uncorkd

Doughnuts

I thought I was the best bicyclist on the face of the planet. I was only in the 5th grade, but I rode everywhere with no hands. I had a purple bananna seat bike with purple tassels and pink stripes. I loved the feeling of freedom as I rode around our neighborhood. On Sunday's, my friends and I would ride to a nearby Dunkin Doughnuts. I always chose a maple bar, and mostly just licked the icing off the top. One Sunday, as we rode home from the doughnut shop I turned around to say something to a friend and slammed into a parked car. Everyone belted out laughing! I picked up my bike and walked it all the way home. Although embarrassed, it wasn't long before I was out riding again, feeling the wind in my hair, with my arms still in the air.

Forget the milk or coffee and grab a glass of Champagne.  I'm not kidding you, Champagne works with almost any doughnut.  The bubbles contrast perfectly with the fried texture of the food and cleanse the dough off the palate.  The wine also helps to balance out the sweetness of the food with good acidity and counterbalances the buttery, greasy, goodness of this breakfast favorite.  Although Champagne is my wine of choice with doughnuts, other wines to try are Moscato d'Asti and Asti.

Guacamole & Chips

My grandmother is Latin and takes no crap from anyone...especially me. Her food reflects her personality, bold and muy caliente.   She prides herself on liking everything spicy and her guacamole and chips is no exception  She would see me break out in a sweat and say, "it doesn't have enough peppers!" Thanks to my grandmother, I can handle spicy food like a champ! To this day, I can still open her fridge and find fresh guacamole with tortilla chips nearby.

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is my wine of choice with guacamole and chips.  The wine has a grapefruit citrus character that brings out the lime in the dish.  Together, both the flavor of the food and wine explode in your mouth.  New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is also crisp helping to cut through the creaminess of the guacamole and stand up to the saltiness of the chips.  Other wines I enjoy with guacamole and chips are Gruner Veltliner, Torrontes, un-oaked Chardonnay and sparkling wine.

Chili

It was the beginning of fall when I moved to sea town.  I spent two years of my life in Seattle.  It is an experience I will never forget.  I was a young girl in a new city with no immediate family or friends.  The adjustment was drastic. I went from partying the night away in Vegas nightclubs to staying home most weekends with what seemed like endless rainy nights.  I missed the comfort of home.   On lunch breaks at work I would head to a nearby café and order a bowl of chili.  It was the best chili I’ve ever had in my life.  Chunky, slightly spicy and extremely hot!  For a few short moments I would forget about being homesick and loose myself in each and every bite.

Too bad I didn’t drink on those lunch breaks! A glass of Zinfandel would have been the perfect accompaniment to Chili.  Zinfandel is inherently meaty, helping to highlight the meat in the dish.  There is also a black pepper quality to many Zin’s, which works nicely with the spiciness of the Chili.  Both the wine and food are hearty making them an excellent match.  On cold days, this pairing will make you want to grab a blanket and take a quick nap!  Other wines to try with Chili are Malbec, Shiraz and for the white wine lovers out there, Riesling.

Reese's Buttercups

My mom still tells story of my first Halloween.  To be clear, I was 3 and had been prepped on how to pass out candy when the doorbell rang.   I anxiously waited for sun down and the sign of my first official tricker-treater.  “Ding, Dong!” I held the bowl of candy tight and followed my mom to the door.  Meanwhile, my grandmother was taking a bath down the hall.  The door opened, “trick or treat!” screamed three scary looking kids.  I threw the bowl of candy up in the air, ran to the bathroom where my grandmother was bathing and jumped right in, clinging onto her tight. Although I don’t remember this event, I do remember doing one thing all kids do, dumping all my candy on the floor and sorting through to find my favorites.  For me, this has always been Reese’s Buttercups.

I love the creamy peanut butter and chocolate flavor of Reese’s Buttercups.  Amontillado Sherry is my wine of choice with my favorite candy.  The Sherry is off-dry, which means it’s slightly sweet, rich and nutty.  When you taste both the wine and Reese’s together, the peanut butter flavor is heightened by the nuttiness of the wine.   The wine also has great acidity that helps cleanse the flavors off the palate in-between bites…because I can never eat just one!  Another fun wine to have with Reese’s Buttercups is Choc-a-Bloc by Stanley Lambert.  This Australian Tawny is liquid chocolate in a glass!