Gouda is a terrific cheese originally from the town of Gouda in the Netherlands. It is normally made from cows milk, but recently goats milk Gouda, that has a tangier taste, has been gaining popularity in Europe as well as the US. It has a mild, nutty flavor with an even, creamy texture that goes great with fresh fruit or crackers......it can be grated over potatoes for a yummy rich taste. The Dutch even use it to make a special fondue called kaadsoop served with potatoes and rye bread.
The Gouda also comes smoked or with herbs such as cumin or pepper ... the sky is the limit!
You can tell how long the Gouda has been aged many times by the color of the wax rind on the cheese, with red being the "youngest" of the cheeses.
I love Red wines with Gouda, but especially Chianti for the smoked variety...the nutty earthiness of the wine really compliments the cheese. Try a petite Syrah to pair with the goats milk Gouda, as the blackberry and bramble flavors in the wine pair well with the mild animal flavors of the cheese.
Have fun with Wine Food Pairing and "Gouda" luck! CHEERS!
He issues my instructions. I am in charge of making garlic mashed potatoes and finding the right wine. The spuds are easy, I make terrific mashed potatoes using my mother's old hand masher.
My husband on the other hand is foraging in the back of the refrigerator looking for cabbage to go with the pork, YIKES! He easily whips up an Austrian hot cabbage salad using the special shredder we brought home from Europe that is the size of a VW bug! Next he crushes black peppercorns and caraway seeds with a mortar and pestle and then rolls the tenderloin that has been drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with fresh garlic in the mix.
He pops this into a hot pan for a quick sear and then looks to me for my wine choice. I have chosen a red wine from Portugal.....a 2004 Dona Ermelinda-Pamela DOC Castelao...... a long name, but a terrific medium bodied that combines great with grilled meats. I pour a bit for sampling and then when he approves, he pours a bit into the pan to de-glaze and make a tasty sauce....YUMMY!
Wine Food Pairing is always an adventure so enjoy! CHEERS!
If you have a few hours notice, nothing could be easier to put together than a delicious cheese ball. Somehow, the festive look just seems to go with the season. Combine cream cheese, cheddar and a ranch dressing mix together in a bowl....season with Worcestershire sauce, tabasco, paprika and garlic powder. I like to get my hands involved in the mixing and then form in a big ball.
You will want to have chopped pecans on a plate and then proceed to roll the cheese ball to coat. Garnish with two pecan halves, a piece of pimiento and a sprig of parsely. Chill for several hours and then bring out fridge a half hour before your guests arrive so the cheese is "cracker" ready.
Pair this with a buttery Chardonnay or a delightful Sauvignon Blanc and you have a real show stopper! Nuttin' could be better for you wine food pairing event! CHEERS!
Our friend Willy fishes regularly off the Naples Pier and recently was lucky enough to catch a Permit. Permit, in the same family as Pompano, which is totally delish, tend to grow quite a bit bigger, and for me, every bit as tasty. Willy presented us with this guy on a bed of ice just two hours after swimming with his friends in the Gulf of Mexico. What better reason for a BBQ?
I drizzled some Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the fillets and spiced them up a bit salt, pepper and a few dashes of Caribbean Jerk seasoning and placed them in our fish basket for the BBQ. My husband took over the grilling duties while I put together a quick broccoli slaw and popped open a 2005 Pinnacle Pines Monterey County Chardonnay. This smooth, crisp Chardonnay with a slight buttery note was the perfect compliment to the freshest of fresh fish!
YUM, another successful wine food pairing! CHEERS!
It is delicate in texture and taste and preferred by many Floridians over its other snapper cousins. Our friends Pat and Bob recently had us over to their newly remodeled kitchen for a fish feast. Fresh off the boat, Bob had just reeled in a bounty of Lane Snapper from the Gulf of Mexico.
Pat breaded the fillets with Japanese Panko bread crumbs. I had never heard of this type of coating before, but found out that they are typically made from the soft, tender centers of bread, rather than from the crust, resulting in a more crunchy texture and uniform color when fried.
Lighter than traditional bread crumbs, they maintain essential crispiness longer, and contain considerably less salt and calories. Absorbing far less grease than Western bread crumbs, they are indeed a somewhat healthier alternative.
We paired this delightful entree with a yellow gold Pinot Grigio from Bella Sera. This medium bodied wine with its crisp, clean flavors was the perfect compliment to the meal.
You can never go wrong with wine food pairing when you use the freshest ingredients.
For those quick snacks when someone stops over during the holiday season, what better way spice up the party and have your guests ringing their jingle bells than a quick plate of Nachos?
This is the really fast version of this recipe. I layer tortilla chips on a microwavable plate and drop refried beans right from the can onto the chips. Finely dice some jalapeno peppers and sprinkle them, along with your favorite salsa and Mexican cheese on top. Pop into the micro and nuke on high for 1 1/2 minutes. It's a beautiful thing!
To keep with the festive mood, pop the cork on some bubbly. Believe it or not, champagne has a lot of the same "tasting" properties as beer......and everyone knows that beer goes with nachos. My favorite is sparkling wine is Freixinet Brut, dry and tasty!
So next time you want to have a wine food pairing adventure, think nachos and champagne! CHEERS!
Bring home brussel sprouts from your favorite fresh market and half or quarter them depending on their size, slice up a sweet Vidalia onion and white button mushrooms. Combine red wine vinegar, soy sauce (I use the light sodium kind) and a good olive oil and throw everything into a ziploc bag for about four hours to marinade.
When the time is right, and your pan is sizzling, place your "sprout" mix in the pan and let the heat do its magic. Let the onions caramelize and the sprouts brown and soften up a bit. HOLY COW! This is tasty.
I paired this with Tres Valles Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. The tropical flavors of this gold colored wine complimented the brussel sprouts perfectly. YUMMY!
Have you had your sprouts today? Wine Food Pairing wants to know! CHEERS!
What better way to lift your spirits than Wine Food Pairing?
I belong to an exclusive wine club and every 3 months I receive a terrific case of mixed wines. These wines are specifically chosen for my wine tastes and it never fails to thrill me. Every 3 months it is like Christmas!
Winter here in Florida, where it is just a bit chilly ( just kidding!) there is nothing better than to sit by the fireside and enjoy one of my latest wine selections. Tasting notes are also included so you'll have an idea of what you might want to pair with each wine selection.
Many of these wine "treasures" come from the small vineyards that you might miss if it were not for the wine clubs efforts.
Discover the world of wine food pairing ...... be adventurous and try something new. CHEERS!
If you would like to take part in a special introductory offer just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org Include your name, address (postal and e-mail) and phone. I'll make sure that you are contacted about the details.
My husband and I traveled clear across the street to our friends Joanna and Jim for a neighborhood feast of turkey, ham and all of the traditional side dishes as well as a few new ones. Everybody brought something, but the bulk of the work was really done by Joanna and Jim.
We sat in their lanai on the the Marco River sipping a tasty red table wine by the Heron Hills Winery from the finger lakes region of New York and sampling appetizers. Everyone enjoyed the sunset, as we watched the fiery ball drop into the Gulf of Mexico, and then the lights from Marco Island reflecting off the river. WOW....spectacular!
As the evening progressed and the turkey became the main event, we switched to Rkatsiteli, an award winning white wine from Vinifera Wine Cellars originating from the same finger lakes area. This wine with its crisp acidity and fruity, spicy accents paired beautifully with the big bird. YUM!
When the evening came to an end, I realized that my blessings are many. A terrific Thanksgiving feast. Wine Food Pairing. CHEERS!
To check out these terrific wines you can visit their web sites at:
Red Table Wine
When friends stop by unexpectedly what better way to make the evening a success than to burn a few steaks on the grill? It is one of the easiest and quickest ways to serve a few guests. I always rub a little extra virgin olive oil on the meat and pat a bit of my favorite dry rub on. To make the steaks terrifically tender I bring out my "secret" weapon! The meat stabber. I found this device at a restaurant supply warehouse and it has been "ace" in the hole for many years. It will make the toughest meat melt in your mouth tender without adding chemicals....SUPER!
I opened a bottle of Frontera Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot from Chile ......... ruby-like, bright in color with red plum and varietal characteristics. It is Medium dry, medium body and complimented the thick BBQ steaks wonderfully. Even the non wine drinkers loved it!
Make Wine Food Pairing simple, sometimes the basics are the best. CHEERS!
We had a wonderful looking pork tenderloin that was just "begging" to be cooked up....what to do? How about a spiced Hungarian goulash....spicy enough to clear your sinuses and make your eyebrows sweat.
Equal parts onion and cubed pork, red wine, Hungarian hot paprika and a special seasoning packet that we brought over from Europe....WOW!!!! We had the whole neighborhood drooling.
We paired this with an Australian Shiraz and it stood up to the challenge and brought the best out of both the wine and the stew. Wine Food Pairing with pork. CHEERS!
Goat cheese is one of the most versatile of cheeses. Sometimes called Chevre, the French word for goat, it has a unique flavor and aroma. For a quick appetizer I sometimes mix this tasty cheese together with some extra virgin olive oil and chop up some fresh herbs...dill is my favorite and mix this in also. To make your guests think you've slaved all day in the kitchen I will pipe, using a baggie with the end snipped off, onto seasoned crackers that I have arranged on a nice platter.
Garnish with a sprig of fresh dill and you have a terrific treat!
I always like to pair this with a Tres Valles Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. It has the bright acidity that jumps out at you and pairs wonderfully with the earthy, tangy flavor of the goat cheese. The best of both worlds!
Goat cheese and Sauvignon Blanc make for a SUPER Wine Food Pairing. CHEERS!
What a terrific time was had by all! What's not to love about a tender, melt in your mouth steak, that is perfectly grilled and seasoned to perfection? The steaks were served on on their signature "sizzling" plate....YIKES.....watch out, they are darn hot!
The question, what to wine pair with such a delightful treat? I went back to my Washington State roots for this one. I chose the 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon from the Columbia Valley ..... with the aromas of berries and cherries and the soft, round tannins created a wonderful combination with the hearty steak.......YUMMY!
We lingered for three hours enjoying the food, wine and good company. Wine Food Pairing is the best when enjoyed with others! CHEERS!
For more information on this terrific wine you can visit : www.14hands.com
Try Wine Food Pairing while roasting chestnuts over an open fire.
What could be better than peeling open these hot, tasty nuts while sipping a glass of chilled wine?
My first experience came while visiting the grounds of the Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna. It was a windy, bitter cold afternoon and my husband spied the "maroni" stand. Maroni is what the Austrians call these YUMMY guys and there are street stands with vendors that "roast" the nuts on the fires while you watch. NEATO! A super way to warm up your hands.
Now that we have returned from Europe, I located some chestnuts in our local Publix store in Florida....what a find! Of course, we don't have an open fire to roast our chestnuts, so I "Googled" up a recipe....sure enough....there it was.
Wipe the chestnuts down so they are free of dirt and place them on a thick dish towel (so they won't roll around!).
Take a sharp knife and cut and "X" in the top to let steam escape.
Place on a cookie sheet and put them into a 425 degree preheated oven.
Check after about 15 minutes to see if the shell is peeling back.
Try peeling one and see if the shell and the brown "skin" peels off. When this happens they are done.
Remember to warn your guests because these guys are DARN HOT!
Serve them on a platter for all to peel and have a salt shaker close by. Some people love the salt taste, but I like mine just plain.
I paired the chestnuts with a chilled Chardonnay from Oakton Lane......with just a hint of spice and vanilla it was the perfect compliment for the rich nuts.
Enjoy Wine Food Pairing with your friends. CHEERS!
Wine Food Pairing should be a lot of fun! Last week my husband and I visited Fort Lauderdale and decided to lunch at one of our old favorites, the Southport Raw Bar.
Located at the end of a canal, the water view is great when you sit outside on the patio. The atmosphere is casual, friendly and it is difficult not to have a great time. I always enjoy watching all the boating activity.
To start out I had a crisp Pinot Grigio from Folonari and browsed the menu....so many delicious seafood items to choose from. We finally decided to start out with the smoked fish dip and then Caesar salads with blackened Mahi Mahi as our entree....YUMMY!
The Florida fall day was at its best with bright blue skies, the food and wine were delish and the company was the BEST! Wine Food Pairing in the Florida Sunshine! CHEERS!
For more information on the Southport Raw Bar in Fort Lauderdale you can go their website at:
Our friend Hans celebrated his 69th birthday, quite a milestone, and as European custom dictates, the birthday boy or girl invites and pays for everything! WOW! I wonder how the customs became reversed in America?
I had a terrific top sirloin steak and a seafood risotto, very good indeed. Hans ordered several bottles of a California red wine....Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon and it paired wonderfully with all the steaks that were eaten at the table. This full bodied wine even stood up to the delicious dark chocolate dessert that we enjoyed afterwards!
Wine Food Pairing with friends celebrating a birthday party! CHEERS!
Wine Food Pairing a stone crab feast in Florida!
Stone Crab claws, harvested in the waters off the southern tip of Florida, make for some of the tastiest crab meat of all. The meat is sweet, delicious and is eaten with drawn butter or, my favorite, a homemade mustard sauce. The season for these succulent crustaceans is October 15th thru May 15th and is well worth a trip down to the "sunshine" state to taste them fresh....YUM!!!!
We picked up ten pounds of the claws and made a whole neighborhood feast with everyone contributing to the bounty! Our friends, the Smith's, brought over a wine that paired beautifully with the crab.......a Rkatsiteli by Dr. Konstantin Frank and the Vinifera Wine Cellars. This fruity white wine with a light herbaceous aroma reminded me a lot of the Rieslings from Austria. Simply wonderful!
This is what wine food pairing is all about.....great friends, the freshest of foods and award winning wines! CHEERS!
For more information on this wonderful wine from the Finger Lakes region of New York go to their website: http://www.drfrankwines.com
Wine Food Pairing at Patty's Pork Pulling Party!
Pulling this mouth watering pork apart to make BBQ sandwiches can be thirsty work.
We paired this tasty swine with a red table wine from the finger lakes region of New York. My friends Joanna and Jim brought this wine down to Florida from the Heron Hills Winery....full bodied and with slight oak overtones it combined wonderfully with the pork shoulder that had been carefully rubbed, smoked and roasted by Pat and Bob.
Who would think that pulling pork could be so much fun. Wine Food Pairing at its best! CHEERS!
Who said that the trick or treat holiday was only for kids? I came up with a yummy shrimp treat that everyone enjoyed. I combined pinto beans, or any white bean with a sauce of shrimp, garlic, onions, tomatoes and lot's of fresh basil....OH BOY! It was terrific!
We paired this with Cavit Pinot Grigio 2005. The light, dry, slightly acidic taste combined beautifully with the slightly acidic tomato sauce and shrimp.
Who wants to come to my house next Halloween? Wine Food Pairing, tick or treat! CHEERS!
Wine Food Pairing across the street from the Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. This impressive castle is the show place from the great Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Friends and I lunched at the Cafe Della Lucia a wonderful Italian restaurant.
We were seated in the solarium enjoying an autumn afternoon, a bit cloudy, but all the live plants making it seem a cheerful place to have a glass of wine and a bite to eat.
The server realized that I was American and brought me an English menu....GREAT! I ordered pasta Arrabbiata....the sauce was a spiced mix of bacon, onion, chili's, mushrooms and tomato...all served over a fresh angel hair pasta. WOW!!!!! I paired this with a glass of Blaufrankisch, a local medium bodied red wine. The spice of the wine enhanced that "bite" of the sauce.....YUM!!!
Wine Food Pairing, make it an adventure! CHEERS!
The Austrians love this stuff in a big way and the soup is called Leberknoedel Suppe. It is served at almost all the local gasthaus or cafes and I must admit that the soup tasted terrific. A wonderful rich broth, with no funky liver texture, but still....YIKES!!!!! Dining in a foreign country is always an adventure and sometimes a challenge.
My husband is Austrian and he knows my likes and dislikes, but sometimes, when he gets that vague look on his face as he is explaining a new dish to me, I know that perhaps, there is a "small" chance, that I am being "scammed" into eating something that normally would not cross my lips!
Needless to say, I had the soup and paired it with a zweigelt, a light bodied red wine from Austria and the combo was terrific! Of course the typical bread basket with an assortment of all the wonderful European breads.
Wine Food Pairing in Austria .... an adventure and a treat for the senses......try something new! CHEERS!
Michaela said she had ten, but I think the seven of us only managed six....YIKES!!!!! OK, the celebration started at 4:00pm and ended at 11:00pm....what an evening.
We started the afternoon with a, hot out of the oven, nusstrudel (nut strudel) that Michaela had whipped up earlier and we paired it with a red wine, Attila, from Berger in Donnerkirchen. The strudel was terrific, but the wine was a bit too "oakey" for my taste.
Next came the Rahmsuppe, which is mix of sour cream, potatoes, water and spices including caraway seeds....delicious, as the first snow flakes fluttered by the window.
Our friend Paolo popped the cork on the next wine...a Blaufrankisch from an Austrian vinter named Kiss, a perfect compliment to the hearty soup........ and so the evening and wine food pairing continued until we ended the night with a Sparkling Rose from Hafner.
The flames in the fireplace damped down and the candlelight picking up the highlights of the blush colored rose, we said our goodbyes to a wonderful evening and to good friends....CHEERS!
Actually, the Austrians call it frittaten suppe. The noodles are made from thinly sliced crepes, added to a rich broth and garnished with chopped fresh chives! A flavorful and hearty meal on a cold day. Add a basket full of hot out of the oven bread sticks and you have a WINNER!
I paired this with a medium dry zweigelt (red wine).......YUM!
A quick meal, on a cold, rainy day.......Wine Food Pairing...... sometimes a challenge, but always an adventure! CHEERS!!
We decided on a very light "blush" wine named Blanc de Rouge......my husbands challenge, to come up with a meal to pair with this delightful wine.
The chef's hat came out, the kitchen was turned upside down, but the result was worth waiting for! The Austrian came up with a variation of the knoedel...the traditional Austrian dumpling...... He called it a wurstknoedel.......translation....a light potato dumpling stuffed with a hearty mix of ham, sausage and bacon. He served this with a crisp, mixed salad of greens dressed with pumpkin seed oil....YIKES!!!!!! What a meal!
Dessert, yes, just a bit....... was an "almost" eiswein (ice wine from Traudl's), very sweet and just the right finishing touch.....the wine? Lukas, a chardonnay ausbruch......
Enjoy the adventure of Wine Food Pairing ....be bold....try new things! CHEERS!!
For more information on Truadl's terrific wines you can visit her at:
Wine Food Pairing has MUST HAVE accessories.....this elegant hanging wine decanter is called a Weinheber and originated in Austria. Produced by Salzburger Kristallglas they add a certain European flair to any wine food pairing gathering and, when placed in the center of the table, allows all participants to refill their glasses as needed! SUPER!
Here we were getting ready to enjoy a chardonnay from our friend Traudl's winery along with a bit of cheese.
Wine Food Pairing is to be enjoyed at ALL times. CHEERS!
IWA - Free Shipping On All Stemware And Decanters
The family sells their own terrific wines and is known by all the locals for their quality......it was a tip from a friend that led us to this gem....and what a wonderful time we had!
We tasted a Rot Cuvee, a medium heavy red wine of mixed wine origin and a delicious Spatrot Rotgipfler that was similar in taste to a pinot grigio, light and dry!
To end the evening we paired a tasty cheese and fruit plate with Gstaubter, a fresh young wine that had not yet been filtered....one step beyond a "sturm"....sometimes referred to a "dusty" wine .... SUPER!!!!
Good food and friends, terrific wine....this is Wine Food Pairing!
For more information on this terrific Weinbau, you can check out their website:
You can register to receive the link for the FREE download right here
Wine Food Paring in Burgenland, one of the premier wine areas of Austria!
Traudl's Heuriger was the place to be........wonderful wines of the region and traditional food....enough for an army!
These two women make it all happen....Momma on the right, Traudl in the middle and yours truly on the left! I had to go in the kitchen for a quick visit. We couldn't make up our minds what we wanted to pair with our delicious blaufrankish, a delicious red wine, so Traudl served up a feast!
All this food for only three people and one small dog....OH BOY!!!! My favorite was the pork loin or maybe it was the fleischlabel (meat patties) .... anyway, the others loved the blood sausage, but somehow I just can't get excited about anything that has blood in the name. The Austrian potato salad and sauerkraut were yummy additions and, did I mention the SurSchnitzel? This particular schnitzel is "brined" a bit before being "schnitzeled" and has a pinkish cast to the meat...SUPER!
Traudls Heuriger also boasts quite an impressive menu of their own wines for sale. You can visit their website at:
Wine Food Pairing should be fun! CHEERS!
I see a little gasthaus by the side of the road and it looks promising for a bit of pasta. We enter the warmly decorated room....checkered table cloths, potted plants on the tables and a lighted candle in the center......perfecto!
The menu boasts all sorts of items, but I have heard that the best is just to ask the server for the "special" and be surprised. We begin with a terrific dry Italian red table wine and it pairs wonderfully with the hot crusty bread that is served with olive oil infused with garlic to "dip". YUM! We could stop right there, but there is more! A steaming bowl of minestrone soup comes next....WOW.....no one would ever confuse this with the canned variety!
Sipping our wine and enjoying life...nothing moves too fast here.....
The entree arrives and it is a ravioli pasta stuffed with a pumpkin mixture and topped with a light cream sauce.......garnished with a freshly grated Parmesan......wonderful! The food is made with the freshest ingredients, traditional dishes that I've never seen before........all with a dash of Italian love thrown in!
Dessert, yes they was more....was a creamy yogurt with black cherries....truly decadent!
No meal in Italy is complete without the after dinner cappuccino, the milk making frothy peaks and, of course, a grappa....strictly a digestive aid!
Wine Food Pairing in Italy.....it may begin as a "quick" lunch and end up as a days event! CHEERS!
The sound of church bells pealing throughout the village calling all the locals to worship on Sunday morning.
My husband and I are sipping a sparkling Italian wine and nibbling on a fresh....still warm from the oven chocolate croissant! A steamy cup of cappaccino on the side ..... the Italians make it so good with the frothy milk. YUM!!!!!!!
Need I say more about this Wine Food Pairing adventure?
Wine Food Pairing in Italy! We had an opportunity to have a "wild" experience this last weekend.
My husband and I drove down to SudTirol to visit a wonderful inn in Villabassa Italy.....this area was once part of Austria (before it was divided after WWII). The food and culture reflects both wonderful heritages.
Dinner, the first evening, our host explained to me was "Wild in a Merlot Sauce". When I got my translation, it seems that venison or game meat is called "wilde", thus the name.
The first course was an antipasta salad served with a crusty Italian bread. We decided that Merlot would be perfect to pair with the whole dinner and we were right! The full bodied Italian Merlot complimented the meaty salad as well as the delicious venison served in the rich wine sauce.
Dinner was a great experience with all the guests enjoying each others company....some physicians visiting from Germany kept us entertained by playing Beatles songs on the piano. Even though their English was limited they knew all the words to the songs! What an international experience!
By the time dessert arrived, a hot raspberry concoction served with vanilla ice cream, we had switched from the Merlot to Grappa....the favorite Italian schnapps! Needless to say language barriers were not in place by this time....my German always improves with alcohol usage! As the evening progressed, our host brought out his very special homemade schnapps that he puts together using blueberries....YIKES....it was good! We paired this with a cheese platter that is typical for the last course of any European meal.....WOW.....what a dining delight! This is Wine Food Pairing at its very best!
This terrific Wellness Inn is called the Hotel Emma and has a long history. The hotel itself is 450 years old....good thing the bathrooms have been renovated! For more information on this wonderful place you can go to their website: http://www.hotel-emma.it
This particular heurigan offered all the best local wines as well as Sturm and Most which are only available for a short time each year. These last two favorites change daily as they continue to ferment....the Most turns into Sturm and then the Sturm turns into a full fledged wine...it is all a matter of fermentation!
Heurigans, by law are only open a few weeks each year and the vintners are allowed to sell a percentage of their wine tax free! In addition, the kitchen prepares all the traditional favorites. This one specialized in strudels....I had a savory potato strudel which had a flakey crust and was a hearty meal for a cool autumn evening! I paired this with one of the crisp "new" white wines....delish!
Austrian wine food pairing is an adventure indeed! CHEERS!
The beer was flowing freely, the music was traditional and the crowd was doing the chicken dance....what more could you want?
A terrific local red wine....when asked what kind it was...they said just drink it...you'll love it! I did and they were right. I paired my wine with a wurst (sausage) of some sort and a crusty roll that the Europeans are famous for! YUM!
Once again, I have done my duty, Wine Food Pairing! CHEERS!
Wine Food Pairing ....... sometimes the simplest is the best!
Hubert, an old friend stopped by unexpectedly and in Austria that means bringing out the wine! Austria is world known for its wonderful wines, but the small country doesn't produce enough to export much further than Germany.
I found a terrific Blaufrankish ( a mellow red) in the cellar and a yummy Geramont Leicht cheese (similar to a Brie) in the pantry. Teamed up with some Italian grapes and and slices of a freshly baked pumpkin seed bread we were in heaven! Sometimes the old favorites are the most satisfying. Wine Food Pairing is an adventure that I really enjoy! CHEERS!
Speckknoedel is a yummy Austrian bacon bread dumpling and a staple in the local diet. Eierschwammer are Chantrelle mushrooms that are collected locally. My husband put on his chef's hat the other night and whipped up this traditional favorite for me.
We began by pouring ourselves a refreshing glass of white sturm...a terrific fizzy "early" wine.....this beverage makes working in the kitchen a lot of fun!
He started with the dumplings first....bread cubes, eggs, milk, salt, pepper and fresh parsley....this gets combined in a large bowl. Next, you add onions and bacon sauteed in butter....OK, we aren't counting calories here! Form these bad boys into balls and drop in boiling salted water and watch them float around a bit.
The sauce comes next! Everything used in cooking is fresh, which makes the food even tastier. He sauteed the mushrooms with onions, white wine, herbs of Provence, creme freshe and butter.....rich and wonderful!
I lighted a couple of candles, opened an Austrian Roter Tafelwein (red table wine) which paired wonderfully with the rich, meaty mushroom sauce. Austrian wine food pairing at it's best! CHEERS!
Just Returned last night from Pat's brothers in Rhode Island. Quite the eat fest!! The first day we went on a boat ride for a water tour of Narragansett Bay, followed by a dinner prepared at their house overlooking the bay, of fresh mussels and linguine. The Yellow Tail Cav and Chardonnay went well with everything.
YIKES!!!!! Sounds like Wine Food Pairing at its best! CHEERS!
Wine Food Pairing in Austria....such an adventure!
September is the time of year in Austria when foraging for wild mushrooms is at its peak. These fungi are found in the mountains right after a bit of rain, when the sun comes out.......of course, you need to have local knowledge of these treats lest you end up in the local ER or worse!
We had the good fortune to be invited to a friends home in Austria for a wonderful meal of wild mushrooms prepared "schnitzel" style!
The large mushroom caps were cut into smaller pieces and the stems discarded. The pieces were dredged in flour, egg wash, bread crumbs and sauteed to a golden brown.......served with rice pilaf and crispy green salad it made for a terrific vegetarian meal.
We paired this tasty treat with a German Sparkling Reisling....absolutely wonderful! Wine Food Pairing is an adventure to be enjoyed....so go out and try something new! CHEERS!
Wine Food Pairing or is it Wine Hair Pairing?
In an attempt to share my adventures in Wine Food Pairing with you, we go go Schwarzau, Austria .... a little village south of Vienna to do some girlie hair "stuff". Think about it....you are sitting in the hair dresser's chair and don't speak the language, ie. German...what is the universal language? CHAMPAGNE, of course ... or in this case ProSecco...a fine sparkling wine!
Vera, my hair dresser, knew just how to communicate....a little hair color, a little bubbly wine and a few girlie giggles! Make Wine Food Pairing a part of your routine and have fun with it! CHEERS!
A very stylish hotel convention center in Vienna, Austria is the Pyramid Hotel which is indeed built like a very large glass pyramid. This is where Houdini (my Maltese) and I met my friend, Sigi, for a glass of wonderful Austrian red wine, Zweigelt. This rich smooth wine paired beautifully with the cheese plate we nibbled on....some Brie, a "stinky" blue and a few fresh grapes on the side!
Relaxing on the plush leather couches, people watching and enjoying our time together, we saw several people walking through the lobby and bar in bathrobes....unusual to see. Sigi explained to me that there is a terrific wellness area in the hotel and it is quite normal for the Europeans to wander about in their robes! YIKES!
As I always say, Wine Food Pairing is an adventure.....you never know what you'll run into next! So, go out and enjoy what the wine world has to offer. CHEERS!
I always say that Wine Food Pairing is an adventure and now, boys and girls, here is the proof! My latest travels have taken me to the tiny village in Austria named F***king (that's pronounced Fooking!) Lest you think I am just talking "naughty", I am standing next to the road sign....unfortunately, it is a small village and I was unable to find a T-shirt to buy.
F***king is located in upper Austria, just a few miles outside of Salzburg. Even though it is just a stones throw from a large city like Salzburg, it was darn hard to find! We had to stop several times to ask shopkeepers directions to F***ing......everyone was very helpful....no one thought it amusing that we were searching for this tiny town......not a one even twitched a smile! Obviously, this is not a bad word in the German language.
I, of course, take my mission of Wine Food Pairing seriously and wanted to stop at the local F***king cafe for a glass of wine and a bite of regional food, but F***king was so small that we couldn't find a cafe...........no F***king hotel either! Imagine that!
OK, not to be detoured from my original mission, my husband and I pulled over to the side of the road (next to the F***king road sign!) and had a quick picnic.....actually we sat in the car because it was F***king raining outside! (OOPS! bad word!). We had purchased some food and wine while getting directions to F***king and I opened up a delightful Roter Tafelwein from Sonneilten (that's Red table wine). This Austrian wine can be found almost anywhere in the country, but I have never seen it in the US...I guess they don't make enough to export. We paired this with a "zesty" Kase Cabanossi (cheese sausage) ....simply delish! What could be better on a rainy afternoon?
In doing a bit of research on F***king, I came across a hilarious video posted on youtube with Roseanne Barr and Graham Norton. If you are in the mood for a real belly laugh click on this link....I almost wet my pants!
Wine Food Pairing, an adventure and a challenge, but can be a lot of fun! CHEERS!
I am preparing for a long transatlantic flight to Europe and I will be traveling with my little Maltese, Houdini in the cabin with me. It will be a 9 ½ hr. flight from Ft. Myers, Florida to Munich, Germany to meet my husband, who will then drive us to Vienna, where we are staying. Wine Food Pairing is not high on my priority list at this time, but I get a call from my friends and neighbors, Carol and Jim and they would like to stop over for a quick goodbye .... I am packed and ready to leave....just more pacing about to do, but that really isn't important. I meet them at the door and Jim hands me a bag and tells me to be careful....it is open....YIKES!!!!!! Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio....my VERY FAVORITE!!!!! OK .... no need to pace anymore! This is what good friends are all about!
We move out into the entertainment room that is usually bright and cheery, but at this time it is closed up in preparation for my 2 month absence....it doesn't matter....good wine....GREAT friends....what more is there? Wine Friends Pairing!
Plastic cups with wonderful wine, relaxing conversation between friends and I am now ready for the next step on my journey.....the doorbell rings and the limo is here to take Houdini and me to the airport.....a few quick goodbyes with my friends and I am off to my next Wine Food Pairing adventure! CHEERS!
I had an after dinner "medicinal herbal" schnapps and fell asleep only to awake for breakfast somewhere over Ireland (I think!). A hot towel for freshening up, breakfast and hot coffee for a quick "wake up" before landing in Germany.
Yes, Wine Food Pairing is sometimes a challenge, but I am up for it ... CHEERS!
Wine Food Pairing ...an American having a Greek adventure in Austria!
This local taverna in Linz, Austria came highly recommended by our local friends. It was a full house and the host took our name and then handed us a menu to look at and a glass of Ouzo....I loved it already!
We were seated overlooking the Danube and ordered Retsina, a famous Greek wine that tastes of the resin from the pine cask it is held in and Tsatsiki a refreshing appetizer made from yogurt, cucumbers and garlic....YUM!
Our entre was Moussaka, sometimes known as the Greek "national" dish. Moussaka is a savory layered casserole with sliced eggplant on the bottom, minced lamb, herbs and spices in the middle and topped with a bechamel sauce that is baked until a crusty golden brown.
The tasty "pine" wine paired beautifully with the Tsatsiki and the Moussaka....a terrific Wine Food Pairing! CHEERS!
To locate terrific Greek wines go to Cellars Wine Club
Conch ceviche is easy to prepare and there are several variations....I like mine with a "medium" heat to it.
Now get out your chopping board, chef knife and begin! Chop the cleaned conch into small pieces, the red onion,celery, red, green and yellow peppers follow along with fresh squeezed orange and lime juice. I salt to taste and then get out my Tabasco and experiment. You can always add more, but you can't take it away! When a light perspiration begins to form on my brow it is just right and I put it in the refrigerator for just a bit to "cook".
Next comes the critical issue of Wine Food Pairing....... everyone knows that beer complements spicy food—the fizz, the slight "hoppy" bitterness, the chill—all counter the effect of heat. The same qualities—cold and bubbles—that makes beer so popular a pairing with spicy foods works with wine. How about a chilled bottle of champagne to beat the heat? I love Freixenet, but any sparkling bubbly will do.
Wine Food Pairing is an Adventure and a Challenge, so go out there, experiment and enjoy! CHEERS!
For a tasty cracked conch recipe go to: http://Bahama-Vacation.blogspot.com
Wine Food Pairing ..... try the "family" sized (1.5 liter) bottle of Cavit Pinot Grigio. It is a wonderfully crisp Pinot from Italy and when chilled properly a fine pairing with a veggie pasta.
One of my specialties is to saute the veggies, use some of the wine for the sauce along with extra virgin olive oil and garlic, of course! Sipping some Pinot along with the preparation, of course, is mandatory!
I like to use angel hair pasta and then sprinkle toasted pine nuts and little bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese on top, just to be decadent! Somehow the family sized bottle is just perfect to complete the meal...
Have fun with your Wine food Pairing ........ CHEERS!
For information on terrific wine and cheese pairings go to Wine and Cheese Unlimited
What, you ask, is a Turducken....and why would I want or need to do Wine Food Pairing with it? The answer to these questions is not for the faint of heart!
About 4 years ago I was watching a Thanksgiving cooking show and perked up my ears when I heard something about stuffing your turkey with a duck and then stuffing the duck with a chicken…..hence Turducken. Holy Cow, my new Thanksgiving tradition was born! The main focus for preparing this delight is de-boning everything….everything, that is, except for the turkey drumsticks which gives you a lovely presentation! Well, I can tell you that I had never done this before…. fortunately life has blessed me with an Austrian man in my life that seems to be able to do almost anything….including de-boning various fowl!
Prepare whatever stuffing you choose. We chose bread crumbs, mushrooms, onions, celery with some tasty herbs and then a sprinkling of cooking sherry between the birds.
Now that the birds are de-boned, stuffed, sprinkled and sewn together….did I forget to mention the sewing part? You MUST remember to have your turkey needle and string ready to stitch those bad boys up or you will really have a mess! Next you pop the whole thing into a 225 degree oven for about 10 to 12 hours….give or take depending on the weight of the turducken.
We chose a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon and a Pinot Grigio from Italy to pair with our meal….both were wonderful compliments to the poultry!
As I always say, Wine Food Pairing is an adventure and a challenge that you need to meet head on…. so, go forth brandishing your carving knife, be brave and tackle a turducken for your next Thanksgiving dinner! CHEERS!
To locate terrific Chilean and Italian wines go to Cellars Wine Club
I love Wine Food Pairing! What is more versatile in life? Have you ever tried pairing your Champagne with diamonds and other fine jewels?
One of our neighbors has a friend who is diamond merchant from South Africa. Every year he comes to Florida for a brief vacation. What better reason is there to have a party?
Anybody can pair wine with cheese or food, but think of it....sparkling wine with twinkling gems....SUPER!
Wine Food Pairing is quite a challenge....are you up for it? For more information on sparkling wines visit Cellars Wine Club
My Wine Food Pairing adventures have taken me to Austria on occasion, and is there anything more romantic than sitting in an Austrian wine house, known as a heurigen?
A typical heurigen is marked by pine boughs over the door and has large wooden picnic tables and benches. Many of them have seating outside in courtyard gardens….usually, they have a wonderful view. Visitors seat themselves and order their wine at the table from a passing server. After a few glasses of wine, visitors then head up to buffet counter to get their food and bring it back to the table. Potato salads, pickled vegetables and smoked meats account for most of the tasty offerings at the counter, but they will make you a fresh schnitzel or fried chicken.
One of my favorite wines to order is Zweigelt. It comes from the red wine territory of Burgenland in eastern Austria, south of Vienna and along the border with Hungary. Zweigelt is a new grape on the wine scene, developed in 1922 by Fritz Zweigelt, an Austrian scientist. Originally called rotburger, the name was changed to honor its creator.
Zweigelt reminds me a of a spicy Beaujolais and has a freshness that goes great with a wide range of foods including a traditional schnitzel, which is a meat cutlet, pounded thin, usually breaded and sautéed. It can be made with veal, pork or turkey and you can have it plain or with a variety of sauces….YUM!Wine Food Pairing takes a lot of practice....so go out there, experiment and enjoy. There are no wrong pairings! CHEERS!
For a lot more information on domestic and international wines check out Cellars Wine Club
The wonderful "heat" from Cajun cooking...primarily from cayenne, requires, a low alcohol, white wine. A crisp Pinot Grigio or Muscat will have your taste buds dancing to Zydeco without upping the heat! These wines will cool the heat with their high acidity and without the high alcohol content.
Champagne, with all those tiny bubbles, is also a terrific choice. When my neighbor, Pete, prepares his annual "mud bug" boil, I always pair it with Freixenet Brut....OK I am a princess, but what could be better than great friends, terrific spicy food and a chilled glass of bubbly? As I have said many times, Wine Food Pairing is an adventure.......so step up to the plate and enjoy! CHEERS!
Cellars Wine Club has a lot of information to share with your on your next wine food pairing!
Here I am in the Abacos, Bahamas...we had just reeled in a lovely snapper and I thought quickly....what do we have on the boat that would pair nicely with this delightful fish? Freixenet Brut, of course! This terrific sparkling wine was just what the doctor ordered to cool our parched throats after a long day of fishing.
I do my fish on the barbie in foil with sliced vidalia onions, fresh lemon, extra virgin olive oil and whatever fresh herbs that are plentiful on the boat (I keep a few pots on the boat when we cruise).
Of course by the time by the time the fish was done on the barbie we had finished the Freixenet and we were on to a crisp chilled Pinot Grigio to complement the moist snapper! Thank you Mr. Snapper for a terrific dinner!
Wine food pairing is an adventure to enjoy! CHEERS!
For more information on wine food pairing check out Cellars Wine Club
For fun with your wine food pairing, try chocolate......you'll find that it can be a dessert wine's best friend!
When selecting chocolates to pair with your dessert wine, you should be searching for one important number: the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate. Usually, this percentage is marked clearly on the label or box containing the piece of chocolate. The amount of cocoa dictates how sweet the chocolate will be. For example, 30% cocoa and 70% sugar present in most milk chocolates, make for a sweet and creamy taste that does not compliment dessert wines as well.
The choice has everything to do with the selection of wine to pair with the chocolate. The lighter, sweet fruit aspects of Madeira team up nicely with a very dark, over 70% cocoa chocolate. However, if you can't find Madeira, a Tawny or Ruby Port serves as a good substitute...... even a Cabernet. I've found a site that seems to have one of the best selections of wine.......check out Cellars Wine Club
Quality dark chocolate pieces, truly compliment sweet wines. So experiment with pieces of various dark chocolates next time you do a wine food pairing with a dessert wine. You love cheese plates; why not chocolate plates? ENJOY!
It always comes down to personal taste, but a few guidelines do seem to ring true....
Red wines do better with milder cheeses....
Sweet wines work best with a wide range of flavors....
The "stinkier" the cheese, the sweeter the wine should be.....
Always remember that the fat from the cheese sometimes makes the red wines seem tasteless. On the other hand, a Champagne or sparkling wine can cut through the fat and give you a flavorful experience.
I have found some great wine cheese baskets that make great gifts for yourself or a wine lover friend....check out Cheese and Wine Unlimited
It always comes down to the fact that Wine Food Pairing is an adventure.....so practice, practice, practice........and enjoy! CHEERS!
Of course personal preference is different for everyone so there are no absolute rights and wrongs to wine food pairing, but try eating salted nuts and sipping a Sauvignon Blanc. Most people find that it tastes less acidic. Crazy, huh?
It always amazes me how different wines taste with a variety of foods. Wine Food Pairing is definately not for the faint of heart....so go out there and experiment....and of course....ENJOY! CHEERS!!
Information is always key when wine food pairing..click on Cellars Wine Club
For those of you who haven't heard of Roy's, it is centered around Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine. Chef Nick prepared a Sesame Crusted Chilean Sea Bass and teamed it up with a Frisee-Panzanella Salad, Thai Chili Vinaigrette! It was paired up with a wonderful Chardonnay from California. YUM!
The sea bass was "melt in your mouth " and the bite of the Thai vinaigrette was smoothed out by the buttery Chardonnay....altogether delightful!
What a way to discover Wine Food Pairing......CHEERS!
For information on exciting new wines orto order for your next wine food pairing, click on Cellars Wine Club
Summer is here and that means the grills come out. Everyone is looking for a refreshing beverage that beats the heat and goes well with their favorite barbecue. With wine's increase in popularity comes the challenge of finding a wine to serve that not only beats the heat, but goes well with all those "grill" favorites! From tangy ribs to a delicious steak or perhaps even shrimp on the barbie, the friends I polled all loved the "blush" wines of White Zin or Rose.
Served chilled it beats the heat both on the outside as well as inside!
Learn for yourself what combinations of tastes YOU enjoy the most. Feel free to experiment with Wine Food Pairing, and enjoy! CHEERS!
To look for your next delightful White Zin or Rose, check out Cellars Wine Club
Who would think that wine food pairing with oysters and red wine would work? Aren’t you “supposed” to drink beer with oysters?
Apparently 40% of the population surveyed found nothing wrong with it, in fact, they enjoyed the combination! It seems that a lot of “pairing” combinations come from personal taste and body chemistry. In the same survey, it was found, that, 60% thought the combination awful with a terrible metallic taste ruining both the wine and the oysters.
Many times I go to the store and am boggled at the wine selections…and there is no one to ask that seems to know about the wines. My favorite online site for information is Cellars Wine Club ….just click on it and see what you think.
So the the word of the day is to relax! If you enjoy the wine food pairing of wine and oysters then don’t worry. Most foods go with most wines….CHEERS!
Many people worry needlessly about wine food pairing, the plain fact of the matter is that most foods go with most wines. It is NOT rocket science!
There are of course exceptions, but often it is a matter of personal taste or individual chemistry. Here are a couple of experiments which help demonstrate the effect of wine and food on each other. Sip a tart white wine then bite into a wedge of lemon, try the wine again and notice the apparent change in flavor of the wine. Next taste a very tannic, cabernet, then bite into a green olive and try the wine again. Suddenly the wine tastes smooth and velvety. YIKES…who would of thought!
Wine food pairing should be a FUN adventure…… so go forth into the wonderful world of wines and experiment…..CHEERS!
For more information on wines go to Cellars Wine Club