October 13th, 2010 by jolan in wine lifestyle
October is National Pizza Month in America, a time to celebrate our unifying devotion to pizza. From one simple dish of yeasted dough with a few toppings, we have developed a cornucopia of regional delicacies: New York’s classic flat crust with sweet tomatoes sauce and melted mozzarella, Chicago’s deep dish full of sausage and gooey cheese, California’s continually creative usage of fresh, seasonal vegetables. (more…)
May 25th, 2010 by jolan in food pairing
There are those that say pairing wine with chocolate is best left undone, but if you genuinely enjoy both of these pleasures, then no terrible fate awaits you. True, pairing wine with chocolate can be tricky territory: dry wines with chocolate will often taste bitter or sour. As long as you try to keep lighter wines with lighter (both in color and intensity) chocolates, you’ll be headed down the right path. It may help, as well, to try wines that are a touch sweeter than their chocolate complements. To our brave, intrepid souls willing to risk the world of wine and chocolate, we salute you.
Bittersweet chocolate (70 – 100% cacoa). Bittersweet chocolate is dark, rich, and intense. Bittersweet chocolate can have fruity, nutty, spicy, roasted, bitter, and earthy flavors. Strong, fruity red wines, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Malbec can all pair well with bittersweet chocolate.
Semi-sweet chocolate (50 – 70% cacao). Semi-sweet chocolate, like bittersweet chocolate, is strong and rich with complex flavors. It is a touch sweeter than bittersweet chocolate, but still more bitter than milk chocolate. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are great red wines to try, and Port is often exceptional with semi-sweet chocolate.
Milk chocolate. Milk chocolate has a smaller percentage of cacao and a higher percentage of sugar than bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate, rendering it sweeter and softer. Try milk chocolate with a soft red wine like Pinot Noir or Merlot; it is also delicious with Port or a dark ice wine.
White chocolate. Technically speaking, white chocolate is not true chocolate, as it is made without chocolate liquor. White chocolate is made with cocoa butter, milk solids, and sugar. It is creamy and rich, and would pair well with an off-dry Riesling or Gewurtztraminer, or an ice wine.
And don’t forget . . .
Chocolate ice cream. For your first official chocolate and ice cream pairing, start off with a less-sweet ice cream, like a bittersweet chocolate. Sparkling wines provide an interesting textural contrast, whose soft bubbles refresh your palate after every smooth, creamy bite. A rose, slightly sparkling Brachetto from Italy is a great choice, as is a demi-sec sparkling wine. Ice wines are another good choice.
September 9th, 2009 by jolan in wine lifestyle
I recently had my first lesson in wine and food pairing.
Sure, I like a bold red wine like the Italian Barbaresco with a perfectly grilled fillet mignon. Or the delicious Valpolicella with my spaghetti and meatballs. I enjoy a crisp white such as the Alsatian Riesling with my seafood. But I never truly appreciated the pairings – probably because I also like all of these wines on their own.
The other day I was drinking a nice Pinot Grigio, one given to me more for the label, and it was okay. As I’m enjoying my “Mommy’s Time Out” glass of wine my husband was enjoying his Edy’s Summertime Peach Pie ice cream. I asked for a bite, typical. And then had some more wine. However, this was no longer the same okay wine I was just drinking. The entire taste and feel in my mouth was completely changed. I would now state that this wine was really good.
Now I’m hooked. I am constantly asking the team to recommend a wine with a certain meal or (since I can never think of what to make for dinner) a meal to accompany my chosen wine. The wine and food pairing chart has also helped.
Before the last hot summer days, you’ve got to try wine and ice cream pairing. Trust me, you’ll love it. To help you select your favorite ice cream pairing, we found a flavor finder on Edy’s website that can help you find an ice cream to pair with your wine.