#ClinkDifferent: 4 Affordable Red Bordeaux Paired With Instant Pot Oxtail Beef Bourguinonne

First, how are you doing?

And second, what are you drinking?

Over here at Wine Predator, we’re focused on comfort food and wine right now (well, all the time!) and we’re here to say that you don’t have to break the bank to live it up right now.

In a restaurant, this rich Oxtail and beef shank dish paired with a Bordeaux wine would cost a small fortune. But in the instant pot, it’s fast, easy, and delicious! Plus Bordeaux at home is much less expensive and it comes in a wide range of prices.

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Chicken and Savoie for Sweethearts, with Fondue for Friends #WinePW

You never know who you will meet and what you’ll talk about during the 7-15 minute ride up on the mountain in the icy wind while in the confined space of a ski lift. Generally there are greetings and pleasantries about the weather and the ski conditions, where you’re from and where you usually ski. Topics are usually lightweight, often playful, always friendly. Over New Year’s we skied two days at Snow Summit at Big Bear in Southern California, then two days at our “home” mountain of Mammoth, then three days at Lake Tahoe.
It was on a lift at Squaw Valley about 10,000 feet in elevation that I recognized that the woman I was squeezed next to had a French accent. She and her husband grew up skiing at Chaminix in the French Alps, she told us, then she revealed that she grew up in Jura and her husband in Savoie.
Delighted, I asked her about the wines of the region and the cuisine they paired with them.  Cheese, they said, and potatoes, especially cheese fondue, but what they loved with the wines most was chicken bresse, made with mushrooms and cream which she says she cooks in a dutch oven for 2-3 hours.

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Introduce a Friend to French Wine 2: Loire’s St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil AOC Les Quaterones, Amirault #Winophiles

Three Loire Cabernet Franc by Xavier Amirault

What can make French wine confusing to newcomers is that often the name of the grape inside the bottle is nowhere to be found on the outside of the bottle.

That means to know what grapes are inside the bottle you have to know what is grown in the region named on the bottle.

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May There Be Bubbles for Brunch! Plus Negronis, Strata for #WinePW

Let’s Do Brunch! So said Sue and I in suggesting this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend prompt.  We had no idea that this is actually #BrunchWeek for food bloggers who are also writing about Brunch this week!

But how many bloggers are writing about BRUNCH and WINE? Well, I’ll bet quite a few because for many a defining feature and interest in brunch is that they probably invented brunch so we could have wine with breakfast!

And for many, wine at brunch means BUBBLES! And while this was indeed true for many of us participating in Wine Pairing Weekend (scroll down and you’ll see!), Sue and I fell in love with a special Brunch Negroni! Continue reading

Is Garnacha the next “great grape”? Find out Tuesdays in April 6pm PST

beso de vino
Tonight, Tuesday April 21 from 6-7pm PST, is the third night of four focused on “The Next Great Grape: Garnacha” on Wine Studio hosted by Protocol Wine Studio. James Beard Award-winning wine and food writer, WSET Instructor, and public speaker Lyn Farmer aka @FizzFan visited the Cariñena region last June and brings his insights into the history, sights, sounds and tastes to the weekly discussion:

“I believe Cariñena is positioned to take a vibrant place on the world wine stage. It is not (yet) so well known as regions slightly to the north like Ribera del Duero and Rioja, nor is it (yet) so trendy as Priorat and Toro, but Cariñena’s day is coming.”  @FizzFan

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Mezzacorona Wine Takes You to the Alps!

Today January 31, 2015 is the final day to enter Mezzacorona Wine’s trip to the Dolomites so it seemed the perfect day to write about their wines and to encourage you to enter via this link. http://woobox.com/8ognsr/dgfbi0

Plus, after Tuesday’s Slow Wine Continue reading

Try These $15 Sauvignon Blancs from Touraine, France

Vineyard_in_the_Loire_Valley Getting ready for tomorrow’s Vouvray twitter tasting with Snooth.com (Weds Aug 6 2014 (5:30pm PST; we’ll be trying two dry wines and two sparkling wines  and learning how Chenin Blanc thrives in the region, and the effects of that terroir) made me recall how many great wines from the Loire Valley in France I’ve had the pleasure to meet in the past year or two.

When it comes to white wines of the Loire Valley, people may think of Muscadet which grows along the river closer to the coast or Vouvray’s Chenin Blanc which is further up river.

The Loire River demarcates France’s weather between the northern climate and the south, adding a few degrees of temperature.  Spring is cool with frost while during grape harvest months it may have rain. Hot summers are moderated by the Atlantic breezes.

The Loire’s Sauvignon Blanc grows in the Touraine region even further up the Loire Valley.  There, under conditions too harsh for other white grapes with high winds and freezing temperatures,  its late bud break and early ripening allows it to flourish in the region’s limestone soils.

Last fall, we gathered at Que Syrah Sue’s and tasted five Sauvignon Blanc from the Touraine region of the Loire Valley in France with the TasteLive crew at a twitter event, and what impressed us most about the group was the range of expression in the wines and the great value , with most of them $15 or less.

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