I was only 5 when "Lady and the Tramp" was released on VHS in 1987, yet my young mind instinctively knew that the trick of getting someone you like to eat the opposite end of a spaghetti strand might come in handy one day. Sure, it was two dogs, but when they met in the center and kissed, I pictured myself with my first childhood crush. At the dinner table I would hold one end of my spaghetti strand while I slurped up the other. Of course, my grandmother was not happy with this, and quickly taught me to swirl the spaghetti around my fork using a spoon. One day in my first grade class we were using cold spaghetti to create an art project and you can only imagine where my mind went when I glanced at Andrew Finch across the room. Had he seen "Lady and the Tramp" too? Was he thinking what I was thinking and if so, how do I find out? As I created my project, my mind raced at the thought of us eating spaghetti together. I was obviously more interested in the kiss at the end (sorry moms, I have to admit I was thinking about kissing at 6), but still pictured the entire scene playing out. Unfortunately I never got that kiss from Andrew Finch (I wonder what he looks like now), but I have had someone special eat the opposite end of a spaghetti strand with me, and this time in the heart of Italy!
No other food says family to me like spaghetti and meatballs. It's served "family" style and typically the kids have a hand in forming the meatballs. During Halloween, I like to make the meatballs look like eyeballs with a little marinara sauce underneath to give the impression of blood. Kids and adults get a kick out of it (warning, weak stomachs beware)! I wanted to use something other than an Italian wine for this dish, so I chose the 2006 Twenty Rows "The Grappler" red blend from California to round out the pairing. The wine was named "The Grappler" as an ode to the winemaker's sons who loved the sport of wrestling. The Grappler is 60% Zinfandel, 30% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Zin lends cherry flavors to the wine, Syrah offers a fleshy(meaty) mid-palate and Cab gives a well structured earthy backbone. After a bite of the food and then a sip of the wine, I like how the peppery spice in both the food and wine work together. Next, the meat flavor shows up for a cameo. I also notice how well the powerful yet smooth texture of the wine works with the meatiness of the dish, complimenting each other. Finally, the wine's finish helps to prolong the flavors of the food, creating an even more enjoyable experience. I have to say that although I liked both the wine and food on their own, when paired together they seem even better. Cheers!
Please let me know your comments in the section below! What symbolizes spaghetti and meatballs for you? Do you do things with your food to make it look scary for Halloween? If so, what foods? Let’s chat!