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Chillin with Chili and Pairing wine

Best Spicy Chili and Wine Pairing

Best Spicy Chili and Wine Pairing

I have been on a quest to find really good chili for quite some time. I remember, as a child, my mom made a decent chili, but nothing to brag about.  Friends would rant and rave about their secret recipes, but never seemed to produce anything of quality. I’m not a chili afficionado, mind you, I just wanted something other than Sloppy Joes and Hot Sauce. Thankfully, my friend Karen, came through with her award winning chili recipe, which I’ll cook for you in the below video. It’s meaty, spicy, flavorful, and goes well with a host of wines.

Chillin with Chili and Pairing wine from Matthew Scott Horbund on Vimeo.

As far as I know, the recipe for this chili only exists here, and in Karen’s home. I don’t think her blog, GeoFooding, even lists it. Therefore, I’m honored to have the pleasure of sharing it with you. The recipe is rather involved, and takes a tad of work. The video is 13 minutes long, but tries to cover all of the steps taken to make this great dish. And of course, at the end, we talk wine.

There are many wines that could have been paired with this chili. Robin wished I went with a Riesling, similar to my Wine and Wings pairing, to cut the spice. She felt the fruit and slight sweetness would have been a welcome offset to the heat in the chili.  And you may have noticed I mentioned Twisted Oak in the video. While I confused The Spaniard’s Tempranillo with Grenache, I think it would have been a welcome wine pairing. The earthy, peppery flavors would really kick the chili up a notch! I selected a more round, fruit driven red wine, however, to pair with this spicy dish. I’m sure Jeff would call me a wimp!

Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2008

Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2008

Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel is a wine that I’ve discussed previously. It’s an easy drinking, fruit driven wine that is made from vines that range in age from 80 to 100 years old.  These vines produce a grape that has a very concentrated flavor, and offers a taste of plums and raisins, along with nice berry flavors. The high alcohol, 15%, doesn’t impact the flavors of the chili, and the wine compliments it nicely.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know what you think! Did you kick up the heat a bit with some Cabot Jalepeno or Hot Habenero Cheese? Or did you just go with the Seriously Sharp Cheddar, because the chili was already smokin?  Leave a comment below! And without further ado…

Karen’s Amazing Chili Recipe

The International Chili Society prohibits beans, rice or pasta in chili.  If you want beans, I use black beans cooked separately and mixed in at the end.  Slow cook them with smoky bacon.

4 slices, smoky bacon, finely chopped

1 lb fresh ground chuck

½ lb ground pork

½ lb ground lamb

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

4 cloves garlic minced

2 roasted, peeled poblano chilis, diced (I removed the seeds!)

1 small (2.6-3 oz) can chipotle peppers w/adobo sauce, minced

1 bell pepper roasted, peeled and seeded, diced

2 16 oz cans diced or stewed tomatoes, chopped

1 8oz can v-8 juice

2 tsp epazote or oregano

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp ground coriander seed

½ tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp ground fennel seed

3 dashes Worcestershire sauce

1 cup dry sherry (not cooking Sherry, go to a store like Total Wine and buy dry sherry)

1 bunch chopped cilantro

½ carrot grated (optional)

Preparation

In a large pot, brown meats, over medium heat, together until it has a nice brown color.  Pour off any accumulated fat and return to heat.  Add diced onion and garlic and stir until onion is translucent being careful not to burn the garlic.  If garlic starts to brown turn the heat down. Burnt garlic will ruin the dish and there is no saving it after that!

Add sherry and simmer until it is reduced by 1/3rd.  Turn heat to low and add spices, stir well and simmer for about 5 minutes so the meat can absorb some of the spice flavor.  Add all peppers and stir well.  Add, tomatoes, worcestershire sauce and ½ of the v-8 juice.  If you don’t want a very spicy chili, add the shredded carrot at this point to add sweetness.

Simmer, partially covered over low heat, stirring occasionally for about 2 hours to fully develop flavors. Tomatoes should practically be disintegrated.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, keeping in mind that the V-8 will add salt and the mixture will become saltier and spicier as it cooks down. Add V-8 juice as needed to keep the mixture moist. Stir in cilantro at the end, reserving some for garnish.

Mix with beans of serve over rice, top with shredded cheddar cheese (I like the Cabot habanera or jalapeño), cilantro and sour cream if desired.  It is also nice with a spoonful of queso fresco instead of the cheese and sour cream.

Three Great Wines For your Valentines

Valentines Day Wine Selection

Valentines Day Wine Selection

Many guys will admit they’re not the best when it comes to figuring out what women want. Perhaps it’s because women are complex beings, requiring careful time and study, and men aren’t that patient. Or perhaps it’s because men are selfish, hedonistic animals who really only care about their own needs. To help my brethren out this Valentines Day, I’m going to offer three wine suggestions that will make it seem like they understand what their ladies want, all without investing too much time, or too much money. My theme for this year’s Valentines Day wine choices is “Think Pink”, great Rose wines, one a sexy sparkler, that wont break your bank!

Now, I must admit, I had a little help to select these wines. Robin, my better half, made no bones about loving the color pink. My first clue was “Can I paint the house pink”, followed by an onslaught of pink clothes and accessories showing up on her side of the room.  However, the real giveaway was our being at a Champagne event, and her gushing “Ohh, I love pink champagne.” Ding ding, clue number one just dropped, go pick it up boys. Now, Robin didn’t actually help me make the selections, but for some reason, I knew she’d love them. We started off with a Sparkling wine from South Africa, Graham Beck’s Brut Sparking Rose – NV, from Robertson SA. Retailing at only $14, this wine delivers nice quality at a great price.

Graham Beck Brut Rose NV valentines day wine 2

Graham Beck Brut Rose NV

This light and crisp bubbly had a very nice, pale pink hue in the glass. It’s made from 58% Chardonnay and 42% Pinot Noir grapes, in the Cap Classique method, where the wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle.  This is of course the same method used to make Champagne, the  méthode Champenoise, and is the term used in South Africa since 1992 to denote the traditional time-honoured method of making the sparkler.  Right out of the bottle, there were strawberry fruit flavors up front, with a finish of minerals that is refreshing in a Brut (dry) sparkler. There were tons of bubbles, and it was definitely the perfect way to start off our evening. Giving this bubbly a few minutes to open up is a nice idea, because the minerals and almost tart finish blows off, and you’re enjoying nice round red fruit that is well balanced and fun.  You can serve the Graham Beck Brute Rose NV bubbly with seafood, or even rare beef or lamb, and of course the traditional strawberries will be a smash hit!

Saint Andre de Figuiere 2008 Rose Magali Cuvee Valentines day wine

Saint Andre de Figuiere 2008 Rose Magali Cuvee

If bubbles aren’t your thing, lets hop from South Africa to Provence, France and enjoy a glass of Saint Andre de Figuiere 2008 Rose Magali Cuvee. That’s certainly a mouthful, especially if your French is as bad as mine! However, it’s worth butchering the name, or saying Saint ANdre Rose if you must, to enjoy this crisp Valentines Day wine. Half of the rose wine made in France comes from Provence, and at $16 this blend of Cinsault, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache is sure to delight. It’s salmon-pink color gives way to a bouquet of sweet, ripe raspberries. It has a soft palate, very light and crisp with fresh fruit of citrus and red berries, and some beautiful minerality on the finish. Dry and well balanced, this rose will go well with a host of foods, from chicken to fish, or just sipping with a nice cheese plate.

Big Fire Rose valentines day wine 3

Big Fire Rose Wine

Bubbles didn’t blow her away, and dry French wine not her thing, well then lets pop over to the United States, and try a Rose from Oregon! R Stuart & Co’s Big Fire line has a number of nice wines at good prices, and their $12 Big Fire Rose is no exception. A darker shade of pink than the previous two wines, the Big Fire Rose has some cherry scents on the nose, but it wasn’t a very fragrant bouquet. However, the palate was definitely bursting with fruit, strawberry up front, with a medium body that bursts with flavor. There’s definitely some red cherry and other bright fruit on the wine, and the fruit flavors last an incredibly long time.  The Big Fire Rose is a blend of Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Pinot Gris, each grape bringing it’s unique and interesting characteristic to the blend. Definitely a fruit forward wine, you could enjoy this with a lighter dish, whether it’s a salad, or some simple grilled chicken.

Let me know what wine you have on this Valentines Day, and how you enjoy it. If it’s one of the three discussed here, let me know how you like it. And Ladies, don’t be shy! If you want to be sure you enjoy the wine you drink on Valentines Day, select one of these and just tell him to open and pour like a good man should!  Cheers!

You can watch my appearance on CBS12 WPEC talking about these great wines with Daybreak News Anchor Kara Kostanich!

Tweetup at Himmarshee – Food and Wine Pairing

Hanging with Miguel, Pam, Arianne & Enzo

Hanging with Miguel, Pam, Arianne & Enzo

It seems like only yesterday that Chef Dolce Debbie & I were planning our first Food & Wine Tweetup. From that amazing event, we planned several successful followups, serving delicious meals, pairing them with fantastic wines, and having some of the most interesting friends at our table. All of this came to life because of the social networking tool Twitter, where Debbie and I “met”, virtually, exchanged ideas, and created opportunities. However, my East Coast Florida friends quickly became jealous of our events being exclusively in Tampa.  Twitter played a hand in solving that issue, introducing me to PR expert Jan Idelman at a Ft Lauderdale “Pizza Tweetup”, and #Twineup was born.

One of Jan’s clients is a downtown Ft Lauderdale hot spot with a 12 year history of serving great food, and pairing it with your choice of dozens of wines. When Jan and I met, we discussed some of the wine events and television segments I’ve done, and she saw a great opportunity to introduce new people to her client, Himmarshee Bar & Grille. We quickly planned our first Himmarshee Twineup for September 12th, and it was a tremendous success. Forty friends from twitter, as well as viewers of South Florida Today who saw me talking about the event on the show, joined us for an evening of food, wine, and networking with great people. People clamored for a repeat, and we couldn’t let them down. We planned our second event, let everyone know about it, and before you could blink, October 17th was here and the fun started all over again.

The Crowd At Himmarshee

The Crowd At Himmarshee

Over forty people packed into Himmarshee Saturday night for the second event. Shortly after 8:30 we began the event and poured our first wine, Murphy-Goode The Fume 2008.  This Sauvignon Blanc was chosen for it’s light and crisp citrus flavors. Chef Chris created two dishes to pair with this wine, petite lump crab cakes with a pickled habanero tartar, and island spiced shrimp & yucca croquettes with a drunken mango salsa. The guests absolutely loved the first tasting, many of them ordering glasses of the wine throughout the night. Some even had it with their dinner after the event.

Hope Estate 2005 Shiraz

Hope Estate 2005 Shiraz

The second tasting was a Shiraz from Hope Estate in Hunter Valley, Australia. This 2005 Shiraz was fermented in 30% American oak, then aged in 60% French and 40% American. While I felt the palate was very jammy, with tons of blackberry and plum flavors, Rick Garcia, Mr Miamism and the King of Mojitos, was actually a bit overwhelmed by the wood on the finish. His wife, Ines, one of my first twitter friends, was NOT a fan of the wine. However, after tasting Chef’s duck confit and sweet potato empanada with a vanilla-Shiraz macerated cherry topping, she changed her mind. The flavors meshed beautifully, toning down the woody finish, bringing out the fruit flavors of the wine and providing a delicious experience.

Duck Confit and Sweet Potato Empanada

Duck Confit and Sweet Potato Empanada

I felt this wine lacked the pepper backbone of a Shiraz, which would have not only helped get past the oak influence, but would have also paired wonderfully with Chef Chris’ dish. Gia B Freer, and her husband Grant, two great people I met on Twitter the same time I met Ines, were taking photos of most of the food as it came out. It was awesome finally meeting this fantastic foursome, after over 19 months of “virtual friendship”. They’re great people, and really know how to have a good time. I look forward to trekking down to Miami for a Mojito-Tweetup soon, just to see them again.

If you haven’t noticed, this wine tasting is a bit of a world tour. We started with California, and a light, citrus Sauvignon Blanc. We then moved across the world to Australia, having a fruit forward, jammy Shiraz. Now, it’s time to go back to South America, and travel to Mendoza, Argentina. This last stop brings to us a very dry Cabernet Sauvignon.

Ernesto Catena Tahuan Cabernet Sauvignon

Ernesto Catena Tahuan Cabernet Sauvignon

Awarded a 90 point rating from Wine & Spirits magazine, and included in Food & Wines “Best Argentinian Reds” in February 2009, the Ernesto Catena Tahuan Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 was the famous wine of the night. The current, 2006, vintage was just given 88 points in this month’s Wine Spectator magazine, so there was definitely a pedigree expectation with this wine. This was a very dry cab, firm tannins with dark fruits, mostly cherries on the palate. I felt the oak influence on this wine was very strong, as did some of the guests. However, when paired with the Mushroom and Cambazola toasts with oil cured campari tomato topping, this wine showed nicely. The “stinky” blue cheese quality of the cambazola really brought out the fruit, and helped coat the palate so that the oak didnt overwhelm the experience.

The night ended with several prizes given away to our friends. Two lucky people won Pokens, graciously donated from PokenGirl. Pokens are digital contact cards, and when two pokens are touched together, they instantly transfer contact information between them. It’s a great gadget to have at a tweetup, and they’re definitely becoming more popular.

Handsome Gift Wrapping from Zsazsa and Company

Handsome Gift Wrapping from Zsazsa and Company

Greg Tuttle, the twitter voice for Total Wine, graciously donated five $20 gift cards to Total Wine, and those five lucky winners need to invite me over when they open their purchases. Two bottles of wine were also prizes for the night, a Murphy-Goode from Himmarshee, and a Fuedo de San Nicola that was part of Pikchur.com’s Hashtag contest. The Fuedo de San Nicola is a wine sold in Florida by Zsazsa And Company, Inc, and both wines were handsomely gift wrapped by Zsazsa and Company.

The November twineup is already being planned. The date will be announced soon. The next event promises to bring even more fun, with exciting new wines, paired with Himmarshee’s fantastic food. However, none of this would be any fun without you coming. So clear your calendar, and get ready to circle the date. You won’t want to miss #Twineup3

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Thanks to Rick Boggs, 2nd photo, for his writeup of the event

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Not another ordinary white wine – Sobon Estate Viognier 2008

One of the things that excites me about wine is the variety that is available. While many people don’t know there are white wines other than Chardonnay available, I love it when the opportunity to enjoy Riesling from Dr Loosen, Aligote from Steele Wines or a nice Viognier arises. Viognier is a very versatile wine, great to sip on, or pair with a wide range of foods. When you get a Viognier that not only tastes good, but  is reasonably priced, that makes it pair well with ANYTHING. I’d like to introduce you to that Viognier, it comes from Sobon Estate, and I really enjoyed tasting and reviewing this wine.

Sobon Estate makes a number of different wines, from Syrah and Roussane to Sangiovese and Zinfandel. There is a rich history behind Sobon Estate, which started in 1977 with Leon and Shirley Sobon founding Shenandoah Vineyards, then forming Sobon Estate in 1989 as their 30th Anniversary gift to each other. The Sobon family is very much a part of the wine making process, from Wine Maker Paul Sobon to Business Systems Manager Robert Sobon, the family take great pride in the wine they make. They also care very much for the environment, and believe in sustainable farming and minimizing the impact of their business on our world. I speak a little about that in the video review below. Check out the video, then read the rest of my notes below it.

Video review of a great white wine – Sobon Estate Viognier 2008 - from Matthew Scott on Vimeo.

The Sobon Estate 2008 Viognier had a great bouquet, showing honeysuckle and white flowers. There was some citrus and even peach notes woven into the bouquet, and it was quite inviting. On the palate, there was definitely some great fruit up front of peaches, with nice honey suckle flavors. It reminded me of being a kid during summer, pulling honey suckle flowers off the vines and tasting the sweet nectar. However, there was this beautiful, balanced spice component that really gave an interesting twist to the finish, making it a fun, complex wine.

This wine was perfect with the three different cheeses, Cheddar, Brie, and Port Salut, we tried while the chicken was cooking. And when the chicken was ready, we had JUST enough wine left to taste them together. The grilled flavors of the chicken, which was seasoned simply with salt, pepper and rosemary, meshed perfectly with the wine.  This Viognier is rather food friendly, and I could see pairing it with white fish sauted in white wine or roasted pork, shrimp on the BBQ, and of course, grilled chicken. For $16, the Sobon Estate Viognier won’t break the bank, and is a great wine to have when friends come over. If you try this, or really any Viognier, why not let me know what you think of it by leaving a comment below!

I would like to disclose that this wine was provided to me by the winery to taste and review, though I have purchased and reviewed their wines in the past.

No Bottleshock here – Chateau Montelena 2007 Chardonnay video wine review

Chateau Montelena 2007 Chardonnay

Chateau Montelena 2007 Chardonnay

These days, most people are on a budget, and watch their spending closely. And while very few of my friends cut wine out of their monthly expenses, they always ask me to find good, budget friendly wines for them to enjoy. However, it’s my opinion that now and then, it’s ok to splurge and treat yourself, so long as you do it in moderation. For Robin & I, that day came last week when we opened up a bottle of Chateau Montelena Chardonnay from Napa, CA.  It’s not what I would call a Budget Wine, but rather a wine for a nice occasion. For us, that occasion was celebrating the end of a work week!

If you’ve seen the movie Bottle Shock you know the impact Chateau Montelena had on the wine world in 1976. The movie definitely endears you to the struggle California wine makers had, and have, gaining respect for the hard work and love that goes into each bottle. It also will make you want to run out and buy a bottle of Chateau Montelena, whether you’ve had it in the past or not. For us, this Chardonnay was not our first experience with their wines. We had a bottle of their Zinfandel with a lovely dinner out in West Palm Beach a few months ago, and their Cab some time prior to that. However, we did indeed go out and buy a bottle of the Chard days after seeing the movie, and kept it in the back of the wine cellar for a while. However, the time came to open, and enjoy it. Of course, I’d like to share this wine with you, so please watch the short two minute video, then scroll down to read more of my thoughts on this wine.

Tasting Chateau Montelena 2007 Chardonnay from Matthew Scott on Vimeo.

I actually misspoke on the video and said that oak aging typically gives Chardonnay a buttery mouth feel. It’s actually the malolactic fermentation that gives it that lush mouth feel. The oak aging can, however, impart notes of toast, spice, and vanilla, for example. The Chateau Montelena Chardonnay spends eight to nine months in oak. However, the oak influence is beautiful, not overwhelming the flavors of fruit.

The wine was wonderful, and we enjoyed it very much. Frankly, I think we drank it too quickly, and needed to take some more time with this wine. The wine evolved over the hour we ate, and I feel we missed some of the changes it went through. I plan on getting a second bottle soon, with the expectation of sipping it, slowly, and really taking care to see how it changes sip to sip. The subtle oak aging provides Chateau Montelena’s Chardonnay with complex layers of flavor, from the tropical notes I mentioned before to subtle hints of vanilla and spice. There’s a nice balance of acidity and fruit, and this is a crisp, and delicious, white wine.

I mentioned a food pairing in the video, and we paired this with Fettuccine Alfredo topped with shrimp. While it was a “nice enough” pairing, it was by no means perfect. Frankly, the beautiful tropical flavors the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay offers would have gone much better with a grilled chicken or fish dish. The fish could have been grilled sea bass or grilled salmon, as either would have paired with this wine wonderfully.  Likewise, a simple grilled chicken, seasoned with nothing but salt and pepper, would have been a spectacular food and wine pairing with this Chardonnay. There are many food and wine pairings that this wine would have worked with, and perhaps we’ll make one or two of them in the future, and share our tasting with you.

Chateau Montelena

Chateau Montelena

I must admit I have not yet visited Chateau Montelena. However, as this beautiful Eve Andersson photo illustrates, there is a lot of history and beauty at the winery. I look forward to visiting the Chateau one day soon. The rich history on that land, from the Chateau itself to Jade Lake, would make a great piece for future TweetMeTV segments. I’ll have to talk with the folks at Daytime morning show and see about another Napa visit, soon!

Your adventure in wine doesn’t need to stop here. You can follow the folks from Chateau Montelena on Twitter. The folks from the movie Bottle Shock are on twitter as well. Of course, you can find me on Twitter or Facebook, and we can continue having a good time with wine. Cheers!

Wine and Wings

It’s common knowledge that buffalo wings and beer go well together. They’re a staple in nearly every sports bar in America. What you may not know is the right wine will pair perfectly with hot wings, allowing you to enjoy your next Superbowl party with wine, instead of brews. A well structured, semi sweet wine, such as a Washington or a German Riesling, cuts the heat in spicy food nicely. And while it’s no secret that I’ve been talking about hot foods with Dr Loosen Dr L Riesling a lot recently, I haven’t shared with you my Grilled Hot Wings recipe to make that food and wine pairing awesome.

Grilling at the Lake

Grilling at the Lake

During our lake house vacation this year, we decided to fire up the grills and make some snacks for an early afternoon meal. We had to feed the 15 people with us, and had one grill with oysters on it, another with ribs, and two with my hot buffalo wings. Most everyone has had wings that are fried, and a few of you health conscious wing lovers have had them baked, but you haven’t enjoyed them until you’ve had them grilled. It takes a good hour toiling over hot coals to make this spicy snack, but they absolutely rock, and your guests will thank you for taking the time for them.

This recipe takes about 15 minutes of prep time, between mixing the ingredients below, washing and cutting the wings, and pouring a glass of wine while you get to cooking. You’ll end up cooking the wings for about 50 minutes, give or take 15, and it’s hands on the whole time. First, you’ll want to get your ingredients together

  • 3 pounds of chicken wings – you can separate at the joints or just buy drummetts
  • 1 1/2 cup hot sauce (12 oz) – Louisiana style. I used “Cristal” last time, and Louisiana before
  • 1 cup of Cola soda (8 oz)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (little less if you don’t want the heat as rockin!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

I experimented with 4 or 5 different ratios of hot sauce to cola before I was happy. You’ll find your “sweet spot” with the mixture and people will RAVE about the wings.  Additionally, I double the sauce recipe because it does reduce down, and I like to make sure the wings are submerged for their time in the sauce.

Grilled Hot Wings

Grilled Hot Wings

Preheat your grill to a medium heat. I always cook these wings over direct heat, but you may want to set it up indirect.

Using a large dutch oven or sauce pot, mix the ingredients, adding the chicken last. Place the pot to the back corner of the grill and allow the sauce to simmer.

Add wings and let them sit in the simmering sauce for approximately 8-10 minutes. Then using tongs like in the picture, take them out and grill them for 5-8 minutes. turning mid way to avoid burning.  Return the wings to the simmering sauce, which will be reducing and thickening, and allow them to simmer again for 8-10 minutes. Repeat this process 4-6 times until the wings are done. Approximately 50 minutes in all. I usually finish the last 5 minutes in the sauce, to leave them “sloppy”. However, you can finish them on the grill for dry wings. (edit note, my family now prefers them dry, and the past two times I finished them on the grill and they were awesome!)

A few edit notes – it’s an active recipe, so you really want to watch them cook.  The first time on the grill, you will likely get a char on the wings. Just be sure not to burn them. Most people, even my 10 yr old son, prefer the chared ones, they have a nice flavor.  Also you CAN do the wings in the oven, if you cant grill. Just heat the oven to 350, and simmer the sauce on the stove top, going from oven to pot the same as you would the grill. You wont get the charred and grilled flavors, but they still rock!

You should test a wing before you take them off, making sure it’s cooked through, pulls off the bone easily, and if you use a meat thermometer, the temp should be about 170 degrees. Additionally, the USDA says the thighs and wings of poultry should be cooked “until the juices run clear.”  I did make these in the oven once, using two cookie sheets in a 350 degree oven while i had the sauce on the burner. It works just as well as the grill, though the taste is a little different, and your stove may get messy!

Grilled Hot Wings

Grilled Hot Wings

Now, I know this is a wine blog, so why the recipe? Well, as you read before, I’m all about Rieslings with spicy food. When @DolceDebbie and I did the Cabot cheese event, she created these KILLER Habanero Shortbreads using Cabot Hot Habanero Cheese, which I paired with the Dr L Riesling. The sweetness, or the Residual Sugar (RS), helps offset the heat from the food, and really brings out nice, ripe fruit. When we served this at the lake house, we opted for Chateau Ste Michelle 2008 Columbia Valley Riesling which is a nice, value driven wine for this dish. Both Dr Loosen and Chateau Ste Michelle have Riesling in the $10-12 range, which go perfectly with this recipe.  Dr Loosen and Chateau Ste Michelle have a joint venture, Eroica Riesling, which, while a little bit more expensive at around $20, worked just as nicely. The Eroica was rated 91 points by by Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate, and is a great option for a “Grocery Store Wine” if you prefer sweeter, fruit driven whites.

Let me know what you think of the wings. And of course, give the wines I mentioned a try, and let me know what you think of them alone, as well as paired with this dish. I’m confident you’ll enjoy as much as we did!

Dolce Debbie-Cabot Cheese-Great Wine-You

Cabot Cheese

Cabot Cheese

What do you get when you mix one part culinary expertise with one part fine wine, and sprinkle with Cabot Cheese? You get the recipe for the perfect night in.  Join us Saturday, July 18th at 7pm EST as we bring you one of the most exciting social media events involving food and wine ever! Cabot Cheese Coop has asked  Chef Dolce Debbie, Executive Chef of Savory Adventures, LLC, and me, to bring their products to you in  exciting new ways.

Chef Dolce Debbie

Chef Dolce Debbie

Chef Dolce Debbie will be preparing a three course meal, all involving fantastic Cabot products in various forms. I’ll be pairing those culinary delights with fine wines, and discussing them with you via a live uStream video event.  There will be a chat room attached to the video stream, where you can speak not only with other viewers, but with Cabot representatives, as well as the hosts of the show, Debbie and I. To make the experience even more interactive and enjoyable, we’ve provided the menu, complete with the wine pairings, so you can join us on our taste adventure.

We’ll start the evening off with appetizers at 7pm EST.  Debbie has brought some amazing flavors to the table in  the first appetizer, Shortbread with Cabot Hot Habanero Cheese! (for recipe, click here)! Debbie will also be serving Radish with Tzatziki Sauce (recipe here) for an interesting appetizer using fresh Cabot products. Both of these dishes will be paired with Dr Loosen Dr L 2007 Riesling.  The sweet fruit from the wine will balance the heat in the two appetizers perfectly. You’ll be pleased with how well the flavors mesh!

Our next course will be Chicken Saltimbocca  (recipe here) which will be served with a Three Potato Salad (for recipe, click here) along with sauteed spinach.  We will pair this all with a fantastic Pinot Noir from Elizabeth Spencer, which offers just the right mixture of fruit and earthy notes to pair beautifully with the chicken dish. If the Elizabeth Spencer Pinot Noir isn’t available, there are two alternatives that will be discussed during the event.  The first is Bailyana FirePeaks Grand Cuvee Pinot Noir, which is quite similar to the Elizbath Spencer in terms of flavor profile.  The second alternative is Mackenzie Russian River Valley 2007 Pinot Noir, which will pair nicely with the main course.

We’ll top off the evening with home made Apple Pie with Vanilla Bean and Greek Yogurt Sauce, which is served with Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar! (for recipe, click here) We will pair this finale with Cru D’Arche-Pugneau Sauternes, though a more widely available wine such as Apex 2007 Late Harvest Semillion will pair just as nicely.

And if that menu wasn’t enough to excite you, you can win a Cabot apron! Follow @Cabotcoop on twitter, and tell the cow which course sounds best to you, and why. The winner will be randomly selected after the event.

So, pencil us in for Saturday July 18th, and be ready for a good time with wine, and cheese, and Dolce Debbie’s fabulous creations from the kitchen!

Viva Italia Feb09

Lynn, Thea, and Liza

Lynn, Thea, and Liza

My favorite part of twitter has most certainly been meeting the people that I’ve connected with there. I have met over a dozen people, from FL to CA, and many points in between. I was even able to fly out to California, meet Jeff Stai from Twisted Oak Winery, enjoy a dinner for the release of their Spaniard wine, meet Thea, Liza and Lynn, and well, just have an amazing time with wine and twitter friends.