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.

Dark and Delicious 2014 – A Petite Sirah and Food Extravaganza!

One of my favorite Bay Area food and wine events, the 8th annual Dark & Delicious Petite Sirah is coming to Alameda in February!  Dark & Delicious (“D&D”) is the preeminent annual Petite Sirah event in the world.  It’s put on each year by  P.S. I Love You, an association of Petite Sirah growers, producers and winemakers.

Image courtesy of P.S. I Love You!

In a nutshell, it’s 40+ wineries pouring Petite Sirah (“P.S.”), collaborating with 25+ fabulous Napa and Bay Area restaurants and/or food caterers for a food and wine extravaganza.

For the uninitiated, here’s a quick 411 on P.S.

  • Created by François Durif, it is the love child of a noble grape, Syrah, and an obscure peasant grape Peloursin in 1880
  • 90% of the world’s P.S. vineyards are in California
  • Produces big, masculine, typically ink-colored wines that tend to be tannic with moderate to high-acidity
  • Sometimes (increasingly it seems) referred to as Durif

What makes this event special for me is…

  • It’s a”one-stop” tasting of P.S. from the finest producers throughout Cali.  It’s a great chance to experience the diversity of P.S. both geographically, and stylistically.
  • It’s a great opportunity to get to know P.S. as a food partner beyond the typical steak and BBQ because you get a chance to try all manner of gustatory delights from savory to sweet and everything in between.
  • It’s offers great value! For the price of a couple of Napa Valley wine tastings, you can eat and drink (responsibly of course;-) to your heart’s content.
  • It has the most evocatively appropriate name of all the wine events I attend…it put’s a smile on my face whenever I think “Dark & Delicious”!

I’ve been the last several years and it’s gotten better year. I expect this year will be the best yet! The foodie in me has already circled Hella Lumpia, Gators Back Porch BBQ, and A Fork Full of Earth Organic Catering as a few of the new food purveyors to check out this year!

The event web site has a list of the wineries pouring this year. And the list of food vendors signed up so far for this year is more impressive than ever.  

P.S. I Love You Dark and Delicious Tasting
February 21th, 2014
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The Rock Wall Wine Company
2301 Monarch Street
Alameda, CA 94501 (map)

Tickets are $65 per person (free parking).  There are also discount tickets available ($55) for group of 6+.  The more the merrier!

The event has sold out in the past so put some pep in your step!  For more details and tickets click here.

If you do decide to go, I recommend you:

  • Wear dark clothes
  • Don’t wear perfume/cologne
  • Since there’s plenty of food, grab a bite when you (they’ll be plenty of food
  • And SPIT!

Related posts you might enjoy:

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.

Wine of the Week; 2009 Tablas Creek Roussanne

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.  For this week, my Wine of the Week is the 2009 Tablas Creek Roussanne.

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

So you’ve never heard of Roussanne?  Most casual wine drinkers have not.  It’s a white Rhône grape variety that gets its name from its from the French word “roux”, which means russet, and is a fitting description of its reddish-gold skins at harvest time.

It’s a tough grape to grow.  It’s prone to uneven ripening, irregular yields, has little resistance to powdery mildew and rot, and is easily damaged by wind and drought. By selecting and propagating only the least problematic clones, vintners preserved Roussanne for two primary reasons: unique aroma and bracing acidity.

It’s most often blended with the other primary white Rhône grape variety Marsanne.  In fact, it’s more so used as a blending grape than a varietal bottling such as this wine.

Typical aromas and flavors suggest honey, floral, herbal tea, and stone fruit.

Here’s what Tablas Creek says about production of this wine..The Roussanne grapes were whole cluster pressed, and fermented using native yeasts half in stainless steel and half in small French oak barrels. The wine was left on its lees for 6 months, and allowed to complete malolactic fermentation. After fermentation the wines were blended, and bottled in August 2010.

Tablas Creek has done a varietal bottling of Roussanne since 2002.

09_Roussanne

My tasting notes follow:

Rich yellow golden color with pear, honeysuckle, mineral, and a bit of lanolin aromas. On the palate it’s very smooth, and harmonious with pear, nectarine, mineral and a spice undertone with lingering finish

Rating: A-: Wonderful wine! We picked up a couple of bottles on our most recent trip to Paso Robles. This one was so good it didn’t make it home! 

Pair with: We enjoyed pairing this with seafood pasta with a cream sauce.  It will also pair well with other rich seafood such as lobster, crab, sea bass or salmon. I also bet it would pair well with my seafood gumbo!

Sample purchased for review
Ratings Key:
(A+) – 98-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 94-97/Outstanding
(A-) – 90-93/Excellent
(B+) – 86-89/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail

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!

Wine Pairing Recommendations For Global Street Food #SundaySupper

This week’s #SundaySupper theme is all about Global Street Food. You know – that ready-to-eat food served up at mobile street carts, food trucks, movable market stalls, and food parks.

One of the things I love about living in the San Francisco Bay Area is its diversity.  It’s a (mostly) delightful, if sometimes quirky mash-up of ethnicities, cultures, politics, religions, you name it.  The gastronomic scene reflects that diversity.  Name a cuisine and you can find it in the Bay Area.  And of course

And of course, there are a multitude of opportunities to sample street food in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Off The Grid, SOMA Street Food Park, among many others.

One of my favorites is Sanguchon, a Peruvian Food Truck that serves a killer pulled pork sandwich. I usually get it with yucca fries.

Many local wineries have gotten in on the act, none more so that Rock Wall Wine Company, which regularly hosts “Food Truck Frenzy” with 6-8 gourmet food trucks, a DJ, and plenty of their award-winning wines.

Yes…wine goes with damn near anything.

Especially street foods from around the world.

Global Street Food #SundaySupper

Rock Wall Wine Food Truck Frenzy – Image courtesy of Rock Wall Wine Company

Global street food deserves a global wine selection.  My wine pairing recommendations include wines from Argentina, France, Germany, Italy, and California

My wine pairing recommendations  and this weeks slate of scrumptious #SundaySupper street eats follow (click on the name of the wine to find):

Pair these dishes with sparkling wine.  One of my favorites is Scharffenberger Brut Excellence.  It’s a great value that’s a blend of 67% Pinot Noir and 33% Chardonnay with a full-bodied golden apple, ginger and honey character.  And remember sparkling wines are one of the most friendly wines there is!

Pair these dishes with a Pinot Blanc, a white grape variety that is a mutation of Pinot Noir. The first time I had it with food prepared with typical Indian food spices I was skeptical, but Pinot Blanc and such dishes rock! Look for the 2011 Paul Black Pinot Blanc d’Alsace from France.  It opens up with appealing apple, lemon and ginger aromas that follow on the palate with a lively mouthfeel, a kiss of tropical fruit and mineral undertone.

Pair these dishes with a wine made from the Torrontés grape variety, Argentina’s only indigenous grape.  Look for the 2011 Bodegas Colomé “Estate” Torrontés Valle Calchaquí Salta.

One of the tried, tested and mostly found true tenets of wine and food pairing is that “Riesling goes with anything”.  Arguably Riesling is the most versatile white wine at the table. That’s certainly the case this week.  Pair this diverse range of dishes with an off-dry Riesling.  I like the 2011 Von Hovel Oberemmeier Hutte Riesling Kabinett (is that a mouthful or what?).  It has a stone fruit, tropical fruit, sweet lime, and spice character and racy acidity.

Pair these dishes with a dry Rosé, a very versatile partner at the table.  Look for the 2012 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare. This an atypical Rosé in that it’s a blend of  both red and white Rhône grape varieties.  A typical Rosé is composed of solely red grape varieties.  It has an appealing strawberry, white peach, melon, spice and mineral character.

Pair these dishes with Chianti, the classic Italian red wine. Look for the 2011 Coltibuono Cetamura Chianti.  It’s a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo with a beautiful black cherry, spice, and licorice character with a kiss of rusticity.

Pair these dishes with Malbec, or more specifically, a blend of Malbec and Tannat, a little known grape variety, that today is best known as the national red grape variety of Uruguay.  Look for the 2011 Domingo Molina Hermanos Malbec-Tannat from Argentina. It’s a dark and delicious full-bodied wine with a blackberry, plum, and chocolate character with soft texture and a mineral undertone.

Pair these sweet treats with Banyuls, a lighter style fortified wine made in France.  It’s a Port-style wine made from Grenache, and is a great match for chocolate.  Look for the 2009 Les Clos de Paulilles Banyuls Rimage.  It has rich, dense blackberry, plum, caramel, and vanilla aromas and flavors. 

Pair sweet treats with Moscato d’ Asti. I like the 2012 Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d’Asti.  It has a lovely rose, and peach character with a soft effervescence.

Pair these sweet treats with the 2011 von Hovel Riesling noted above:

Let’s hit the pavement this Sunday in search of the best street food from around the globe!  Join us for a #SundaySupper event featuring Global Street Food that we’ve made in our own kitchens, in honor of our favorites and/or those we would love to try! We’ll also be holding our live #SundaySupper twitter chat at 7pm (ET) on Sunday evening.  We’d love to have you join us as we discuss the best and the worst of Global Street Food!

Hangtown Fry and Wine Pairings with Breakfast for Dinner #SundaySupper

When I saw this week’s Breakfast for Dinner theme, I immediately knew I had to pull double-duty this week. While I typically offer wine pairing recommendations for my #SundaySupper foodie friends, I’m in the kitchen this week too. That’s because my dish this week – Hangtown Fry, is perfect for this week’s theme. On top of that I have been craving since last year!

Legend has it that a 49′er hit a glory hole, an incredibly rich pocket of gold nuggets. He walked into the El Dorado Hotel restaurant in Hangtown, now Placerville California, and asked the waiter what was the most expensive item on the menu. The waiter answered that would be one of three things, oysters, which were tinned and shipped all the way from Boston, Bacon, which was scarce, and Eggs, which were also scarce. The prospector answered, fix them all on one plate and bring it to him. So was born the ‘Hangtown Fry’.

I was introduced to Hangtown Fry by my friend Manny.  He made one for me during a “field trip” of our wine tasting club made to the Tomales Bay Oyster Company last year.  It was a day full of friends, fun, food, and wine. We enjoyed raw oysters, grilled oysters and clams, and various other barbecued delights, but the Hangtown Fry was my favorite!  I enjoyed it with a glass of sparkling wine. Simply put, it was a deathbed food and wine pairing for me!

For the uninitiated (and I was among them until last year), Hangtown Fry could possibly be the first California cuisine. It consists of fried breaded oysters, eggs, and fried bacon, cooked together like an omelet. In the gold-mining camps of the late 1800s, Hangtown Fry was a one-skillet meal for hungry miners who struck it rich and had plenty of gold to spend.

Hangtown Fry for Breakfast for Dinner #SundaySupper

Ole Skool California Cuisine – Hangtown Fry garnished with scallions and crumbled bacon! An oyster in every bite!

I choose to make my Hangtown Fry omelet style – mostly because I worked by way through college as a cook and I’ve made thousands upon thousands of omelets.  But you can make this frittata style and finish under the broiler.  In fact, the original recipe call for finishing a Hangtown Fry by putting a lid on the pan cooking until the top if set (about 5 minutes either way)

Hangtown Fry
Author: 
Recipe type: Brunch
Cuisine: California Gold Rush
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
 
Hangtown fry is a type of omelette made famous during the California Gold Rush in the 1850s. The most common version includes bacon and oysters combined with eggs, and fried together. The dish was invented in Placerville, CA a.k.a. “Hangtown”
Ingredients
  • 3 strips cooked bacon, chopped or crumbled
  • 3 oysters, shucked
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 dashes of hot pepper sauce
  • I teaspoon, chopped fresh basil
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 sliced scallions, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon until crisp and set aside. Reserve 1 TBSP bacon fat.
  2. If the oyster are large, cut into bite sized pieces.
  3. Pat oysters dry, and season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  4. Put flour, 1 beaten egg, and cornmeal in 3 separate bowls. Dip each oyster in flour, then egg, then cornmeal; place on a floured plate.
  5. Heat reserved bacon fat in butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oysters; fry, flipping once, until golden brown, about a minute.
  6. Whisk remaining eggs in a bowl; season with salt and pepper and hot pepper sauce.
  7. Add eggs to pan with half the bacon and scallions. Cook until eggs are just set, about 3 minutes.
  8. Flip (if making omelet) or smooth over top; cover, and cook until top is set, about 5 minutes.
  9. Transfer omelette to a plate, and garnish with remaining bacon and scallions.
  10. Serve with sliced tomatoes

 

For more Breakfast for Dinner inspiration, check out the rest of the lineup the #SundaySupper team of food blogger has created, along with my wine pairing recommendations. All the recommended wines can be found for less than $20.

Pair these dishes with sparkling wine! Look for Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut.  It’s a blend of (mostly) Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with pear, toasty almond, and floral aromas. On the palate it shows lively citrus, and apple flavors. Aside from being among THE most food friendly wines, know what else I love about bubbly? It’s the only wine that’s socially acceptable to drink any time of day!

Bubbly is so nice, I’m recommending it twice!  Pair these dishes with a sparkling Rosé.  One of my favorite is from Burgundy – Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne “Perle d’Aurore” Brut Rosé.  It’s a beautiful eye of the swan color with fruity blackcurrant, strawberry character.

Pair these dishes with a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley.  Look for the 2011 Patient Cottat “Le Grand Caillou” Sauvignon Blanc.  It has a lovely tropical fruit, citrus, spice and mineral character with a tangy acidity.

Pair with these dishes with a Syrah, I like the 2011 Andrew Murray Vineyards Tous Les Jours Syrah. This damn tasty wine is full-bodied, with wonderful acidity, and a dark fruit, spice, and slight earthy character.  

Pancakes, Waffles, and French Toast topped with maple syrup is a very challenging pairing for wine.  You’re probably better off with a cold glass of milk or your favorite cup of coffee, but if you have a sweet tooth, try the Yalumba Museum Reserve Muscat a fortified dessert wine from Australia.  One sip and it’ll be Muscat love with its decadently rich toffee, caramel, and spiced orange peel character. 

Pair these dishes with Moscato d’Asti, a sweet, low alcohol wine produced in the province of Asti in North-west Italy.  Look for the 2011 Saracco Moscato d’Asti. 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. 

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. 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 Pairing Recommendations For Low and Slow Food #SundaySupper

This week’s SundaySupper theme is all about “low and slow” foods.  I adore foods prepared “low and slow” whether it’s a crock-pot, smoked meats, or on the stove top (gumbo anyone?).  The foods are so full of flavor, one can use less expensive cuts of meat, and perhaps most of all, I like that you can leave the food unattended for long stretches of time.  My favorite food prepared “low and slow”?  That’s a tough one, there are so many, but top of mind for me would be rib!  What about you?  What’s your favorite food prepared “low and slow”?

Low and Slow #SundaySupper

If you’re not familiar with the Sunday Supper Movement, it was founded by Isabel aka Family Foodie. Our mission is to bring back Sunday Supper around the family table in every home.

Check out this week’s lineup of great dishes from the #SundaySupper family of food bloggers, and my wine pairing recommendations. 

Low and Slow Breads:

Low and Slow Starters, Main Dishes and Sides:

Pair these dishes with Pinot Gris, an underappreciated grape variety that very good at the table.  Look for the 2010 Domaines Schlumberger Pinot Gris Les Princes Abbes from Alsace, France. It’s a dry-style with a rich honeyed tropical fruit and baked apple character. 

Pair these dishes with a Rosé.  Look for the 2012 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare. It’s a a tasty blend of Grenache, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Cinsault and Mourvèdre that is chock full of strawberry, stone fruit, and citrus flavors.

Pair these starter, main, and side dishes with a Chianti, a wine from Tuscany region of Italy.  Look for the 2011 Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Chianti Castiglioni. It’s a blend of 90% Sangiovese, and 10% Merlot that’s between medium and full-bodied with soft tannins, great acidity that shows plum, raspberry and spice flavors.

Pair these main dishes with 2011 Ridge Vineyards “Three Valleys” Sonoma Zinfandel Blend. It’s a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Grenache, Alicante Bouchet, and a significant dose of old-vine Carignane that adds depth and acidity to this tasty blend.  It’s well-balanced has a bright red berry fruit, herbal and spice character. 

Pair these main dishes with a red Rhône blend.  What’s great about blends is that the combination of grape varietals creates a wine that is greater than the sum of its parts.  Such is the case with my recommended wine the 2010 Bonny Doon Vineyard Contra Old Vine Field Blend.  It’s a rich blend of Carigane, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah loaded with dark fruit, spice, and a bit of smoke aromas and flavors.

Pair these main dishes with a Rioja, the 2007 Bodegas Vina Eguia Reserva. It shows spice, leather and bright red fruit aromas followed by raspberry, sweet tobacco and vanilla spice on the palate.  I recommend letting the wine “breathe” for an hour or so and you’ll be amply rewarded.

Low and Slow Desserts:

Pair these dessert with a late harvest Riesling.  I love 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.

Remember to join the #SundaySupper chat on Twitter Sunday to discuss cooking low and slow! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share our delicious recipes. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. 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 delicious recipes and food photos.

Wine of the Week: 2011 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel Les Enfants Terribles, Heart Arrow Ranch

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. For this week, my Wine Of The Week is the 2011 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel Les Enfants Terribles, Heart Arrow Ranch

The Winery

Dashe Cellars, founded by Michael and Ann Dashe in 1996, is an urban winery located near Jack London Square in Oakland, CA. Michael Dashe is the Winemaker, and Anne Dashe is the General Manager. Between the two, they have 40-plus years experience in the wine business, including experience at some big-time wineries such as Ridge Vineyards, Far Niente, Chappellet, Schramsberg Wine Cellars in California; Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château La Dominique in France,and Cloudy Bay in New Zealand. The winery produces about 10,000 cases annually.

The Wine

This is the other wine in Dashe Cellars Les Enfants Terribles (the “Wild Children”) series (click here to see my review of the Les Enfants Grenache), which are wines made more in the Old World Style – lower alcohol, minimal intervention, and minimal oak influence.

This wine is made with 100% Zinfandel sourced from biodynamic farms (yep cows, chicken, fruits and veggies..the whole nine) in Mendocino County.  It was fermented on native yeasts, and aged in older French oak barrels, unfined and bottled with low SO2 levels.

Dashe Les Enfant Zinfandel 2011

My tasting notes follow:

Garnet color with earthy red fruits aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, fresh, silky smooth and balanced with cherry, raspberry, spice and mineral flavors.  Medium+ finish  

Rating: A-

This wine really shines at the table. I enjoyed it with Filipino Tapa (Bisteksilog – beef steak, fried rice and egg) and Filipino Barbecue Chicken with Java Rice. It was great with both dishes.

The Wine Geek Stuff:

  • Alcohol: 13.5% alcohol.
  • Closure: Cork.
  • AVA: > California> Mendocino
  • Varietal(s): 100% Zinfandel
  • Cooperage: 5 months in 100% older French Oak 500 Liter barrels
  • Retail: $24
  • Cases produced: 225
  • Ageability: Drink now, or hold for 5-7 years

Other Related Posts:

Wine purchased for review

Ratings Key:
(A+) – 98-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 94-97/Outstanding
(A-) – 90-93/Excellent
(B+) – 86-89/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail

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 2013 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Wines To Pair With #SundaySupper Movie-Inspired Recipes

When I saw this week’s #SundaySupper theme, it didn’t take me long to decide which movie I would pick.  Sideways!  The best wine-theme movie I’ve ever seen.  There are three things I’ll always remember about the movie…

scene from Sideways

First, the line most people remember from the movie is…

No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any f**king Merlot!

Who knew that such a line could single-handedly, if unintentionally send Merlot sales into a downward spiral, and elevate Pinot Noir to dizzying heights?

Second, was the scene that I enjoyed the most and resonated with me, even before I got into wine big-time.  It was delivered by Virginia Madsen her Oscar-nominated role as Maya (caution – there is profanity at the end of the clip)

It was a beautiful, evocative scene that was that I’ll always remember.

And last but not least was the most infamous food and wine pairing of all time, when a depressed Miles, played by Paul Giamatti pairs a 1961 Cheval Blanc – one of the great wines of the 20th century – with a burger and fries (and drinks the wine from a Styrofoam cup) At the time I had little idea what ’61 Cheval Blanc (a red Bordeaux blend) was, and knew even less about food and wine pairing. Nonetheless I knew the pairing was kin to blasphemy.

Like any great movie, Sideways speaks to our human frailties, and our need to enter into life and relationships in such was that we experience fullness in our lives.  It wasn’t about so much about wine, love, or buddies on a road trip. It was about the memories created.

It’s the same with #SundaySupper, food bringing families together around the dining table and the memories that go along with it.

Check out the blockbuster recipes the #SundaySupper crew is premiering this week, and my wine pairing recommendations. Oh, and I’ve made sure to include Merlot among this week’s recommended wines ;-)

Pair these dishes with Prosecco. One of my favorites is the Terre di San Venanzio Fortunato Prosecco Brut. It show aromas of green apples, stone fruits, and white flowers. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, dry with a creamy mousse and apple, white peach flavors with a mineral undertone.

Pair this dish with Moscato d’ Asti. I like the 2012 Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d’Asti.  It has a lovely rose, and peach character with a soft effervescence.

Pair this dish with Sauvignon Blanc.  Look for the 2011 Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.  It’s an outstanding value, and delivers grapefruit, tropical fruit, and lemongrass aromas followed by grapefruit, tropical fruit and hint of herb and mineral flavors.

Pair these dishes with Pinot Gris, or Pinot Grigio depending on geography and interpretation.  It’s a grape that’s made in a variety  of styles.  Look for the 2010 Domaines Schlumberger Pinot Gris Les Princes Abbes from Alsace, France. It’s a dry-style with a rich honeyed tropical fruit and baked apple character. 

Pair these dishes with Viognier.  It’s an aromatic white grape most often associated with the Rhône Valley in France.  It’s underrated in its ability to be a good match for a variety of foods.  Look for the 2011 Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier from  Australia. It has a floral, citrus, apricot, and spice character. 

Pair these dishes with Beaujolais, a wine from the eponymous region made from the Gamay grape.  While I’m not a big fan of the Beaujolais Nouveau release annually in November, I am a fan of Cru Beaujolais.  They tend to be light-bodied, food friendly red wines with soft tannins.  Look for the  2010 Potel-Aviron Côte de Brouilly “Vieilles Vignes” Cru Beaujolais It has a black raspberry, floral, and asian spice character.  Can’t find a Beaujolais?  Then go with your favorite Pinot Noir – a similar style of wine. 

Pair these dishes with Chianti, the classic Italian red wine. Look for the 2011 Coltibuono Cetamura Chianti.  It’s a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo with a beautiful black cherry, spice, and licorice character with a kiss of rusticity.

Pair these dishes with Merlot.  Look for the 2010 Wild Horse Central Coast Merlot.  It has a fruit forward plum, sour cherry, baking spice character with good acidity. 

Pair this dish with (Miles would be devastated!) Chimay Grande Reserve (Blue Label) beer.  It’s big beer, (9% alcohol) with a bit of a vinous character.  It show big, deep dark flavors with a kiss of sweetness  often found in Belgian beers.  If beer isn’t your thing, pair with the Merlot recommended above. (Looks like Miles will be devastated either way;-)

Pair these dishes with a Rioja, the 2007 Bodegas Vina Eguia Reserva. It shows spice, leather and bright red fruit aromas followed by raspberry, sweet tobacco and vanilla spice on the palate.  I recommend letting the wine “breathe” for an hour or so and you’ll be amply rewarded.

Pair these desserts with the  2012 Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d’Asti noted above.

Pair these desserts with Banyuls, a lighter style fortified wine made in France.  It’s a Port-style wine made from Grenache, and is a great match for chocolate.  Look for the 2009 Les Clos de Paulilles Banyuls Rimage.  It has rich, dense blackberry, plum, caramel, and vanilla aromas and flavors. 

Pair this dessert 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. 

Bottle Shock (beverages)

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday, April 14th to talk all about movies that have inspired us to head into the kitchen – and the food that comes from that inspiration (7pm EST)!  We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world.   Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag, and include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

Best Wines to Pair with Paella?

Every cuisine has at least one – a one-pot meal, a dish of humble origins that is the quintessential definition of that place and people. There’s Gumbo, Cassoulet, Risotto, Irish Stew and Pad Thai to name a few. And the Spanish? Well, they have paella.  March 27th is National Paella Day.

Paella originated Valencia region of Spain. According to The Paella Company

Paella was originally farmers’ and farm labourers’ food, cooked by the workers over a wood fire for the lunchtime meal.  It was made with rice, plus whatever was to hand around the rice fields and countryside: tomatoes, onions and snails, with a few beans added for flavour and texture. Rabbit or duck might also have been added, and for special occasions, chicken plus a touch of saffron for an extra special colour and flavour. Paella was also traditionally eaten straight from the pan in which it was cooked with each person using his own wooden spoon.

There are three main types of paella; Valencian consists of rice, green vegetables, meat (rabbit, chicken, duck, pork), land snails, beans and seasoning; Seafood replaces meat and snails with seafood  such as prawns, mussels, and clams and omits beans and green vegetables, and Mixed, a combination of meat, seafood, vegetables.

Paella Valenciana (image courtesy of daytondailynews.com

Paella Valenciana (image courtesy of daytondailynews.com

In addition to the three main types of Paella, two other popular variations are Vegetarian, which typically contain vegetables like artichokes, lima beans, red and green peppers,and Paella Negra, which is typically seafood, cooked with squid ink, so it looks black.

Paella Negra (image courtesy of piospaella.com)

My personal favorite – Paella Negra (image courtesy of piospaella.com)

When pairing paella with wine, I recommend keeping a few food and wine pairing guidelines in mind:

  • What grow together, goes together – I prefer to pair with wines from Spain, Portugal, or wine from the neighboring Languedoc-Roussillon region in  Southern France.  Outside of Spain or France, consider Sangiovese or Pinot Noir for red wine.
  • Pair humble with humble, great with great – Paella has humble origins, I generally pair with inexpensive wines unless it’s a special occasion.
  • Sparkling wines go with almost anything – Pair Valencian, Mixed, and Negra paella with  rosé Cava and Seafood and Vegetarian with Brut Cava

Here are my wine paring recommendations by type:

 Valencian, and Mixed 

Pair with a chilled dry rosé. or an inexpensive red Rioja, other Tempranillo or Grenache. Here are a few I like (click on the link for where to buy):

Rosé

Reds

Tip: Avoid high alcohol ‘fruit-bombs’ or overly alcoholic, tannic reds.

Seafood 

Pair with Albarino, white Rhone blend, Brut Cava, or Rueda.  Here are a few to look for (click on the link for where to buy):

Vegetarian 

If vegetables include asparugus and/or artichokes, pair with New World Sauvignon Blanc, otherwise, chilled dry rosé, white Rhone blend, Pinot Gris, or Brut Cava will be nice matches.

Need a recipe? Check out his great recipe for Mixed Paella from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen.

I  hope you’ll join me in celebrating one of world’s most well-known and beloved dishes.  Have your favorite paella and a glass of wine today!

Viva Espana y Buen apetito! 

 

Wine Pairings Recommendations for Skinny #SundaySupper

This week’s #SundaySupper theme is all about lighter healthier food to help you maintain a healthy, wholesome diet. #SundaySupper.  One of the things I appreciate most about the talented #SundaySupper food bloggers is their creativity.  So I know you’ll find not only slimmed down versions of some of your favorite dishes, you’ll also be introduced to some new, exciting, and undoubtedly diverse, healthy fare.

The #SundaySupper mission is to Bring Back Sunday Supper around the family table in every home. It starts off as one day a week and soon becomes a way of life.

Speaking of healthy…it’s generally accepted that moderate consumption of alcohol, including wine does more good than harm. With that in mind, here are some things to understand about the calories in wine:

  • Wine is made of mostly water, alcohol, carbohydrates.  The carbs result from the residual sugar left in wine after fermentation.
  • A glass of wine can range between 110 – 300 calories depending on the wine. The range has to do with alcohol content, inherent sweetness of the wine and serving size.
  • Generally speaking, the lower the alcohol content, the lower the calories.  That’s because alcohol has 7 calories per grams of alcohol compared to 4 calories per gram for sugar (in the form of residual sugar in wine). If you’re counting calories, consider wines below 15% alcohol by volume.
  • Use 25 calories per ounce as a caloric guideline for wine. If you’re really counting calories, and want to know the specific amount of calories in a particular wine varietal (e.g. Syrah v. Merlot v Chardonnay), you can search the USDA National Nutrient Database for the Specific Calories by Wine Varietal (I found it interesting the list includes dessert, red and white wine, but doesn’t seem to include sparkling wines).  
  • As with food,  portion control is important with wine.  A standard serving of wine is considered to be 5 ounces, but if you’re counting calories a 3 or 4 ounce pour may be more appropriate.
  • Generally speaking wines white wines and Rosé has fewer calories that red wine .  The white wines that are lowest in calories are sparkling wines, German Riesling (Spätlese and Kabinett), Pinot Grigio, Albariño,  and Vino Verde.
  • Wines that tend to be highest in calories are dessert wines like Port, Sauterne, Ice wine, and late harvest wines.  On the other hand, the standard serving size for dessert wines is about 2 ounces rather than the 5 ounces for table wines.

But rather than focusing on how many calories are in one type of wine versus another, pair food with the wines you enjoy most. If you need to watch your calories, then consider a smaller pour.

Check out this week’s sensational Skinny #SundaySupper recipes. My wine pairing recommendations are italicized. Click on the name of the wine to find out where to purchase.

Calories in a glass of wine

Image courtesy of www.chacha.com

Pair these starters, main and side dishes with sparkling wine.  I like the Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Brut.  It made my Top 20 Sparkling Wines Under $20 list for 2012.  It’s a blend of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay & Cabernet Franc with a stone-fruit, raspberry, and mineral character.  

Pair these starters, main and side dishes with Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc is a top of mind wine for pairing with lightened up fare for me.  That’s because lighter healthier foods are often prepared with fresh herbs, and/or well-spiced to make more flavorful.  Not only is Sauvignon Blanc a great match for food prepare that way, it works well with sharper acidic ingredients (yogurt for example which is often subbed for mayo), vegetables, salads, and seafood which are staples of lighter fare.  Look for the 2012 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc.  It’s off-dry with a zesty citrus, tropical fruit, melon, with a bit of herbaceousness character.

Riesling is another top of mind natural wine for pairing with lightened up fare. Not only is it among the most versatile of wines.  It also tends be be lower in calories because of it’s lower alcohol content (especially German Riesling).  Pair these starters, main  and side dishes with the 2011 Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Drachenstein “Dragonstone” Riesling QbA.  It shows a zesty lime, peach, pink grapefruit, apple, spice and mineral character. 

Pair these starters, main  and side dishes with Beaujolais, a wine from the eponymous region made from the Gamay grape.  While I’m not a big fan of the Beaujolais Nouveau release annually in November, I am a fan of Cru Beaujolais.  They tend to be light-bodied, food friendly red wines with soft tannins.  Look for the  2010 Potel-Aviron Côte de Brouilly “Vieilles Vignes” Cru Beaujolais.  It has a black raspberry, floral, and asian spice character.  Can’t find a Beaujolais?  Then go with your favorite Pinot Noir – a similar style of wine. 

Pair these starters, main  and side dishes with a red Rhône blend. I recommend the newly released vintage of one of my favorites, the 2011 Tablas Creek Vineyards Patelin de Tablas.  It’s a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Counoise. The blend of grape varieties produces a vinous synergy resulting in a fresh juicy red fruits, spice, and mineral character.

Pair these desserts & snacks with a Moscato d’Asti.  Look for the 2011 Saracco Moscato d’Asti. 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. 

Pair these desserts & snacks with a late harvest Gewürztraminer.  One of my favorites is the 2011 Castello di Amorosa Late Harvest Gewürztraminer. It has intriguing honey, apricot, honeysuckle, and spice aromas and flavors, and is succulent and rich on the palate.  It’s just flat-out delicious! It’s a bit pricey, but remember portion sizes are smaller and dessert wines will last for weeks rather than day.  Beside it’s tasty enough to be dessert on its own!

Pair these desserts & snacks with Yalumba Museum Reserve Muscat a fortified dessert wine from Australia.  One sip and it’ll be Muscat love with its decadently rich toffee, caramel, and spiced orange peel character.

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. This week we will be sharing out special skinnified recipes! Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the#SundaySupper hash tag 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.

Join us Around the Family Table this Sunday at 7pm Eastern Time and share your favorite healthy recipes with us!