Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Battle of the Bottles: Old versus New

When you pit Old World against New World in terms of vino, you create a battle of very different styles and tastes. 
For instance, I did enjoy the Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs at Flemings recent 'Bottle Wars' event in Rancho Mirage, but preferred a yummy French Brut Champagne from Nicolas Feuillatte. Yet in my very next sip, New World was king with a creamy Napa Chard from Merryvale, over the forgettably flabby Tuscan II Borro.  
In this battle of the palate, guests voted for their preferences in two additional categories: Merlot and Cab-Merlot blend.
For me and my wine-loving friend Cheri, the next one was a close call...a tobaccoey, tannic offering from St. Emilion (our overall fav) won out over the blueberry-filled Burgess Merlot.
Same for our final pick, the woodsy Chateau de Parenchere, enjoyed for its subtle fruit rather than the spicy Australian blend from Greg Norman.
An order of salt and pepper shrimp later...
We were sated and ready to do battle yet again...
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Summer Stench be Gone!!

Second week of September...100+ degrees...foul, stomach-clenching stink of rotten eggs in the air...thanks a bunch, Salton Sea...how to cope? With cleansingly delicious lemons, wine, and crab...
 I wanted to whip something up that would pair well with the yummy Australian white blend (at $9.99, a screamin' deal) I'd grabbed at World Market...so I threw some crab claw meat in a pan and sauteed it with lemon zest, garlic, butter, truffle oil, crushed red pepper, black truffle salt, and cracked black pepper...oh and a few drops of the delightful vino, of course...
Pillar Box White is a Sauv Blanc/Verdelho/Chardonnay blend that despite the whole 'cat pea' effect on the nose, is actually a soft, smooth, mellow, and citrusy little number...an awesome match when you grind the lemon rind.
So good riddance, rotton eggs...now if those bigmouthed cicadas would just shut up for five minutes...

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Raisin and Ravioli Sunday Supper

Sometimes the nicest treats are the most understated. Like the rich, raisiny, Amarone I found myself sipping on a quiet Sunday afternoon.
Deep red in color with an aroma of warm buttered raisin bread, this fruit-filled Italian gem was perfectly paired with Trader Joe's flavorful and surprisingly light beef bolognese ravioli.
Filled with a tantalizing blend of mirepoix, tomato paste, veal, ricotta, garlic, and spices...I drizzled these tasty pasta pockets with truffle oil and topped them with shaved black truffle cheese...can't Monday stay away just another day? 
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