Fruit Roll-Ups with Wine

At the start of first grade I experienced my first crush.  His name was Andrew Finch and we sat next to each other in Mrs. Dunkin's class.  Oddly enough, we all lived on the same block.  Mrs. Dunkin wasn't the nicest of teachers.  She was a big woman who didn't seem to have a soft spot for children.  I think I was so enamored with Andrew that I completely forgot about how mean Mrs. Dunkin was.  As 2nd grade rolled around, Andrew and I entered the same class once again.  We would often walk home together since we lived on the same street.  I still have a diary entry that reads, "April 3, 1991 - Today Andrew walked by me.  I love him and I dream about him!"  On many occasions we'd sit together at lunch.  I'd wrap my strawberry fruit roll-up around my finger or try to make shapes out of it while we ate and laughed with our friends.  The day finally came that he announced in front of the class that I was his girlfriend.  I couldn't believe it!  I ran to my friends after school to tell them what happened.  Come to find out he also told both of my friends, Sophia and Bridgett that they were his girlfriend as well.  Andrew turned out to be not only my first crush, but my first heartbreak too.

Most kids growing up in the 1990's had a fruit roll-up packed in their lunch bag.  It was fun to be silly with the snack and as you can see, I'm still having fun with it today.  Fruit roll-ups aren't over the top sweet.  They have a slight sourness to them and a smooth, rubbery texture.  Strawberry is still my favorite flavor and I absolutely love this snack with German "Kabinett" Riesling.  Kabinett refers to the lowest level of sugar in the 6 subcategories of high quality German wine.  These wines are typically low in alcohol and extremely food friendly.  After a bite of the food and then a sip of the wine I notice the acidity in the wine mirrors the tart flavors of the fruit roll-up.  The acidity in both also cancel each other out and you're left with a strawberry explosion in your mouth.  Other wines to try with a fruit roll-up are off-dry sparkling wine (esp. rose), demi-sec Champagne (esp. rose), still/sparkling demi-sec Vouvray, Moscato d'Asti and Brachetto d'Acqui. Cheers!

Strawberry Shortcake with Wine

I've always been ambitious.  Even at the age of 7 I devised a plan to make money.  I decided I would sell all my toys that I no longer played with in a yard sale.  I set up a blanket on our front lawn in a little town called Kingsburg, California and waited for the neighborhood kids to see me.  Looking back I don't remember my mother ever asking what I was doing.  I can only guess she thought I was playing on the lawn.  I priced everything to sell with little makeshift stickers.  Some items were marked ten cents and others a quarter.  As my friends made their way over, everyone was interested in touching all of my toys.  One girl in particular picked up a strawberry shortcake doll with the matching scented hair and shouted, "I'll take this!"  Although I had originally been happy to sell it, seeing her interest in it made me change my mind.  "No, I'm keeping that!", I said as I grabbed it out of her hands.  What seemed like a great idea originally, now had me scrambling to pack everything up to take back inside the house.  The strawberry shortcake doll stopped me not only from selling toys my mother had spent hard earned money on, but also made me realize I needed to find a better way to make money.  It wasn't long before I plotted my next venture...

Strawberry shortcake is a favorite of mine all year long.  It's easy to make and doesn't require a lot of ingredients.  The wine I enjoy most with this dish is a demi-sec (slightly sweet) Vouvray (VOOV-ray) from the Loire Valley of France.  Vouvray is made from the grape Chenin Blanc and produces a wine with aromas of flowers, honey, red apples, and lemon along with a ton of crisp acidity.  This wine comes in a number of styles from sec (almost no sugar), to sparkling, to doux (sweet).  Vouvray is great with food because of that crisp acidity.  Strawberries as we know are extremely tart.  The acidity in the wine matches the acidity in the dish and cuts through the whip cream, helping to cleanse the palate.  After a bite of the food and then a sip of the wine I notice the wine works to bring out every flavor in the dish.  The strawberry and shortbread flavors are heightened and the creaminess of the dish works nicely against the creaminess of the wine.  The fruit in the wine also plays nicely off the strawberry flavors in the dish, and as with any great pairing neither is lost.  Other wines to try with strawberry shortcake are demi-sec Champagne (esp. Rose), Sauternes, Moscato d'Asti, Muscat based late harvest dessert wines, ruby Port, Banyuls, off-dry to sweet Riesling and semisweet sparkling wines.