trishmcmillen

What WINE pairs with being a Gangster?

What WINE pairs with being a Gangster?

I was known as La Niña (little one) on the streets of LA. Although I was only 11 at the time, life's circumstances had me playing the role of a much wiser, young woman in a predominantly Mexican neighborhood; otherwise known as barrio.

Spinach Dip with Wine

The Story:

Party-goer: What are you doing?

George: What?

Party-goer: Did... did you just double dip that chip?

George: Scuze-me?

Party-goer: YOU DOUBLE DIPPED THE CHIP!

George: Double dipped?  Wha-what are you talkin about?


Party-goer: You dipped the chip, you took a bite... and you dipped again!


George: So?

Party-goer: THAT'S LIKE PUTTING YOUR WHOLE MOUTH RIGHT IN THE DIP! Look, from now on when you take a chip, just take one dip and END IT!

 

Don't let this pretty little face fool you.  I might look sweet and innocent but like George on the above episode of Seinfeld, I'm guilty of double dipping.  It's not a deliberate act by any means.  My hand just suddenly starts motioning back toward the dip without any conscious thought on my part.  I seriously get dip amnesia!  And when a bottle of wine is added to the equation, you might as well call the doctor (or slap my hand) because I've totally lost control!

The Pairing:

To complete my 3 part football food and wine pairing series, I chose Spinach Dip.  Popeye would be so proud!  And to accompany it, I chose a bottle of 2008 Mormoraia Vernaccia di San Gimignano (Mormoraia is the producer, Vernaccia is the grape and San Gimignano is a town in Tuscany, Italy - and absolutely breathtaking by the way).  This underrated Italian white wine is full of wild flowers, citrus and herbs.  After a bite of the food and then a sip of the wine, I notice the creamy herb flavors in both the food and wine take center stage and continue through to the finish (aftertaste).  The wine's bright acidity cuts through the creaminess of the dish, but at 12.5% alcohol, still has enough body to stand up to the heaviness of the dip.  The acidity also contrasts the salt from the chips and helps to cleanse the palate in-between bites.  Yummy!

Comments:

Please let me know your comments in the section below!  What do you think of George and I's double dipping madness?  What do you eat when watching football? Let's chat!

Chex Mix with Wine

"Watching people chase a ball for four hours to end 0 - 0 is not enjoyable.  Nothing can help me care about soccer. Oh, ‘it’s the most popular sport in the world.’ Probably because it’s cheap to play.  It costs a ball.  Once every four years, America pretends to care about it.  And yes, I call it ‘soccer.’  Don’t correct me because I don’t care what they call it in other lands — I speak America.  Sorry world, we already have football and it’s way better. It’s supposed to be played by 300 pound men, eight-seconds at a time, not five-foot, six-inch fairies lightly jogging for three hours, or however long your game is…buy a scoreboard!"

This was Daniel Tosh's rant about football vs. soccer.  Although I played soccer as a kid and absolutely enjoyed every minute, I have to agree that it's got to be one of the most boring games to watch on TV (my big brother is going to kill me for saying this).  Watching men get physical is just part of our human DNA.  Take the Colleseum for instance, Romans were killing each other and fighting animals while everyone sat back and ate popcorn thousands of years ago.  Well, maybe not popcorn, but you get what I mean.  Wine was probably flowing as people heckled the fighters and although I'm not one for extreme fighting, the wine part sounds right up my alley.

Football is such a huge part of the American culture that I can't help but think it offends plenty of Americans to hear soccer referred to as "football" in other countries.  Football is anything but "soccer" and the pride we take in representing our cities can lead to black eyes and broken friendships, plus the occasional riot.  My heart hurt when the Seahawks finally made it to the Superbowl and lost.  The feeling of despair was like a death in the family.  So the next time you refer to soccer as "football," keep that in mind.

To celebrate the start of the season, I've chosen the party favorite, Chex Mix.  You can typically find it sitting on coffee tables during the game, tempting you to grab a handful.  Chex Mix is a super salty snack mix that includes Chex Mix cereal, hard breadsticks, pretzels and crackers.  Typically, beer would be the go to choice with this snack but because I'm a crazy wino, I had to pair it up.  My first thought was White Zinfandel, but because I'm so against it, I decided to choose an off-dry bubbly from Spain called Vi D'Agulla.  I chose this wine because it's bubbly like beer and slightly less sweet than White Zinfandel.  I figured I had found a compromise that met in the middle of both.

After a bite of the food and then a sip of the wine, I immediately like how the touch of sugar in the wine counterbalances the salitness of the snack, while the acidity contrasts it.  Although I will say, the wine could have used a tad bit more sugar to better balance out the salt.  The flavor of the pretzels were heightened after the initial shock from the wine's intense flavors.  Finally, the finish was a little bitter and made me wonder why I didn't just leave my pride at the door and grab a bottle of White Zin, or an off-dry sparkling rose.  Overall, not a terrible pairing but not a huge wow factor here, either.  Cheers!

 

Wine featured in this photo: 2009 Vi D'Agulla Avinyo (Available at Khoury's Fine Wine & Spirits $12.99)

Teriyaki Wings with Wine

Cheerleaders have all the fun I thought, as a freshman entering high school.    Let me see, you're popular, pretty, have a ton of new friends and all the boys want you, I'm in!  I fantasized about dating the captain of the football team and being crowned Homecoming Queen.  Problem was, I couldn't do the splits to save my life, let alone remember a routine.  And then there's that little difficulty I had with showing up for school.  If I wasn't rolling out of bed late, my friends and I were plotting ways to ditch class.  I clearly wasn't cut out for it!

At high school pep rallys I would sit back and watch as the cheerleaders tried to get the crowd excited for an upcoming game.  A permanent smile was planted on their face as they performed for the audience.  I'm guessing I wasn't the only one who wondered if they had briefs on underneath those tiny skirts.  I braced myself for the worst every time they kicked a leg in the air, while at the same time almost every boy hoped for a sneak peak.  I thought it was unfair that cheerleaders got to wear uniforms that were the equivalent of a modern day bathing suit and I had to look like Little House On The Prairie with a skirt to my knees.  They clearly had the advantage in high school!

Although my fantasy of becoming a cheerleader never turned into a reality, a girl can still pretend!  As a toast to football season starting, I decided to pair a party favorite, teriyaki wings, with wine.  I chose the 2006 Selbach Riesling Bernkasteler Kurfurstlay from the Mosel region of Germany for the pairing.  Germany has 4 quality levels starting with the lowest, Deutscher Tafelwein (table wine), Deutscher Landwein (country wine), QbA (quality wine from a specific region) and the highest, QmP (superior quality wine).  This wine falls in the QbA category and is an enjoyable, everyday wine.  After a bite of the food and then a sip of the wine, I notice the sugar levels of both aren't perfectly in sync but close enough to be enjoyable.  Although the wine has a ton of diesel and citrus on the nose, the stone fruit flavors come out on the palate and mix nicely with the teriyaki sauce.  The crispness of the wine matches the fried texture of the wings and helps to wash all the grease off the tongue, making you want to go in for another bite.  Both the food and wine are simple and enjoyable, creating a tasty little pairing.  And I bet any cheerleader would CHEERS to that!

 

Wine featured in this photo: 2006 Selbach Riesling Bernkasteler Kurfurstlay (Available at Khoury's Fine Wine & Spirits $12.99)