October food and wine pairings

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!

Candy Corn with Wine

The Story:

If I was a cat, I'd be working on my 5th life.  Here's my list of how I cheated death...

1. Jaundice at birth

2. Swept out to sea while laying on the beach

3. Car shooting

4. Melanoma 

 The Pairing:

I had a hard time pairing candy corn with wine and will probably need a couple more go's at it.  Although the 2006 Forrest Botrytised Riesling from Marlborough, New Zealand is a delicious bottle of dessert wine, its flavors masked that of the candy corn and the wine was slightly sweeter than the food.  I thought the honey-like texture, along with its flavor profile would be a surefire match, but that isn't always the outcome.

If you're wondering what "Botrytised" means, it's basically a mold that develops on the grapes.  Normally mold is bad, but this mold is actually beneficial, helping to dehydrate the grapes and concentrates the flavors, while also adding it's own flavor.  If you'd like to try the wine, you can expect aromas of apricot, honey and toffee (sounds like it would work with candy corn, right) and a silky texture along with beautiful acidity that helps to balance out the sweetness of the wine.  And although the wine sells for around $28 a bottle, it's currently on sell for $15 at Khoury's Fine Wine & Spirits in Las Vegas, Nevada.  To find out more about this wine, please visit: http://www.forrest.co.nz/.

Comments:

Please let me know your comments in the section below!  Any questions on my list of near death experiences?  What is your list?  Cheers!

Nutter Butters with Wine

The Story:

It's 1 a.m and I've just poured myself a glass of leftover Gruet Chardonnay to help heal the pain.  I've been up crying, mostly on the phone to my mother; sorry mom!  Not to mention, I have black eyeliner smeared all over my face.  It's not the first time wine has come to my rescue, nor I'm sure will it be the last.

In October of 2001, I had my first panic attack.  My brother walked in the room and asked what was wrong, "I think I'm having a heart attack!" I mumbled.   I remember seeing the look of fear on his face.  He threw me in the car and rushed me to the hospital.  After an EKG and a lingering pain in my chest, I was diagnosed as having a panic attack.  No one knows why they happen.  I guess you just get to a place of overwhelming fear and your body reacts.

The next couple years were rough.  I dreaded having another panic attack so greatly that my blood pressure was through the roof.  The doc wanted to put me on Zoloft but I didn't think it was the best solution (plus, ladies, you totally loose your interest in men; might be a good thing now that I think about)!  So, when I felt anxious or nervous, I would keep wine in the fridge and have a sip or two to help calm me down.  I think it was White Zin but who cares, right?

Although I thought I was going "nutty" from fear of having another panic attack, riding in cars or not having a hospital nearby, I eventually regained my sanity.  This evening, I call on wine to help heal me once more, but for different reasons this time.  The stress that comes with wanting something that you don't know you will ever achieve is more than I can bare.  I know many of you aren't religious but I hope I don't offend you by saying that I called out to God (screamed, really) for help.  I often pray but tonight was more than a prayer.  I want to get back to the place where I enjoy my life again, where I do things for joy, not for what the final outcome will be.

So tonight, as wine helps me to lick my wounds and dry my tears, I realize that life is about more than the final destination...and I'm going to be ok no matter what the result is, because really, I have everything I've ever wanted, right here, right now.  Cheers.

The Pairing:

I've already wrote more than enough to bore you, but what I will say is that this is one of my favorite pairings of all time.  The 2007 Gruet Chardonnay from Albuquerque, New Mexico , along with Nutter Butters proves the power that wine and food have together.  Although both are easy to enjoy individually, combined they create greatness.  Both the wine and food are creamy and buttery on the palate, mirroring each other.  The peanut butter flavor is also taken to a whole new level and intensified, yet the flavor of the wine still lingers in the background along with a hint of citrus.  And if you're looking for an inexpensive, Burgundian style (area in France that specializes in this grape) Chardonnay...this is your wine.  Cheers!

Comments:

Please let me know your comments in the section below!  I mentioned wine is always there when I'm hurting, but it's also by my side for all my successes too.  When has wine been there for you?  Let's chat!

Caramel Popcorn with Wine

The Story:

I have a question, is caramel pronounced CARE-uh-mel or CAR-mul?  Isn't it annoying how several words have different ways of saying them?  For instance, the word aunt.  Do you pronounce it ON-t or ANT?  What about tomato, is it TOE-may-toe or TOE-ma-toe?  How the hell or we supposed to know?  Should I do a search on Forvo.com or hire a speech therapist?  Lord knows I have a hard enough time with all the French, Italian and worst of all, Greek wine names and terms (Caution, beware of wine snobs when pronouncing wine terms...I've embarrassed the heck out of myself)!  It seems like the difference between looking like a complete idiot who doesn't know English often has to do with where you were raised.  Take the word soda for instance.  Part of the country calls it pop.  Growing up, I distinctly remember my grandmother referring to Wednesday as WHENS-dee and the refrigerator as the "ice box."  One thing is for sure, when caramel is mixed with salty popcorn and just the right wine, no one is paying attention to how you say it!

The Pairing:

To kick off the month of October, I've decided to pair a Halloween favorite, caramel popcorn with wine.  To achieve this I chose a bottle of 2008 Trisaetum Riesling ($29.99)  from the Willamette Valley of Oregon (and let me tell you, if you haven't tried Oregon Riesling, you're in for a huge surprise)!  The name of the producer is pronounced TRIS-a-tum (since we're on the subject of pronouncing things correctly!).  "Wine Enthusiast" gave the wine 94 points out of 100 saying, "dense and still light, it brings honey, tea, lemon, nectarine, jasmine, lime, caramel and sweet nut flavors together, a riotous jumble that is beyond delicious."  Ok, I'm convinced:)~  After a bite of the food and then a sip of the wine, I notice the sugar levels are right on par.  The acidity in the wine lengthens the caramel flavor of the popcorn and the two come together seamlessly.  I also like that the wine has a syrupy texture, similar to the film that's left on the tongue by the popcorn, but yet has refreshing acidity to wash the grease/oil and salt off the tongue.  What a great way to start fall, don't you think?

Just an FYI, this wine is sold out on their website http://trisaetum.com.  However, Khoury's Fine Wine and Spirits should still have a few bottles in stock, here in Las Vegas.  Good luck and cheers!

Comments:

Please let me know your comments in the section below!  What words do you have a hard time pronouncing?  What do you enjoy eating during the month of October? Let’s chat!