April 21st, 2013
Sure, we’ve all heard by now we don’t have to abide by the old rule of drinking only white wine with chicken or fish. Yet, how many people know how to go about pairing red wine with these dishes? One method is to pay close attention to what you prepare to accompany the dish. Put a sauce on it.
In our house, we typically put these sauces over simply roasted chicken or a hearty fish such as salmon or halibut. Sometimes, we improvise and put them on pizza or pasta. It’s that simple.
Here are some of our favorite sauces to pair with red wine.
1. Romesco Sauce, such as the version from the reliable food blog, Simply Recipes, stands up to Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. Try the Romesco over prawns sauteed in garlic.
2. Savory Blueberry Sauce pairs wonderfully with Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
3. Mole Sauce can top everything from traditional roasted turkey breast to anunexpected pasta dish and has a complex flavor profile that plays nicely with Malbec.
4. Sun Dried Tomato and Red Pepper Pesto make a delightful accompaniment for Sangiovese.
5. A deVine Twist on Pesto pairs nicely with Barbera.
Do you have a favorite sauce to serve up when you’re pouring a big red?
March 4th, 2013
Skiing Date Props
Remember the Mystery Date game? The premise was for the player to collect enough cards in order to be ready for the date that will appear when she opens the door. The cards identify different components of an outfit. Naturally, each outfit corresponds to one of four dating scenarios including the formal dance date, bowling date, skiing date, and the beach date.
Keeping those scenarios in mind, what would happen if you replace collecting the right outfit with procuring corresponding wine and food? For example, say you’re going to the beach. What wine would you want to drink? Then consider what food you’d want to take on a beach date. Doesn’t that make food and wine pairing sound a lot easier than navigating a lot of rules about tannin and acidity in wine?
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January 28th, 2013
There is no doubt about it, Chardonnay is definitely one of the hubby’s favorite wine varieties. So as a Christmas gift to him, I organized a special wine dinner at home featuring Chardonnay along with some of his favorite food pairings.
Sure, a lot of people have moved to the ABC camp (Anything But Chardonnay). A big oaky Chardonnay isn’t for everyone, after all. Plus, the oakier the wine, the harder it can be to pair it with food. Pick the right foods, however, and you get some nice butter on butter action going between the food and the wine. That’s right, you had me at butter. Read the rest of this entry »
November 10th, 2012
Tulalip House Cured Lox
Looking for something to do this weekend? Then head to the Taste of Tulalip for the Grand Taste on Saturday, November 10th. When it comes to great food and wine, this event seriously has it going on. And I know I’ve said it before, but who would’ve thought a casino could do food so well? Yet, they do.
Last month I had the luxury of being a special guest at the Taste of Tulalip Preview Tweet Up – the kind of event that dreams are made of, filled with amazing food and creative chefs who push the envelope. Not to mention a bevy of beverages. As I savored each dish, I imagined what kind of wine I’d want to enjoy with it at the Grand Taste. Here are my suggestions.
The House Cured Sockeye Lox with shaved shallots, cucumber, Chevre, taro root crisp was delightful paired with Louis Roederer ’02 ‘Cristal.’ I would go for a do over!
Lemongrass Coconut Soup
The Lemongrass Coconut Soup wowed us with its aromatics which were amped up a notch by a ribbon of lemon zest tied around each diner’s spoon. I’d be tempted to seek out a Sauvignon Blanc with some citrus notes to pair with this comforting dish. I can just imagine the acidity of the wine cutting through the creaminess off the soup while the citrus characteristics play off one another. Read the rest of this entry »
September 9th, 2012
This recipe comes from my food and wine pairing instructor, Chef Lenny Rede with a slight tweak on my part. On the night he served this dish in class, these strawberries were the rich, syrupy contrast to fluffy, creamy desserts paired with bubbles. When I returned from a recent trip to Oregon with a bottle of dark vinegar wondering how best to use it, this preparation immediately came to mind.
- 2 pints strawberries, washed and hulled
- 3 tablespoons dark vinegar such as balsamic ( I used Willamette Valley Vineyards Black FigVinegar)
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
- Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spread the strawberries out on a baking sheet (Tip: for easy cleanup, cover your baking sheet with foil). Drizzle with vinegar, agave nectar or honey. Sprinkle salt on top. Shake the pan a bit to evenly distribute the vinegar. Bake for 25 minutes or until the strawberries are soft and the vinegar has become syrupy.
Strawberries ready for the oven
So, what to do with your roasted strawberries? Top your pancakes with them. Or follow the example set by the blog Scarborough Foodie and serve them atop toasted bread with goat cheese. Topping ice cream with roasted strawberries as done by the Flourishing Foodie is another option.
No matter how you serve the strawberries, I recommend pairing them with sparkling wine. When Chef Lenny served these berries in Food and Wine Pairing: Desserts class, we tasted them with Cerdon de Bugey, a lovely bubbly rosé composed of Gamay, La Spinetta Moscato which is so breathtaking it will have you calling for the smelling salts, and Pineto Brachetto D’Acqui. With regard to Brachetto, I ask, “where have you been, and why hasn’t anyone told me about you before?” If there is one thing I’ve learned after three years of food and wine pairing classes it’s that you can hardly ever go wrong with bubbles.
September 3rd, 2012
Cheers to new friends!
As we hustle down the hallway of the hotel a warning is shouted at the masses, “Get on a bus NOW! THE BUSES ARE ABOUT TO LEAVE!!” The sense of urgency makes me feel like we are on a ship that just ran into an iceberg and we’ll be doomed if we don’t save ourselves by finding a way out.
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August 26th, 2012
Photo by the author of "Chasing Jen"
I recently became acquainted with the author of the blog Chasing Jen. Documented on the blog is a delightful approach to pairing wine with fried chicken. One wine – the Coenobium Bianco – paired with six different flavor profiles of fried chicken, that is!
Consider me intrigued. After all, we often conduct experiments for deVine Table by serving a number of different wines alongside a variety of dishes to see what pairings work best. For example, one time we spent the better part of a day exploring wines to pair with Indian food. Mind you, tasting 6 Indian dishes and roughly a dozen wines was great fun! Read the rest of this entry »
August 12th, 2012
It’s the end of the quarter at Northwest Wine Academy. That means it’s time for me to prepare a food and wine pairing to present to the class as part of my grade. The topic is dessert wines.
I’m one of those people who craves the contrast between sweet and salty. So, when I saw a recipe for potato chip cookies, I whipped up a batch hoping to strike that balance. My partner on the project, Steve Roberts of the Wine Trails books and apps, tasted them and declared we had a winner.
After several taste tests and tweaks of the recipe, this is the final version that we will present in class.
This recipe is adapted from “Crazy About Cookies” by Krystina Castella. Read the rest of this entry »
August 8th, 2012
At The Capital Grille
It’s always a pleasure to dine at a restaurant with a nice wine list. However, if that wine list features 5,000 bottles, how do you go about picking just one for dinner? Maybe it’s time to try something new and adventurous. Or you might prefer to stick with the tried and true. I suggest you stop worrying about all that and head to The Capital Grille to experience five different world class wines with your meal for just $25. It’s called The Generous Pour Wine Event.
The Generous Pour Wine Event offers guests an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy generous pours of as many of the featured wines as they choose and the event exemplifies the expert, personalized service that The Capital Grille is known for. Guests will be guided through the experience, with suggested pairings and wine tasting notes for each course ordered. Read the rest of this entry »
July 22nd, 2012
Chilled cherry gazpacho
At a recent dinner to raise awareness for Bristol Bay, Blueacre Seafood served up a lovely and refreshing cherry gazpacho. Even with the focus on cherries, the dish was on the rich and savory side. I’m not exactly sure how Chef Kevin Davis accomplished that, but it certainly inspired me to give it a try.
This makes about 4 appetizer portions.
- 1/2 c toasted almonds
- 2 cups cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons raspberry vinegar
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
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