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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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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!

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!!!!!

Lynfred Winery-Perhaps Not


This past weekend Dana and I deceided to take a trip to Lynfred Winery in Roselle, IL. We came upon this winery during Wine Riot and enjoyed the three wines (they had five we only tasted three) we tasted during the event. We were excited to see what other wines this place would have on hand for us to enjoy. I must admit that we were disappointed by the winery. The wine tasting was $9, which I won’t complain about but perhaps a $5 dollars fee would have been more reasonable. The tasting wasn’t really a tasting the pours were generous, a first for us when it somes to tastings.  People weren’t tasting they were actually drinking. Don’t call it a wine tasting if its more of a wine flight. Also the layout was odd. You’d paid at the front bar and then you’d head toward the back through the gift soft to a small bar were you’d get a pour and then walk away, finish, then go back for the next one. Doesn’t make sense right? Yea it didn’t make sense to us either.

Other then the odd layout we found it strange that Lynfred Winery didn’t have on their tasting list the wines they do best. They didn’t showcase the wines that clearly did very well at Wine Riot. Additionally, the majority of there grapes came from Califorina, Michigan, and Washington and some from Illinois.

All was not lost. We loved the Malbec but it wasn’t worth paying $25 dollars for it. We did get the wine we enjoyed at Wine Riot which was the Lynfred Winery Vin de City Red and their Plum wine. Overall we didn’t walk away empty handed. The drive was long so a reward was in order.

The other thing that makes Lynfred  unique is they’ll dip your favorite bottle in chocolate for $25 dollars plus the cost of the wine. It makes a nice gift. My advice if you’re going to do the chocolate dipped bottle go with the Lynfred Winery Vin de City Red, its $10 dollars so playing $35 for a nice gift seems reasonable.

Our favorite wines were:
Lynfred Winery Plum
Lynfred Winery Vin de City Red
2010 Lynfred Winery Seyval Blanc

Is it worth the drive? I guess if you have nothing to do all day but you may want to check with Binny’s. If don’t live in Illinois don’t worry plenty of good wines out there.

Cheers!

How to Taste Wines

I’ve been noticing that more and more wine shops and even big box stores are having wine tastings. Most of these places have an agenda to push. Wine Shops carry wines that you can’t find in stores like like  Binny’s, BevMo, Safeway, or Whole Foods. These smaller shops want you to buy what you can’t find anywhere else.  And bigger stores like Binny’s bring in a distributor who only wants you to buy from the selection they carry and are putting out for you to taste. I’m not against agenda pushing but remember you have to buy wine that you like and just because the wine rep says its the best thing you’ll taste doesn’t mean it is. But how will you know if something is good if you don’t know how to properly taste a wine. Here are a few steps to help you.

First things first. Hold you glass by the stem. Your hand can warm the liquid. It happens all the time with beer but with wine you have a choice.

Sight: Look at the wine. Slightly tilt your glass (by the stem) toward the light if possible and if possible against something white or pale. Is the wine clear or cloudy?

White wine: The older the wine the more golden in color it’ll be. The  younger the wine the pale yellow almost green.

Red Wine: These vary in color but a younger wine is usually a bright red color. You may even notice a reddish-brown around the edges. If its an older wine you’ll notice more brown color. Think of the color of a brick (has red in it).

Swirl: Its not just to make you look snotty. There is a purpose to this. I promise. Take your glass by its stem and gently swirl for a few seconds.

Doing this will allow oxygen into the wine. Swirling will release the aroma.

Notice how quickly the movement of the wine. If the wine is easy to swirl it means you have less alcohol and if it moves slowly it means it has more alcohol.

Notice the streaks also called legs of the wine has left on the glass. This will help you determine the body of the wine and alcohol as well. More legs left behind more alcohol.

This happens with red wine. If you notice that you have a red coating that means more alcohol is present as well.

Smell: The isn’t an exact science to this so my best advice is to tip your glass by the stem and inhale. What do you smell? Fruit, floral, woody, spicy?

Taste: My favorite part is the taste of course! Now some people make the mistake of sipping right away. What you should do let the wine sit in your mouth. I usually roll my tongue to ensure it coats my tongue to get range of flavor.

The tip of your tongue will pick up the sweetness, the inner side will pick up the acidity, the outer sides will pick up saltiness, and the back will pick up the bitterness and alcohol.

Some people will spit the wine out especially if you have several wines or wineries to go to. Some drink it but do yourself a favor after don’t drink all of it or you’ll get drunk too quickly and then wines will just blend together.

If you like the wine sip it again and then dump the rest in the bucket. You can buy a bottle if you love it. If you don’t’ like it just dump it. In both cases move on the other wines and repeat the process. Side note you don’t need a new glass for every wine. As long as you move from light to dark the one glass that is given to you is what should be used.

Remember: Don’t buy the wine unless you love it. It’ll be a waste of your time and money if you buy it to appease the rep or the wine shop.

Check our your local wine shop sites or big box stores for wine tastings.

Cheers!

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