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Cheese Please: A Guide to Pairing Wine and Cheese

 

Wine and Cheese

Last Friday, Lissette and I went to In Fine Spirits to use a Groupon I had. We got a bottle of 2010 Chateau Mourgues Du Gres Les Galets Rose, Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates and a cheese flight that consisted of Fresh Ricotta with Truffle & Honey,Chatham Camembert (a sheep and cow blend) and aged Manchego Gran Valle. The dates and the cheese were amazing with the wine and it got me thinking about wine and cheese pairings.

A good wine paired with the perfect cheese is amazing, but with so many options, how do you choose the right kind of cheese to go with your wine? When it comes down to it, it is all about your own personal preference, but here are a few suggestions: Read the rest of this entry

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Wine Tasting Michigan Style

The Girls at a Winery in Northern Michigan

Born and raised in Michigan, I have spent many a time “Up North”. My parents have owned a condo in the Leelanau Peninsula of Michigan since I was little and, as an adult, I’ve visited a lot of the wineries up there.  Some of you may be surprised to know Michigan actually has a lot of wineries, and the Leelanau Peninsula has almost two dozen of them. Over Memorial Day weekend, I was very excited to introduce Lissette to some Michigan wines and catch up with some of my friends from home while we spent some time at my parent’s condo in beautiful Glen Arbor.

Unless you buy a lot of wine, wine tasting can be a fun and inexpensive way to spend a weekend, and Michigan, just like any wine region, has some really good wines and some not so good wines to try. I think the first time people go wine tasting in Michigan there is a little skepticism. A lot of people assume all the wines will be sweet or that Michigan knows nothing about how to make a nice wine, but these are false assumptions.

Here’s what you can expect when you are tasting in the Leelanau Peninsula. At almost any vineyard you visit you are going to find Rieslings and Pinot Noirs. It’s also common to find a cherry wine or two and some Cab Francs. There tends to be a lot more white wines made up this way than red, but almost every winery will have a least some red to try. There is usually a good mix of dry wines and slightly sweeter wines. A lot of the wineries list their wines in order of sweetness and even provide the percentage of residual sugar to help patrons choose the right wines to try. You will also find that a lot of the wines are made in small quantities and may be hard to find outside the area (especially outside  Michigan) and some may not be sold anywhere but at the winery. Read the rest of this entry

Wine With Me Tackles Wine Riot

Wine Riot- Chicago  2011

This past weekend, Lissette and I went to a wine tasting event called Wine Riot. There were over 250 wines to taste. This may seem like an outrageous number of wines and it is true that it would be very difficult to taste them all, but events like this are a great opportunity to try a lot of wine and really figure out what you like in a wine and what you don’t. You’ll probably leave with a pretty good list of wines you now know you like. Plus these events are really fun!

If you go in prepared to just have a small taste of a lot of different wines, you can work your way through a good portion of the wines. Lissette and I tried approximately 50 wines at Wine Riot and no, we were not drunk by the end! The way to get the most out of an event like this is to just have a sip of each wine you try and dump the rest. The goal is to taste the wine, see if the nuances and flavors are what you are looking for and then move on to the next wine. If there is one you really love, by all means drink it up. Just remember the more pours you finish, the less wines you will be able to taste. (For tips on tasting wine read our post How to Taste Wine)

Wine Riot had something for everyone; sweet, dry, red, white, rose, dessert, sparkling- you name it. With an event that has so much going on, it is important to have a game plan. Lissette and I decided we would start off tasting whites and then move on to reds. We had no illusions that we would make it through every wine at the event, so we decided to pick out regions in which we were interested and hit up those tables. We spent time at the Italian, French, German, Spanish, South African, Michigan, and Illinois booths.  We also tried a few California, South American and Australian wines. We even tried a Croatian wine and a Bosnian Wine.  Second Glass, the sponsors of Wine Riot, had a handy iPhone app that made checking off the wine you liked and taking notes on them very fast and easy. Nice work Second Glass! Read the rest of this entry

Rose: A great Summer Wine

Whispering Angel Rose

 

For most people when they see a pink wine they immediately assume its White Zinfandel and let’s be honest a lot of people are not fans of White Zin, myself included, but White Zinfandel is not the only pink wine out there and good dry Rose can actually be quite delicious.

If you’re thinking come on pink wine? Really? I was right there with you. When my parents came back from Provence, France last spring, raving about the rose, I was skeptical, but I was willing to give it a chance because I trust my parent’s judgment in wine… for the most part.

The first Rose I tried I was not enamored with. It was ok but nothing I would ever buy again. The second rose I had however was light and crisp and in my opinion, had more oomph to it then most white wines. After trying a few more Roses I discovered that a rose can be just what the doctor ordered on a hot summer day. As much as I love red wine sometimes it is just too much when it very hot out or when you’re eating something delicate like sea food. Being that I don’t love a lot of white wines, it was nice to find a good alternative for a summer wine. Read the rest of this entry

10 Under $20

Let’s be honest most of us can’t afford to spend a lot of money on wine. Here are 10 wines Lissette and I like that won’t break the bank. We’ve got a good variety here so there should be something for everyone

Dana’s picks

Santa Barbra Crossing  Chardonnay $9.99

This crisp white wine with hints of citrus and green apple is one of my favorite whites. Believe it or not it pairs well with sushi.

Villa Des Anges Old Vine Rose $9.99-

I’m a huge fan of rose is the spring this one has a light, crisp flavor. It is a dry rose and great on its own, but would pair well with salads, seafood and other light dishes. Read the rest of this entry

A Wine Filled Easter Weekend

My parents were in town this weekend for Easter. This means I had lots of good wine and good food!   They got in Thursday night and we started the weekend with a French Burgundy at the Red Rooster Wine Bar. The 2000 Laboure-Roi of the Gevrey Chambertin appellation was a very smooth wine. Being that the bottle was a 2000 the tannins had time to mellow. The wine was very balanced and had the old word characteristics you would expect from a French wine; dark fruit and hints of leather. You may be thinking leather? That’s kind of weird but leather is actually a common characteristic of wine. And can add some real complexity to a bottle of wine.

The second night my parent were here we ate in. my mother made an awesome rack of lamb and we started with a 2010 Villa Des Anges Rose from France. It’s important to note that a rose is NOT the same thing as a White Zinfandel. I repeat Rose is NOT the same as White Zinfandel. This rose run about $11 a bottle and is a perfect pre-dinner sipping wine.  It is very light and crisp. It is a dry rose (I’m not a fan of sweeter wines) and is great on its own, but would pair well with salads, seafood and other light dishes. Read the rest of this entry

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