What Courtney's Drinking this week

In-N-Out® with Wine

If there was a hierarchy among wines, Cabernet Sauvignon would be king.  You might be wondering what's the big deal?  Well, to sum it up, many Cabernet Sauvignon based wines are capable of aging for decades upon decades.  They can turn into a delicious smoke, earth and nut packed version that is worth big money.  New World versions, which is really anywhere outside of Bordeaux, are fruiter and less tannic and therefore ready to drink sooner.  Napa Valley is home to some the most prized Cab's in the world.  Bordeaux versions can take years to soften to even be palatable and can cost mucho denaro!

Now, if Cabernet Sauvignon is the king of all red wines than In-N-Out® is the king of all burgers (in my opinion that is).  In-N-Out's® burgers aren't complicated, too greasy or too messy.  They're just simple and delicious.  Since today is "Cabernet Day," I figured I'd celebrate by picking up my favorite burger, a Double Double with cheese, ketchup, lettuce and tomato, along with my go to Cab of choice with this dish, Justin Vineyards!  When choosing a red wine to go with burgers, you want something that's typically fruity and not over the top tannic.  The toppings and condiments are huge factor for determining what wine will work best.  After a bite of my burger and then a sip of the wine, I notice how the meat acts almost as a protective shield against the wine's tannin.  The wine suddenly seems smoother and they feel equally heavy on the palate.  The creaminess of the cheese mimics the creaminess of the wine and the flavor of the meat is intensified by the flavor of the wine.  This pairing is a total must try!  Cheers and Happy Cabernet Day!

Peach Pie with Wine

I'm feeling just peachy this Sunday afternoon, so I decided to make homemade peach pie!  Although I'm not the best chef, I can definitely throw down on some pie!

To make this pie complete, I grabbed a bottle of 2008 Mohua Riesling from Central Otago, New Zealand.  The wine is full of stone fruit including peach, apricot and apple with a touch of sweetness that balances out the wine's zesty acidity.  There's also a hint of minerality that gives the wine a sense of place.  After a bite of the food and then a sip of the wine, I notice a little ping pong action happening.  First, the fruit flavors found in the wine make an appearance and then bounce back to the flavor of the peaches and pie crust.  I enjoy that both the flavors of the food and wine mirror each other.  Then, just when I think its over, the wine's flavor comes springing back and the acidity helps to wash the food off the palate.  It's a great way to quench your thirst and give in to your sweet tooth on this extremely hot, Sunday afternoon!  Cheers!

If you're local to Las Vegas, you can find the 2008 Mohua Riesling at Khoury's Fine Wine & Spirits ($16)

Filet-O-Fish® with Wine

My breath is going to stink after this one!  Filet-O-Fish® is the equivalent of a vegetarian's hamburger with battered fish, cheese and tartar sauce.  I recently picked up this bottle of 2009 Tres Olmos Verdejo to pair with a tuna salad sandwich.  When the pairing worked better with a different wine I had chosen, I decided this wine was too good not to enjoy with something tasty!

The 2009 Tres Olmos Verdejo from Rueda, Spain has an outstanding reputation.  Robert Parker, the top wine critic of our day scored this wine 90 points out of 100.  "It offers up an alluring perfume of jasmine, mineral, nutmeg, white peach, and apricot. In the glass it displays unusual richness for Verdejo, impeccable balance, and a lengthy, fruit-filled finish. Drink this pleasure-bent effort over the next 3-4 years. It is an outstanding value."  Ok, I'm sold!  After a bite of the Filet-O-Fish® and then a sip of the wine,  I notice the fish and bread flavors spring forth.  The wine's citrus notes feel like I've just squeezed a lemon over the top of the fish.  The wine also does a nice job of matching the acidity found in the tartar sauce and helps to wash the oily fish and tartar sauce flavors off the palate.  And because I love fried food accompanied by a crisp white wine, I am more than pleased with this pairing.  Enjoy!

If you are local to Las Vegas, you can find this wine at Khoury's Fine Wine & Spirits.

The Perfect Summer Snack

Pineapple fruit bars and the 2008 Okanogan Estate Vineyards Gewurztraminer...perfect for a hot summer day!  The tropical fruit flavors in the wine work beautifully against the pineapple flavor of the fruit bar.  The wine is also off-dry (slightly sweet), allowing it to work with the sweetness of the dessert.  Remember, when pairing anything sweet with wine, the wine must be as sweet or sweeter than the dessert.  Finally, I love how the chill from the wine mirrors the frozen aspect of the bar.  It's a delicious pairing that might just become your favorite summer-time wine & food snack!