Halloween food and wine pairing

Pumpkin Pancakes with Wine

The Story:

It seems like being a ghost would be a pretty good gig.  You get to walk through walls, float in the air and scare people.  You can make lights flicker, TVs turn on and trick people by moving their stuff around.  You also get to mess with little kids at slumber parties who play with wigi boards and make pet owners think their dog is crazy for barking at the air.  Best of all, you can ease drop on conversations without anyone knowing you're there or disappear if you don't like a situation.  This could have come in handy on more than one occasion!  What's bad about being a ghost?  Well, the fact that you're dead (and that's a big one) and you are no longer able to enjoy things like pumpkin pancakes with wine, of course!

The Pairing:

I'm a fan of shaking things up a bit and serving breakfast for dinner on special occasions.  Halloween is a great day to show the kids your wild side by dishing up pumpkin pancakes after several hours of working up an appetite trick or treating.  Pour them a glass of milk and you a glass of 2006 Forrest Estate Botrytised Riesling to help unwind.  Of course, if you don't have children or just want to provide your honey with breakfast in bed on Halloween, this wine is perfect since it only has 9% alcohol and won't slow down your day.  I recently sampled this Riesling with candy corn and although the sweetness of the wine somewhat overwhelmed the candy, it was perfect with pumpkin pancakes.  This is probably due to the heaping amount of maple syrup most of us like on our cakes!  The apricot and honey flavors of the wine married well with the pumpkin and spice from the pancakes and the maple flavors of the syrup.  Texturally they're both silky smooth, yet the wine has an incredible natural acidity that helps to wash all the food off the palate.  Cheers and Enjoy!

Comments:

Please leave your comments in the section below!  Do you have any scary ghost stories (my lights flickered the other day)?  Would you rather have pumpkin pancakes for breakfast or dinner, or is there something else you enjoy serving on Halloween?  Let's chat!

Spaghetti & Meatballs with Wine

The Story:

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!

The Pairing:

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!

Comments:

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!