Wine Food Pairing - What's Good-a about Gouda and Wine?

Wine Food Pairing, Gouda and wine is not just good-a, it's great!

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 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!

Wine Food Pairing - Wine for the Chef and Wine for the Pan!

Wine Food Pairing, what to cook? Let's check the fridge. My husband volunteers to "do something" with the pork tenderloin sitting on the shelf.

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!

Wine Food Pairing ... Nuttin' is Better than a Cheese Ball with Nuts!

The holiday season is here and wine food pairing is important for all your entertaining.

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!

Wine Food Pairing - Please "Permit" Me!

Wine Food Pairing ..... it can be a delightful evening spent in an expensive restaurant or as simple as throwing a fishing line off a local dock!

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!

Wine Food Pairing - Lane Snapper from the Gulf of Mexico!

Lane Snapper, sometimes confused with the similar colored Red Snapper, is just terrific for Wine Food Pairing!

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.