Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wine Word Wednesday: Eiswein

Monday, February 8, 2016

2 Italian Wines Paired with Lamb Osso Bucco

What do you do when you are waiting for the winter storm that calls for a little bit of everything from snow to rain to high winds, you make Osso Bucco and hope the power stays on.  That is what I did 2 weeks ago and I paired it with 2 Italian wines.

We'll talk about the wines and then I'll share with you the braised lamb.

2012 Montefalco Rosso Romanelli DOC - This wine comes from the Umbria region of Italy. It's a blend of Sangiovese and Sagrantino.  Sagrantino is an indigenous Italian grape found only around the hilltop of Montefalco.  It is the most tannic grape in Italy. In order for the wine to be called a Rosso it must contain 15% Sagrantino, 65% Sangiovese 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. Aromas from the glass were fruity, floral with hints of black cherry and licorice.   The palate was filled with cherry and was fruity and earthy.  A bit on the lighter side.  It paired okay with the lamb.

2010 Langhe Nebbiolo Germano Angelo DOC- From the Piedmont region of Italy, Nebbiolo wines have strong tannins and high acidity.  This wine spent 14 days with skin contact which will extract the tannins and 18 months in large old oak casks. This will not impart any oak flavors as it's all neutral.  The wine had aromas of cherry and hints of vanillin.  The wine was soft on the palate with flavors of black cherry and hint of licorice mid palate.  This wine I felt paired best with the lamb.  The pairing down played the cherry flavors and they all combined nicely.

This was my first attempt of making Lamb Osso Bucco or any Osso Bucco. I will say it came out good.  First you sear the lamb and put it into a pan that will then cook for 3 hours in the oven

When the lamb is done, in the same pan you saute carrots, onions, celery and garlic and add crushed tomatoes and a cup of wine. Yes I used the Nebbiolo  That goes in the oven for 3 hours.

Then you have dinner. I  served it on a bed of mashed potatoes.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

My Superbowl Wine Picks & Pairings

There's 2 halves so we have 2 wine picks for the 2016 Superbowl. How will they fair?

Anytime you talk football there is also food involved.  So the menu at the moment for the game is:

  • Smoked Baby Back Ribs
  • Chili
  • Bean Salad
  • Jalapeno popper dip
  • Cheese and crackers
I would usually prepare more, but there will most likely be only 2 of us watching the game together. Perhaps we'll have others, but at the moment as I write this it's just Paul and I.

Wine Picks: I picked out a a Zinfandel and a Malbec.  Why, because I think they pair well with what I'm serving. To me a Malbec and Zin are perfect football wines.  They go with spice, they go with meet and they go with cheese.  They are my two go to for BBQ's.

The Federalist 2014 Zinfandel - Created to salute the first President of the United States. This wine is suppose to have good tannin structure with bright acidity. Produced in the Lodi region of California with 93% Zinfandel and 7% Syrah. Aged in oak for 12 months with 25% new American Oak  SRP $17.76

Rutini 2012 Malbec from the Mendoza region of Argentina.  This is 100% Malbec aged in oak for 12 months.  80% new French Oak and 20% new American Oak. It is suppose to be full and rich with black fruits. SRP $35

Who will it be?  The Federalist or Rutini?  Denver or Carolina?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Discover the Gentrification of Beacon NY

Two weeks ago I was in the Hudson Valley and stayed with my sister in Beacon. (You can't take the Hudson Valley out of me)  I haven't been to Beacon in a long time and it's hopping!  Living in LaGrange we didn't get down to Beacon for a night out on the town. I don't know why, but call it lazy perhaps and only 30 minutes away.

Back in the 80'sand 90's I worked in Beacon at a local radio station. I did everything from sales to managing it.  When ever I needed to go to the bank..Fishkill National Bank on the west end of Main Street, it was drive through only.  You didn't want to get out of the car.  It wasn't the best of neighborhoods.  Mid Main Street was fine and the East Main Street was abandon warehouses.

Fast forward to today...well a lot has changed.  Now there are some great little shops, art galleries, antique stores, wine bars and restaurants. They have what's called 2nd Saturday when the shops and galleries all stay open late. It has come a long way!

On this evening when I ended up with my sister, she and her husband took me for a night out on the town.  Our first stop was wine and tapas at The Vault.  It's in a building of an old bank that had a rather large vault.

They have a decent wine list.  I enjoyed the 2014 Gini Soave Classico, Donna had the 2014 Mount Riley Sauvignon Blanc and my brother-in-law Joe, well he had a vodka and OJ. My Soave went really well with the scallops.

Tapas is small plates so we each ordered different items.  Usually it's meant for sharing, however, none of us shared.  Maybe because we were all hungry or that it was so good, we didn't want to share.  We had the Cannellini Bean Crostini, Coriander & Pepper Melange Crusted Scallops, Jombo Lump Maryland Style Crab Cakes, Crispy Pork Belly with Apple-Bourbon Glaze and the Pan Roasted Wild Mushrooms.  The pork belly was amazing, it just melted in your mouth!

Next stop for the evening was down the street at Oak Vino Wine Bar.  What I liked about this wine bar is I felt like I was in my living room with friends.  They have tables and couches.  The only thing was it felt more like a coffee shop. I was a little disappointed that they only had one local wine on the menu and that was Millbrook Cabernet Franc and she labeled it New York and not Hudson Valley.

The highlight of my evening was Baja 328 Tequila Bar.  They have a very extensive Tequila and drink menu along with a nice Mexican flare food menu.  When we go there it was around 9pm and the place was packed.  

I braved it and ordered a shot of Tequila to sip on.  Donna had a traditional margarita and Joe went out on a limb and ordered Chupacabra's Blood.  It was made with Tequila, Malbec, Agave Nectar and fresh squeezed lime juice.  Not sure I would want to mix my wine with my tequila.

If you are in the Hudson Valley or staying at a hotel near Beacon, Main Street is definitely an evening hot spot.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Join Me On Blab - Monday February 1st and Discover the Sparkling Wines of the World

Join me on Blab Monday, February 1st as we discuss the sparkling wines of the world.  I invite you to grab a bottle of bubbly and chime in.

Some of you might ask "What on earth is BLAB".  Blab is an online platform that is kind of like having a tv show.  Up to 4 people can click to to "call in" which means they are live on video.  For those that don't want to be seen, there is the chat going on on the right.

On Monday during 'Wine Time' will talk about the different kinds of sparkling wine, where they are grown and the grapes that are in the bottle and your glass.

I'll see you Monday, live on 'Wine Time'

Thursday, January 28, 2016

2 Italian Wines: Compare and Contrast

What do you pair with two Italian wines, one a young Barbera and one a Dolcetto both from the Piedmont region of Italy?  Leftover Filet Mignon and Pasta.

Neither of these wines saw any oak.  All aged in stainless steel.  They both reacted differently to the dinner at hand.

Brangero 2012 Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba is made by third generation winemaker Marco. It had a hint of smokiness on the nose.  Also flavors of black cherry, blueberry and anise.  The palate was fruity and balanced with some tannins.  Flavors of red fruit and slight acidity. Goes very well with the pasta and tomato sauce

The wine tasted great with the cold Filet Mignon.  Also tried it with provolone and Locatelli cheese.  It mellowed out the sharpness on the provolone.

Roagna Barbera D'Alba 2014 is also produced by a Marco.  This wine has the potential to age for 5 years.Aromas coming from the bottle were full of cherry and blackberries. The palate was soft and silky full fo sour cherry,, strawberry and plum.

The wine paired very well with the Filet Mignon.  The wine rolls over the flavor of the sharp provolone but not the sharpness of the cheese.

Compare and Contrast:
  1. Both wines were made by a Marco
  2. Both wines come from the Piedmont region of Italy
  3. Both wines went very well with the Filet Mignon
  4. The Dolcetto paired better with the pasta
  5. The Dolcetto was a better food wine
  6. Both wines are priced around $18