Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dessert for Dinner

There's nothing quite like the aroma of sliced bananas simmering in white truffle oil and chocolate wine...what did I just say? Yep, a late night hankering for a quick bite somehow evolved into the most off-the-wall dish I have ever concocted in the kitchen...
and somewhow the ChocoVine chocolate wine, a blend of Dutch chocolate and red wine from Holland, ended up being the least random ingredient of all.
 Added to this eclectic dish were chocolate bon bons...yep, I said bon bons...directly from the freezer to the frying pan...then enter the chili powder, sea salt, cracked black pepper and cayenne folded into low carb pasta.
The trick was in the pairing, which was an '06 Castillo Rioja, a Spanish Crianza (for reds, aged two years with at least six months in oak). This wine was sultry and inviting, and I tasted sour cherries and pepper, which melded well with the chili powder in the dish and was a really nice counterbalance to the rich sweetness of the chocolate and banana.
To be honest, this was one of the best things I have ever tasted, and has inspired me to ponder a possible culinary skill enhancement via cooking classes. Now what to pair with Caramel Apple Chicken...
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Vino Chick Partners with for Close Up on Wine and Words in Walla Walla

As part of my partnership with, I wrote an article recapping my unforgettable adventures in Walla Walla during the 2010 North American Wine Blogger's Conference.

Here's the link:

Thanks to editor Jeff Leve, and here's to many more collaborations in the future!

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Late Night Rhone and Ribeye

Its no secret that Chateauneuf-du-Pape (CDP for short) is my favorite I'm always looking for an excuse to pop the cork on this Treasure of the Southern Rhone, and a late night meal provided that opportunity recently.
I opened a delicious and extremely affordable ($22 retail) '06 CDP from Domaine de Cristia, which is mostly Grenache and loads of blackberry fruit. I discovered this little gem on a recent visit to The 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro in Palm Desert, and was impressed with its quality and value. 
Well balanced, this vintage was a great match for a juicy ribeye steak topped with charred garlic and seared in olive oil and some of the Cristia. The slight spice in the wine was a nice accompaniment to a side of chili powder-dusted snow peas, and the perfect last-minute meal on a chilly winter's night in the desert.
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sangiovese & Sauce: Italian Vino Meets Up with a Popular Chain's New Pie Recipe

What to nosh on for a casual Sunday night dinner? Sometimes there's nothing easier or tastier than pizza and red wine.
I quickly discovered that Santa Cristina Sangiovese REALLY likes Domino's Pizza, especially the thin crust variety topped with extra sauce and onion.
The popular chain's newer recipe for pie seems to have more flavor and zip to its peppery sauce and smoother-than-usual and slightly-browned cheese, a great match for the bold fruit and hint of earth I found in the wine.
Add some Sunday Night Football into the mix and I had a first down...down the hatch, that is.

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