New Year, New Wine, New Jersey? New Region, New Grapes #WinePW

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Have you ever tasted wine from New Jersey?

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What about Ugni Blanc? Have you ever tasted a wine made with that grape?

For this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend challenge “New Year, New Wine,” Que Syrah Sue and I decided to taste a wine from a new region — New Jersey!– and to taste a wine from grapes that we didn’t think we’d had before. We considered trying a new recipe too but instead decided to explore new Welsh Cheddars along with a menu of favorites. Continue reading

Sicily’s Global and Coastal Influences: 5 Dishes Paired with 3 Nero D’Avola

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When we heard that the Italian Wine Food and Travel group was going to focus on Italy’s coastline, Sue and I immediately thought of Sicily! Not only is this an island region of Italy with 900 miles of coastline, it’s home to two of our favorite, affordable finds of 2016, Nero  D’Avola, a red wine, and Grillo, white wine.

900 miles is a lot of coastline in a country with a lot of coastline!

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Wine Predator’s Top 12 Posts in 2016

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Even though I started out 2016 with a broken wrist and only published this one really long post in January, I somehow managed to publish 65 or so blog posts during the course of 2016. That’s more than one a week or six a month for the 11 months that I could type! Continue reading

Around the World in Bubbles on Sparkling Wine Day New Year’s Eve

 

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this map of Franciacorta Italy gives a good idea of the diversity of soil types in the region

Did you know that New Year’s Eve is Sparkling Wine Day? What better day to celebrate all that bubbles than on the night when just about everyone all around the world makes a toast with a sparkling wine?

To get us in the mood, I’ve got some ideas for sparkling wines from around the world as well as foods to pair with them starting with Australia where it becomes 2017 first, then traveling west as the day flies by on to Italy, Spain, and France in Europe, then over to Chile in South America, and finally to the Finger Lakes and the Sonoma and Napa areas of North America.  Continue reading

3 Festive Winter Wines: Flora Springs “Holiday Kisses” and Bubbles Too

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Welcome winter! Welcome light! Happy holidays! Happy Hanukkah, Happy Omisoka, Happy Jul, Happy New Year, Merry Christmas,  Merry Saturnalia, and everything else to you all!

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How better to celebrate all of these special moments with friends and family than with some bubbles… and a really great Cabernet Sauvignon? And while a “Holiday Cabernet”  just might pair well with the relatives, what are some other pairing ideas?

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Thinking beyond turkey and ham (for which I usually go for zinfandel and here are some recommendations from Lodi), Sue and I took to the task the other day by putting together charcuterie and other appetizers, and tasting three festive wines that have holiday wrappings. Reviews and recipes below.

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#MerlotMe Again: Washington’s Northstar Merlot with Ahi Tuna

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For #MerlotMe in October, several wineries sent us Merlot samples. We tasted, paired, and blogged about world class wine from California and Oregon with prices ranging from $15-$55 including Duckhorn, Peju, Murphy-Goode, and more which we paired with everything from squash soup to gourmet grilled cheese to French cuosine which you can read about here and here.

But the moment I saw that bottle of Northstar Merlot from the Columbia Valley in Washington I knew that #MerlotMe would not happen in October because I’d be saving it for when the tuna boat would come in!

Just as fisherfolk use the North Star as a directional guide, “Northstar Winery was established in the early 1990s to guide the
 creation of world-class Merlot-based wines that demonstrate the potential
 of the variety in Washington State.”

Because, you see, we live in a harbor with a fish market, and when tuna is in season from December to April, the boat comes in once a month or so with a load of fresh ahi, opah, wahoo, swordfish and more. You can buy a whole fish or buy the pound.

And there is nothing better to pair with Washington Merlot than Seared Ahi Tuna.

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Northstar – Merlot – Columbia Valley – 2012 – 14.7% alcohol – SRP $40 Continue reading