griffin Syrah Port by Wild 4 Washington Wine

Sides
Purple Sweet Potato Soup with Roasted Lobster + Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Arugula Pear Salad paired with Torrontes from Argentina by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Layered Sweet Potato and Apple Bake with Cranberry Blush by Curious Cuisiniere

Desserts
Walnut Tart with Sparkling Brachetto d’Acqui by Vino Travels — An Italian Wine Blog
Can we skip to dessert? by Pull That Cork

Don’t Forget Leftovers!
Day After Turkey and Seafood Gumbo by It’s Ok To Eat The Cupcake
Turkey Pot Pie and Boedecker Cellars Chardonnay by Tasting Pour

Don’t forget to our Twitter chat today, November 8th at 11 a.m. Eastern Time! We’ll be talking about our tips and tricks for the best Thanksgiving wine pairings. We’d love to have you join us!

And, be sure to mark your calendars for December’s Wine Pairing Weekend, hosted by Jeff of foodwineclick. Just in time for Holiday parties, we’ll be sharing sparkling wine and hors d’oeuvre pairings. Join in the #WinePW 7 conversation on Saturday Dec. 13!

You can also visit our group Pinterest board to pin some great pairing ideas for later!

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Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Budget Friendly Wines for Budget Friendly #SundaySupper

The theme for this week’s #SundaySupper is all about budget friendly dishes.  The thing about the best budget friendly foods is that one doesn’t feel doesn’t feel cheated.  You still can still get a delicious healthy meal if you invest a bit of time into achieving satisfying results.

It’s the same with wine.  Just like it’s not hard to find satisfaction is a steak and lobster dinner from a pricy restaurant, I don’t think it’s difficult to find a great $50 dollar bottle of wine if you know what you like.

Ah, but if I can find a $10 or 15 dollar bottle of wine that’s satisfying, that over-delivers, on some level that a more satisfying experience for me because…well who doesn’t love a good deal?

With that in mind, I offer the following tips for finding wines that offer big bang for the buck:

  1. Shop the world – The first place I look for value is Spain, but you can find great value in the lesser know regions of France (Languedoc-Roussillion), Italy (Umbria, Sicily, and Puglia come to mind) along with countries like Chile, Australia and South Africa.
  2. Domestically – Look for lesser known regions.  In California for example look for wines from Amador, Lodi, or Lake County.
  3. Find website/blogger who specializes in value.  My favorite is the Reverse Wine Snob.
  4. Shop for Trader Joe’s and Costco for wine.  Both have lots of wines that offer great value.
  5. Take a look a box wines or a quality jug wine like Gallo Hearty Burgundy.
  6. Get to know high quality value produces like Barefoot Cellars, Chateau Ste Michelle, and Cline.
  7. Get cozy with a wine shop with a diverse selection of wines.  Most will have a nice selection of “everyday” wines in the $10-$20 range.
Wine Food Group

Image courtesy of somecards.com

Check out this week’s magnificent menu of budget friendly satisfying dishes prepared by the #SundaySupper food bloggers and budget friendly wine pairings recommendations that all under $15 (most are $10 or less)!

If you’ve been following my #SundaySupper wine pairing recommendations, then you KNOW I’m a  big proponent of pairing foods with sparkling wines, which pair well with such a wide variety of foods.  Pair these wine with Kirkland Prosecco ($8). It’s a terrific value with a delightful  fresh apple, mandarin orange, and honey character. 

Pair these dishes with Riesling, the white version of a “goes with virtually anything” wine. Look for the 2012 Pacific Rim Dry Riesling ($10).  It’s from the Columbia Valley in Washington State and has a delightful yellow apple, white peach, citrus and mineral character. 

Pair these dishes with Chardonnay.  Look for the 2013 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Charnay ($14) from Burgundy, France.  Our wine club did a blind tasting of Chardonnay from around the world last year, and this wine did well.  It’s an un-oaked Chardonnay with a classic zesty apple, citrus and mineral character. 

Pair these dishes with a Sauvignon Blanc.  Look for the 2013 Patient Cottat “Le Grand Caillou” Sauvignon Blanc ($10).  It has a lovely tropical fruit, citrus, spice and mineral character with a tangy acidity. 

Pair these dishes with Pinot Noir, the red wine version a “goes with virtually anything”. Pinot Noir is probably the most challenging the wine you can find that offers value for the price.  I recommend the 2013 Shoofly Wines Pinot Noir ($10) from Australia.  It’s show aromatic red berry, Asian spice aromas with bright cherry, raspberry and spice flavors underscored with an appealing minerality. 

Pair these dishes with a Grenache from Spain.  One of my perennial favorites is the Altovinum Evodia Old Vines Garnacha ($10). It’s produced from high-altitude 100-year old vines in the Calatayud region.  The combination of mountain fruit and old vines produces an elegant,zesty wine with strawberry, cherry character.  

Pair these dishes with a Cabernet Sauvignon. I like the 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($10).  It’s a blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot, Syrah, Malbec and Mourvedre.  It’s easy drinking  with a plum, dark cherry, and vanilla character. 

Pair these dishes with an old Italian favorite of mine, the 2013 Maritma “The 4 Old Guys” Sangiovese ($8).  It’s from the South Tuscan coast and has an easy drinking cherry, plum and earth character.

Pair these dishes with red blend.  One of my favorite is the Sherman & Hooker’s Shebang! “Seventh Cuvée” Red Blend ($12).  It’s second label by one of California’s hottest young winemakers – Morgan Twain-Peterson that’s a blend of Zinfandel, Grenache, Alicante, Petite Sirah and Sangiovese that was aged in 50% new French oak.  It has a fruity, but not jammy brambly, ripe cherry, cassis, dark chocolate character.

Try these desserts with Moscatel de Setúbel, a sweet fortified wine form the southern portion of Portugal, made from the local variety of Moscatel (Muscat).  Look for the Moscatel de Setúbal is sweet, fortified wine made from the local variety of Moscatel(Muscat).  Look for the 2011 Bacalhoa Moscatel de Setúbal ($10).  It’s rich with fragrant orange blossom, orange peel, honeyed fruit, and raisin character. 

Pair these desserts & snacks with a Moscato d’Asti.  Look for the 2013 Saracco Moscato d’Asti ($10). It shows a sweet, fragrant, delicate, floral, tropical fruit, and a hint of honey character.  It’s “frizzante”, which means it’s not as effervescent as most sparkling wines. 

Bon Appétit and Cheers!

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtagand remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Wine of the Week; 2012 Tablas Creek Petit Manseng

Every Thursday I feature a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out.  My Wine Of The Week is the 2012 Tablas Creek Petit Manseng.

The Winery

Tablas Creek Vineyard (“TCV”) is probably the best-known of all Paso Robles wineries specializing in Rhone style wines.  It is a partnership between Robert Haas, and the Perrin Family of Chateau de Beaucastel in the Chateauneuf du Pape region in FranceWhat I find interesting about TCV is that they specifically chose to establish themselves in Paso Robles because of the similarities of the soil conditions and climate of Paso Robles to Chateauneuf du Pape.  They went as far as to import vines from Chateauneuf du Pape.  The vines were propagated and grafted in their on-site nursery and used to plant their 120 acre organic vineyard.  Check the full story here.

The Wine

Petit Manseng is a white grape traditional to France’s southwest, where it has been used to produce the highly regarded, but not widely disseminated sweet wines of the Jurancon region for centuries. It’s a grape with naturally high acidity that can achieve sufficient concentration and sugar content to make naturally sweet wines without botrytis, or being fortified.

Tablas Creek was the first in California to produce a wine from the Petit Manseng grape variety. The 2012 vintage is TCV’s third bottling of Petit Manseng.

The wine is 100% Petit Manseng produced from grapes harvested at 30.2° Brix and a pH of 3.28.   Fermentation was stopped when it had about 42 grams/liter of sugar left and sat at an alcohol of 13.5%.  The high acidity makes it taste much drier than the sugar reading would suggest.  The wine was aged on its lees in barrel and bottled in November 2013

Because of its residual sugar and high acidity, the wine has tremendous aging potential.

Wine of the Week; 2012 Tablas Creek Petit Manseng

My tasting notes follow:

Pale gold color with appealing mango, pineapple, honey and hints of ginger, sweet spice and citrus aromas. On the palate it’s medium bodied, and semi-sweet with a supple, smooth texture and very good acidity. The flavors follow the aromas with spiced sweet lemon zest joining the party. Clean lingering finish. Retail - $35 (500ml)

Rating: A-;  This was such an enjoyable wine for me!  

Pair with: I paired this with a Peach Ginger Cobbler I prepared for a food and wine pairing event (see link below), but its refreshing acidity and off-dry character make it pretty versatile, especially with spicy fare such as Spicy Thai Pumpkin Curry or Spicy Shrimp Curry.  It will also pair with salty cheeses (I loved it with 24 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano), or a variety of fruit-based desserts.

Sample purchased for review

Ratings Key:

(A+) – 95-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 92-95/Outstanding
(A-) – 89-91/Very Good to Outstanding
(B+) – 86-88/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail
Other posts you might enjoy

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Peach and Ginger Cobbler and Tablas Creek Petit Manseng for #winePW

Wine Pairing Weekend is a monthly collaborative event for wine/food bloggers started by David Crowley of Cooking Chat.  It’s a great way to find food and wine pairings that work; along with tips on how to create your own food and wine pairing magic.

The theme for this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend is ““Fall Fruits and Wine Pairings“, and it’s all about making dishes prepared with the bounty of fall fruits and vegetable which come to mind when the air turns cool and tree blaze with color.

The Food

Ah…but Fall here in Northern California isn’t really Fall like it is elsewhere.  This time of year we’re usually in the midst of Indian Summer.

It was 85 degrees and sunny last week. The last thing on my mind was apple, sweet potatoes and pumpkins!

I headed to my local Whole Foods Market and they were promoting “Last Tango” peaches (so named because they are the last peaches of the year).  Since we were entertaining friends, and needed a dessert, I decided to make a peach cobbler.  I’ve had wild success with a Paula Deen recipe, so I decided to make that.

Except with a twist – crystallized ginger!  Why crystallized ginger?  Just a hunch.  Plus ginger is one of the aromas and flavor descriptors in my wine of choice – so I thought there might be some potential to bridge that with my wine of choice.

 

DSCN0357

Peach and Ginger Cobbler with a couple of scoops of Talenti Tahitian Vanilla Gelato – Nom, nom, nom!

This is a pretty easy recipe. In fact, the hard part for me was peeling the peaches (click here for 3 easy ways to peel peaches)

Peach and Ginger Cobbler
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10 servings
 
A Southern dessert with a spicy twist - Crystallized ginger!
Ingredients
  • 4 cups peeled, sliced fresh peaches
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 TBSP crystallized ginger; finely chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1½ cups self-rising flour
  • 1½ cups milk
  • Ground cinnamon, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the peaches, 1 cup sugar, 1 TBSP of crystallized ginger, and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Put the butter in a 3-quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.
  4. Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Sprinkle top with ground cinnamon, if using. Batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. To serve, scoop onto a plate and serve with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Notes
Depending on whether you prefer your cobbler with more dough or more fruit, you may adjust the amount of the flour mixture accordingly. Same thing for the crystallized ginger. Try it before you finalize to get as much or as little of the ginger flavor and spice as you prefer

The Wine

My wine choice for the cobbler is the 2012 Tablas Creek Petit Manseng.  Not familiar with Petit Manseng?

Neither was I.  But I’ve had this bottle of wine in my refrigerator for about 6 months and since I’m a wine drinker, not a wine collector I decided it was time. Beside, I love trying new grape varieties!

Petit Manseng is a white grape traditional to France’s southwest, where it has been used to produce the highly regarded, but not widely disseminated sweet wines of the Jurancon region for centuries. It’s a grape with naturally high acidity that can achieve sufficient concentration and sugar content to make naturally sweet wines without botrytis, or being fortified.

Tablas Creek was the first in California to produce a wine from the Petit Manseng grape variety.

IMG_0732

Paso Robles AVA
100% Petit Manseng
$35 (500ml), 13.5% abv.

My tasting notes follow:

Pale gold color with appealing mango, pineapple, honey and hints of ginger, sweet spice and citrus aromas. On the palate it’s medium bodied, and off-dry with a supple, smooth texture and very good acidity. The flavors follow the aromas with spiced sweet lemon zest joining the party. Clean lingering finish.

The Food and Wine Pairing

When pairing wine with dessert there are three key factors to consider acidity (a wine with moderate to high acidity pairs especially well with fruit desserts which has its own natural acidity), intensity (the more intense the flavors in the dessert, the more intense the wine should be, and sweetness (a dessert wine should be sweeter than the dessert itself)

The pairing was three for three and very enjoyable.  The acidity of the matched the acidity of the fruit and prepared the palate for the next bite of the cobbler.  The slightly sweet and spicy crust moderated the sweetness of the peach/ginger filling  and was a very good match for the moderate intensity, and tropical, honey, and citrus character of the wine.  And last, but not least the wine was just a tad sweeter than the cobbler. Score!

I’m looking forward to trying this wine one of my favorite ethnic foods – Spicy Thai Pumpkin Curry. It will also pair well with spicy Indian curry, salty cheese, apple pie, sweet potato pie, and foie gras!

Here’s what all of the bloggers have created for the October Wine Pairing Weekend!

Savories

Sweets

Surprise!

Join the #winePW conversation: Follow the #winePW conversation on Twitter throughout the weekend and beyond. If you’re reading this early enough, you can join us for a live Twitter chat on our theme “Fall Fruits and Wine Pairings” on Saturday, October 11 from 11 a.m. to noon Eastern Time. You can also visit our group Pinterest board to pin some great pairing ideas for later!

Sarah of Curious Cuisiniere (http://www.curiouscuisiniere.com/) will be hosting November’s ‪#‎winePW‬with the theme of Creative Thanksgiving Pairings. Join the fun on November 8th!

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Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Grilled Paiche with a White Greek Blend

Wine Pairing Weekend is a monthly collaborative event for wine/food bloggers started by David Crowley of Cooking Chat.  It’s a great way to find food and wine pairings that work; along with tips on how to create your own food and wine pairing magic.

The theme for this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend is “Wine for Summer’s Bounty“, and it’s all about taking advantage of the season’s best vegetables and fruits which are peaking right about now.

With the tried, tested, and found true food and wine pairing tenet of “What grows together, goes together” in mind, I knew I wanted to grill some fish since I had a wine from Greece in mind.

The Food

Taking inspiration from a Tilapia with Fresh Corn and Hatch Pepper recipe featuring a couple of the season’s bounty - fresh corn and hatch chiles, I decided to substitute Paiche, for tilapia  And off to my local Whole Paycheck..er Foods I went.  Alas, there wasn’t a hatch chile anywhere to be found.  I decided to substitute a Poblano pepper for the hatch chile.

Image courtesy of divebuddy.com

Image courtesy of divebuddy.com

For the uninitiated, Paiche (PIE-chay) which is also known as the arapaima or pirarucu, is a one of the largest freshwater fish in the world and can grow to almost 500 lbs. in size

It’s native to the Amazonian regions of Brazil and Peru in South American where it’s considered a delicacy ,and was almost fished to extinction.

In 2006 a group of Peruvian businessmen began The Amazone Project to develop the sustainable farming of paiche, and in 2011 it began to appear on the menus of adventurous chefs in the United States.

Some consider it an Amazonian “superfood”.  It packs an amazing 20 grams of protein per 100 grams of fish,is high in Omega-3s, low in fat, and free of antibiotics or mercury. It has firm white fleshed white-fish that has the meatiness of halibut for gently sweet flavor of sea bass or dover sole.  It’s perfect for grilling, pan-searing, roasting or smoking.

To date, I’ve only seen it a Whole Foods.  It’s farm-raised, but responsibly so.

Paiche grilled to perfection in a corn husk has a Latin inspired flavor profile

Despite the challenge of getting the paiche into the corn husk (I can see how a thinner fish like tilapia would be easier to work with and cook faster), the dish turn out well given my shall we say “unsophisicated” cooking skills!

Grilled Paiche with Fresh Corn and Poblano Peppers
Author: 
Recipe type: Main entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 ears of fresh corn
  • ¼ cup poblano chiles, chopped (more or less, depending on your desired heat level)
  • ¼ cup green onions, sliced
  • ½ lime
  • 2 Paiche fillets
  • Chipotle powder, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350 to 450 degrees)
  2. Carefully peel back the husk from each corn cob. You will use it for roasting the fish on the grill.
  3. Cut the ear of corn off the stem just above the end of the cob, leaving the husk intact. Set the husk aside. Cut the corn off the cob and combine with poblano chiles, green onions and the juice of a quarter of a lime and a dash of chipotle chili powder.
  4. Rinse the fish and pat dry. Place one fillet inside each of the corn husks. Top each with one-half of the corn mixture and close the husks over the fish, overlapping slightly.
  5. Place on the heated grill with the lid closed for 25-35 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily or reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Cut the remaining lime lengthwise into 2 wedges. Serve the fish in the husk with a lime wedge on top.

 The Wine

My wine choice for this dish is the 2012 Vrinioti Iama White.  It’s a fascinating blend of two distinctly different native Greek wine grapes – 60% Malagouzia and 40% Assyrtiko from the island of Evia.

Malagouzia is an ancient grape variety indigenous to Greece that  has only been identified in recent decades.  It produces a wine with floral and stone fruit aromatics and a slight honeyed character on the palate.  Assyrtiko, which I’d had before and really enjoyed, is the renown grape of the island of Santorini, where it usually makes bracing, dry whites with mouth-watering acidity and pronounced minerality.

The interplay of the two grape varieties is almost sequential, with the aromatics and fruit of the Malagouzia dominating the palate initially, and with the acidity and the minerality of the of the Assyrtiko providing the frame.  

As a point of reference for more well-known grape varieties, the wine reminded me of the combination of the aromatic and fruit profile of  both Viognier and   Gewürztraminer with the acidity of a Riesling.

Grilled Paiche with Fresh Corn and Poblano Peppers #winePW

Have you ever seen a black bottle closure before? But I digress, the wine is pure deliciousness. Highly recommended!

My tasting notes follow:

Rich yellow gold color with appealing stone fruit, bergamot, honey, spice, wet stone and citrus blossom aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, and approaches off-dry on the front palate with vibrant acidity and peach, apricot, a bit of fresh melon, spice, honey followed by a refreshing, bright lemony acidity on the back palate all underscored with wonderful Chablis-like minerality. Lingering finish.

The mouth-watering acidity of this wine makes it a versatile wine at table. Consider pairing it with salads featuring Feta cheese, Chile Rellenos, Grilled Octopus, Fried Calamari, or Herb-crusted lamb or port or Tuna Tartare.

DSC_0940

The Food and Wine Pairing

It was a fantastic pairing!  The the combination of spice and minerality of the wine was a great complement the spice of the corn/pepper mixture, and the slightly sweet, ever so slightly smoky flavor profile of the dish. And the great acidity of the wine cleansed the palate and prepared it for the next bite of deliciousness!
Wine Pairing Weekend # 3 Bloggers: Be sure to check out what my fellow bloggers have come up with for the August Wine Pairing Weekend!

Pull That Cork shared “Wine for Summer’s Bounty. Will Garnacha Do the Trick?

Meal Diva paired “Summer Vegetable Red Sauce with Amarone

Culinary Adventures with Camilla posted “Pan-Seared Padròns with DeRose Vineyards’ Négrette

Vino Travels — An Italian Wine Blog shared “Tomato, toe-mah-toe: Summer’s bounty with Sicilian wine Donnafugata

Grape Experiences paired “Cecchi Chianti Classico 2010 and Vegetable Lasagna

Curious Cuisiniere shared “Chipotle Garden Salsa with Wild Hare Petite Sirah

ENOFYLZ Wine Blog posted “Grilled Paiche with a White Greek Blend

Take a Bite Out of Boca shared “Quinoa-Crusted Eggplant and Heirloom Tomato Stacks paired with Monrosso Chianti

foodwineclick shared “Summers’ Bounty or Attack of the Killer Turnips?

Confessions of a Culinary Diva blogged about “Lobster Paella and Albarino

Tasting Pour shared “Summertime and the Cooking is Easy

Cooking Chat paired “Linguine with Pesto, Fresh Tomatoes and a Sauvignon Blanc

Join the #winePW conversation: Follow the #winePW conversation on Twitter throughout the weekend and beyond. If you’re reading this early enough, you can join us for a live Twitter chat on our theme “Wine for Summer’s Bounty” on Saturday, August 9, from 11 a.m. to noon Eastern Time. Questions for the chat are posted here on the #winePW site. You can also visit our group Pinterest board to pin some great pairing ideas for later! Stay tuned for the September Wine Pairing Weekend, which will focus on “Regional Food and Wine Pairings” on Saturday, September 13.

__________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Best Wines For A Summer BBQ Party #SundaySupper

This week’s #SundaySupper theme is a Summer BBQ Party.

Perfect.

That’s because Summer is my favorite season.  Always has been.  I love the warmer weather, the longer days, my favorite fruits (yes – including wine grapes;-)} and vegetables are ripe or ripening.  And I get to use my Weber grill more often than not.

Which brings me to this week’s virtual Summer BBQ party.  The #SundaySupper family of food bloggers dishing up a diverse Summer BBQ party menu.  And I’m offering recommendations for all the dishes.

While beer is probably the top of mind beverage for barbecues for most folks, don’t forget about wine! A glass of wine alongside your grilled favorites can elevate a meal from mundane to memorable.

Here are some of the things you need to know to successfully add wine to your list of favorite adult barbecue beverages!

  • If your meat, or vegetable has a sauce, salsa, chutney, etc. that dominates the flavors of the dish, let the sauce dictate which wine to pair with the food. BBQ Chicken is a good example. If you follow the cliché white wine with white meat “rule”, it could be a challenge to find a white wine to stand up to the bold flavors of the BBQ sauce. It’ll be much easier to find a red wine, or a Rosé that will complement BBQ chicken. In other words, think of the meat, or vegetable as a “vessel” for the sauce. Pair to the sauce, not the “vessel”.
  • Smoking, grilling, and blackening all transform the flavors of food, so that will dictate which wines to serve with the food
  • Spicy (hot) foods like sweet. Pair spicy hot foods with wines that have low to moderate alcohol levels (less than 14.5% generally), no or minimal oak, and some residual sugar (sweetness)
  • More red wines than you think work well during the summer.  Just chill them in an ice bath for 20-30 minutes.  Look for lighter bodied, less tannic wines like Pinot Noir, Dolcetto, Beaujolais, or Grenache.  Also look for reds from cooler climate wine regions like Loire, Alsace or Germany.
  • BBQ wines should be inexpensive
Best Wines For A Summer BBQ Party #SundaySupper

Image courtesy of Pico Communication

Check out the awesome Summer BBQ menu and my wine pairing recommendations.

Pair these sides and accompaniments with a glass of sparkling wine.  My everyday bubbly these days is Kirkland Prosecco. It has a clean, refreshing apple, pear, mandarin orange and honey character.

Pair these dishes with a food friendly Sauvignon Blanc. Look for the 2012 Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc.  It’s a blend of mostly Sauvignon Blanc with a bit of Semillon for body.  It has nicely textured lime zest, lemon curd, slightly herbal character underscored by some minerality which adds a bit of complexity. 

Pair these dishes with Gewürztraminer.  Look for the Dr. Konstantin Frank Gewürztraminer. It’s from the Finger Lakes wine region in New York State.  It’s fragrant, and medium-bodied with sweet citrus, stone fruit, and baking spice flavors with a touch of sweetness.  

I like a Riesling with theses appetizers and sides.  Look for the 2013 Kung-Fu Girl Riesling from Washington State. It shows gobs of white peach, apricot, and mandarin orange flavors with an alluring off-dry sweetness and lively acidity. 

Pair these appetizers and main dished with a Rosé.  It’s my favorite summer time wine because it’s so food friendly.  It’s served chilled, which make it refreshing, while at the same time being “bolder” than the most popular white wines when it come to pairing with grilled, and smoked foods.  Look the 2013 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas Rosé.  It’s a blend of  Grenache, Mourvedre and Counoise with lively, refreshing wild strawberry, spiced citrus character.  

Pair these side and main dishes with a red Rhone blend.  One of my recent favorites which offers great value is the 2012 Château Pesquié “Terrasses” Côte du Ventoux.  It’s a blend of 70% old-vine Grenache and 30% Syrah that combines the generous fruit of Grenache with the spice, mineral, and acidity of Syrah that shows a juicy cherry liqueur, mixed berry, and licorice character. 

Pair these dishes with Malbec.  I recommend Pascual Toso Malbec from Argentina.  It has a red cherry, blueberry character with a hint of smoky earthiness that makes it a good match for the flavors of Summer BBQ! It’s a red wine that can take a bit of a chill too.  Go ahead and throw it in the ice bucket for 10-15 minutes.  

Pair these delectable desserts with 10-year-old Tawny Port.  I recommend a Tawny because unlike vintage port it can take a chill.  In fact, it should be served at cellar temperature (about 55 degrees) to maximize its enjoyment.  And that’s important when you’re looking for something cool to enjoy with your dessert on warm (if not hot) Summer day. Look for Warre’s “Otima” 10-year-old Tawny Port. It’s a rich tawny port with a toffee, caramel, honey and dried fruits character. You know what else I like about Tawny?  It’ll last for months after opening!

Pair these delightful desserts with Moscato d’Asti.  Look for the 2013 Cupcake Moscato d’ Asti.  It’s slightly fizzy and shows lovely floral, and bright fruit aromatics with peach, lychee and tropical fruit flavors.

And last, but not least, check out this stellar line up of other Summer BBQ Beverages

*Clink* – Here’s to you and your Summer BBQ Party!

Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.