Duck à l’orange with M. Chapoutier’s Biodynamic, Organic Wines

When I heard that the French Winophiles were getting samples “to roam the range of Rhone,” I asked Sue if she was up for making Canard à l’Orange aka Duck à l’orange. We had made it one summer for a twitter tasting, and wow, was it spectacular, and it paired so well with the under $20 Rhone wonders on the table, I could only imagine how well it would go with an M. Chapoutier 2015 – Chateauneuf-du-Pape “La Bernardine” Rouge blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah. Continue reading

#OTBN: Ranchita Canyon Vertical Paired with Lasagna for #WinePW

Sue is big on bidding at silent wine auctions and other charity raffles. And often she wins!

Last year at the Ojai Wine Festival, Sue saw this library vertical from Ranchita Canyon and won these lovely three red wine blends. When we were brainstorming what we should do for Open That Bottle Night which rolls around on the final Saturday of February, she volunteered to share these — and to make a lasagna to pair with them! Continue reading

Exploring Wine From Navarra Spain with #WinePW

Hello Wine Pairing Pilgrims! Please join the Wine Pairing weekend crew on a sacred journey this April to Navarra, Spain, home to the Camino de Santiago as well as a cuisine that pairs heavenly with the region’s wines!

As you can see from the map above, Navarra is located in the upper part of Spain near Rioja and France, and the city famous for the “running of the bulls” — Pamplona — is located there.

Navarra’s history is intertwined with the Camino de Santiago Continue reading

Best Picture and Best Wine Pairings

The 90th Oscars are this Sunday night March 4, 2018.

So what wine goes well with winning?

Bubbles of course!

Oysters and sparkling wine are always a hit: non-fussy, a big crowd pleaser, a bit exotic and exciting!

Seriously, though, when throwing an Oscar party or just a film night with friends, it is very important to be able to relax and enjoy the show with your guests.

So go with a nice cheese plate, some simple finger foods, along with bubbles on ice, and maybe even a berry pie — so easy!– that you can make ahead and smell while it cooks and cools! (Just buy the crusts, toss the berries in a little flour and sugar, and you’re good to go!)

Cocktails are classy and fun when made with bubbles, but they can be more work than setting out wine and beer — unless there’s someone at your gathering who would rather make cocktails than watch commercials! A salad is always nice to have as well — something crunchy and fresh — people can dress their own.

Continue reading

World Of Pinot Noir Returns to Santa Barbara’s Bacara March 1-3, 2018

This first weekend of March World Of Pinot Noir returns to the exclusive Bacara Resort located on the coast just north of Santa Barbara.

Along with flowing pinot filling dump buckets will be buckets of rain and mud, so bring your umbrella and prepare for possible road closures!

That’s right, due to the extensive damage to the hillsides caused by the Thomas and other recent fires and predictions of a serious winter storm, this year’s World of Pinot Noir requires a bit more than a light jacket for cool evenings: bring an umbrella and a rain jacket — and you should consider some mud boots as well as planning on possible road closures, detours, and worse. Seriously: be sure to have cold weather clothes in your car along with snacks and plenty of water so you don’t indulge in that bottle of Pinot Noir I know you have tucked in there somewhere! Continue reading

Sweethearts: French Wines Paired With Mini-Pizzas #Winophiles

Who doesn’t love PIZZA?

Especially on National Pizza Day when you’re celebrating your sweetheart’s Valentine’s Day birthday with French wine and heart shaped pizzas?

That was us on February 9, National Pizza Day when we gathered at Sue’s to celebrate John’s birthday with gourmet sweetheart pizzas — big enough to share with two, fun to share with all!

Because this February focus on L’amour. Continue reading