A Preview of Portugal: Wine, Cuisine, and Travel With #WinePW

a few of the Portuguese wines and foods we enjoyed for September’s #WinePW ‘s focus on Portugal

There is so much more to PORTUGAL than PORT Wine!
Discover our stories about Portugal this Saturday, September 9th when, by 8am PST, the Wine Pairing Weekend crew will publish posts about Portuguese wine and then head to twitter to share our choices and tell the stories behind them (hashtag = #WinePW).

Food and travel are always a part of the chat, so join us for all the doors that Portuguese  wine can open. And we’d love to have participation from people who live in Portugal too!

This month, the Wine Pairing Weekend crew includes:

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Hooray for Central Coast Rose for #WinePW

Have you caught the rose’ train yet?

With the current wild proliferation and profusion of rose wine on today’s market, many people have discovered that the rose you find today is not at all like the sweet characterless wine you found in grandma’s glass a few years ago.

Even Brangelina and Drew Barrymore are on the rose train. In the video below, Drew explains how to taste wine and then…

well and then she puts her foot in her mouth and makes a number of ridiculous and false statements while holding her glass by the bowl which warms the wine (and smudges the glass!). Read about everything that’s wrong in the video here.    

Scroll down for a much better video about how to make rose– from someone who is a winemaker first and not an actor.

So if you don’t have rose in your glass yet, you will soon: according to data from Nielsen Co., “rosé has been one of the fastest-growing segments of the market for two years running.”  And Bloomberg reports that  rosé outsells red  wine AND white wine in France while in Australia rosé is the fastest growing wine style.

But it’s not white zin that’s caught our fancy because white zin’s market share is dropping rapidly: instead we are in the pink with ones more similar to the rosé wines of Provence: while more expensive, these pink wines are sophisticated, dry, and crisp, they cut the heat to leave us refreshed, and they pair well with food.

To help you sort through the proliferation, we’ve tasted four from the Central Coast  and paired them with SHRIMP CORN FRITTERS (OMG so good!) and have some ideas for you when this month the #WinePW crew once again say HOORAY for Rose with our theme for August Wine Pairing Weekend Chat is Rosé and… because there are so many ways to pair food with a Rosé.  And because there is so much to say on the subject, we have two  from Chile that I will be publishing about on Monday which is International Rose Day! (Not to be confused with NATIONAL Rose Day which is in June and we wrote about here and more about rose from France and Lodi  here.)

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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

Let’s Do Brunch! RSVPs for Sat May 13 #WinePW

So who’s joining the Wine Pairing Weekend Gang for Brunch on Saturday May 13? And what are we bringing to the table?

Lots of bubbles! And a lot more! Read all about it in the invite; read on to see who’s doing what! Continue reading

Let’s Do Brunch! #WinePW May 13

Brunch = sparkling wine!

Instead of England’s early Sunday dinner, a postchurch ordeal of heavy meats and savory pies, why not a new meal, served around noon, that starts with tea or coffee, marmalade and other breakfast fixtures before moving along to the heavier fare?

By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well.

“Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting.” Beringer wrote. “It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”

— William Grimes, “At Brunch, The More Bizarre The Better” New York Times, 1998[7] (from Wikipedia’s Brunch entry)

Whether you stay up late carousing or you’re trying to figure out what to do for Mother’s Day, let’s do brunch this month for Wine Pairing Weekend! Continue reading

Standards: Lodi Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel for an easy midweek meal

“Broken Vine” Lodi Zinfandel

“Honey, can you stop by Ferraros and get some meat sauce?”

When there’s just a little too much going on and you need an easy midweek meal and a glass of wine, what’s your standard response?

That’s the theme for this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend: “My Old Stand By.”

For me, that’s when I call my spouse, or he calls me, and says, “Put the pasta water on!” and we pick up either fresh pesto from Trader Joe’s or meat sauce from our favorite local Italian restaurant, Ferraros, and sometimes both! The person at home throws together either a caesar salad (do a three minute boil on the eggs in the pasta water! surprisingly easy!) or a green salad with Sue’s Simple Gorgonzola Dressing, and we have a delicious, inexpensive dinner in less time than it would take to go out and with only a very few dishes.

The key of course, is to have good quality sauce and pasta plus the right wine! And for us, another standard is to eat and drink as sustainably and organically as possible, something that we care about every day, but we will be pointing out this month because

April is Earth Month and April 22 is Earth Day.  Continue reading

Cheers to Open That Bottle Night 2017 with Champagne from Bollinger

Ginger is annoyed that we have yet to OPEN THAT BOTTLE

When I purchased this bottle of Bollinger NV back in 2011 to celebrate Ima Zinner’s birthday, I didn’t realize it would take us six years to open it.

But I wasn’t worried. You’re supposed to cellar wine, right?

WRONG. And somehow I didn’t know until May of 2016 that you don’t cellar Champagne.When Champagne is disgorged and ready for sale, it is ready to be enjoyed. That doesn’t mean you have to drink it that night that you buy it! But you should drink it within a year or two, maybe three.

You’re not supposed to wait SIX YEARS to open a bottle of Champagne!

But somehow that happened. It wasn’t a special enough occasion. Or it we were having red wine to go with red meat or some such. Or it wasn’t cold. One reason or another, it just didn’t happen.

So when Ima Zinner aka Kathy came over the other night, it was Open That Bottle Night, because we knew it was time. Way past time. But was it too late?

That depends! Continue reading