Easy Fall Fun Flavorful Food with Italian Wines from a Castle!

img_9371

Fall is harvest, and that means bountiful, hearty foods and flavors. As the temperatures drop, people are drawn to warm flavors that make you feel good inside. Hearty Italian wines pair wonderfully well with these hearty foods and flavors.

But you don’t need to do a full on complicated meal (like we did here)  to take advantage of the plentiful fall foods like squash and tomatoes.

For this month’s “fall” theme for the Italian Food Wine Travel prompt, we decided to take an easy uncomplicated route because our schedule was just too hectic to do anything more! On a recent weeknight,  Sue dropped by Trader Joe’s for raviolis and she made a sauce (recipe below) which we paired three wines from August’s #WineStudio that I was too sick to taste (plus a Prosecco!)

img_9383

  • Castello di Magione 2013 Monterone Grechetto Colli del Trasimeno DOC
  • Castello di Magione 2014 Sangiovese Umbria IGT
  • Castello di Magione 2008 Morcinaia Colli del Trasimeno DOC

But these weren’t just any Italian wines. As this is a post for #ItalianWFT, I wanted Italian wines that had a nice travel story. And these do–they come from a CASTLE! And they have a great story that includes the Order of Malta which is active in 120 countries and is working hard on various relief projects including recovering from the devastating August 2016 earthquake.  

Continue reading

#ManyMoodsofMalbec for September’s #WineStudio with Achaval-Ferrer

img_9247

If you’re a regular reader of Wine Predator, you know that as often as possible I partake in an online educational program called #WineStudio where each month we have a different focus. Often participants receive wine samples which we taste and discuss together along with the winemaker and others involved with the wine. You can often find the wines and join in on Twitter from 6-7pm PST. Continue reading

Celebrating National Wine and Cheese Day the Italian Veggie Way

IMG_7682

When Que Syrah Sue and I heard that Monday, July 25 is National Wine and Cheese Day, we immediately thought of Italian food!

What goes better with a cheesy pizza or lasagna than a nice red wine like a Chianti or Nero d’Avola? Or a Grillo or Grechetto with a green salad spiced up with cheese? And what about dessert? Tiramisu and cannoli with a Muscato, anyone? And we can’t forget Prosecco! 

Learn more about Italian wine Tuesdays in August from 6-7pm PST on Twitter with #WineStudio! Details below.

As we talked and Sue, who is half Italian, developed the menu for an Italian wine dinner focused on cheese, we then decided to go vegetarian. Who needs meat when you’re having this much cheese?

Our Italian cheeses for National Wine and Cheese Day Mon. July 25, 2016:

creamy Toscana with black pepper, formaggio lagorai, Italian truffle cheese, pecorino Romano, fresh mozzarella, parmigiana regianno, mozzarella ricotta, marcapone

Our Italian wines for National Wine and Cheese Day Mon. July 25, 2016:

Prosecco, Grillo, Grechetto, Nero D’Avola, Chianti, Muscato, Passito

Continue reading

Pedroncelli Pretty In Pink for National Pink Day

13466535_10153706325810872_4244070962317139368_n

While National Rose Day is the second Saturday of the month of June, National Pink Day is June 23.  It’s also Pink Flamingo Day!

PFDflock

 

Seriously though, National Pink Day is a day set aside to celebrate all things pink:

13466284_10209834595211677_2914292336693737751_n

to wear pink, to enjoy foods and beverages that are pink, and to give a donation to any of the charities that use the color pink. Use #NationalPinkDay in social media. You even listen to “Pretty in Pink”!

In particular, the color pink and the pink ribbon is associated with breast cancer; when you wear pink today, who do you wear it for? Who are you remembering or honoring?

13466131_10209834574291154_722225021810431398_n

As Wine Predators, we should toast those who have battled breast cancer too.

With ROSE of course!

But which one?

How about one made by women? One that’s estate grown and sustainably farmed?

Continue reading

How to Toast United Nation’s Internat’l Yoga Day: Montes Cherub ROSE!

ClfraOqXEAAUiMO

Today is the United Nation’s International Yoga Day! Have you seen this video of how to drink wine while doing yoga? It’s a fun one!

I started doing yoga when I was in college at UC Santa Cruz, but I didn’t get into it until I had a serious rock climbing accident where I fell 15′ onto my back and my chiropractor was my yoga teacher. Later, when I moved back to Ventura, my teachers kept asking me to sub; one of the first classes i subbed was a Patagonia where I had two students: Yvon and Malinda Chouinard! When I learned one of my favorite Yoga Journal writers, Erich Schiffmann, was doing a 40 hour teacher training in Santa Barbara, I figured it was time to take the plunge. A few years later, I followed that up with Iyengar teacher training with Bryan Legere who I studied with for 15 years.   These days, I mostly have my own practice, attend classes, and do the occasional subbing.

As a yoga practitioner I definitely DO NOT recommend doing yoga while drinking or after drinking! Do yoga then drink wine!

During your yoga practice today, you should definitely do a few sun salutations (because solstice!) and in recognition that, like the sun, you ROSE off the ground for those sun salutes, the obvious wine to choose is ROSE! For International Yoga Day, you might want to try Continue reading

All Aboard for Albarino! 9 meals to pair with this white wine from Spain

Rias-Baixas-Map_FINAL

Recently, for nine weeks, Que Syrah Sue and I learned all about Albarino from Rias Baixas in Galicia just north of Portugal in the western and northernmost reaches of Spain during an online weekly educational program using the hashtag #WineStudio as discussed in “April Fools for Albarino.”

As you can see from the list below, we tasted more than a case of Rias Baixas Albarino. In this blog post, I am going to share a few highlights from each night to pique your curiosity, then I will link to the blog posts as I get them up.

We really went all out on what wines to pair with these Rias Baixas Albarino!

Coming blog posts will go into more detail with tasting notes, menus, recipes and links to recipes. Subscribe so you won’t miss out! In general, foods that pair well with Sauvignon blanc pair well with Albarino.

While most of the wines we tasted over the nine weeks were 100% Albarino, a few were Albarino blends. As they all came from the same region, Rias Baixas, the tasting was organized by various themes, listed with the wines below. On many of the evenings, not everyone received all of the same wines being discussed, and that made it a bit more chaotic than usual. We definitely prefer it when we are all tasting the same wines at the same time and in the same order to have a better conversation about the wine.

Overall it was an amazing experience and we came away with a love for Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain!

There were so many wines in this two month period that at one point I used sticky notes to keep track of which wine to drink when! Above are the first group of wines we tasted in April and below the second group of wines that we tasted in May.

Continue reading

tercero’s Larry Schaffer, Rhone specialist: part 2 red wines

CeMZObvUUAAKjti

Whether you are a red wine fan or a white wine fan, whether you are an adventurous wine drinker or a more traditional one, a visit to Santa Barbara County’s tercero in Los Olivos is well worth a trip just off the main drag (2445 Alamo Pintado Ave, suite 104).

At the end of our late February visit, Que Syrah Sue bought seven bottles of tercero and I bought six. We were both tempted to buy more and we both look forward to going back. And here’s why:

tercero owner and winemaker Larry Schaffer  has a wonderful philosophy and personality, and we appreciate his approach to wine to really showcase the fruit and not mask it with oak. We appreciate his playfulness and willingness to take chances with and play which is refreshing in a wine industry that can be so pretentious.

Continue reading