Tag Archives: charcuterie

Champagne And Pizza!

Italy champagne jean

Jean Vesselle Oeil de Perdrix Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne.  A lovely sparkly to begin our weekend before we delved into the serious business of eating pizza.  Just a kiss of pink color in this rosé bubbly.  Notes of tangerine and red berry fruits.   $47 range.

pizza pepperoni

National Pizza Day was on Friday, February 9, 2018 so that gave us the perfect excuse to eat pizza all weekend!

One of my favorite bloggers Talk-A-Vino shared a new concept from Wines Til Sold Out (WTSO) that we’ve been enjoying at our house too ~ theme box of wine.  This month we chose the pizza pairing box to celebrate National Pizza Day. Here’s the link to Talk-A-Vino’s post that explains the theme box concept:

How To Expand Your Wine Horizon – With Wine Til Sold Out Weekly Tasting

Pippin Hill Vineyard Wood-Fired Pizza ~ red sauced thin crust topped with Tasso Ham, Artichokes, Bell Peppers, Cabbage, Arugula and Parmesan.

We recently visited Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards in North Garden near Charlottesville, Virginia.  http://www.pippinhillfarm.com

italy entrance pippin hillitaly pippin hill outside

italy pippin hill vineyard

pippin hill wine bottle

This bottle of the Pippin Hill Viognier wine has a painting of their vineyard inside.

pippin hill menupippin hill red wine

The Pippin Hill Petite Verdot with notes of plum, black cherry and tobacco was the perfect accompaniment to the wood-fired pizza.

pizza-final

italian wine tasting

italy wine red wine

One of the wines from our WTSO pizza theme box:

Virna Barbera D’Alba San Giovanni 2013 Virna Barbera comes from the Piedmont region of Italy.  Red and garnet in color with a deeper hue and notes of red berries, cranberries, black plums, truffles, mushrooms, forest floor and black earth (think the same char flavor as when your pizza dough gets those little black spots and tastes so good). Medium body, fresh, bright acidity and subtle but fine tannins, this is a wine to pair alongside pizza with cheese, truffles, and mushrooms. Also enjoy with speck or prosciutto. 

pippinhill meats

We enjoyed a Charcuterie Board at Pippin Hill Vineyard. The grainy mustard and arugula pesto were delightful accompaniments to local and internationally cured meats. Tasso ham was my favorite…a south Louisiana favorite hot-smoked with cayenne pepper and garlic.

mostardo cookingmostardo

That delicious treat inspired me to create my own Charcuterie Board at home.  I love serving fun variations of condiments with cured meats.  I found this recipe for Mostarda ~ Northern Italian condiment made of candied fruit and a mustard-flavored syrup ~ in Food and Wine Magazine.  This recipe has crystallized ginger in it which gives it a little “zing”.  Locally crystallized ginger can be found at Tinnell’s Finer Foods on Crystal Spring Avenue in Roanoke, Virginia.  (Keep any leftover ginger in the freezer to use in other recipes.)  Don’t expect the Mostarda to be sweet, it most definitely has a mustard taste to it with fruity undertones.  Spicy Capicola Ham and Italian Soppressata Salami are two of my favorites on a Charcuterie Board.

Yield : makes 1 1/4 cups

How to Make It

In a small saucepan, combine the apricots, cherries, shallot, ginger, wine, vinegar, water and sugar and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderate heat until the liquid is absorbed and the fruit is softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the dry mustard, Dijon mustard and butter. Simmer until the mostarda is jamlike, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Serve the mostardawarm or at room temperature.

Make Ahead

The mostarda can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Notes

Best Uses Serve the mostarda alongside charcuterie or cheese, or spread on a sandwich. The mostarda is also delicious with grilled chicken, steak, pork, lamb and sausages.

 

Italy champagne sign beer

Love the signs outside my favorite local wine shop… Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar http://mrbillswinecellar.com

italy champagne sign

Heart in sand

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Charcuterie And Champagne

river and rail meat wooden board 3

A lovely charcuterie board at River and Rail Restaurant.   http://riverandrailrestaurant.com

The chefs cure their own hams and salami, so delicious. Charcuterie is a collection of cold cured meats, primarily pork. Try putting together your own charcuterie board…it’s a fabulous appetizer to serve at home because:

1.Wooden cutting boards are perfect for charcuterie service and I found one for $7 at Walmart to use at home. Love it!

2. Gluten-free.  As long as you keep your wooden cutting board just for the purpose of serving gluten-free (no bread and no ingredients that have gluten – check salami that have added ingredients to make sure they do not have gluten) charcuterie makes an excellent gluten-free appetizer.

3.  Easy to make, you don’t have to turn on your oven on a hot summer day and clean-up is a breeze!

4. It’s fun to say “charcuterie”!

My home charcuterie board includes very thinly sliced Black Forest Ham, sliced pepper or herb (rind) salami, Genoa salami, dry sausage with wine added (Roanoke Co-op on Grandin Road, Roanoke, Virginia has a nice selection of these…they even have “Salame with Prosecco”!, whole grain mustard, cornichons and dry cured black olives (sold at Fresh Market)  dried cherries and apricots. Serve with crusty grilled sliced Italian bread. River and Rail adds their homemade sauerkraut and pickles to their board. Part of the fun is finding unique items to put on your board…

 river and rail picklesriver and rail pimento
River and Rail Restaurant  House-made Pickled Vegetables and Pimento Cheese
champagne siecle
Laurent-Perrier “Grand Siècle” Brut Champagne
One of our personal favorites and our Happy Anniversary Champagne this year!
$100 – $120 range
97 points Wine Enthusiast:

*Cellar Selection* Laurent-Perrier’s prestige cuvée has always been nonvintage, a blending of top wines from top years. It remains an exceptional wine, not quite dry and with a tinge of softness, but so elegant and balanced. This bottling has just the right amount of maturity, hinting at toast while guarding every iota of fruitiness.

93 points Wine Spectator

A subtle version, focused more on delicate acidity and texture than the finely layered flavors of creamed apple, marzipan, pastry dough and black currant, with hints of lemon curd and ground spice. Delivers a lasting, smoke-tinged finish. Drink now through 2020.

K&L Wine Merchants Notes:

This Champagne is a blend of three great harvests: 20% 1999, 20% 2000 and an astonishing 60% 2002. It is half Chardonnay, half Pinot Noir and all the fruit comes entirely from Grand Cru villages in Champagne. This is one of the greatest of the tête de cuvée Champagnes, but it has had a hard time selling in the U.S. because it does not carry a vintage date, and is not produced in the same large volume as Cristal and Dom Perignon. This is a must for anyone who loves Champagne. It has glorious detail and complexity on the bouquet. In the mouth, the bead is ultra fine; it is hard to imagine smaller bubbles. The flavors are polished and fresh but still fully developed, a testament to the precise blending of the three great vintages. A great tête de cuvée!

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