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

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

Cabernet Franc Winners With Osso Bucco, Squash Gratin #WinePW

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As the weather cools and as the days get darker and the nights longer, we turn to rich foods that will warm our homes, our bellies and our souls.

How fitting, then, that Cabernet Franc Day is celebrated each year on December 4 as Cabernet Franc is a wonderful wine to pair with these earthy, root vegetables and braised meats to kindle the fire within! Read why Cabernet Franc is celebrated Dec. 4 and six more reasons to celebrate Cab Franc on that day! Continue reading