Category Archives: did you know

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!!!

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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

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!

Halloween Wine Suggestions-Don’t Be Scared!

Halloween Wine Suggestions-Don’t Be Scared!

Nothing can be scarier then paying over a $100 for a bottle of wine. No worries you won’t have to buy wine that expense during this Halloween season at least we won’t be suggesting any wine that expensive. Wine With Me wanted to give you just a couple of wine suggestions for you party planners and party goers. Wines that aren’t always in season but you can certainly go to your local Sam’s Wine and Spirits, Binny’s, or neighborhood wine shop. Ask questions like “do you have any seasonal wine?” If you need more specifics here are some suggestions.

Pumpkin Wine: I can hear you asking “WHAT! THEY MAKE THAT!” Yes they do actually. Prairie State Winery makes a Pumpkin Wine that may surprise you but remember this is a sweeter wine so if you aren’t into sweet you may want to stay away from this one.  If you’re having a party  and you really want this wine you can order online from any number of wineries. Just Google it!

Apple Wine: This wine can usually be found year round but nothing says Fall like Apples. Of course I don’t have to tell you this is a sweet wine. But would taste great with Brie Cheese and Crackers. It’ll be smooth and sweet certainly a great addition to any Halloween party.

TIP: IF YOU HAVE AN OVERLY SWEET WINE MIX WITH A DRY CHAMPAGNE TO CUT THE SWEETNESS

Both wines are not expensive and are pretty tasty. I wouldn’t just have one kind of wine at your party. Your guests need variety but if you’re looking to add a good wine with a scary label look no further then 2009 Poizin.  This gem comes from Armida Winery. Now don’t let the fact that this bottle has a skull scary you its actually good. It has notes of plum, blackberries, vanilla make it a really nice compliment to the filet mignon. Add a little red to your night by serving this to your guests.

If you don’t feel like trying to find bottles with skulls or even pumpkin wine you can just DIY it. Purchase your favorite bottles and slap on a fun scary label that you can make on your own or buy at these Esty stores: Halloween Wine Labels, The Printing Shop and Pbleu. I personally bought the Pbleu label for this year’s Halloween party and they look amazing.

Happy Haunting! Cheers!

Swing on Over to Olympia, WA

Just 40-50 minutes outside of Seattle you’ll find the city of Olympia. And in this quiet capital city of Washington you’ll find Swing Wine Bar. What makes this place unique is the location. It sits on top of a hill over looking Capitol Lake.  You’ll find that the wine is outstanding and that you can’t seem to go wrong with their flights. The presentation (see picture) is differently and I personally loved it.

Why was I in Olympia? Turns out one of my best friends was getting married and she wanted to have her “last supper” at Swing Wine Bar. Well this would be a great place to have a last supper. The food was outstanding.  We started our meal with Gorgonzola Stuffed Mushrooms and Charcuterie and Cheese Platter. Anyone who loves wine knows that a good meet and cheese combo can really make your wine stand out in flavor. I picked a great red flight called “Let’s Be Franc”. Most of you will be surprised that I didn’t get a Pinot Noir but I have to change it up once in a while.

The “Let’s Be Franc” flight consisted of:

  • Chinook Cabernet Franc 2008, Yakima Valley, WA
  • Whidbey Island Winery Cabernet Franc 2008, Yakima Valley, WA
  • Corvidae The Keeper Cabernet Franc 2009, Columbia Valley, WA

The Chinook Cabernet Franc 2008 was lighter then I expected. Lots of cherries and  raspberries flavor with hints of licorice to end the taste. Certainly a wine to have on a daily basis with friends or at home after a long day at work.

Whidbey Island Winery Cabernet Franc 2008 had hints of cranberry and was a medium bodied. I paired this great wine with my dinner, Cedar Plank Salmon. Certainly a great idea if I may say so myself. I was happy with the combo and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t have red wine with fish.

Finally the Corvidae The Keeper Cabernet Franc 2009 was full bodied but extremely tasty. I capped my night with a nice fruity flavor and hints of violet. Certainly a great way to toast the new bride and her new life.

The moral of this post is to give you some more insight on Washington Wines and also let you in on the adorable wine bars outside of Seattle. If you find yourself there you should go and enjoy.

Cheers!

Syrah Vs. Shiraz

Syrah Grapes

Is there a difference between Syrah and Shiraz?… yes and no.  They are made from the same type of dark skinned grape, but based on the climate in which the grape is grown, you can expect to find very different characteristics in the wine. By paying attention to whether it is labeled Syrah or Shiraz, you can usually get a pretty good idea of what to expect from the wine

The Syrah grape originated in the Rhone area of France and is used to make dry, full bodied reds.  There are myths that the grape was originally brought to France from the city of Shiraz in Iran.  There is no actual proof, however, to back this up. There has. however, been DNA typing of Syrah grapes that prove that they came from two grapes from the Rhone Region of France. Read the rest of this entry

Hosting a Wine Party-Happy Hour

It doesn’t matter if you are throwing a party in the summer or winter as long as you have the right drinks and food to nibble on your guest will be happy. Recently a couple of our friends (Dana and I) have been throwing some fun happy hours on Friday evenings and inviting friends over. Its a great time to unwind and relax with friends after a long work week. This inspired me to write a post for our readers who want to have a happy hour of their own or perhaps just a causal get together.

Here is the beauty of throwing a happy hour or just a quick get together you don’t actually have to cook anything. All items can be purchased at the store, wine shop, or cheese shop.

Tip #1-This isn’t a dinner party. Set a time for your friends on the invite if you must. If you are hosting a happy hour its important to note that the party will happen between 5pm-7pm, you know before dinner time.

Tip #2-Get a nice combo of high end and not so high end wine. Lets face it not all of your friends know good wine. However if they don’t tell them to read this blog we can help! But don’t feel obligated to supply the party with all of the beverage options tell your friends to bring some wine over too.

Tip #3-Have some food to nibble on for your guest. This doesn’t mean go out and get them food but snacks only. Dana has already given you the skinny on cheese and wine pairings. If you haven’t read it now is a good time..click here. But I’ll make it easier for you by providing a list

  • Cheese
  • Olives
  • Hummus
  • Veggies
  • Crackers-Water Cracker, Whole Grain
  • Fruit

Totally optional but I love a nice plate of Prosciutto. If you’re feeling a little fancier cut up a nice melon and wrap the Prosciutto around it. Its tasty.

Tip #4-Have fun! The beauty of wine is that you sip it and enjoy the company of your friends. Remember to relax and enjoy yourself.

If you want to make your party/happy hour a little fancier light some candles around. It’ll look beautiful.

Enjoy your happy hour or casual get together!

Cheers!

Fourth of July-Food Recipes

 

Happy Fourth everyone!!!

While this normally isn’t a food site I thought it would be a nice idea to give you all some recipes for your upcoming BBQs.

Try this Chipotle-Corn Salad


2 cans of corn-drained
1/2 an onion thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 cup of sour cream
1 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce-seeded and chopped
1 scallion thinly sliced
Salt and Pepper

1.) Sautee your corn and opinion with the olive oil until the corn is lightly brown
2.) Let cool and put into a bowl
3) Mix, sour cream with lime juice, chopped chipotle chiles, sliced scallion.
3.) Season the corn with salt and pepper

Serves 4-6 people. Great with a grilled chicken and a glass of Rose. Try Shady Lane 2008 Coop de Rouge or Dr Loosen Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Kabinett

Lets not forget it is the 4th and what’s more American then a cheeseburger. He is a great recipe for you to enjoy
All American Burger

1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon Hamburger Seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 slices Cheddar or American cheese (optional)
4 hamburger rolls
8 slices cooked bacon (optional)
Lettuce, tomato and condiments (optional)

1.)Mix ground beef, ketchup, Hamburger Seasoning and Worcestershire sauce in medium bowl until well blended. Shape into 4 patties.
2.) Grill over medium heat 4 to 6 minutes per side or until burgers are cooked through (internal temperature of 160°F). Add cheese slices to burgers 1 minute before cooking is completed. Toast rolls on the grill, open-side down, about 30 seconds or until golden.
3.) Serve burgers on toasted rolls with bacon slices, if desired. Garnish with desired toppings and condiments.

Serves 4. Enjoy your all American burger with a great glass of red like Gnarly Head Zinfandel Old Vine, Tilia Malbec

Try heading over to Binny’s or BevMo for some suggestions. Don’t have any of those big guys around you? Don’t forget to support your Local Wine Shops.

If you’re not in the mood for wine  try one of Dana’s Sangria recipes or try this new recipe we found

Watermelon Sangria

2 pounds seedless watermelon, peeled and cubed, plus 1/2 pound watermelon cut into balls with a melon baller and skewered on picks
1 bottle dry white wine
6 ounces vodka
4 ounces Cointreau or other triple sec
4 ounces Citrus Syrup
In a blender, puree the watermelon cubes. Pour through a fine strainer into a pitcher. Add the white wine, vodka, Cointreau and Citrus Syrup. Stir and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Stir again, then pour the sangria into ice-filled white wine glasses and garnish with the skewered watermelon balls.

Remember to Drink Responsibly this Holiday Weekend!

Cheers and Happy 4th from Dana, Rio, and I!!!!!

10 Tips for Enjoying Wine Festivals

Summer is officially here and with summer comes festival many of which are wine related. So Wine With Me wanted to give you 10 tips to help you maneuver your way around these big wine outdoor festivals.

  1. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes-You’ll be walking around and it’ll be hot out. Think cotton clothing and comfortable shoes.
  2. Eat before going to the event-Almost everyone goes right to wine tastings and food is an after thought so having something to help you absorb the alcohol will allow you to pace yourself and truly enjoy the wine and not get drunk.
  3. Pace yourself-Remember most of these festivals will have 10-50 wineries and each of them will have 4-6 wines to taste. Drink water 2-4 ounces in between tastings.
  4. Take a break-Enjoy your time at the festival and the outdoors. If you’re with friends take the time to just people watch and talk about what you already tasted and what you look forward to tasting.
  5. Keep it moving-Get your tasting and move on don’t linger. You’ll cause a backup for everyone else. If you have a question ask the wine rep but don’t make chit chat about the non-wine related things. (Unless they’re good looking and you plan on flirting).
  6. Don’t like it..DUMP IT-If you don’t like a wine dump it in the bucket. No need to waste your time on something you don’t enjoy.
  7. Best is always Better-Every winery has a wine they are proud to serve. Ask the wine rep for the best.
  8. Write it Down-Keep a pen and paper on hand and write down the wines you liked and 2-3 words on what you loved about it. Ask the wine rep where you can find it locally.
  9. Snacking-Yes you ate before you headed to the festival but if the wine tasting has taken a 1-2 hours stop and get a snack and drink some water.
  10. Don’t Drink and Drive-Chances are you may get a little tipsy. Don’t get behind the wheel of a car and if you can have a designated driver, take a cab, or arrange for someone to pick you up.

The most important thing is that you enjoy yourself!

If you’re looking to find local wine festivals just Google-Wine Festival + (City you live in). You’ll get a list of what is around you.

Cheers!

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