Tag Archives: wine

Celebrating Dining In Cookbook With Taittinger Champagne

Tattinger champagne

Taittinger Champagne ~ lush and silky, notes of ripe pear and a touch of citrus, freshly-baked brioche with lots of tiny bubbles bouncing around the flute.

I recently entered a contest sponsored by Taittinger Champagne and I won this lovely cookbook, personally signed by the author.

Here’s Alison Roman’s bio from her book:  …the author of Dining In, is a contributor at Bon  Appétit magazine.  Formerly the Senior Food Editor at Bon  Appétit and BuzzFeed, her work appears regularly in the New York Times and has been featured in GQ, Cherry Bombe, and Lucky Peach. The author of Lemons, a Short Stack Edition, Alison has worked professionally in kitchens such as New York’s Momofuku Milk Bar and San Francisco’s Quince.  A native of Los Angeles, she lives in Brooklyn.

In her new cookbook Alison Ramon encourages us to cook at home with recipes that are fun and fresh.  “…for me there is nothing more special or satisfying than cooking for your friends, family, lovers, or, perhaps most important yourself.” And she loves going to the grocery store (one of my favorite places on this planet!) The first recipe I made out of her cookbook was this delicious salad, using as many fresh herbs as I can find this time of year. It reminds me that Spring is right around the corner!

Vinegared Romaine with Sour Cream, Bacon and Herbs…thick cut smoked bacon, crisp green romaine lettuce, fresh herbs…parsley, cilantro, tarragon, and/or dill…drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with flaky sea salt.

Dear Readers, what is your favorite cookbook? I would love to hear from you…

“Now and then it is a joy to have one’s table red with wine and roses.”                                                                                                                            ~ Oscar Wilde

lemon

My bubbly sister-in-law Gwen sent me this delightful idea.  I put some “grated lemon” in my hot tea this morning and it is absolutely delicious!  I plan to keep grated lemon in my freezer from now on.

Place a washed lemon in the freezer section of  your refrigerator. Once the lemon is frozen, get  your grater, and shred the whole lemon (no need  to peel it) and sprinkle it on top of your  foods.  The lemon seeds catch on the grater so there is no need to worry about seeds getting into your grated lemon.
Sprinkle  it to your vegetable salad, ice cream, soup,  cereals, noodles, spaghetti sauce, rice, sushi,  fish dishes, whisky… the list is  endless.
All  of the foods will unexpectedly have a wonderful  taste, something that you may have never tasted  before.  Most likely, you only think of  lemon juice and vitamin C. noodles.
What’s  the major advantage of using the whole lemon  other than preventing waste and adding new taste  to your dishes?
Well,  you see lemon peels contain as much as 5 to 10  times more vitamins than the lemon juice  itself.  And yes, that’s what you’ve been  wasting.
But  from now on, by following this simple procedure  of freezing the whole lemon, then grating it on  top of your dishes, you can consume all of those  nutrients and get even healthier.  

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10 Helpful Hints For Pairing Wine and Food

“Have you thrown up your hands in despair and confusion with too many choices? In that case, just remember one word: champagne.  It’s refreshing, relatively low in alcohol and sufficiently neutral to go with a myriad of foods.One minor tweak might be to have  a more full-bodied vintage champagne with red meats and non-vintage champagne with everything else.  That’s a lot easier to remember than what wine goes with yak.” ~ Sam Gugino, contributing editor to Wine Spectator and author of Cooking to Beat the Clock.

Be adventurous and have fun with wine/champagne and food pairings using these helpful hints:

1.Purchase the book “WHAT to DRINK with WHAT you EAT”, by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. 

This easy to use reference book is our “Pairing Bible”. Our local wine shop keeps a copy so that we can refer to it when deciding which wine and food to purchase at their shop. Just look up the wine you want to pair and the book will tell you the foods to serve with that wine (includes other libations as well such as liquor and beer)  or look up the food you want to serve and it will suggest the wine/libation to serve. This book makes a thoughtful gift for your wine loving friends too.

pumpkin-pie-with-whipped-cream-on-top

2. Surprise your taste buds and experiment with the unexpected.  One of the best food and libation pairings I’ve tasted was single malt scotch and pumpkin pie.  If you are in the mood to splurge pair  Macallan 18 Year – Single Malt Scotch Whiskey with pumpkin pie. Otherwise Macallan 12 year old is a very nice pairing.    Notes of spice, dried apricots  and wood smoke enhance the autumn spice flavors in the pie.

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3.  Don’t force it.  If you truly do not like a food or wine ~  pairing it will not necessarily make it better.  I recently read in Milk Street Magazine that licorice and champagne make a delicious pairing.  Problem in that I can’t stand licorice. It might just be an old wives tale but I’ve heard that if you are born with a certain gene then you like licorice, if you don’t have that gene then you don’t like licorice. I definitely don’t have that gene.  But, I am a good sport so I tried this pairing a few weeks ago. My mouth is still puckering whenever I think about it…ick!

3. Start a conversation with someone you respect in the wine world.

One of my favorite wine blogs is Talkavino.com.  Anatoli is the author of this blog that chronicles his explorations in wine, food and life.  I recently asked Anatoli about his approach to wine and food pairing, especially champagne:

Overall, I find Champagne to be one of the most versatile pairing wines available, as there are plenty of different Champagne types which will support any kind of dinner. My typical approach to pairing is – let me know what the menu is, and I will come up with the pairing. If the occasion even a little bit formal, I always like to open with sparkling wine – it sets the mood. I find that Rosé sparklers perfectly compliment most of the appetizers and salad courses – the Rosé is typically playful enough with just a touch of a fruit to complement the widest array of flavors, and the acidity helps to cut through a variety of textures, from oysters to mushroom beignets to foie gras.

The vintage Champagne would typically work very well with the variety of entrée – I can perfectly see steak and vintage Champagne as a combination, as the mature flavors of Champagne would meld very well with the steak. I’m sure that there is a Champagne for every type of food you want to serve, and the inherent acidity, which is in Champagne’s DNA, makes it ultimately food friendly.

My only challenge would be with the dessert, as I’m not familiar with sweet Champagnes, so to be entirely honest, my typical choice for a dessert sparkler is Moscato d’Asti or Brachetto  d’Acqui, depending on the food. But – if my main course Champagne was Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill or Piper-Heidsieck Rare, you can keep the dessert, I will stay with Champagne.”

thewineraconteur.wordpress.com writes engaging and entertaining stories about wine.  One of my favorites posts about wine pairing is on his blog:  https://thewineraconteur.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/mwwc-21-pairing/

Here’s the wineaconteur’s thoughts on champagne and food pairing:

I usually like my bubbles at the beginning of the meal, and it doesn’t always have to be Champagne. Sparkling wines from Alsace, the Loire, California and even Michigan all work for me, it is more the moment, as I tend to shoot from the hip and not much of a control freak. I am honored that you asked my opinion. I find that Champagne makes any meal more festive and if I could have a steady diet of any one Champagne, I guess it would be Dom, as it seems to be the one that I have had the most, and the one I write about the most often.

Tonya, author of the blog Fourth Generation Farm Girl loves bubbly as much as I do…she is currently pursuing the WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust based in London) with her husband Scot, affectionately known on her blog as “Farmguy”.  She has lovely memories about champagne and food pairing:

fourthgenerationfarmgirl.com

As far as pairing food and Champagne goes, in my opinion, Champagne is incredibly versatile with food—that’s why I love it.  So, when in doubt, drink bubbly!  Ideally, the best pairings happen when the Champagne is chosen first, then paired with food.  This is because a recipe can be altered to perfectly match the characteristics of a wine. However, unless you’re a chef, that’s not always realistic. The wonderful thing about Champagne is it goes well with so many foods.  It’s excellent with Asian food, braised foods, eggs and egg dishes, all kinds of seafood (e.g. lobster, monkfish, salmon, oysters, shrimp, turbot, cod) chicken, turkey, quail, rabbit, pork, vegetarian dishes, truffles, cheeses, especially ones that are creamy and salty, pizza, French fries, popcorn, gingerbread, and the list goes on and on.  Basically, if your food has butter, cream, or salt in it or is fried, then Champagne is the answer. Think:  fried chicken, buttery popcorn, or triple cream brie cheese. My personal favorite Champagne pairing is with truffle popcorn.  I first had it while dining at The Inn at Little Washington.   Farmguy and I were celebrating an anniversary, and our amuse- bouche was truffle popcorn paired with Ruinart Blanc de Blancs.  It was heavenly! 🙂

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4. Do  not limit yourself to pairing only wine and champagne with food.  Include beer and hard cider on your menu.

per se

Meeting Thomas Keller and touring the Per Se kitchen was one of the highlights of our trip to New York City.

A favorite pairing at Per Se ~ Thomas Keller’s restaurant in New York City is: Olive oil ice cream with chocolate and sea salt; and Thyme ice cream with drizzle of warm extra virgin olive oil topped with a chocolate wafer disc.

Paired with Ale: La Choulette Blonde (a beautiful surprise — this traditional French ale is toasty, nutty, and creamy — yum)

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5. Get to know your local wine merchant and ask their opinion on wine and food pairings.  One of my favorite local wine shops in Roanoke, Virginia is Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar, owner Bill Phillips. We recently had a conversation about pairing and he recommends choosing the wine first.  “The chefs I’ve worked with always suggest identifying the wines first and then choosing foods to go with the wines.  You can always tweak the food selections but once you’ve chosen the wines you’ve made an investment and you won’t necessarily want to change them.”

6. Keep it simple.

prosecco and nuts pairing

Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Cava pairs perfectly with simple roasted lightly salted almonds and walnuts.

EF Brie Cheese with bread

A triple creme cheese with a crusty baguette is always a good pairing with many sparkling wines and champagne. Quick and easy to serve last minute guests.

7. Find on-line resources you trust and read about pairings. Here’s a good one from Epicurious:

https://www.epicurious.com/archive/drinking/wine/champagne-sparkling-wine-food-pairings

And I always enjoy reading the advice of Ray Isle, Food and Wine Magazine’s Wine Editor:

http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/an-experts-pairing-advice

8. Practice makes perfect pairings.  You may find that some pairings do not work well for you and that’s OK.  Just keep pairing and keeping notes and soon you will have a wine and food pairing repertoire to share with family and friends.

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9.  Look to the experts:

“The Scent of Champagne,” by champagne expert Richard Juhlin is one of my favorite books. It addresses the thorny issue of pairing champagne with food. He explains what pairs well with champagne and what foods to avoid serving with champagne. He’s done all the “heavy lifting” for us in search of the perfect champagne and food pairings.

I encourage you to learn  more about champagne pairings and Juhlin’s fascinating background:
10.  Brown bag it.  A fun way to taste wine and champagne is to serve it in a brown bag without anyone knowing what’s in the bottle.  Your taste buds will begin to recognize flavors such as the citrus in champagne that is primarily chardonnay grapes, the peppery notes in Shiraz, grapefruit flavor in Pinot Grigio.  Using this method it is a good idea, at least at first, to taste wines/champagnes that have only one predominant grape so not to confuse your taste buds.
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Readers, what is your favorite wine/champagne food pairing? I would love to hear from you!

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Perfect Pairings For Your Thanksgiving Dinner ~ Virginia Wines and Spiced Pear Cocktail

mr bills VA wine sign

mr bills VA wines

These are the wines that our neighbors make.

Virginia Wine Class ~ Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar ~ Roanoke, Virginia

mr bills VA wine 2mr Bills VA rose

 

Ox-Eye Winery Riesling and Shy Ox Rosé  and were my favorite of the wines we tasted in the Virginia Wine Class.    $20 range.  The Riesling  was smooth, clean and bright with crisp apple notes. The Shy Ox Rosé has a lovely pink color and tasty crisp apple notes that seem to  give the wine a bit of effervesce.

 

The Ox-Eye Riesling will be a lovely pairing for Thanksgiving turkey.

mr bills apple 2mr bills apple 1mr bills apple

A yummy pairing to begin a holiday meal ~  Ox-Eye Riesling or Shy Ox Rosé served with this little nosh ~ Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (balanced sharpness, slight nuttiness, caramel sweetness), Murray’s Heirloom Apple Butter on Firehook Cinnamon Baked Crackers.

champange Shenandoah Club

Grande Réserve Brut, Héritage Familial NV

66% Pinot Noir
33% Chardonnay

Smooth mousse with rich pear, brioche and spice notes.  A delightful aperitif leading into Thanksgiving dinner.

http://www.champagne-barnaut.com

Here’s my favorite recipe for green beans ~ always on my Thanksgiving table…enjoy!

Parmesan Prosciutto Green Beans

A family favorite! You’ll find this dish on my holiday table often.  Easy to prepare and full of flavor. Here’s the recipe:

1.5 pounds fresh green beans
3 oz prosciutto (I use the packaged Boar’s Head brand.  Prosciutto sliced in the deli may not fry very well)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup shaved Parmesan
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 stick butter, cut into small pats

Wash green beans and remove stems. Place in large pot of boiling water (no need to add salt since this recipe has lots of salty ingredients).  Cook beans until they are just tender.  Drain and set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place olive oil in a frying pan and place over medium-high heat. When oil is hot place prosciutto slices in the pan and fry, turning once, until prosciutto is crispy. Remove slices from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels.

In a bowl combine parmesan and panko bread crumbs.  Place green beans in a baking dish and sprinkle with panko bread crumb mixture, toss to combine.  Dot the green beans with the butter pats.  Crumble the prosciutto and sprinkle it over the green beans. Place green beans in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

And a lovely cocktail to sip as all of the Thanksgiving frivolity has begun to curtail…

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Spiced Orchard Pear

Recipe from the Culinary Institute of America ~ as published in the October 18, 2017 issue of The Roanoke Times

Scotch is the star in this crisp Fall cocktail recipe!

Servings 1

2 ounces blended scotch

1/4 ounce pear puree

1/2 ounce orange liqueur

1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 ounce Winter Syrup (recipe below)

1 cinnamon stick for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, combine the scotch, pear puree, orange liqueur, and syrup.  Add ice, then shake until well-combined.  Strain into a rocks glass, over fresh ice, and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Chef’s note:  If desired, lightly burn on end of the cinnamon stick with a torch.  Invert the rocks glass over the cinnamon stick on a heat-safe surface or plate while you prepare the cocktail.)

Bubblybee note:  This will envelop the interior of the glass in cinnamon smoke which will give a cinnamon spicy note to the cocktail.

Chef’s note:   You can find pear puree in the freezer section of some grocery stores, but if not, just put 3 to 4 pears in a saucepan with about 1/4 cup of water. Cook until the pears are soft, then blend them to a smooth puree.

Bubblybee note:  To make pear puree I put the peeled and cored ripe pear in my blender with the other ingredients and pureed the mixture until very smooth.  Then I put the mixture in my cocktail shaker with ice to complete the recipe.

Winter Syrup

Makes about 3 cups syrup

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

the peel of 1 orange, white pith removed (I used the peel of 2 clementines. Then I used the clementine segments as a garnish for the cocktail.)

1 star anise (note: star anise and cardamom pods can be quite expensive when purchased by the jar.   I purchased mine by the ounce at our local natural foods co-op, purchasing only what I needed, which was much less expensive.)

3 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

5 cardamom pods

Combine water, sugar, orange peel, anise, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Cook until mixture is simmering and the sugar has dissolved. Set aside until cool, then strain.  Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!

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Welcome Fall With Austrian Wines!

Austrian Wine Class

Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar

Roanoke, VA…September 13, 2017

Mr bills wine rep

Wine Representative Klaus Wittauer presents Wine from Austria.

https://kwselection.wordpress.com

http://kwselection.com

Klaus obviously loves Austrian wines…as he explained during our Austrian Wine Class:  Coca Cola wines you can buy anywhere. Real wines made by real people ~ with a story behind the wine is so much better!

mr bills bubbly

We began the evening with Leo Hillinger Secco Sparkling Pinot Noir.  Italy (much like Champagne, France protects the name “Champagne”) protects the name “Prosecco”, so Hillinger named this wine “Secco” to highlight the bubbles in the wine.

Class notes:  “Pink Ribbon”  100% Pinot Noir crafted into a sparkling rosé wine made in the ProSecco style. It has delicate aromas of fresh strawberries and red berries, which follow through on the palate. the flavors are beautifully balanced with a vibrant and refreshing dry finish.  Wonderful as an aperitif to begin a great dinner and  evening, pairs well with Sushi, or serve after dinner with fresh strawberries. Secco also makes a perfect toast!!  Hillinger donates to Breast Cancer Awareness and puts a little pink ribbon on the wine label. $23 range. 

Riesling mr bills

The first day of Fall is Friday, September 22, 2017 and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. The  Josef Bauer Riesling Hengstberg 2015 is the perfect pairing for your Thanksgiving turkey and trimmings.  This was my favorite wine of the evening ~ well balanced with fruit and fresh acidity, light peach and apple notes…perfect for Fall sippin’.

Class wine notes: This is a wonderful dry Riesling from a family-owned estate’s terraced vineyards over Feuersbrunn, Austria.  Very ripe with lots of stone fruit aromas, full-bodied with a great balance of fruit and acidity. Great with white meat and fish dishes, light pastas, appetizers, especially smoked trout.  Austrian Rieslings are generally loved by sommeliers because they are high quality, pair wonderfully with food and are light enough to not ruin your palate before a meal.  $18 range.

 http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/buying-guide-the-wines-sommeliers-love  

Mr. Bill noted that Every day is holiday and Riesling fits with any holiday.  

mr bills riesling

Steininger Loisium Weingarten Grüner Veltliner is a very popular Austrian wine. On my notes I wrote “Crisp Apples!”…which matches the crispness in the Fall air outside.

Class wine notes:  Steven Holl – Kamptal Reserve. Named after the architect who built the Loisium museum. The label shows the original blue print of the entrance building, cellar world and Spa Hotel.  A single vineyard Veltliner with inviting fruit in the nose, exotic notes and fine ripe aroma of apples. The finish is complex and balanced with a long beautiful echo and the traditional white pepper.  $25 range.

These Grüner Veltliner grapes are grown in the vineyard that surrounds the Loisium museum and there is a hotel on the grounds.  How fabulous! Here’s a link to Loisium Wine & Spa Resort Langenlois:   http://www.loisium.com/en/langenlois/news-resort

mr bills red wine

Leo Hillinger HILLside 2014.  I found this wine to be low tannin and very sippable.

Class notes:  60% Syrah, 30% Merlot, 10% Zweigelt. This wine has explosive nose of plum, raspberry, sweet tobacco and vanilla. Big and full up-front with good spice, black pepper and a long pleasant lingering finish.  The Wine Enthusiast gave this wine 92 points.  There is just a hint of dark fruit. The palate lightens with expressive and finely drawn fruit.  There is pepper-tinged red cherry, fine notes of cranberry and red currant. The fruit here is beautiful and taut; there is freshness, tension and real elegance.  Tannins are supple and fine, and the body is unforced and fresh. $35 range.

Steindorfer Beerenauslese 2015.   Rich and honey laden with a touch of sweet petrol on the nose.  To my palate the petrol makes the wine a bit earthy which pleasantly offsets the sweetness of the wine, but does not detract from the sweetness of the wine…nicely balanced.  $30 range (half bottle). (This wine was not included in the tasting, but is one of our favorite ways to end a meal.)

mr bills wine representative

Just for fun…take a bunch of green seedless grapes, wash them and remove them from the stems. Place in a bowl and freeze the grapes. Use them in your white wine to keep your wine cold.  Red seedless grapes can be frozen and used to keep rosé wine cold.

Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Napkin Riesling

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Sun, Surf and Champagne!

One of my favorite photos of “George Gershwin” our 18-year-old kitty. Sadly he passed away this week. He was an inside kitty but loved to play out on our deck whenever we were out there. He kept a good eye on our champagne glasses to make sure they were always full.  Miss you my sweet boy!

For years we’ve named our kitty cats after big band musicians (we love big band!)…

Ginger Rogersmaxinekitty cat

Ginger Rogers, Maxine Andrews, Cole Porter, George Gershwin…but we are starting to run short on names, so maybe we should start naming our kitties after champagnes… Charles Heidsieck, Henri Giraud,  Pol Roger perhaps?

Pol Roger NV Brut Champagne ~ $40 – $50 range.  Consists of one-third pinot noir, one-third pinot meunier and one-third chardonnay grapes. Pear, honeysuckle and toast notes. Nicely balanced with tiny bubbles dancing around the glass.

Pol Roger’s Philosophy: 

There is that moment
when the spirit of Pol Roger is revealed.

One may think one knows champagne and yet, that day, one truly discovers it.

Pol Roger was Winston Churchill’s favorite champagne house.

My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best. ~ Winston Churchill

Food and Wine Magazine recommends pairing Pol Roger Champagne with Grilled Chicken Breasts with Grapefruit Glaze. Here’s a link to the recipe:  http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-chicken-breasts-with-grapefruit-glaze

pol roger champagne

squirrel sign

Always love our local wine shops creative signs…thank you Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar!  http://mrbillswinecellar.com

Sun and surf is always good for the soul and we had lots of both last week.

I found these Limited Batch Cape Cod Roasted Black Garlic Potato Chips at the beach. Delicious!

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Wine, one sip of this will bathe the drooping spirits beyond the bliss of dreams. Be wise and taste.  ~ John Milton

We had fun tasting J Vineyards & Winery NV Brut Rosé, Russian River Valley while we were enjoying sun and surf.  $40 range.  66% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay & 1% Pinot Meunier. Pretty salmon color with lots of little bubbles dancing around in the glass. Slightly acidic with a dry finish. Elegant mouth-feel with notes of strawberry, ripe red apples and toasted hazelnuts.

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 Veuve Clicquot sunglasses!

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Veuve Clicquot robe and matching slippers. A fabulous surprise from my wonderful husband.

champagne tops

wine sign

Now back at home I am looking forward to Fall (begins September 22!) with my favorite hot tea…The Republic of Tea Hot Apple Cider Tea. $11 per container…may seem expensive, but each container has 36 tea bags in it which equates to .30 per cup. Yummmmmm…

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Everything Happens For A Riesling…German Wine Tasting

Napkin Riesling

Riesling is a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region of Germany.

german prost

CHEERS!

German wine

I recently had the pleasure of attending a German wine tasting at my favorite local wine shop “Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar”…mrbillswinecellar.com

When we think of German Riesling,  don’t automatically think “sweet”…think “apples and peaches and freshness” instead.  And definitely think wine and food pairing because these wines are fabulous with food ~ especially the spicy cuisines of Thailand and India. Fabulous with German fare too…spicy sausages, hearty pork dishes…

german sparkling

I purchased this bottle to take home…2013 Hansen-Lauer Reisling Brut SEKT b. A.  $20 range.  Fresh apple and peach notes with Mosel minerality. Dry yet fruity,  refreshingly effervescent. I found this sparkling to be a better food pairing wine than a sipping wine.   Pair with shrimp, tempura or Thai food.

shrimp

My favorite sips from the wine tasting:

2013 Heinz Eifel Riesling Auslese.  $18 range.  Sun-riped grapes resulting in a “buttery touch of sweetness” that reminded me of chardonnay. Luscious with a long finish.  This wine would be lovely paired with Thai food.

german wine seebrich

2014 Seebrich Riesling Spatlese.  Notes of apricot. Rich with minerality that is high enough that it gives the impression that the wine has a little effervescent spritz. Smooth finish.  $19 range.

german dessert wine

2015 Heinz Eifel Beerenauslese.  $25 range. Nice dessert wine with peach and nectarine notes. Not too syrupy.  made from hand-selected individual grapes that have been affected by ‘noble rot’, a fungus that dehydrates the grapes  and adds a rich honey flavor to the wines. Pair with stone fruit desserts or blue cheese. 

german snacks

Here’s a link to Food and Wine 15 Rules for Great Wine and Food Pairings:

http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/15-rules-great-wine-and-food-pairings?xid=NL_WINELIST081517&utm_source=foodandwine.com&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=wine-list&utm_content=2017081512PM

Food and Wine recommends pairing off-dry Riesling with sweet and spicy dishes:  The slight sweetness of many Rieslings, Gewürztraminers and Vouvrays helps tame the heat of spicy Asian and Indian dishes.

glitter

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Champagne Day, August 4 ~ Celebrate With Frozen Champagne Raspberry Peach Grape Pops!

“Men are like wine ~ some  turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.” 

Pope John XXIII

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veuve-top

ice-veuve-champagne

August 4 is celebrated as “Champagne Day” because on this day in 1693, Dom Pérignon exclaimed  “Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!” when he “invented” champagne.   Dom Pérignon was only 19 when he became a monk and moved to the Abbey of Hautvillers near the town of Épernay (within Champagne, France), where he served as cellarmaster. It was popular at the time to try to get rid of any bubbles in wine. As hard as he tried Dom Pérignon could not get rid of the bubbles and instead embraced them which was an important step in the evolution of champagne.

DON’T WAIT TO CELEBRATE!

“Have you thrown up your hands in despair and confusion with too many choices? In that case, just remember one word:

CHAMPAGNE

It’s refreshing, relatively low in alcohol and sufficiently neutral to go with a myriad of foods. One minor tweak might be to have  more full-bodied vintage champagne with red meats and non-vintage champagne with everything else.  That’s a lot easier to remember than what wine goes with yak.”

~ Sam Gugino, contributing editor to Wine Spectator and author of Cooking to Beat the Clock

veuve-rose

 Rosé Champagne with BBQ!  Ray Isle, Executive Wine Editor, Food and Wine Magazine, paired  Rosé Champagne with BBQ Brisket with surprisingly pleasant results:

http://www.foodandwine.com/blogs/champagne-barbecue

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Refreshing Summer Treat!  Champagne Raspberry Peach Grape Pops!

Skewer large black grapes on fancy picks. Place in a container so that the picks lay flat.  Mix 1 cup champagne (or sparkling wine) with 1/2 cup Raspberry Peach Grand Marnier.  Pour the champagne/raspberry peach mixture over the grapes, cover and refrigerate overnight.  Pour the champagne/raspberry peach liquid off of the grapes and make more grapes or discard liquid.   Cover the container and place in freezer.  Freeze grapes for two hours or more. Serve ice-cold.

These icy treats are perfect to pop in your mouth straight from the freezer or pop them in a glass of champagne!

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Happy Champagne Day!

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