Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Changing Perceptions of Pairings

When it comes to food and wine, some consumers believe that there is some sort of formula when pairing the two. Right now, I want you, who are reading this to remember back to a time that you were told to drink red wines with beef and whites with seafood and poultry, now remove that suggestion from your mind. In the words of Eddie Murphy who starred the Nutty Professor's, "Yes I Can." Following suit, I now say to you, yes you can switch up your pairings. If it's a hot day but you don't want to sit inside the restaurant (example, because of the hot weather, there's beautiful half dressed eye candy roaming thoughout the city), and for some reason you're in the mood for a flank steak, don't be afraid to pair it with a full bodied Chardonnay, a Pinot Gris from Australia, or a Blanc from Northern Rhone in France. On the flipside, if you are in Monterey county and you are sitting outside (note to anyone who isn't from the southbay of California, even on hot days, the nights tend to get a bit chilly out there), you order the broiled catfish, but are reluctant to drink a white wine because of the windy chill derived from the coast, "don't be scared," suck it up and order a red. It's okay to order a Pinot Noir from Oregon, Burgandy in France, Otago in New Zealand, or maybe if you're at a Italian restaurant, order a Sangiovese from Tuscany. Either of the previous wines should pair extremely well with your catfish, or most of big flavored fish. So step up to the plate, try new things and like in life, don't be afraid to make a mistake, if you want to better understand yourself, those mistakes are necessary to you truly understanding yourself and in the case of wine, your palate. To all of you wonderful foodies and winos who grace my site with your presence, have a good Labor Day, and if you are doing something interesting leave a response so I know what's crackin' these weekend. To good wine, food and company, I raise my glass to you.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bubbles, bubbles, and more bubbles - Lambrusco Dell’emilia Bianco Dolce Le Grotte

Bubbles bubbles and more bubbles, It’s hot outside and champagne is in full effect. Let’s be serious though, not everyone has the pocket book for quality champagne. There are many sparkling wine wannabes out there, but to me, they always seem to fall a little short from the real thing. So I thought, let’s try some sparkling wines from different countries... and what a surprise! My search for a good sparkler lead me back to my favorite wine regions, Italy. Although, primarily known for their great red wines, Italy has some of the most interesting white wine varietals in the world. Some great white wines that spring to mind are Pinot Bianco, Vermentino, and of course Pinot Grigio. I’ve also come to find that Italy makes a number of high quality sparkling wines at a very, very reasonable price. Two out of the many great Italian sparkling wines that I found were Prosecco (for the wine connoisseurs, you probably already know about this great, light, acid laden white wine) and the second wine being the Lambrusco Bianco. In the past I had only crossed paths with the red version of Lambrusco, therefore, I had to try the white. So, let’s get on to what this wine brings to the table. The actual name on the bottle is Lambrusco Dell’emilia Bianco Dolce Le Grotte. For those who are interested, the only place I’ve been able to locate any white Lambrusco has been at Trader Joes. What this Lambrusco brings to the nose is hints of sweet smelling Acacia flowers and lychee fruit, this is a wonderful smelling bottle of wine. But as happy as I was with the nose I was even more impressed with the taste. This wine held within its grasp lychee fruit, which translated beautifully from the nose to the mouth, also on the mid palate a hint of orange peel and floral aspects meshed together very well. You add the variables of lychee, flowers, orange peel and pair it with the high and light acid, and this recipe brings my taste buds to life like Frankenstein. This is a beautifully executed sparkling wine which at that price point of 4.00 dollars, yes I said 4.00 dollars, it's an absolute steal. If you don’t believe me, buy a bottle and post your comments.