Loaded Baked Potato Pringles with Wine

Pringles® are addicting.  The moment you pop the airtight seal and catch a whiff of the delicious Loaded Baked Potato scent, you're hooked.  I think the serving size should be changed to include the caloric content of the entire can.  I don't know a person alive who can stop themselves from eating more than the suggested serving.  It's as if they put some sort of chemical substance in them that makes your brain tell your hand to keep reaching in the can and stuffing your face until its empty.  And as kid who loved to play with my food, Pringles® served as the perfect duck lips to annoy my grandmother with by making quacking noises.  Several times I attempted to take a sip of a drink with the chips placed like this in my mouth.  Crazy as it sounds I was able to accomplish it since Pringles® are so durable.  Loaded Baked Potato is my favorite flavor.  The visual I get when I think of this flavor convinced me to try them.  Needles to say, I wasn't disappointed.  True to my wine loving nature my next question was, "Hmm, what wine should I pair with Pringles®?"

Duck lips and wine.  Now that's what I call sophistication!  Contrary to popular belief, Pringles® are fried, not baked.  When thinking of what wine to pair with my favorite flavor I had to take the greasiness of the food into consideration.  In the end I chose Chablis.  Chablis is a white wine made from the Chardonnay grape in Burgundy, France.  The wine has aromas of flowers, green apple and citrus with a distinct note of flint or steel from the soil.  Unlike many of the big, rich, buttery and oaky Chardonnays most people are familiar with, this one is quite different.  The cool climate gives the wine a lighter body and incredible spark of acidity that is missing in most "New World" Chardonnays.  After a bite of the food and then a sip of the wine I notice the sour cream and chive flavors spring forth.  Even the bacon flavor makes a small cameo appearance.  Both the wine and the chip feel light and crisp, mirroring each other.  Neither the wine nor the food out does the other.  There is really a balance of flavors and synergy that happens when you combine both.  The acidity in the wine washes the salt and grease off the tongue and I find myself continuing to reach in the can for another chip accompanied by another sip of wine.  Other wines to try with Loaded Baked Potato Pringles® are Pinot Noir (esp. Oregon or New Zealand), Chinon, Pinot Grigio, Kabinett Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc (esp. New Zealand), Cava, Champagne and Sparkling wine.  Cheers!

Fish Tacos with Wine

Boats and I don't rock well together.  As much as I can see myself vacationing on a yacht in Southern France, my stomach turns at the thought of it.  I've been on cruise ships, catamarans and even speed boats.  I'm fine at first, but if the waves get to be too much, my head is hung over the edge.  My trip to Aruba in the summer of 2007 was no exception.  I love adventure.  I'll try almost anything as long as it doesn't involve jumping off the side of a bridge or out of an airplane.  We scheduled an array of activities while on the island.  ATV-ing, parasailing, horseback riding and last but not least, snorkeling.  Snorkeling is extremely boring to me but because I didn't want to upset my boyfriend, I participated.  Did I mention there is a boat involved with getting out to the coral reefs?  If the boat ride wasn't enough, the waves were high that day and my head was bobbing around like a beach ball on top of the water.  I felt the urge to throw up but held it in.  Then some insane woman next to me pulled a bagel out of her swimsuit and shredded it into pieces underwater.  Next thing I know, what seemed like a million fish swarmed past me.  I screamed so loud you would have thought a shark had attacked me!  I swam to the boat as fast as I could and once on-board, held my head in my hands.  Fish tacos were being served for lunch but I wasn't having any of it.  I won't say that I'll never get on a boat again but remind me to pack Dramamine and check bathing suits for hidden bagels!

Pra Soave Classico is one of my favorite summertime sippers.  Soave is a white wine from the Veneto region of Italy.  The wine is full of stone fruit and citrus with a beautifully crisp mineral finish.  Pra is slightly fuller-bodied than your usual Soave and has an incredible balance.  And for the price, (around $15) you can't beat the quality.  Whether you prefer your fish tacos grilled or fried, the wine will work beautifully.  I personally enjoy fried fish tacos, but to each his own.  After a bite of the taco and then a sip of the wine I notice the wine act somewhat as a lemon.  It adds that fresh spritz of citrus that squeezing a lime or lemon on the taco does.  The weight of the wine holds its own against the tortilla and batter fried fish so that neither one gets lost.  Finally the crisp acidity stands up to the sour cream sauce, mimics the crispness of the cabbage and helps to cleanse the palate in-between bites.  Absolutely delicious!  Other wines to try with fish tacos are Assyrtiko (Greek white wine), Sauvignon Blanc (esp. New Zealand), Albarino, Vinho Verde, Chardonnay (esp. for grilled fish tacos), Rose (esp. Navarra region of Spain), Pinot Grigio, Riesling (esp. lighter/crisper versions) and Prosecco.  Cheers!

Tamales with Wine

Christmas comes and goes in the blink of an eye.  Shortly after buying the tree, decorating, and purchasing gifts, you're eating Christmas dinner and opening presents.  Every year at Christmas time, we'd meet at my grandmother's house for a huge feast.  Because my grandmother is Mexican, tamales are always served alongside our traditional Christmas dinner.  Around 3 o'clock on Christmas day, we all gather around my grandmother's table to enjoy the celebration.  I head straight for the pork tamales, knowing they'll be gone fast.  After piling the food on our plates, everyone is ready to eat and talk about Christmas's past.  This is where the dinner takes a turn for the worst.  It never fails that someone ends up crying, getting upset, embarrassed or arguing.  I like to sit back and watch the show.  It wouldn't be Christmas without the chaos!

My grandmother likes everything hot!  This includes her tamales.  To tame the spice, I grab a bottle of German Riesling (Spatlese for slightly spicy and Auslese for extremely spicy).  German Riesling is amazing with spicy foods because the sugar in the wine helps to counteract the spice. The wine's fruit flavors are set off by the corn and pork filling of the tamale.  The pairing is a beautiful contrast between savory/spicy and sweet.  The wine also has incredible acidity that helps to wash the food off your tongue and refresh the palate.  As well, German Riesling is great for sipping, making it the perfect bottle to open prior to eating dinner.  Here's to wishing you and your family and very Merry Christmas!  Other wines to try with Tamales are Malbec, Rose, light Merlot, Rioja, Pinot Grigio, dry Sparkling wine (esp. Cava or sparkling Vinho Verde) and off-dry to sweet wine.