Wine Food Pairing - Austrian Guys on the Loose!

Wine Food Pairing was recently visited by a long time friend ..................Hans Tinhof from Austria.

They have known each other for over forty years, and while both guys speak perfectly good English, after a couple of glasses of wine, when the conversation really got going about the "old times," it seems that German was the preferred language! Perhaps it has something to do with it being the mother tongue, or maybe it is just to protect the innocent (or guilty)!

Hans is a wine farmer, or weinbauer as it is called in the German language....his family has grown grapes and made wine for many generations. His farm is located in the prestigious Burgenland region where some of the best wine from Austria is made. In addition, he also owns a heuriger, or wine cafe, where several times a year you can come and join him and his family for wine and some delicious traditional Austrian food.

He has traveled to the United States many times, but he has never really seen "our neck of the woods" before...... we showed him around all the "classic" sites of our southwest Florida area, this included a trip down to Goodland, to Stan's Idle Hour on Sunday afternoon. It is an event that must be experienced first hand, but just suffice to say, a good time was had by all!

Instead of pairing our schnitzels or wurst with a tasty zweigelt, we went for the more traditional SW Florida fare of shrimp and cheeseburgers with cold beer .... AH..... Wine Food Pairing can be grueling at times! Cheers!

To learn more information about Hans Tinhof and his wonderful winery in Austria, you can visit him at his blog:

Wine Food Pairing - Local Pig Roast ... YIKES!

Wine Food Pairing visits the local pig roast! YIKES! It was complete with the star of the show ... Mr. Pig with an apple in his mouth! What could be better?

Once a year our local island has a pig and chicken roast to welcome back all the neighbors ..... we call them snow birds, but do not confuse these folks with the birds that we roasted on the grill! It was BYOB and an appetizer or dessert, with the main ingredients provided by one of our local restaurants, the Capri Fish House. They always do a SUPER job! Thanks Mike!

The main question of the day, what wine do I bring to this event? I carefully packed up our red plastic cups for the event and then went to the wine closet to make my selection. After much searching, I brought out the 2005 Red Rose Lane - Sonoma County Signature Reserve. It was a terrific hit! The rose complimented both the pork and the fowl hot off the grill.

Wine Food Pairing once again proves that if you have good food, great wines and terrific friends life is perfect. CHEERS!

For more information on the Capri Fish House you can look at their website. If you are ever in the area, be sure to visit won't be disappointed!

Wine Food Pairing - Shrimp on the Pizza!

Wine Food Pairing ..... you have heard of shrimp on the barbie (which is wonderful ) so how about shrimp on the pizza? A scampi pizza to be more exact.

In Florida we have many opportunities to buy fresh, off the boat shrimpies, sometimes called "bugs" ...... and we all know that fresh is best! Why not combine the best of both worlds, a Friday night pizza and delicious gulf bugs! The recipe idea came from my good friend Pat, of course I had to tweak it a bit, just because!

First off I whipped up some homemade whole wheat dough in my bread maker in the morning and put it in the fridge to wait for it to "jump". I'm not sure what that means, but my old buddy Jeff used to own a pizza parlor and he said that it was a "must do". By late afternoon I figured it was time to open a bottle of my favorite Cavit Pinot Grigio and get down to serious business.

I opened the fridge and found that the dough was now creeping over the edge of the plate so it must have "jumped" enough. I popped my pizza stone in the oven to heat up and then began the interesting chore of making the dough look like a pizza crust....YIKES......I wonder if they have pizza crust classes? I hope no one will be grading the presentation!

I am on my second glass of this delightfully crisp pinot by the time I begin to saute the onions, garlic, olive oil, spices and mushrooms for the toppings. Everything comes together nicely. The mozzarella goes on the bottom, the sauteed ingredients next, followed by the gulf shrimp and more cheese.

Fifteen minutes later my mouth is drooling from the garlicky smells in the house. The pizza is out, fresh glasses of Pinot Grigio are passed around and the scampi pizza party begins! YUMMY!

Wine Food Pairing ... who would have thought...bugs and wine? CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing Tastes the New Kid on the Block

Wine Food Pairing always encourages new wineries to submit their "nectar" for review.

Batavia Bob lovingly shared some wine, bottled in an old soda bottle, from the extensive cellar of Jami & Julies Bar & Grill in Illinois. Mark and Paul Anderson were the lead vintners, the recipe passed down from their fathers. Jami White and Bob Brown provided labor to squeeze the grapes and mix the ingredients.

The wine was born in early September 2006. The grapes were carefully harvested from fence rows and other secret locations in western Kane county, IL. After harvest they were placed in specially prepared (they cleaned the paint out) 5gal buckets and lightly mashed. The mash was then allowed to rest for about a week before the pressing operations began. Only natural, untreated well water from the Silurian System shallow bedrock aquifer was used and the vintners insist on only the finest sugar from Sam's Club.

After the pressing and mixing was completed the mixture was transfered to an oak barrel and placed in a secret dark closet in the cellar at aforementioned Bar & Grill for about a year to age.

The critical question, what should one "pair" with this wine? Wine Food Pairing worked extensively to come up with the answer. Turkey, both white and dark meat was tested......not really the best for either the wine or the poor turkey. Next we tried brats, but they didn't compliment each other either. Finally we had our neighbor Jack taste Batavia Bob's wine and after much deliberation he had the answer....... "you know, it really tastes a lot like communion wine!"

Well, that's it! Communion wine! Think of all the possibilities. Think of all the churches in need of such wine. Dollar signs shown in Bob's eyes and he figured that even if the churches wouldn't buy the wine, they might be able to get a terrific tax deduction for donating it!

Wine Food Pairing can be a challenge and ALWAYS is an adventure. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - the Party Began on a Somber Note

Wine Food Pairing, the party began on a somber note.......

We all joined hands........ Bob led us in prayer .....
Oh glorious King of the oinkers, may you look down on Carol as she labors to prepare one of your most valued gifts. May you guide her hands as she carefully rubs the ..................seasonings and prepares the spices, and especially as she commences the pulling.
May you keep her oven at the proper temperature
May you keep her Chardonnay cold.


The prayer ended and we all dug into some of the tastiest pulled pork in all of southwest Florida.

Carol and Jim hosted a terrific food feast at their home on the river and all the guests wandered away with a full belly, a warm glow from the good wine and smiling from the camaraderie of great friends.

The pork was paired with your choice of wines ...... Yellow Tail Chardonnay, Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio or a wonderful Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon. I personally went for the Pinot Grigio.
Wine Food Pairing is truly a matter of personal taste and a crisp Pinot on a warm winter evening in Florida did the trick for me!

Wine Food Pairing, always an adventure. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - Happy New Year with Sparkling Wine and Friends!

Wine Food Pairing wants to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

I was fortunate enough to spend this year surrounded by terrific friends and a delightful sparkling wine.

I paired the Freixinet Brut with homemade seafood chowder....after all we are in Florida and then my husband "burned" some thick steaks on the barbie to a perfect medium rare! Of course, the steaks required a bit bolder wine....we brought out a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon....YUMMY!

Wine Food Pairing for the New Year....simply the best. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - 5 Austrians in a Motor Home!

Wine Food Pairing - Five Austrians in a motor home arrive at my house in Florida late on a Saturday night.....YIKES!!!!!

Helga, Karl and their three sons had been in Florida for a week before they decided to drop in. What an exciting trip for the kids.....theme parks, alligators and Key West.......a lot of stories to tell their friends back home. Back home in Austria their family owns Traudl's winery and heuriger (wine house) and we have enjoyed their hospitality many times......time to repay the kindness.

Out came a terrific Pinot Noir from the finger lakes region of New York. The Dr. Frank Wines are a special favorite of mine and I knew that being the wine "pro's" that they are, it would be well appreciated....and it was!

I paired this with some "stinky" cheeses and fresh rye bread that I had made earlier and everyone went to bed happy.

For a wonderful winery experience while visiting Austria, be sure to stop by Truadl's ... you can visit their website at:

Wine Food Pairing around the world. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing, an Unannounced Visit!

Wine Food Pairing is simple if you just prepare a bit in advance, but what about an unannounced visit?

When friends drop in by surprise, look to your wine cellar....or in my case a wine closet! Yesterday, friends caught me literally up a ladder....what to do?

Out came a 2006 Thorngate - California Viognier....this was a gift from another friend and was highly recommended for it's tropical flavors and elegant herbal tones. My husband did the honors and poured the first glass and we all agreed it was delightful!

I popped into the kitchen and put together a quick Caesar salad....I know, it doesn't sound quick, but if you keep a few key ingredients in the pantry, like anchovies, it really is no big deal! Toss a bit of shredded Parmesan cheese on top and a few grilled shrimp .... PRESTO ... a quick snack for everyone to enjoy!

The Viognier complimented the salad and a terrific afternoon was had by all. Wine Food Pairing is easy to do. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - Christmas with Cava!

Wine Food Pairing for a Florida Christmas celebration!

Florida, where visions of a white Christmas include the sugar sand of the pristine beaches and a ride in Santa's sleigh means a gathering of friends in a deck boat!

Our annual neighborhood Christmas get together begins about noon with Santa and all of the "elves" in the neighborhood getting together for a a boat ride through the canals of Isles of Capri with the "elves" entertaining by singing Christmas carols. Serenading can be very thirsty work and what better thirst quencher than Cristalino Cava Brut? Dry with just a touch of sweetness, it aids in remembering some of those long forgotten lyrics.

What to pair with song and Cava....well something easy to eat on the boat....potato chips, pretzels and Doritos.... a perfect match!

Hope to see you on our next Christmas Wine Food Pairing adventure. CHEERS!