“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”
The Famous W.C. Fields quote has a lot of truth to it – if you want an easy way to make a wine pairing, it’s certainly easier if it’s added to the dish. The rule of thumb is whatever wine you use in the recipe, drink with the recipe! I am however, not asking you to use the 20 year old Grand Cru Burgundy, but a cheap(er) Pinot Noir in the sauce and a nice Pinot Noir at the table and you will make magic happen! The following recipe is more of a guideline that I’ve learned working in the restaurant industry and will make the perfect wine pairing really easy! Feel free to expand the recipe for a larger amount and you can certainly use a cheaper wine for the cooking process and a nicer bottle to drink.
One of my favorite things to do is use the same wine in the dish and the pairing. You only use a few ounces of the bottle so there is plenty left to have with dinner. I love this because it is a perfect scenario for a couple on a weeknight when you don’t want to make it a big deal but want it to be nice! Here are a few of my favorites to use, just make sure it’s not too oaky, it will come off as bitter in the sauce.
Yesterday, Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW) gathered at the Press Club in San Francisco, showcasing wines from twelve different firmly-established wine-making families of Australia.
As a history major, I love First Families.They get things started, they blaze trails and begin an era. They create “tradition.”
And Australia has tradition. In an effort to highlight this tradition and history as it relates to Australian wine, and put to rest any idea that Australian wine might be a “fad,” Australia’s First Families of Wine are going global!
In 2007 I had the pleasure of visiting the great wine country of Australia. The two things I noticed there: the country is REALLY big and the people are REALLY nice. And I mean genuinely nice.
One of our favorite properties we visited was d'Arenberg. Not only did we enjoy a personal tour with d'Arry himself, but we got to taste some fantastic wines.
One of things that makes d'Arenberg stand out – other than the wild hair and loud shirts of Chester Osborn – are the labels. All the d'Arenberg labels have the signature red stripe that runs diagonal through them, which make them stand out on a shelf. Plus each wine's name has a story behind it. A few of my favorites are:
The Laughing Magpie – this name comes from a story of Chester's little girl. Finding the word kookaburra too difficult to pronounce, she called the bird a laughing magpie instead. Laughing Magpie is a Shiraz+Viognier blend that earns great reviews every year and is a perfect representative of the blend in Australia – usually available for under $25!
Love Grass Shiraz – the flowers on the label make me think Grateful Dead, but the story comes from actual grass that is so sticky, they call it 'love grass' since it is so hard to detach from you. See the picture attached!
The Dead Arm Shiraz – a personal favorite and Wine.com's feature today. Dead Arm is named for the disease that affects the vineyard that Dead Arm grapes come from. The disease is called Eutypa dieback, which is actually a fungus, most often found in older vineyards. Most vineyards are trained with two arms out to the side. What happens with "dead arm" is that one arm of the vine becomes infected, and eventually dies off, leaving the other arm to receive all the vines energy and nutrients. The result is very concentrated grapes, which lead to a very concentrated wine, as you get in d'Arenberg's The Dead Arm. It's dense and jammy, but with layers of delicious fruit and spice. The sweet spice aromas actually remind me of the holidays, which makes it perfect for the season.