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What to eat with your Cabernet

Cab and steak. That’s the pairing that most often comes to mind when thinking of food pairings with Cabernet. And for good reason – it’s a great match.

A slab of steak with the Conn Creek Cabernet. And yes, that’s my child’s Tigger plate in the background.

What makes Cab and steak go so well together? It’s all about the food components matching the wine components… In basic terms: Fat + protein breakdown tannins in wine.  And what does steak have? Fat and protein. Cabernet? Plenty of tannins there.

Tannins are a hard component, fat is a soft component. They, in turn, balance each other out. Tannins cut through the fat in the steak, bring out the juiciness in the meat, while the fat and protein in the steak tame the tannins, bringing out the fruit in the wine. It’s one of those pairings where 1+1=3.

There are plenty of other great Cabernet Sauvignon pairings out there. And since many Cabernet Sauvignons differ in the level and style of tannins, a variety of foods can pair well.

To be entered for a chance to win a $50 gift card from Wine.com, tell us your favorite pairing with Cabernet and WHY!

Staff Pick: Veramonte “La Gloria” Sauvignon Blanc

Wine: Veramonte “La Gloria” Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Reviewer:
Eileen
Rating:
4 stars

Review:
I wonder if they named this wine “La Gloria” for “glorious?”  I just loved it, especially since it’s so cheap and pure pleasure all around.  The nose is full of lovely perfumed mineral and citrus fruit.  It’s between light and medium bodied to me so it’s not as bright and crisp as a New Zealand Sauv, but there’s massive amounts of stone, minerals, zingy lemon and grapefruit flavors to make up for it.  This is really a great hot weather wine to have on hand to pair with salad and seafood. Did I mention that it’s delicious and fabulously cheap?  Veramonte’s winemakers are rock stars.


 

Rosé goes mainstream!

It’s so exciting when a wine that was once mis-understood goes mainstream. That’s how we feel about rosé this year. Sure, dry rosé sales have been climbing for over a decade, with lots more consumers drinking and appreciating the delicious pink drink, but only recently has dry rosé become what we’ll call, “mainstream.” How do we define this? While there is no exact definition, I like to call something mainstream when it hits pop culture. And that’s what rosé has done. Can you imagine one of the cast members of “Friends” popping open a rosé for a date and making it look cool? Though on the rise, dry rosé was not quite there yet in the 90s. But perhaps now it is!

Check out this great clip of the show, “Up All Night”, with Maya Rudolph, as it showcases the Whispering Angel Rosé, a wine we feature today, the last day of July!

Though Maya claims to drink this wine “like kool-aid,” we can tell you that the flavors are anything BUT! True to Provence rosé style, the color is light salmon, or “onion skin,” and the nose is rich berry, light flowers and stone mineral notes. The palate delivers what a good dry rosé should – lots of berry fruit, a strong acidic backbone, and lingering finish. Whispering Angel, however, gives you a bit more, with its texture. Still bone dry, still berry/floral/mineral driven, this wine has an absolutely gorgeous, silky-smooth texture that keeps going and going.

Though I don’t drink Kool-Aid, I could say that I could drink this wine like Pellegrino (and I drink a lot of that).

 

WineShopper Anniversary Week!

It’s WineShopper Anniversary Week! What does this mean? Well, first, it means WineShopper has been serving up incredible wine deals for 2 years now! Geez, that went fast… Second, it means we’re going to roll out our BEST DEALS of the year all week next week (June 11 – 17). And finally, it means we’re planning some games and contests to keep you entertained all week long! Each day, through Facebook and Twitter, WineShopper will be offering contests, games and other opportunities for you to win a $100 WineShopper gift card!

Here are the rules:
– Each opportunity to win will be announced at 9amPST every day (June 11 – 15) on the WineShopper Facebook and/or Twitter page.
– Entries will close at 8pm everyday
– Winners will be chosen at random and alerted the following day via Facebook or Twitter
– The gift card can be redeemed on WineShopper or Wine.com

In the meantime, make sure you are signed up for our WineShopper e-mails so you can be alerted of when these deals hit! This week is the best yet, so you don’t want to miss it!

Creating that perfect case

Let’s say you could only order 12 bottles, but you wanted a bit of every style. How do you build that “perfect” case. Since it differs for everyone, we are here to help give you some guidelines, but let you choose the exact bottles! Check out our selections of wines for the perfect case. Order one of each or a few of your favorites. Today we’re offering 10% off a case of wines from our selection. Here’s what we’d pull together – 2 sparkling, 3 whites and 7 reds. Of course a perfect case for you may be all reds. Or no sparkling wines. Or somewhere in between. So mix it up and make it your perfect case. Some ideas for you…

Sparkling
Prosecco: Always a great wine to have on hand for guests or popcorn :)
Other Sparkling: We love Cremant d’Alsace - a great bubbly from France without the Champagne price.

White
Riesling: It’s about having a great food wine, and Riesling offers that.
Pinot Gris: Oregon is the perfect place to snag a richly textured yet refreshing Pinot Gris.
Chardonnay (or other rich white): Because you have to have a Chardonnay in the line up… If not Chardonnay, a decadent Viognier blend.
Chenin Blanc: Underrated, great value and terrific food wine!

Reds
Pinot Noir: Whether you are an Oregon or California follower, a great new world Pinot is a perfect wine for a case. On some days a case of Pinot is my perfect case…
Red Rhone blend : From Australia, California or the Rhone, this style of wine is one of those perfect food wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux blend: California makes some great ones, though you’ll find delicious examples of this grape just about everywhere! We selected our favorites in this Perfect Case list.
South American blend: Between Malbec and Carmenere, South America has some incredible wines. They are mixing it up and making delicious blends, which our some of our (and the critics!) favorites right now.
Italian Gem: Have to have an Italian red in the mix. Great food wine, classic example of old world style.
Aussie Shiraz: Gone are the it-tastes-like-a-$10-wine and here are some great examples of quality Australian wine – it’s what they do best!

Enjoy building your case!