Category Archives: Sparking and Rose

Sparkling Wine and Appetizer Pairings #winePW 7 Roundup

Sparkling wine and appetizer pairings was the focus of the December Wine Pairing WeekendTo get ready for the holiday season, the December Wine Pairing Weekend focused on sparkling wine and appetizer pairings. Thanks to Jeff from foodwineclick for hosting us!

Sparkling Wine and Appetizer Pairings
Here are the ideas available from our group for you. Try something new this year!

Bacon and Greens Dip with Bubbly by Cooking Chat
Piedmont Sparkling Nebbiolo & Pungent Anchovy Green Sauce by foodwineclick
Segura Viudas Aria Cava with Oysters and Spanish Tapas by Confessions of a Culinary Diva
Butterflied Spicy Prawns and Treveri Sparkling Wine by Wild 4 Washington Wine
A Seasonal Nibbles Duet + Pear Valley Vineyard’s Frizzante Muscat by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Appetizers served with a Sparkling Wine by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Cranberry Brie Biscuit Bites and Sparkling Muscat by Curious Cuisiniere
Moscato with Fresh Fruit Almond Cake and Zabaglione by Vino Travels — An Italian Wine Blog
Domaine Meriwether Sparkling Wine and Make Ahead Spanakopita by Tasting Pour
Wine and Dine: Anna de Cordoniu Brut NV and Herbed Parmesan Crisps by Grape Experiences
Italian Sparkling Wine: Bubbly & Bacon #winePW by Girls Gotta Drink
The Holidays Sparkle on #WinePW by Rockin Red Blog
Butternut and Bubbly
by It’s Okay to Eat the Cupcake
Smoked Salmon and Potato Chip Appetizer with Louis Roederer Champagne by ENOFYLZ

Be sure to mark your calendars for January’s Wine Pairing Weekend, hosted by Christy at Confessions of a Culinary Diva. We’ll be sharing “New Wine Resolutions – Wine or Region you want to explore in 2015. Join in the #WinePW 8 conversation on Saturday January 10!

10 Great Grilling Recipes with Wine Pairings

grilled chicken paired with a viogner. 1 of 10 grilling recipes with wine pairings from Wine Pairing Weekend.

Yesterday on Cooking Chat I put together a list of 20 Favorite Grilling Recipes. That seems like a good resource, but I realized with so many recipes we didn’t get into the wine pairings much.  But I suspect there is also some interest in grilling recipes with wine pairings, so today we share 10 ideas here.

Simply Scrumptious Grilled Chicken with Garlic Basil Butter: Bone-in chicken breasts can be a good value. Many online recipes for them can get a bit complicated; my recipe streamlines the process with tasty results! I served this with a 2012 Domaine de Gournier Viogner, thinking it would work with the chicken as well the side of pesto pasta we had. Serving the chicken with more basic sides, I might opt for a fuller bodied white like a Chardonnay or white Rhone varietal blend.

Grilled Swordfish and Eggplant with Fusilli and Tomatoes I’m a fairly new convert to the virtues of eggplant. Grilling is the key for me. This Sicilian inspired combination was very good, shared for a Sunday Supper event earlier this summer. As part of his Sunday Supper wine picks, Martin from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog recommended serving this with a 2013 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas Rosé. That sure sounds like a great idea to me!

2012 Guffens-Heynen Macon-Pierreclos Le Chavigne white Burgundy pairs nicely with grilled salmon.Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa We love our salmon here! Often I grill it with just a simple soy marinade, but made it a bit fancier with a yummy mango salsa for the July Wine Pairing Weekend event. I served with with the 2012 Guffens-Heynen Macon-Pierreclos Le Chavigne from Burgundy, and was very pleased with the fruit and honey taste in the wine picked up the mango salsa. This is a great bottle and not as expensive as many Burgundies, but you could also serve this with a soft, aromatic white like Viogner.

Grilled Swordfish with Garlic Soy Marinade This simple, go-to recipe for grilled swordfish often gets paired with a rosé . When we posted it on this site earlier this year, we paired it with the 2013 Banshee Rosé of Pinot Noir from Sonoma. You could do other rosés, but go with a pretty substantial one. Regular Pinot Noir works here, too.

Grilled Swordfish with Pineapple Salsa Gotta love salsa! The pineapple in this one gets grilled along with the fish, great flavors. A medium bodied rosé is again the call here, I’d say. The Banshee mentioned above would work well, or about any rosé from Bandol would be a good pairing, I’d say.

Heaven Sent Grilled Pork Chops:  The succulent bone-in pork chops with a simple garlic cumin rub get their name from our nine year old’s reaction to how tasty they are! Consider this one if you’re looking for something that packs a lot of flavor with minimal work. We served this with a 2010 Azienda Agraria La Perticaia Montefalco Rosso from Umbria for our pairing. A nice blend of fruit and spice, with enough heft to work with the chops. I’d say a Garnacha or Tempranillo from Spain would be another good option.

grilled pork chops paired with an Italian red blend.

Cilantro and Lime Marinaded with Chipotle Cream This is one of my all-time favorite recipes, especially served with these Sweet Potatoes with Cumin Sage Butter. This was another Wine Pairing Weekend event pairing, served with the 2009 Le Pousseur Central Coast Syrah from Bonny Doon. This particular Syrah has a finesse and flavor profile that makes it work very well with the dish. You could try other Syrahs that fit the profile, but many would be too over the top. A full bodied pinot could also work.

Grilled Steak with Garlic Cumin Rub  This is another easy option for a low maintenance weekend grilling plan. We went with the 2011 Halter Ranch Syrah from Paso Robles, and its bold flavors are a nice match for the steak. You could try other big bold reds you enjoy with this one, a Cabernet could certainly work here.

Grilled Steak Tacos with Awesome Avocado Chimichurri Sauce: Entertaining this weekend? This is a great way to get your guests some steak without breaking the the bank! A few pieces of beef along with the tasty sauce makes a a great taco. “Awesome” was the operative word for the sauce when we served it to family at a recent gathering. We had this with a Portuguese red blend, and that worked pretty nicely. A zinfandel could be another good option.

Burgers Topped with Garlicky Arugula I had some extra arugula on hand from the CSA awhile back, and came up with this tasty topping for burgers. The spice in it lead me to recommend a zinfandel. I paired it with the 2007 Chatom Vineyard Zinfandel, but you could try any zin you like.

Seared Trout on the Grill with a Tropical Viogner Sarah from Curious Cuisiniere came up with this one for our July Wine Pairing Weekend event. This post demonstrates that cooking whole fish on the grill can be pretty easy, and is especially nice served with a good wine! Sarah served it with the Lewis Station Winery’s Sparkling Waters White, a Viogner with some tropical fruit blended in. A Muscadet comes to mind as another option for this one.

So there you are, 10 ideas for grilling recipes with wine pairings. Lots of ways you can combine grilled food with good wine as you enjoy the weekend. Let us know what tasty pairings you come up with!

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.

Grilled Chicken Paired with L’Instant Malbec Rosé

L'Instant Malbec Rosé paired with grilled chickenThe other night I was planning on a quick meal of grilled chicken drumsticks, featuring Stonewall Kitchen Honey Barbecue Sauce and a side of pasta with grilled broccoli. My timing was good for finding a wine pairing for the grilled chicken with BBQ sauce, as I was at Pairings Wine and Food earlier in the day. Ray mentioned they are featuring the Chateau Vincens L’Instant Malbec Rosé in a one-day special this Tuesday, August 5. I suspected the deep colored Rosé would work nicely with our meal, so grabbed a bottle to do a little preview tasting.

I got a fresh taste of watermelon and strawberries on the wine, a refreshing complement to the grilled chicken as well as the pasta, which featured plenty of garlic. This wine is from the Côtes du Lot region of Southwestern France, including the appellation Cahors. We tend to associate Malbec with Argentina, but this area is its original home. The grape is also referred to as Côt Noir there.

I like to make most of my own sauces and dips, but do keep a few things on hand when I need some quick flavor. Stonewall Kitchen offers many such products, and this Honey BBQ sauce is definitely a tasty one. If you happen to be in the Winchester, MA area, you can pick it up at Pairings along with the wine to repeat the pairing for yourself. You can also order Stonewall Kitchen products on their website.

Full disclosure: I’m a long-time loyal Pairings customer–I get most of my wine there.  I’ve just recently started helping them with their social media. I mention the promotion not as part of that work but to help folks that want to find the wine for a good price!

Grilled Swordfish with a Rosé of Pinot Noir

Banshee Rose of Pinot Noir, served with Grilled SwordfishI often go with pinot for substantial fish like swordfish and salmon. I sort of did that this time–served Grilled Swordfish and Garlic Soy Marinade with the 2013 Banshee Rosé of Pinot Noir from Sonoma County.  My tasting tweet on this one simply said “yum!” but I suppose I should attempt to elaborate. This rosé has enough body to stand up to this substantial grilled swordfish, with plenty of good fruit flavor of its own. As you might suspect, it had a nice refreshing quality one appreciates when it’s finally warm enough to get the grill going. I’ve also enjoyed the Banshee Pinot Noir, and have another bottle on hand. But I’m glad I went with the rosé for this first night of grilling, and will save that pinot for a time I have chicken or pork on the grill.

Grilled Swordfish with a side of pasta and baby broccoli