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Showing posts from March, 2013

Pairing: Movie Night

Popcorn and Prosecco!
Ordinarily, we have movie night every Friday. This week, a newly purchased jar of truffle salt has insisted that we pop some corn and throw in a movie a day early. And, Oh Happy Days, I had a bottle of Cupcake Prosecco ready to go. It's a budget-friendly sparkling Italian wine that pairs remarkably well with our movie night snack of choice, truffle popcorn.

To make the popcorn:
Glug a hefty splash of olive oil into a saucepan and heat Add enough popcorn kernels to cover the bottom of the panPut a lid on it, then give a vigorous shakeWait... When you hear the first kernel pop, start shaking furiously for a bit When you can count two "MISSISSIPPI" in between pops, turn off the heat Pour popcorn into a bowl and sprinkle with copious amounts (or to taste) of truffle saltToss and serveCupcake Prosecco is not as fruity as some others you'll find and the bubbles sing in harmony with the savory and lip-smackingly good popcorn.


Coming down the mountain...

Turnip fries and Viognier
There were several highs from our recent snowy weekend in the Tahoe. One worthy of official mentioning was the meal we had on our way home. We pulled off in Placerville and found The Independent Restaurant and Bar. It was warm enough to sit out on their sundrenched patio, which sorta guranteed that we were going to have a great meal.

I had the soup-of-the-day, which was lamb stew, and couldn't resist ordering the turnip fries. Now, what to drink...

Their wine list has a really nice selection of varietals and features many local (Sierra Foothills, El Dorado, California Shenandoah AVAs) vineyards. I spotted a Viognier and was delighted. 

Viognier is a white wine grape with a lush aromatic qualities and loads of peachy character. All the fresh harvest scrumptiouness of Viognier goes really well with fall and winter foods (think roasted root veggies or Thanksgiving dinner). The turnip fries in particular paired perfectly with the 2009 Lava Cap Viognier.

A little…

Save the Guinness for your pudding...

Have Rose with your Corned Beef!
I just read this recipe for Chocolate Guinness Pudding. I've always liked wine just as well as beer with my corned beef, but this recipe has tipped the scales. This year, I'll be enjoying my Guinness at the end of the meal and serving Rose with dinner.

Rose goes perfectly with all the fatty goodness of a St. Patrick's day meal. Champagne and California Pinot Noir also pair nicely with corned beef, but a chilled glass of fruity pink Rose that is bursting with strawberry flavor will brighten everything on your plate. Try a Rose of Malbec from Argentina.

Slainte!

Wine tasting 101

It's your turn to host the party...
Seems that as of late, I'm going to the same party again and again. Dinner, sometimes with a theme (jambalya Oscar bash), drinks and good conversation. Don't get me wrong. I have wonderful friends, and we *mostly* have a lovely time, but now and again I think mixing up our normal routine would do us all some good. So when it was our turn to play host, I thought it'd be the perfect opportunity to test out my newly acquired wine deduction (i.e. tasting) skills. Here's what we did: 

To set up a wine tasting you'll want to provide a few things:
Wine (details to follow)Sensory evaluation sheets: Breaks down the deduction process. Find a form online and print one copy for each guests for every wine you'll try.A taste chart: A list of the common flavors/aromas in wine to help your guests articluate what it is they are tasting/smelling. Find one of online and print out a few copies.
Because you'll be providing the drinks, you cou…