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.

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.

The Best #SundaySupper Picnic Wines

Who doesn’t dig a picnic? The combination of good food, good company, and, especially for me, good wine combined with fresh air and sunshine are a big part of why summer is my favorite season.

Up on the Ridge

The Picnic Area at Ridge Vineyards

And planning a picnic should be a picnic, right?  Just throw together some sandwiches and salads, pack up a basket, and head to your favorite picnic spot.  Yet choosing a wine can be challenging, because picnic fare tends to include a little bit of everything, from rich and fatty foods to tart and herbal flavors.  And those contrasts in flavors can give one pause when it comes to selecting a wine.

My criteria for great picnic is that they should be wines that are 1.) light and refreshing, 2.) a good match for a variety of foods, and 3.) inexpensive ($20 or less).

Check out this week’s of amazing and delicious picnic fare and my wine pairing recommendations that’ll complement these great recipes!

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

One of my favorite picnic wines is sparkling Rosé.  It’s the ultimate in vinous synergy – combining the acidity, effervescence of bubbly with the overall food friendliness of Rosé.  If I had to choose a bottle of wine for a picnic and didn’t know what was being served it would be a sparkling Rosé for me.  Try the Jean-Louis Denois Pinot Noir Brut Rosé.  It’s made from 100% Pinot Noir and has a refreshing red berry, watermelon character.

Pair these dishes with Sauvignon Blanc.  Look for the 2013 Villa Maria Sauvignon (or the newly released 2014). It shows exuberant aromas, and zesty acidity with appealing mixed tropical fruit, ruby grapefruit, lime and mineral character.

Pair these dishes with Riesling.  I love the 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling. It’s just slightly off-dry  with vibrant acidity and a beautiful white peach, grapefruit and mineral character.

Pair these dishes with Grüner Veltliner, a refreshing, medium-bodied, peppery white wine with stone fruit flavors.  Grüner Veltliner goes with everything from green salads to cold poached salmon to fried chicken. Look for 2012 Laurenz V. Singing Gruner Veltliner .  It has a green apple, peach, citrus, white pepper spice character with a great mouthfeel and a mineral undertone. 

Pair these dishes with a Rosé.  Look for the 2013 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare It’s a both red and white Rhone grape varieties with a dry, crisp and refreshing strawberry, citrus, and spice character. 

Pair these dishes with Cabernet Sauvignon.  Look for the 2012 Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon.  It has a supple texture and a cassis, black plum and subtle spice character.

Here are the rest of this week’s beverages and desserts

Beverages

Desserts

What’s your favorite picnic wine?

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. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

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

Wine Pairings for Man Food #SundaySupper

This week’s #SundaySupper theme is all about “man” food.  I find it interesting that just as there are foods that considered “masculine” versus “feminine”, there are wines that are considered “masculine”, and “feminine”.

What is a masculine wine you ask? I think of it a masculine wine as a full-bodied wine rather than a light-bodied or delicate wine.  For example, a Cabernet Sauvignon, or Petite Sirah, or a Port would be considered masculine compared to a most white wines, Rosé, Sparkling wines or Pinot Noir.

But when it come to pairing food with wine, I don’t think of it in male vs. female terms. I stick to one of the most essential wine and food pairing guidelines.  And that is pair the weight of the food with the weight of wine. 

Wine Pairings For Man Food #SundaySupper

Nom, nom, nom! Image courtesy of bbs.barnsleyfc.org.uk

Speaking of wine and food pairing tips here are few more that are especially appropriate for the items on this week’s #SundaySupper  menu:

  1. High impact cooking methods like grilling, and smoking move chicken and turkey over to the “dark” side of the wine and food pairing spectrum.  Think pink or red wine!
  2. Can’t bear a red wine because it’s too hot? Think Pink!  A dry Rosé is very food friendly.  Good Rosés combine the crispness and refreshment of white wine (serve chilled) with unusual and intriguing flavors–some of the red fruits typical of red wine, but also notes of tea, citrus, strawberries, or watermelon. One of my favorites is the Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rosé. 
  3. Finally, if you heavily sauce chicken, turkey, and pork, pair to the sauce rather than the type of meat. 

Check out this week’s fantastic menu of “Man” food recipes put together by the #SundaySupper team, and my wine pairing recommendations.

Manly Starters:

Pair these starters with an off-dry (slightly sweet) sparkling wine.  Bubbly goes with virtually everything thanks to its palate cleansing acidity and effervescence.  It pairs especially well with fried food, and salty foods.  Look for Mumm Napa Cuvee M.  It has a crisp, refreshing, easy to like peach, pear, vanilla and subtle caramel character.  And since it’s slightly sweet it’ll stand up to the spicier starters. 

Manly Mains:

Pair these dishes with Petite Sirah, an under appreciated grape variety that is fabulous with BBQ, burgers, ribs, grilled and smoked meats, and foods with Latin flavors.  Look for the 2011 The Crusher Grower’s Selection Petite Sirah.  It’s a blend of mostly Petite Sirah and Merlot, plus Cabernet Sauvignon and a few Portuguese grape varieties with a bold, full-bodied, blackberry, black cherry, white pepper, smoke meat, and spiced vanilla character. 

Pair these dishes with an off-dry Riesling.  One of my favorites is the 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle-Dr. Loosen Riesling Columbia Valley Eroica - It’s off-dry with vibrant acidity and a beautiful white peach, grapefruit and mineral character.

Pair these dishes with Chianti from Italy.  A perennial favorite of mine is the 2009 Marchesi de Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva. It shows a mouth-filling dried red fruit, sweet spice, and dried herb character with a very satisfying finish. 

Pair these dishes with Pinot Noir.  I recommend the 2012 Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir. It shows a supple texture and an enticing plum, tart cherry, cranberry, and spiced vanilla character.  

Manly Desserts: 

Pair these desserts with Port.  Look for Warre’s “Otima” 10-year-old Tawny Port. It’s a rich tawny with a toffee, caramel, honey and dried fruits character. 

Pair these desserts with a Moscato d’Asti from Italy.  Look for the 2013 Saracco Moscato d’Asti. It shows a sweet, fragrant, delicate, floral, tropical fruit, apple and a hint of honey character.  

Happy Father’s Day to the man in your life!


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. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

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

Best Wines For Easter/Passover Feast #SundaySupper

For this week’s #SundaySupper we celebrate the traditional spring feasts of Easter and Passover.  And what’s a feast without some good wine?

Wine has always figured prominently in many religions, including Communion in the Christian faith, and the Passover Seder.

easter-eggs-wine-ornaments-table-13607647

The two main dishes served for Easter are ham and lamb.  Both pair quite well with a wide variety of wines—Red, White and even Rosé.  Ham’s tried and true partner for white wine are Riesling and Gewürztraminer.  Both wines offer fresh, flavorful taste profiles with enough sweet fruit to balance the salt in the ham and enough acidity to support endless variety of glazes that top the ham.  If you prefer a red wine with your ham, go with Zinfandel especially if your ham features a spicy sweet glaze.

Lamb’s tried and true wine partner is Pinot Noir. The fresh, earthy, herbal, spicy character of Pinot Noir will enable you to play with a variety of marinades, crusts, and sauces.  Pinot Noir also has the added benefit of working with roast poultry or even beef should you fancy those in addition to, or instead of the traditional ham and lamb main dishes.  Other reds like Syrah, Rhône blends, Merlot, Tempranillo, and Cabernet Sauvignon also work well.

So then how to choose which?  I’d recommend Pinot Noir for rack of lamb, or leg of lamb served pink with fresh herbs or spring vegetables.  For roast lamb, or lamb shank served more well done served with garlic and/or rosemary and a sauce, choose Cabernet Sauvignon or a Bordeaux blend.  For slow roasted lamb or barbecued lamb go with a Syrah.

Of course, there’s more to a feast than ham and lamb.  Likewise, there are other wines to consider for your feast.  I highly recommend having a bottle of bubbly on hand.  And also consider a Rosé, either sparkling or still. Both are very versatile at the table and will go will with everything from your first course through your main dish.

Here are my recommended wines for your Easter/Passover feasts!

Wines for Easter

Know what I love about sparkling wine? It’s the only type of wine that’s socially acceptable to drink with any meal! Besides, it pair well with almost anything, and adds a celebratory feel, a “je nais se quoi”  to your gathering. So have a bottle of bubbly on hand.  I recommend Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs – a sparkling wine made mostly from Pinot Noir with a cherry, citrus, and vanilla character. It’ll be great with your appetizers and salad.

For white wine, I recommend an off-dry (slightly sweet) Riesling.  One of my favorites is the 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle-Dr. Loosen Riesling Columbia Valley Eroica.  It’s off-dry  with vibrant acidity and a beautiful white peach, grapefruit and mineral character.

Rosé is an oft overlooked option at the table for Easter. It has mild red wine flavors with the cool refreshing personality of a white wine.  Look for the 2013 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare.  It has a crisp, refreshing  wild strawberry, citrus character.  It will pair well with a wide range of appetizers, salads, and side.  And even the ham!

For red wines, I recommend a Pinot Noir, and a red Rhône blend.   I like  2011 Mt. Beautiful North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2011 from New Zealand where they’re makings some fantastic Pinot.  It has harmonious black cherry, cranberry, baking spice and vanilla character.  I also recommend the  2012 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas. It’s a blend of mostly Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre that has juicy raspberry, cherry, spice, slightly herbal character underscored by an appealing minerality. 

Wines for desserts

For desserts, I recommend  Moscato d’Asti for fruit based and creamy desserts or Madeira for richer desserts such as cheesecake, tiramisu or chocolate based desserts.

Look for Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d’Asti, it’s billowing peach, and rose petal aromas are followed on the palate delicately sweet, lightly sparkling with fruit-driven peach, and apricot flavors.

Madeira is a fortified wine made on an island off the coast of Portugal.  It has wonderful toffee-caramel like character that is the result of heated aging. And its acidity keeps it from being overly cloying on the palate.  Look for Broadbent 10 Year Old Malmsey.  It has a rich full-bodied molasses, toffee character with hint of orange character.

Wines for Passover

Kosher wines have come a long way from overly sweet Manischewitz.  There are quality bottles produced all over the world including Israel, Italy and Napa.  And today’s Kosher wines can compete with the best wines from around the world.  Here are some quality bottles that won’t break the bank.

On the sparkling wine front, look for newly released Freixenet ‘Excelencia’ Kosher Brut Cava with a crisp, refreshing pear, and apple character to pair with your breakfast/brunch (bubbly is the only wine that’s socially acceptable in the morning ;-), appetizers, salads, and egg-based dishes.

2013 The Tribe Chardonnay - from Napa Valley based Covenant Wines, one of the top producers of Kosher wine.  This is a crisp, fresh Chardonnay with hints of apple, pear quince, and a bit of spice. It’s also a great option for pairing with appetizers, especially those with melted cheese, or chicken.

2010 Gamla Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Golan Heights, Israel – Here’s a medium-bodied red wine that has a  fruity, smooth, blackberry, cassis, and vanilla character. Pair with braised lamb.

Whether you’re celebrating Easter, Passover, or just looking for menu inspiration, the #SundaySupper team of weekly contributors has a stellar line up of recipes waiting for you! Check it out….

Breakfast/Brunch

Appetizers:

Savory and Sweet Breads:

Sides and Salads:

Main Dishes:

Desserts:

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. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

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

Best Wines to Pair With Chili #SundaySupper

I love chili. There’s just something about the combination of tomatoes, chili powder, peppers, and cumin and insert your favorite meat here that I adore.  While I’ve mostly enjoyed the aforementioned classic version of chili, I do enjoy a good chili adventure too!  And this week’s recipes showcase the amazing diversity of what is essentially a humble classic American stew.  You can keep it simple, or you can dress it up. You can keep it classic or you can make it exotic.  And that’s part of the appeal for me, it’s so diverse!

Bowl of chili

Image courtesy of For The Love Of Cooking.net

Now when it comes to which adult beverage to enjoy with a steaming hot bowl of piquant chili goodness, an ice-cold beer is top of mind for most.  I get that.  But setting aside my general preference for wine over beer, I prefer wine with chili for two reasons:

  1. Carbonated beverages make me feel fuller sooner, and well…I’d just rather have more room for chili!
  2. Depending on the heat level of the chili, I find that carbonated beverages intensify and prolong the burning effect of the capsaicin present in the peppers used in chili.

So then, what kind of wines pair best with chili? There are plenty of options, especially if you prefer red wines. Look for medium to full-bodied (but not too elegant) white, pink and red wines with ample fruit flavors, and moderate tannins.

For red wines, consider Zinfandel, Malbec, Syrah, Tempranillo, Grenache, Carmenere or Rhone-style red blends.  For white wines consider an off-dry German or Alsace Riesling, Viognier, Marsanne, or Chenin Blanc.  And don’t forget Rosé, the oh so versatile pink wine that delightfully bridges the gap between red and white wines.

Consider red wine (served slightly chilled) for tomato based chili, and white wine for “white” and other non tomato-based chili.  A rosé will work with both!  For non-traditionally spiced chilis with an Asian, or Mexican spice profile, I’d recommend the Zinfandel, or red Rhone blend. The spicier the chili (heat-wise) the more fruit-forward and sweeter you want your wine to be.

One final note – No wine will pair well with a Texas five-alarm or other incendiary, eye-watering, nose-running bowl of red.  Opt instead for beer, a low-alcohol (around 10%) Nigori sake or a yogurt-based (the dairy will cool you off ) drink.

Here are 5 wines that will pair well with the diverse menu of chili offered for this week.  

Gnarly Head Old Vine ZinfandelA old vine Zinfandel from the self-proclaimed “Zinfandel Capital of the World” – Lodi with a dark berry, plum, and spiced vanilla character (Around $10, find this wine) Pair this 

2011 Domingo Molina Hermanos Malbec-Tannat - A delicious Malbec from Argentina with a twist – it contains 30% Tannat (pronounced Ta-Not) which adds depth and length to this full-bodied delicious wine with a savory, plum, blackberry and licorice character (Around $15, find this wine)

 2010 E. Guigal Côtes du RhôneA perennial top quality everyday Rhone blend of about 65% Syrah with the balance being Grenache, and Mourvedre with a brambly full-bodied mixed berry, plum, licorice, and spice character. (Around $15, find this wine)

2012 Cave de Tavel “Lauzeraies” Rosé - A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, and Mourvedre this is a  classic French rosé with enough “weight” to stand up the bold  flavors and texture of chili. This is the wine to reach for if prefer to pair your chili with a chilled wine, but prefer red wine flavors. It shows layers of wild strawberries,cherry spice, citrus flavors with a subtle mineral undertone.(Around $13,find this wine)

Chateau Ste. Michelle RieslingThis is an off-dry (slightly sweet) Riesling from the Columbia Valley in Washington State with a citrus, peach and lime character. (Around $8, find this wine)

This week’s #SundaySupper features a virtual chili cookoff, where YOU, get a chance to vote for your favorite recipe. A list of all the entries and links to them are below.  Voting begins at 8am Eastern time on Sunday, 2/23/14, and ends at midnight on Thursday, 2/27/14 (National Chili Day).  The winner receives a ticket to the Food and Wine Conference plus a $25 gift card.

Will YOU be a part of the #SundaySupper Chili Cook-Off judges panel this week? Voting is live at the Sunday Supper Movement Online Community Magazine starting now and concluding (fittingly) on February 27 – National Chili Day! Browse the submissions and cast your vote by clicking HERE!

Beef and Bison Chili

Pork Chili

Chicken, Duck, and Turkey Chili

Mixed (meat combo) Chili

Fish and Seafood Chili

Vegetarian Chili

Twist-on-Chili

Chili Cook-Off Voting at the Sunday Supper Movement Online Community Magazine

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. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

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

Best Wines To Pair With Tapas #SundaySupper

I was pretty excited when I saw this week’s #SundaySupper tapas theme.  That’s because my wife and I recently returned from a 17-day trip to Spain! Our itinerary included visits to Barcelona, La Rioja (Spain’s most renown wine country), San Sebastian, Madrid, Toledo, Sevilla, and Granada.  One of the highlights of our trip, of course was Spain’s food – especially the tapas, which we ate almost daily!  We were very impressed by the integrity and freshness of the ingredients in most of the food we enjoyed.

The notion of perfect and delicious little bar snack has now taken wing from its humble beginnings, developing into a worldwide gastronomic delight perceptively different from the usual restaurant experience..while still maintaining the feel of convivial food

We did our most serious tapéo (tapas hopping) in Barcelona, and San Sebastian.  But the cacophony of clanking glasses, fast paced chatter and the shuffling of tiny plates filled the atmosphere in every tapas bar we visited.

photo (47)

Each experience was unique and memorable in its own way.  For example, the experience in Haro, the wine capital of Spain, had a much more intimate feel than Barcelona, which was, as one would expect, was more frenetic.  Some of the tapas were the same from place to place, but we also enjoyed some regional specialties.

One of my favorites in San Sebastian - Bar Bergara.  Image courtesy of vamonosdetapas.com

One of my favorites in San Sebastian – Bar Bergara. Image courtesy of vamonosdetapas.com

The gastronomic highlight of the trip for me was San Sebastian (which has a well deserved reputation for being the culinary capital of Spain)!  It’s the most famous city in the Basque Country, and the local word for tapas is pintxos. 

Check out some of the tasty tapas we enjoyed in Spain…

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Pairing Wines with Tapas

I’m a big proponent of the wine and food pairing guideline that says ‘what grows together, goes together“.  In other words, pair tapas with Spanish wines.  The wide gamut of Spanish wines are naturally well-suited to the broad spectrum of Spanish foods.  My recommendations include many well know Spanish wines that are great with tapas, including Cava, Albariño, and Rioja, as well as the lesser well-known, but no less fantastic with tapas, Txacholi (Chacoli).

Another classic, but unsung hero of Spanish wine worthy of your consideration is Sherry.  Despite, the belief that Sherry country is where tapas were first created, Sherry remains mostly underappreciated, and misunderstood. It’s not just the libation of old ladies.  For example, relatively few people understand that Sherry ranges in style from bone dry to rich and very sweet (Here’s a great primer on Sherry).  Fortunately Sherry is becoming more popular outside of Spain because of its food friendly nature and exceptional quality/price ratio.  I count myself among those who believe that Sherry is their quintessential accompaniment.  Not sure about giving Sherry a try?  Try a half-bottle!

Tip: Since tapas are “small plates, you may find yourself ordering a wide assortment.  Consider ordering your tapas in two waves – those that work with white wine (Cava, Spanish white wines, or Sherry), then order tapas that work with red wines (meats, or mushroom based ones).

Check out the mouth-watering assortment of amazing tapas at the #SundaySupper virtual tapas bar and my wine pairing recommendations! :

Pair these dishes with Cava, the Spanish equivalent of champagne, made mostly in Catalunya by the same exacting standards as in France.  It has a wonderful palate-refreshing qualities also make it ideal with broad range of Spanish tapas.  Look for  El Xamfra Mercat Brut Cava.  It has an intriguing floral, stone fruit, citrus, and toasted nut character

Try this dishes with a slightly sweet Cava.  Look for Segura Viudas ARIA Extra Dry. It shows off-dry tropical fruit, apple, pear, honey and a bit of citrus flavors with crisp palate cleansing acidity and effervescence.

Pair these dishes with a Fino Sherry.  Fino is a light-bodied, very dry type of Sherry that is excellent with olives, almonds, ham, and chips and dips.  One of my favorites is Valdespino “Inocente” Fino. It has a complex, elegant, chalk, aromatic herb, and salted almond character.  These dishes will also work with the El Xamfra Cava.

Pair these dishes with an Amontillado Sherry. It’s an off-dry medium-bodied style Sherry with a richer, nuttier character than Fino.  Look for the Lustau Amontillado “Los Arcos” Solera Reserva. It has an off-dry edge, and an almond paste, date, spiced orange, slightly honeyed character. These dishes will also work well with the recommended Rioja below.

Pair these dishes with a Rosé.  Spain make some fine Rosé.  Most are Tempranillo and/or Grenache based.  But check out the 2012 Raventos i Blanc “La Rosa”. It’s made of Pinot Noir, and has a lovely, dry tangy mixed red berry and watermelon character.

Pair these dishes with an Albariño, the racy, refreshing white wine originating from the small wine region of Rias Baixas (ree-ahs-buy-shuss).  Look for the 2011 Condes de Albarei Albariño.  It has expansive aromas, a silky texture, and peach, citrus, and mineral flavors.

Pair these dishes with a Txacholi, a slightly sparkling, very dry white wine with high acidity and low alcohol produced in Basque country. The wine is produced from an indigenous varietal of grape grown in vineyards that overlook the rugged Cantabrian coastline and are perfumed by the salty sea air. It’s fantastic with seafood.  Look for  the 2012 Zudugarai “Amats” Getariako Txakolina.  It has a zippy, crisp, tart green apple, citrus and mineral character. 

Pair these dishes with Rioja, named for Spain’s preeminent wine region.  The workhorse grape in Rioja is Tempranillo.  The supple, earthy, and often refined wines bring to mind Burgundy in some respect for me.  Look for the 2010 Bodegas Bilbainas “Viña Zaco”. It shows perfumed floral, red fruit, and spiced vanilla aromas with ripe black cherry, plum, vanilla flavors supported by well-integrated tannins.  

Pair these desserts with an Oloroso Sherry, a denser richer style of Sherry.  Look for the Lustau East Indian Solera. It’s a provocative sweet creamy Sherry with a toffee, fig, caramel, raisin, and baking spice  (cinnamon and clove) character. 

What’s your favorite wine to enjoy with tapas? Salud!

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. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Black-Eyed Peas and Greens Casserole and Wine Pairings #SundaySupper

As I stand upon the doorstep of another year, poised to step into 2014, one of the traditions our family has is eating black-eye peas for luck and greens (which represent money) for prosperity.  Our other tradition is that I make my Seafood Gumbo. We don’t always make the greens, but we always have black-eyed peas.  The challenge is that I’m so involved with making the gumbo,the black-eyed peas are often an afterthought quickly whipped up at the last-minute.  So this year, I decided to whip up something that would combine the black-eyed peas with the greens (how’s that for hedging my luck and prosperity for 2014!).  And it had to be something I could make ahead so I can give all my love and attention to my Gumbo on New Year’s Day…thus this Black-Eyed Peas and Green Casserole. Black-Eyed Peas and Greens Casserole Truth be told, it turned out better than I expected, especially because I was pretty much winging it… Black-Eyed Pea and Greens Casserole It’s a fairly versatile recipe too because you could easily substitute other meat or vegetarian protein sources for the andouille sausage.  You could lighten it up by substituting oil oil for the bacon fat.  The spice level can be adjusted up or down by adding more or less jalapeño and/or cayenne pepper.  Cheddar cheese not your favorite?  Try it with pepper jack…and so on…

What’s your favorite New Years tradition?

Black-Eyed Pea and Greens Casserole
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
A casserole that combines the best of Southern New Year's tradition "eat for luck" staples - black-eyed peas and collard greens!
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup dry black-eye peas
  • 1 pkg of Zatarain's Dirty Rice Mix
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 10oz pkg of pre-rinsed chopped collard greens
  • 12oz pkg of Aidell's Cajun Style Andouille, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped and divided
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tsp of Emeril's Essence
  • 1½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Sort and wash peas; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above peas; Bring to boil. Add the dried peas and boil for 30 minutes, or until tender (as tender as a canned black bean would be). You don't want them to have much of a bite to them, but you don't want them mushy either. Drain the beans when you've got them where you want them. Rinse and set aside.
  2. While beans are cooking, cook the Zatarain's Dirty Rice Mix according to directions omitting the ground beef. Set aside
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Pan-fry bacon. Remove from bacon from the skillet and drain on a paper towel, then crumble. Save for later use.
  5. Add sliced andouille sausage to pan with bacon fat and brown. Remove from pan and set aside
  6. Add ½ chopped onion, celery, jalapeño, and tomato paste to skillet and cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft; 5-10 min.
  7. Combine vegetables, cooked dirty rice, black-eyed peas, and crumbled bacon in large bowl and mix well.
  8. Parboil collard greens for 15 minutes and drain
  9. Add 1 TBSP of olive oil to pan in which you cooked bacon and vegetables, over medium heat: Add other half-onion and saute until 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant about 30 seconds.
  10. Place parboiled greens in pan with garlic/onion and saute 10 minutes. Add Essence and salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Add greens to black-eyed pea and rice mixture along with ½ cup of cheddar cheese.
  12. Stir it all together and then scoop it into a 9x12-inch (or similarly sized) casserole dish coated with PAM. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake for an additional 10 minutes, just until cheese is melted.
  13. Serve with cornbread!
Notes
It would be easy to substitute for andouille sausage with other meat or protein source, but the andouille sausage adds a nice smokiness to the dish.
I used collard greens, but mustard greens or a combination thereof would also be nice

 

I’m also offering wine pairing recommendations for the other delicious menu items served up at the virtual #SundaySupper table for this week’s ”Reflections and Resolutions” theme.

Since it’s a New Year’s theme, I’m recommending all sparkling wines this week!  Of course, bubbly is a top of mind selection for celebrations, or drinking like cocktails. But they are much under-rated and under-appreciated at the table.  Simple put, Sparkling wines are fantastic with food! And if there is one wine that can take you from appetizers through to dessert, it’s a sparkling wine.

Here’s what I mean – bubbly works well:

  • As a counterbalance to salty(ever had bubbly with popcorn? – it’s yummy!), rich and creamy, and moderately spiced foods
  • As a replacement for other highlighting acids (citrus) for fish or shellfish
  • Raw foods – sushi, sashimi, oysters, and ceviche
  • With many Latin, Asian, and Middle Eastern dishes
  • With many cheeses, especially hard cheeses like Parmesan, rich cheeses (triple-cream cheese anyone?), and salty cheeses such as Feta
  • With tart foods: citrus, vinegars, pomegranate, dill, caper, and tomatoes
  • Dishes with a crunchy texture  (phyllo pastry, fried chicken, and tempura come to mind)
  • Pairing with rustic or coarsely textured foods like polenta, pesto, hummus, and baba ghanoush

There are four primary styles of sparkling wines  - Blanc de blancs is 100 percent Chardonnay (other white wine grapes) and carries those flavors. A classic brut is a blend of red and white grapes, typically Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Blanc de Noirs is mostly made with red wine grapes, typically Pinot Noir, and tends to have red fruit flavors. And sparkling rosé has just been left on those Pinot Noir (or other red wine grape) skins a tiny bit longer, to pick up more color, texture, and flavor.  There many types of sparkling wine too – Champagne, Cava, Prosecco and Crémant to name a few.

Experiment.  Find the style and or type you prefer, and don’t wait just for a special occasion or celebration to pop open a bottle of bubbly!

Here is this week’s #SundaySupper menu and my wine pairing recommendations:

Breakfast

Pair these breakfasts dishes with the 2011 Innocent Bystander Pink Moscato.  It’s a blend of Gordo Muscat and Black Muscat from the Yarra Valley in Australia.  It’s only 5.5% alcohol and it has a red berry, strawberry, peach, and zesty citrus character.  It’s a fun and fizzy quaff that is moderately sweet but not cloying.

Appetizers & Snacks

Pair these with a Blanc de Noir.  I recommend Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs.  It’s made from primarily Pinot Noir and exhibits strawberry and black cherry aromas with subtle vanilla highlights.  On the palate, it’s lush with creamy cherry, lemon and cola flavors. 

Main Dishes & Sides

Pair these appetizers and snacks with a Rosé Sparkling wine.  One of my favorites is the Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut Rosé.  It’s pairs wonderfully with a wide range of foods.  It’s a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay with a creamy, layered, citrus, strawberry, tart cherry and mineral character. 

Desserts

Pair these desserts with a sparkling red wine - Brachetto d’Acqui, from Italy. It is a produced from the Brachetto grape.  Look for Banfi Rosa Regale. It has a delicate aromas of  rose petals and offers luscious flavors of fresh raspberries and strawberries

Drinks

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. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

This is Christmas; Wine Pairings for Holiday Themed #SundaySupper Recipes

This week’s #SundaySupper theme is about recipes inspired by holiday music, movies or TV shows.  As I recalled some of my favorite Christmas memories, the first memory that popped into my head was the movie “Christmas Story”.  The movie is hilarious, but what made it special for me is that I used to watch it with my kids every year.  As I was having that flashback, I found myself listening to my favorite Christmas song, and feeling emotional.  The song gets me every year. Year after year.  It’s a song that is beautiful, meaningful, soulful and brimming with the holiday spirit. The song is “This is Christmas” by Luther Vandross.  

This is Christmas: Holiday Themed #SundaySupper

The many joyous memories evoked by a “Christmas Story”, and the message of faith, and hope are what Christmas is all about for me!

You can check out the song here (WARNING – 90′s hair and attire in full effect;-)

Aside from the message of the song, what I’ve always appreciated about it is that it’s some original contemporary Christmas music.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the classics, but I can only stand hearing “Jingle Bells” sung some many different ways. So for me, it’s refreshing to add something fresh to my holiday play list.  Check out the lyrics here.

What song “gets” you this time of year…every year?

And of course family, food and traditions are also what the holidays are about! Check out this week’s wondrous holiday themed recipes from the #SundaySupper family and my wine pairing recommendations.

Pair these party appetizers and snacks with an off-dry (slightly sweet) bubbly.  Try Chandon Extra-Dry Riche, a wonderful blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, and a touch of Muscat with a peach, nectarine, honey, apricot character.

Festive Main Dishes

Pair this classic salad with Sauvignon Blanc.  One of my favorites is the 2012 Ferrari-Carano Sonoma County Fumé Blanc.  It has a delicious candied grapefruit, meyer lemon, herbal and mineral laced character.  It exhibit a compelling combination of vibrant acidity and subtle oak notes that adds depth and some body.  

Pair these dishes with an off-dry Riesling.  One of my favorites is the 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle-Dr. Loosen Riesling Columbia Valley Eroica - It’s off-dry  with vibrant acidity and a beautiful white peach, grapefruit and mineral character.

Pair these dishes with Pinot Noir.  Look for the 2012 Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir. It has wonderful mixed berry, plum, cherry, cranberry and spice character. 

Pair these dishes with a red Rhône blend.  I recently featured the 2011 M. Chapoutier Côtes du Roussillon Villages Les Vignes de Bila-Haut as the Wine of the Week on my blog.  It’s a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan with a supple texture and a black cherry, red currant, blackberry, and mineral character. It’s $10 at Costco.

You KNOW with a names like “Filthy Animal Pizza”  and “Maple Syrup Spaghetti” these dishes needs a big wine.  Pair this insanely delicious unique dishes with the 2010 Michael David Winery Petite Petit, a big, bold blend of 85% Petite Sirah, and Petit Verdot with a full-bodied, savory plum, and vanilla spice character.

Pair these desserts with a late harvest Riesling.  I like the 2011 Navarro Late Harvest Cluster Select Riesling.  It has a great apricot, pear, pineapple, honey and baking spice character, with a long finish. And its crisp acidity keeps from being cloying. 

Pair these desserts with Port.  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. 

Cozy Drinks:

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. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

All-American Wine Pairing Guide for Being Thankful #SundaySupper

For this week’s #SundaySupper we celebrate Thanksgiving and Hanukkah with a bounty of tasty dishes for which to be thankful. And this year also presents a rare opportunity to be thankful, because it’s the first time since 1888 that any of the eight days in the Jewish celebration of lights has fallen on the same day as the holiday marking the Pilgrims’ 1621 first harvest in the New World.  And “Thanksgivukkah”, as some are calling it, won’t happen again until 2070!

Trying to figure out what wine to pair with the Thanksgiving turkey is easy – just about any wine with enough weight will suffice.  The challenge is what wine(s) to pair with other diverse palate of sweet, tart and savory flavors, textures, and aromas that present themselves on Thanksgiving.

I like to keep it simple, drink whatever make you and your guests happy.  But safe bets for red wines are wines that have ample fruit, and are not too oaky, or high in alcohol such as Pinot Noir, wines made from Rhone grapes such as Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, or a blend, and Zinfandel. For white wine, go with aromatic, fresh, (well-balanced acidity) wines like Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier, or Gewürztraminer.  And last, but not least, are my secret weapons for holiday wine and food pairings – Sparkling wine and Rosé.  Sparkling wines bring a celebratory feel and remarkable food-pairing versatility to the holiday table.  Also consider Rosé for its underrated versatility at the holiday table.

All-American Wine Pairing Guide For Being Thankful #SundaySupper

My Thanksgiving “wine-up” L-R; 2003 Roederer L’Ermitage Brut, 2012 Loring Wine Company Central Coast Pinot Noir, 2012 Donkey & Goat Stonecrusher Roussanne, and 2011 Yorkville Cellars Late Harvest Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc

Since Thanksgiving is the most American of holiday, I’ve chosen all American wines.  It’s a great time to buy American wines, because in my view, they are better than they’ve ever been!

Here are 11 wines you’ll be thankful for when it comes to wine and food pairing for your holiday celebrations:

Sparkling

  • Roederer Estate Brut – a delicious blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir that’s on the fruitier side of brut that is crisp and elegant with pear, apple, cinnamon, and hazelnut character.  You might also consider a Rosé sparkling wine!

Reds

  • 2011 A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir  – a sleek wine with wild berry, cherry, and savory aromatics and flavors. 
  • 2011 Owen Roe Sinister Hand – a classic Rhone blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre from Washington State with a black cherry, cranberry, clove character, and an earthy undertone
  • 2011 Ridge Lytton Springs  – Blend of (mostly) Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Carignan that is well-balanced  and very food friendly with red fruit, sweet spice and bramble aromas; with ample black cherry, red currant, and spice flavors with a long lip-smacking finish. 

White

  • 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle-Dr. Loosen Riesling Columbia Valley Eroica - It’s off-dry  with vibrant acidity and a beautiful white peach, grapefruit and mineral character.  This one will work well with appetizers and the main course.
  • 2012 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier - This is a wonderful blend of 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Viognier that is low alcohol (12%) with an aromatic, juicy grapefruit, melon, passionfruit, and baked stone fruit character with lively acidity that make it a versatile food pairing partner.
  • 2012 Ferrari-Carano Sonoma County Fumé Blanc - Don’t let the Fumé Blanc moniker food you.  That’s all about marketing.  It’s Sauvignon Blanc, and it has a delicious candied grapefruit, lemon, herbal and mineral laced character.  It’ll pair well with herb stuffing, both white and dark meat, and much more.

Other

  • 2012 Donkey & Goat Stone Crusher El Dorado Roussannethis is unique “orange” wine, meaning white wine made applying the primary red wine technique of letting the wine soak on the grapes skins – in this case for 15 days – to add a large dose of tannins.  The result is a wine that is very versatile at the table.  It has a great mouthfeel with a spiced orange peel, lanolin, and herbal character.  Let it breathe a bit before serving and you’ll be amply rewarded
  • 2012 Tablas Creek Rosé Patelin de Tablas Paso Robles - a charming Rosé that is incredibly flexible partner at the table.  It a blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 5% Counoise with delightful strawberry, watermelon, spice and mineral flavors. It has enough weight to stand up to a holiday meal without being heavy

Dessert:

  • 2008 Barra Bella Dolce Petite Sirah Dessert Wine - which is a Port-style wine made from Petite Sirah with fresh blueberry, mocha, and ground coffee aromas, and sweet spicy dark fruit flavors that will complement chocolate, nut-based, coffee and caramel desserts.
  • 2011 Navarro Late Harvest Cluster Select Riesling -  It has a great apricot, pear, pineapple, honey and baking spice character, with a long finish. And its crisp acidity keeps from being cloying. Pair with tree and stone-fruit-based desserts, creamy and custard desserts.

For your Hanukkah celebration - Check out both Hagafen and Baron Herzog for their selection of Kosher wines.  

Check out this week’s delectable dishes served up by our ever thankful #SundaySupper team!

FIRST COURSE / APPETIZERS

SAVORY BREADS + STUFFING

MAIN DISHES

SIDE DISHES

DESSERTS + SWEET BREADS

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. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

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