Category Archives: Food

Green Fig Ice Cream and Albarino

wine pairings for ice cream: green fig ice cream with Albarino. Culinary Cam photo.Happy Ice Cream Week! What can ice cream week have to do with wine pairing? Surely there can’t be wine pairings for ice cream, right?

Guess again! For our “Refreshing Summer Wine Pairings” July theme, Culinary Cam made some green fig ice cream–which sounds totally tasty on its own!–and paired with with Cambiata Albarino. I think Spain when I hear Albarino, but this one comes from Cam’s backyard, a.k.a. the California coast. I love ice cream, but it’s one thing I haven’t tried paired with wine, maybe ice cream week is a time to remedy this!

The Albarino sounds very refreshing. Though it is not a dessert wine per se, Cam’s description of it gives a hint as to why it would work well with her ice cream:

“You might get a whiff of aromas of almonds and vanilla. This wine is beautifully balanced, lush and tart with a subtle minerality on the finish.”

Perhaps I had Cam’s fig ice cream in mind when I grabbed some figs on sale yesterday, planning to make a dessert with them for tonight’s anniversary dinner. Stay tuned for details of that pairing! Meanwhile, for the details on how to make the green fig ice cream and more info on the Albarino, head over to Cam’s post on her site, Culinary Adventures with Camilla.

photos courtesy of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.

Cambiata Albarino

Wine Pairing for Steamers

Cava, a wine pairing for steamers. from @foodwineclick.

Wine pairing for steamers! I was excited to read Jeff’s Wine Pairing Weekend post pairing steamed clams and mussels with Cava for a number of reasons.

I’m getting ready to head to Cape Cod next week, and I expect my Dad will make a batch of steamers at least once while there. This is typically a post-beach snack, an hour or two before dinner. Usually beers are cracked open to go with it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a nice cold beer after the beach.  But hey, I am more of a wine guy, especially when comes to what to drink along with food. So I’m glad to know that there’s a good bubbly option besides beer to go with the steamers.

Cava is a nice option when you want a sparkling wine at significantly less than Champagne prices. It sounds like Jeff, who blogs at foodwineclick, found a good one for his steamer pairing: Campos de Estrellas Estate Cava Brut ($15). It definitely met our #winePW 2 theme of “refreshing summer pairings”. Get on over to foodwineclick to get all the tasty details of the pairing.

Oh yes, there’s one more great thing to mention about Jeff’s post. The steamer and Cava pairing was enjoyed on his porch….what better way to enjoy a summer day!

Photo courtesy of Jeff Burrows, foodwineclick.com.

Farfalle and Pesto Paired with Prosecco

Prosecco makes a nice partner for classic basil pestoLooking for a wine pairing for pesto? Sauvignon Blanc is a classic pairing, as I wrote about in my post for #winePW 3 (click through for the recipe as well as wine pairing details), but a number of other wines can work well with it, too. Having made a big batch of pesto last weekend, I’ve had a chance to do some experiment.

One nice option is sparkling wine. Too many people think of sparking wines only for celebrations, when in fact it’s a great wine with many foods. I had picked up a bottle of Ca’Furlan Prosecco Cuvee Extra Dry from Pairings Wine & Food recently, and figured that would be good to try when we had farfalle bowtie pasta tossed with leftover pesto.  The Pairings tasting description for the Prosecco, “Honeysuckle bouquet with a hint of sweetness; fresh and minerally fruit with nice bubbles...” gives you the idea that this could work well with pesto. It cleanses the palate, in similar fashion to the sauv blanc, getting you ready to enjoy the next flavorful bite of the pasta.

Like many Proseccos, this is a nice affordable choice in the bubbly category–it can be had for around $10. Grab a bottle for your next batch of pesto!

During our #winePW chat Saturday, Jeff from foodwineclick and Jen from Vino Travels had a number of good ideas about Italian wines to try with pesto. They were talking still whites, so I’d forgotten to mention that I’d had this Italian bubble just a few days before! I’ll have to pick up on their suggestions next time I make a batch of pesto.

Duck Legs Paired with an Off-Dry Pinot Gris

duck legs with an off-dry Holman Ranch Pinot Gris. Culinary Cam #winePW post.

photo coursesy of Culinary Cam

Today I wanted to highlight a pairing from our first Wine Pairing Weekend Back in June. For the inaugural #winePW event, Culinary Cam paired duck legs with an off-dry Pinot Gris from Holman Ranch, which they call their “5 degree Brix”.  Cam does a nice job breaking down the brix and off-dry terms in her #winePW post. I also like the way Culinary Cam incorporated the lemon taste she got in the wine into her preparation, using a Meyer lemon marmalade to glaze the duck legs. So if you are looking for a good way to prepare duck legs and a good wine to enjoy with it, check out Cam’s post for all the details!

Orzo Salad with a Trebbiano d’Abruzzo

Orzo Salad paired nicely with a Trebbiano for Wine Pairing Weekend 2.

photo courtesy of Vino Travels.

Italian wine tends to be very food-friendly, so it’s great having Jen from Vino Travels: An Italian Wine Blog participating in our Wine Pairing Weekend events.  For the July #winePW event “Refreshing Summer Wine Pairings”, Jen paired orzo salad with the the 2012 I Lauri Lume Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. Sounds like a great match to me! The salad had a variety of veggies along with some tasty Pecorino cheese from Tuscany.  Trebbiano is of the many wonderful Italian white grape varietals. Jen reports that:

“On the nose this trebbiano had lots of citrus and minerality to it with a hint of petroleum. It was dry with some grassy notes on the palate. Throughout it had refreshing acidity creating a nice crisp wine.

Get all the details on Jen’s pairing, including more background on the wine, over in her #winePW 2 post. Keep an eye on all her Italian wine posts on Vino Travels, and check out the other #winePW 2 pairings via this roundup post.

2012 I Lauri Lume Trebbiano d'Abruzzo

 

A Sauvignon Blanc for Pasta with Chicken and Goat Cheese

pasta with goat cheese and chicken, pairs well with Sauvignon Blanc

This wine pairing started with a bottle of 2011 Castoro Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, which the folks from SIP Certified had sent for me to come up with a food pairing. I came up with this Pasta with Chicken and Goat Cheese, based on sauv blanc’s affinity for both chicken and goat cheese. The dish also features lemon, capers, and basil, flavors to consider with the wine pairing. I noted I didn’t have a Sauvignon Blanc pairing on the site yet, so I grabbed this one from the Cooking Chat archives!

I got a bit of hibiscus on the nose of the wine, and a fresh and lively taste. I detected kiwi, lemon and a touch of pepper. This picked up the lemon, herbs and onion in the dish nicely. I’d say we got this pairing done right, if I do say so myself! According to the Castoro website, this is their first year producing Sauv Blanc, and I’d say the did quite well.   There’s a bit of Gewurztraminer blended in, which gave I’d say gave it just a touch of spice. A good value at around $15. Castoro Cellars currently has the 2013 vintage of their Sauvignon Blanc out; I’d imagine that would work well, as would other crisp sauv blancs you like.

Full disclosure: I received a complimentary bottle of the wine from SIP to sample. The opinions and recipes here are entirely my own!

Castoro Cellars Sauvignon Blanc. #wine

Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa and a White Burgundy

Salmon with Mango Salsa and a White BurgundyMy first instinct for salmon is to serve a Pinot Noir, but sometimes the topping or sauce calls for a white. When I made some mango salsa for grilled salmon recently recently, a white definitely seemed to be the call to go with the tropical fruit. I had a white Burgundy I was eager to try, and thought it could potentially work. I wound up being pleasantly surprised at how wonderfully the pairing came together. Get all the recipe details over in my Wine Pairing Weekend 2 post on Cooking Chat: Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa and a White Burgundy.

The Burgundy I chose was the 2012 Guffens-Heynen Macon-Pierreclos Le Chavigne. We got honey and clover on the nose. Nice fruit on the wine–cantaloupe perhaps? Also a touch of honey–the fruit and honey definitely made this taste like summer in a glass. Perhaps most notable was the depth of texture in this wine, providing a great mouthfeel and long finish. This really made the pairing work–the wine had just the right weight to go along with the salmon–not to light, not so big it would overwhelm. The flavors in the salsa flowed seamlessly with the fruit and honey taste of the wine.

I loved the wine, but it’s not the style I tend to expect and seek in a white Burgundy. I typically gravitate toward an austere style with lots of minerality, and don’t expect such ripe fruit as we had in this one. I guess this is just a reminder that great Burgundy can come in different styles! Our pairing worked great, but I would by no means make a general recommendation to pair Chardonnay with this dish–many chards would be too oaky and/or buttery to play nicely with the flavors in the mango salsa. For Chardonnay to work here, it needs to be one that really let’s the fruit shine as our choice did. For a Burgundy, this one from Guffens-Heynen is a good value and worth tracking down–it seems to be available for around $30ish.

 

A Rosso di Montepulciano for Grilled Steak with Orzo and Kale Pesto

Orzo Salad with Kale Pesto served with steak, paired with a Rosso di Montepulciano.

Typically I pair our wine to go with the entree. I consider the type of meat or fish and how it is prepared, paying attention to ingredients in any sauce or rub. But sometimes there are two distinctive items being served together, which was the case for us the other night. I was making Orzo Salad with Kale Pesto as part of a #SundaySupper virtual picnic theme. While this dish could be a main course, in this case I was serving it as a side dish along with some Grilled Ribeye with Garlic Cumin Rub.

2011 Tenuta di Gracciano della Seta Rosso di MontepulcianoPesto has a distinctive kick that tends to have me choosing a white such as Sauvignon Blanc or Picpoul. But serving the orzo dish along with steak, I wanted to pair a red that would work with the beef as well as the pesto. I thought a good Italian red might fit the bill, given pesto’s Italian roots. I went with a 2011 Tenuta di Gracciano della Seta Rosso di Montepulciano, which supplied enough depth to work with the steak along with some finesse to go with the orzo salad. This is a great quality wine for under $15!

 

Tuscan Beef Stew with Chianti

Tuscan Beef StewI was called upon to make dinner for our wine club this winter when we were focused on wines from Tuscany. After much experimenting, I came up with this slow cooked Tuscan Beef Stew, which featured rosemary, garlic and other tastes of the Tuscan countryside. We had a good time at wine club trying a variety of wines with the stew.

We wound up with enough leftovers to serve the Tuscan Beef Stew for dinner the following night at home, and focused on one particular bottle of wine with it. I chose the 2008 Il Novecento Riserva Chianti to go with it, and got black cherry fruit, nice smooth finish, a good match for the stew. This pairing worked well, but I’m sure one of your favorite Chiantis would do well this stew, too!