Category Archives: Helpful tips

Let’s Talk Turkey (and Wine Pairings)

Thanksgiving Image

Its almost here! Thanksgiving, a day to celebrate family, friends, and food. Of course wine is always something I’m thankful for, in fact I usually thank the wine gods at almost every meal. However, the Thanksgiving meal is different. Hard work has been put in by moms, dads (maybe), or your local caterer. What wines should you pair with turkey and all the trimmings?

Well don’t assume a dry white wine will bring an extra something to the holiday table. If you like red wines you should bring that along. Here are some wines that will go beautifully with your turkey this Thanksgiving.

Iron Horse 2007 Classic Vintage Brut
This will be a crowd pleaser because its a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Its a beautiful taste of apple and pear with just a hint yeast. Amazing with a turkey dinner

North Valley 2009 Pinot Noir
Pinot Noirs are my favorite but this particular bottle has a beautiful flavor of cherry and raspberry and ends with some amazing spice.

Navarro Vineyards 2011 Dry Gewürztraminer
Normally a Riesling is the wine people confuse with Gewürztraminer. But Gewürztraminer actually has more floral aromas and citrus. When you have a cranberry and turkey combination this wine will make everyone at the table smile.

Northstar 2008 Columbia Valley Merlot
The movie Sideway gave Merlot a bad name. Who would have known one line could give such a bad connotation to Merlot. But no worries this Merlot has a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot which gives a great fruit forward taste and ends soft tannins.

Mostly importantly remember to enjoy time with your family and friends this holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wine and Cupcakes… a Match Made in Heaven?

Cupcakes & Wine

I don’t know about you but when I think of pairing wine pretty much the last thing in the world I think about pairing it with is cupcakes. It just doesn’t seem to be a match to me. That being said, I was intrigued when I saw a sign for a wine and cupcake pairing at D.O.C Wine Bar. It was not anything I ever would have thought of but hey, I like wine, I like cupcakes, why not?

On a Thursday evening my friend Allison and I stepped into a very crowded D.O.C for our foray into the world of wine and cupcakes. The cupcakes were being provided by Molly’s a Cupcake Shop, just down the street from D.O.C. and though I’d only had cupcakes from there a few times I’d never been disappointed. Read the rest of this entry

Wine Pairing with Tailgating Menu

 

 

Fall brings Football, sweaters, and comfort foods. Its also marks the time when many of us will begin to pair our comfort foods with red wines. We’ll leave behind the fruitful white wines for a rich and full bodied red wines. But what wine will go best with your tailgating buffet of food during this cooling off season? After all beer is usually what is being served with burgers, chilli, and wings. Well I’m here to tell you that you can have your buffalos wings and enjoy the taste of a good red wine. So gather around and see which of your favorite football foods will be complimented by red wine that are out of this world!

Buffalo Wings + Pinot Noir

Pinot Noirs are known for their light to medium bodied flavors. They really balance out the heat of the spicy wing with hints of sweetness capped off with a earthy notes. You’ll find that this balance brings out the flavors of not only the spicy but also the flavor of the chicken.

***If you like only white wine: wings I’d suggest a Brut Sparkling White Wine or a Cava.

Chili + Grenache

Chili dishes have both heat and smoke to them and Grenache its juiciness and lush fruit mingle work beautifuly with the complexity of a good Chilli. Note if your chili is coming out of a can you might as well break out the wine in a box. But if you’re doing a traditional slow cooked chili pick up a Grenache, they sell for reasonable prices.

***If you like only white wine: Try a Rose its still light and crispy to compliment the smokiness of the Chilli. But stay away from sweet Roses. It’ll ruin the flavor of your Chilli

Brats, Burgers, Hot Dogs + Malbec or Vacqueyras

Meats and Malbecs or Vacqueyras are a match made in heaven. Malbecs are Full Bodied with rich flavors that end in a minerally note. Vacqueyras is another full rich wine that tannic, peppery and bold. You can’t go wrong with either a Malbec or Vacqueyras for your grilled meat dishes.

***If you like only white wine: Viognier is a great heavy white wine with hints of melon, this isn’t a sweet wine. Its bold to compliment the meat but it won’t take over the flavor of your dish like richer Chardonnay.

Happy Tailgating to everyone!

GO O-H-I-O! And LETS GO CHICAGO BEARS!

Lissette

Your Wine, Your Personality

 

Everything we do can say a lot about our personalities and what you choose to drink is really no different right? Well I normally find these generalizations rather boring but sometimes they’re kinda true. So what does your wine perference say about you?

Cabernet Sauvignon:
Conseravtive, Powerful, Bussiness Executive

Why? Cabs are usually full bodied wines with dark fruits

Chardonnay:
In Control, Leader, and Dominate

Why? Chardonnays usually are high in alchohol and aged in barrels that give the wine a fulled bodied oaky flavor that stands out

Pinot Grigio:
Cautious, you are fully aware of work works for you

Why? Pinot Grigios are light and have both fruity,mineral notes.

Pinot Noir:
high standards, quality is exteremly important, willing to pay for well made wines

Why? Pinot Noir may be the toughest grape to grow, but the effort is often well worth the constant care and investment.

Sauvignon Blanc:
Outgoing, stands out in every room they walk into, life of the party

Why? Sauvignon Blanc offers a fairly wide range of flavors. From herbal taste sensations to veggie, and from flavors of grass, hay and mineral tones to a citrus and tropical flavor mix

Riesling:
Breath of fresh air, kind personality, never boring

Why? Riesling is one of the wine world’s “new” sweethearts. Its food pairing versatility and refreshing palate appeal

Gewürztraminer:
Creative, Risk Taker, thinking outside the square

Why? Gewürztraminer is not your normal everyday wine. Hints of Lychee, spicy, and exotic

Whatever your choice of wine just remember to enjoy! Never stop trying different and new wines you may end up finding your new favorite.

Cheers!

Lissette

 

Keeping it Healthy: Organic Wines

 

Organic seems to be the trend these days. We want to consume foods that are pesticide free and all natural. This is the case with wine as well. But what are the benefits of drinking Organic wines?

sulfites-If you’re a newbie to wine I’m sure you’re asking what are sulfites? Well sulfites are a salt or an acid that happens to wine naturally. However added sulfites are used for the preservation of wines. The less sulfites a wine contains, the healthier it will be for your body.

No Chemicals and Pesticides-Organic wines are not sprayed with chemicals and pesticides which means its better for you. The USDA says,”Organic wine is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations”

Organic Grapes-All organic foods are grown with very strict regulations. Wineries that create organic wines do not add flavors such as oak chips to their wine. Addtionally these wineries use very basic wine making techniques. Keep it all natural.

If you’re going the Organic Wine way remember to read the label. Some wines may be labeled “made with organic grapes”, this means that 70% of their grapes come from organic sources.

If you are looking for some great organic wine you should look at Frog Leap. And of course Whole Foods always has a great selection of Organic Wines.

Cheers!
Lissette

Sutter Home: A Surprise in Napa

Sutter Home…well when you think about Sutter Home you think $7.99 bottle at the local supermarket. And to be honest with you I’m right there with you. During a recent trip to Napa I stopped by Sutter Home. Now let me clarify this stop was not one that I had planned on and took some time to talk me into but I went to really please the person I was with on the trip. I was unsure of what I would find. But I thought…Korbel is known for lower end sparkling wines perhaps so the same will happen with Sutter.

Well…I wasn’t as please with Sutter Home as I was with Korbel but I wasn’t disappointed. In fact they did have a few items that I purchased. Let me start off by saying that these items are NOT at your local supermarket. In fact these wines are exclusive to Sutter Home’s tasting room in Napa. And the price while still not expensive wasn’t as cheap as you’d think but $20 for a ___ wasn’t bad and the taste was delightful. This is the kind of wine you’d drink with friends who know a lot about wine or very little about wine. Both novice and experts alike will enjoy this bottle.

I will admit that I was unsure of the tasting room and its certainly not fancy but I gave it a shot. Glad I did however, I still won’t buy the wine you find at the local supermarket. In fact the only wine I’ll have is the one I found in Napa. Try not to judge a book by its cover…at least when it comes to actually going to Sutter Home’s Tasting Room

Cheers!

Not Your Mama’s Champagne: Fun bubbles for the New Year

Bellini & Rosa RegaleNew Years Eve is just around the corner and that means champagne! But if you are bored with the traditional champagne toast at midnight or looking for something a bit more interesting to sip all night here are a few of my favorite alternatives.

The Bellini:

Tradition in my family on New Years Eve has always been champagne with a splash of peach schnapps and a slice of peach for garnish. When I was little, my parents always had this on New Years Eve and they would make me the kiddy version with sparkling grape juice and the syrup from the can of peaches.

Until I spent time in Italy, I didn’t know that this was actually a play on a famous Venation sparkling cocktail called the Bellini. A traditional Bellini is made with Italian Prosecco and white peach Purée.  For those who don’t want the hassle of mixing drinks, Canella sells a bottled version of the traditional Bellini aptly named “Bellini”. It’s very good and perfect for New Years Eve. Read the rest of this entry

Holiday Wine Gift Ideas 2011

Its that time of the year when we start to shop for our loved ones. But with all of this shopping we forget about other people we have to get gifts for…like your doorman or a co-worker who went above and beyond to help you out this year. What can you get them that won’t break the bank and still make you look like you appreciate what they do?

Well wine is a great gift, its easy and you stick a bow on it and you have an instant gift! The only issue is you don’t want to look cheap and giving someone the 3 Buck Chuck is out of the question. You still want to look like you care and that you’re not a cheapskate.

Here are some suggestions that may work for you. We are giving you choices with different prices points. The best part is you can pick some of this up while you’re out shopping for your family gifts or maybe grocery shopping.

$50 and under

Champagne: Veuve Clicquot
There is a reason this tasty champagne is worth the $40-50 dollars. Its amazingly tasting, smooth, and just a hint of sweetness. Even people who don’t like sweet will love this. Best of all its a classic and sold everywhere!

$40 and under
2005 – Allegrini Amarone
Dana had a great post about Amarone. This particular is a medium-bodied Amarone but full of dark fruits and spices. Any wine lover or wine novice will enjoy this present.

2008 – Walter Hansel Chardonnay Cuvee Alyce
This white wine will be a hit. Its a full bodied white with hints of lychee nuts and honeysuckle. Tasty with any holiday turkey.

$30 and under
2008 – Anne Amie Pinot Noir
Its not secret I love Pinot Noir BIG FAN! What I love about this wine is that it taste good with Steak or a nice shrimp dish. This wine has a good berry, fruit flavor with a hit of smokiness.

2010 – Mas de la Rouviere Bandol Rose
Rose is a beautiful color but if you get a good one like this you’ll love the taste. Dried Fruit with a hint of citrus you’ll enjoy an amazing seafood meal.

$20 and under
2008 – Airfield Cabernet Sauvignon
Spices with blackberries make this medium bodied wine heaven. The balance of fruit helps make this a very special gift.

2008 – Becker Riesling Laisser Faire
Say hello to peach and grapefruit flavors. This wine will open your palette and help you enjoy the beauty of the holidays

$10 and under
2010 – A to Z Wineworks Pinot Gris
This is a sweeter wine…perhaps a gift for someone who enjoys spicy foods. This will help balance the pear, peach and tobacco flavors with the heat of the food. It maybe $10 dollars but it’ll taste like a million bucks!

2010 – Beso de Vino Garnacha
Black cherries and violets bring in a warm taste to the holiday. And this bottle while not pricey at all can be aged for a year or two.

Try not to give someone Barefoot Wine or anything out of a box. Make the effort to at least try and get something that someone will enjoy. The taste of the wine can speak volumes. Just like you put thought and care into gift wrapping a present do the same when it comes to wine. These are just a few suggestions. Buying wine shouldn’t take you longer then finding a gift at the mall but certainly ask a few questions and remember always give your price point. If you like a certain bottle buy a few of them and give them to everyone who you feels deserve the gift of wine.

Happy Holidays from your favorite wine girls!
Lissette, Dana, and Rio

Wine to go with your Thanksgiving Feast

ThanskgivingThe holiday season is upon us and the food and wine will be flowing freely. This got me thinking about what types of wine go well with a traditional Thanksgiving feast. In my opinion the options are limitless when it comes to choosing a wine for Thanksgiving.

If you are looking to go with a white you want something well balanced with some acidity. I prefer a dry white. A Sauvignon Blanc might be a good choice or perhaps a Gewurztraminer. The crisp citrus flavors that are characteristic of Sauvignon Blac should pair nicely with your Turkey dinner. Gewurztraminer is a bolder choice to go with your meal, having a bit more spice to it. Read the rest of this entry

Did Somebody Say Wine? -Costume Ideas

Recently I was in Baltimore visiting friends from college and with Halloween just around the corner we started talking about costumes.  My friend brought of when he dressed as Franzia boxed wine in college and it got me thinking about fun wine related costumes you could do this Halloween.

Boxed Wine:

This costume is going to take a little creativity and artistic talent but is a totally fun inexpensive costume idea. When my friend was boxed wine he had artistic friend paint the franzia label onto his box and a spot cut out for the franzia wine spout so he could really serve people some boxed wine!  Read the rest of this entry

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