In The Classroom
Well, we finally did it! We've been threatening for a few years to hold a class on food and wine pairing through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville and we finally did it.
I've always said that the best way to teach food and wine pairing is to show it with actual food and wine combinations and let everyone decide what works and what doesn't. This experimental course sought to do just that.
We had a different lunch catered by a local restaurant for our class each week and we paired different wines with the food. We picked wines that would pair well with the food, and intentionally picked some that would be a terrible pairing so that we can see what works and what doesn't. I'll admit, after so many years pairing wine, it was a surprising amount of fun picking wines that will be an absolute disaster with the food we were serving!
Here are some of the things that we learned in our class:
- Wines that are slightly sweet go really well with spicy Asian cuisine.
- Champagne is a curiously good pairing for fried chicken.
- Pinot Noir worked "ok" at best as a universal pairing.
- Champagne and wedding cake was a surprisingly bad combination, but a sparkling wine that was slightly off-dry tasted much less bitter.
- Sauternes and Apple Pie are "birds of a feather"
The food was catered by Strada, the Golden Fleece, Gan Shan Station, Corner Kitchen Catering, Homegrown, and also Geraldines and 50 Fifty Desserts for our dessert class.
If you didn't make it into the class this semester, we will offer a repeat of the same course for the spring semester. More information about the OLLI program here https://olliasheville.com/
Well, we have actually been teaching classes through the continuing adult education department at our local university for a few years now, but this was the first class that was open to the public.
The class was called "Wine Essentials" and went over the basics of wine. We started off by learning to describe the different flavor components of wine, then talked about common grape varietals, followed by a crash course in terroir and then finished up with some practical tips to get the most enjoyment out of your wine. How to start a wine cellar, when to decant and why, serving temperatures for your favorite wines and the basics of food and wine pairing.
If you missed it, there are 5 more classes in our series with one premiering every month. The next classes will deal with the major grape varietals and regions of some of our favorite wine making countries.
We still have a few seats left for our next class in which we will cover the wines of France. Learn about the grapes and history of Bordeaux, why you can't call your favorite California bubbly "Champagne" and why "White Burgundy" isn't an oxymoron!
Learn about the other classes in our series and buy tickets here: http://www.ashevilleschoolofwine.com/schedule
If you are a regular reader of this blog, have probably already heard that not only are rose wines not just for summertime anymore, they are fantastic wines to serve with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. If hearing this piqued your interest and you want to try it out yourself, we have put together four wines to go with each course of your holiday feast.
Try these out and experience a unique Thanksgiving Meal.
Appertif: Franck Besson “Rosé Granit” Gamay, Beaujolais, France, 2013
Enjoy this delicate sparkling Gamay rosé with your friends as they arrive. Crisp and delicate with flavors of pink flowers, under-ripe raspberry with a mineral finish.
Appetizer: “The Guild Rosé” Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2015
Nothing pairs with salads and lighter fare like Grochau’s rosé mostly made from crisp Melon de Bourgogne and just enough Pinot Noir to make it pink. Since this rosé is a blend, it is much lighter and more delicate than wines that are made entirely from red grapes. Enjoy the light, crisp flavors of wet stone, tart apple, rose petals and
Entrée: Cuilleron “Sybel” Syrah Rosé, Rhone Valley, France, 2015
For the main event, go with a wine that will stand up to turkey. This 100% Syrah rosé from the Rhone Valley shows powerful flavors of spice, roast fig and tart cherry with a slightly smoky finish. Whether you are oven roasting or deep frying your bird, this will power through and get your mouth ready for the next bite.
Dessert: Primes Rosé Port, Porto, Portugal, NV
Serve this rosé Port with Pumpkin Pie or on its own as a liquid dessert to finish your meal. Opulent and sweet with cooked strawberry and spice flavors. Serve chilled.
That's right! Think rosés are only for summertime sipping? Think again!
While I agree that some of the lighter and fruitier rosés can be a little insubstantial, there are many that are powerful, mineral driven wines that are incredibly versatile for pairing with food. We think they work especially well with Thanksgiving Turkey and dressing!
That's why we are showing off 6 of our favorite food pairing rosés on Saturday, November 5th. The tasting starts at 10:00am and runs until 7:00pm and is on the house.
If you can't make it, here's what will be on the taste:
Pierre-Marie Chermette “Les Griottes” Beaujolais, France, 2015
Beaujolais is synonymous with Thanksgiving and this Rosé is a perfect match for turkey. This fruity, fresh and easy drinking wine from the Southern end of Burgundy shows flavors of fresh red berry fruit, Morello cherry, raspberry, and strawberry.
Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2015
A zippy rosé from one of Oregon’s best Pinot Noir producers. Crisp and powerful with flavors of cherry, early season strawberries, honeydew melon, rose petals and a finish of lime-peel.
Maz Caz Rosé, Southern Rhone, France, 2015
Maz Caz hails from the Southwestern Rhone Valley and is made by our friend Michelle D'Aprix, the only American Woman Winemaker in Bordeaux. You already love her red Bordeaux, Pentimento, now try her rosé blend of Grenache and Syrah!
Chateau Soucherie “Cuvée L’Astrée” Rosé, Loire Valley, France, 2015
A powerful and mineral driven wine from the Loire Valley. A blend of Gamay, Grolleau and Cabernet Franc, this wine shows flavors of cranberry, sour cherry, and flint, with lively acidity that will cut through whatever your Thanksgiving dinner can throw at it.
Cuilleron “Sybel” Syrah Rosé, Rhone Valley, France, 2015
100% Syrah from high altitude plantings in the Rhone Valley in France. This rosé is muscular, with flavors of spiced strawberry, cherry and fig.
Chateau La Rame Rosé, Bordeaux, France, 2015
Cabernet Sauvignon adds body and Merlot add some depth and spice to this Bordeaux rosé. Expect flavors of strawberry, tart cherry, pepper and spice.
This week I was thrilled to be invited to a pop up wine dinner to launch the up and coming West Asheville restaurant, Jargon. The restaurant, set to open in March or April, will feature an eclectically elegant menu, and will focus on small plates. Myself and about 40 other diners were able to get a sneak peek at some of these menu items, in the form of a 10 course dinner!
The many courses were inventive, elegantly prepared and delicious. There was definitely something for everyone, from the vegetarian to the meat eater. I admit that I was intimidated by the bone marrow served in a bisected femur, but I ended up really enjoying it once I got over my initial fear.
A few of my favorites were the deep green arugula and avocado soup with a yogurt panna cotta, the oysters on the half shell with the sherry mignonette, the mushroom stuffed quail and of course the incredible apple and ginger dessert. I had to take the last one home, but my wife and I enjoyed it the following night!
The Asheville School of Wine was there to pair wines with the courses. We had 4 wines to pair with the whole dinner, so we had to choose wines that would pair with multiple courses. We opted for food friendly wines that play nicely with many of different types of food.
In case you missed it, here are the wines we poured:
- Fournier Sauvignon Blanc, Loire Valley, France, 2015
100% Sauvignon Blanc, this wine shows Sancerre-like characteristics, and includes grapes from vineyards inside and outside that appellation. Fournier Sauvignon is a clean, bright, easy-drinking wine with nice citrus and grass notes on the nose, and with a refreshing acidity on the palate.
- M.A.N. Chenin Blanc, South Africa, 2015
The 2015 Free Run Steen Chenin Blanc has an attractive nose with fresh grapefruit and passion fruit scents that are well defined and articulate the variety with clarity. The palate is well balanced with crisp grapefruit and light honeyed tones. The wine is beautifully balanced with well-judged acidity and a composed, quite elegant finish.
- Bocelli Sangiovese, Tuscany, Italy, 2014
The wine is medium bodied with a pleasant touch of roundness. A small percentage of the grapes are "raisined" to produce wonderful concentration and aromatics in the wine. With grapes hand-harvested in Morellino, the fruit is deliciously ripe and smoky, with dark chocolate, Morello cherry, and herbal notes.
- Altaroses Granatxa, Montsant, Spain, 2014
- This is a certified biodynamic and organic wine. The Anguera brothers have decided to label the wine as a “Granatxa,” the old Catalan name for Garnacha, as an emblem of their focus on adhering to the lighter, traditional style of wines that used to be made in Montsant about a century ago.
Fresh wild strawberries, garrigue and warm spices on the nose. Very expressive. Medium weight, with mouth-watering acidity and soft warm fruit. The wine shows soft tannins and well-balanced structure between acidity, tannin, fruit and alcohol.
If you missed the dinner, check out Jargon when it opens this Spring!
Well folks, we finally made it to the big show! We were interviewed by wine columnist, Lettie Teague for an article which premiered in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend. We are still pinching ourselves!
In case you missed this weekend's Journal, here is a link to the online content.
As the temperatures start to drop into the 60's, I reach for wines with more body to ring in the season. I enjoy wines that have more of an earthy flavor, and if there is a slight smell of dried leaves in my glass, all the better!
If you are looking for some new wines to drink as the Fall weather comes around, stop by Metro Wines tomorrow, October 8th for our taste of Four Fall Reds. The tasting runs from 10:00am to 7:00pm and is on the house!
Altaroses Granatxa, Montsant, Spain, 2014 $15.99
A favorite of ours as well as NYT wine critic Eric Asimov, this wine represents an older style of Spanish Grenache that is more elegant, lean and spicy. A tremendously versatile food pairing wine, expect flavors of cranberry, red cherry and baking spices.
Bocelli Sangiovese, Tuscany, Italy, 2014 $17.99
The Bocelli’s have been famous for making wine for over 300 years before Andrea became famous for his singing. This Sangiovese comes from the family’s estate in Tuscany. Perfect for the fall, with flavors of red berries, dried tobacco, sun-baked earth and spice.
Domaine de Piaugier “Tenebi” Counoise, Cotes du Rhone, 2013 $19.99
A rare single varietal bottling of the obscure Rhone Valley grape Counoise, one of 13 allowed in the Chateuneuf-du-Pape blend. Purple flowers on the nose, blueberry, herbs, black raspberry and lavender in your glass.
Camp Cabernet Franc, Sonoma County, California, 2015 $20.99
From cult California producer Hobo Wine Company comes this 100% Cabernet Franc produced organically and Biodynamically. The resulting wine is light to medium weight with a bright fruit side and some classic green olive and black pepper Cab Franc character.
This Saturday, October the 1st the School will be pouring four Italian wines that are perfect for the early Fall weather we are having this weekend. Stop by Metro Wines and taste them! We will be pouring them all day for free.
If you want a sneak peek at the wines, here they are!
Garofoli “Macrina” Verdicchio di Castelli di Jesi, Marche $14.49
A perfect white for the early fall. Medium bodied and dry with flavors of apricot, pear, hazelnut and citrus with a slight mineral finish.
Ippolito “Mabilia” Gaglioppo Rosé, Ciro, Calabria $11.49
This is not your delicate Provencal rosé, this is a much richer rosé for the cooler months. With aromas of violet and rose petals on the nose and flavors of black cherry and blue raspberry in your glass, this is the perfect rosé for fall.
Franco Serra Barbera D’Alba, Piedmont $12.49
You can practically smell the fall foliage in this Barbera! Flavors of red raspberry, cranberry, tobacco and red cherry make this wine a versatile food pairing wine and a perfect red for cool weather.
Ippolito “Liber Pater” Gaglioppo, Ciro, Calabria $12.99
A richer red from the “toe” of Italy’s boot. A few years of age have given this wine rich flavors of dried cherries, spiced dates and a velvety finish.
Last week we held a chocolate and wine pairing for an event planning group based in Asheville. The agency brought in chocolate truffles from the French Broad Chocolate Lounge and we picked out wines to pair with each.
The event was a huge success and the group really enjoyed the combination of decadent chocolates and delicious wines!
In case you want to stage your own wine and chocolate tasting, here are the chocolates we served and the wines we paired with them.
Salted Honey Caramel:
A local wildflower honey with grass-fed and organic cream & butter, covered in dark chocolate and sea salt.
Tenshen Central Coast White Wine
92 Points WS #29 in Top 100 Wines of 2015
A Rhone-style blend of Viognier, Roussane, Grenache Blanc and Chardonnay from Cailfornia. This highly rated wine shows flavors of Tangerine, Peach, Melon and Apricot, with a Hazelnut finish.
Rose, Cardamom & Pistachio-
Milk Chocolate & pistachio ganache, infused with
aromatic rose petals and cardamom pods.
Shooting Star Mendocino County Zinfandel
From winemaker superstar Jed Steele come Shooting Star Zinfandel. This Zin comes from the cool hills and valleys of Mendocino County California and is more elegant than big and powerful. Expect flavors of mint, strawberry jelly, rose petals and spice.
Strawberry Balsamic (Vegan):
A puree of fresh strawberries from McConnell Farm in Hendersonville, in a coconut cream-based ganache. Rolled in dark chocolate and crunchy cacao nibs.
Kopke Rosé Port
A perfect dessert wine for the hotter summer months, this rare rosé Port is less sweet than you might expect and pairs wonderfully well with strawberry desserts. Rich, velvety flavors of Pomegranate, strawberry and cherry.
The Farm, our favorite wedding venue in Candler, just had their first wine dinner and I was lucky enough to be able to attend. The guest list was small since it was their first dinner, with room for only 32 guests, creating a rather intimate, party-like atmosphere.
I arrived a few minutes early and had a chance to tour the grounds before the dinner started. The cabins which surround the main "barn" look like something out of a southern-styled Tolkein novel and the rest of the grounds were home to rolling hills, ancient trees, a group of horses and their donkey companion. Like the name suggests, this is actually a functioning farm, with most of the vegetables we enjoyed in the dinner coming from the property itself.
The dinner was served in the kitchen, which had room enough for 5 large tables, and allowed us all to watch the food being prepared while we ate. With blasts of fire exploding from pans, Chef Mike Ferrari showed off his culinary skills. It was like dinner and a show at the same time!
The food was delicious, inventive and artfully presented and the wines were well chosen and perfectly paired with the various courses. The service was quick, helpful and non intrusive and the pacing of the entire meal was perfectly timed. Tom Leiner of Grapevine Distribution and I guided the crowd through the wines, explaining the history of the grape, the region and the winery itself.
Don't worry if you missed out on this one. There are already plans for another wine dinner in the Fall. This one might even be outside! Keep tuned to the blogs here and on The Farm's website for more details as they are announced.
If you've been considering visiting the local wineries in Western North Carolina, you will definitely want to read my latest article in Sophie Magazine. I drove all over WNC tasting wine and taking notes to find the best wineries to visit.
In case you missed it in print, here is a link to the digital copy.
On this week's AVL Food Fans Podcast food critic Stu Helm and Chef Joe Scully gave our blind tasting class a shout out!
You see, the Asheville School of Wine will be hosting a blind tasting class at the Asheville Wine & Food Festival again this year, and AWFF director Kris Kraft was telling Stu and Joe all about the fun things that will be happening.
We get mentioned around the 36 minute mark for those of you that like to fast forward, but the whole episode is worth a listen if you love local food and wine like I do.
If you are planning on attending the Festival's Grand tasting on August 20th, we will begin blind tasting at 2:30 in the upper mezzanine. Just follow the signs.
If you can't make it to the Festival, come to one of our blind tasting classes which are held on the first Wednesday of each month. More information on the Blind Tasting League class at www.blindtastingleague.com.
If you love Rosé wine as much as I do, you probably already know that the Great Rosé Tasting Part IV is almost here! This Saturday, August 13th will be your next chance to taste 10 different bottles of rosé wine, side by side for free.
As I mentioned last month, this is really the best way to tell the subtle differences between the rosés from different regions, countries and grape varietals.
The tasting starts at 10:00 and runs until 7:00 and is, as always, on the house!
Here are the wines you can taste this weekend:
1. Le Rosé d’ Folie Beaujolais, 2015
100% stainless steel fermented Gamay from Beaujolais in Southern Burgundy. The wine boasts a great balance of juicy strawberries, tart raspberries and canteloupe with candied rose petal and a mélange of citrus zests.
2. Chateau Routas Coteaux Varois en Provence, 2015
Freshly cut watermelon, ripe peach aromas and floral notes lead to a palate alive with wild strawberries and hints of mineral notes. Crisp acidity and a refreshing finish.
3. Commanderie de la Bargemone, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, 2015
91 Points Wine Speactator. Created by Knights Templar in the 13th century, the estate now consists of 160 acres of vines. This wine has a strong sense of structure, with a zesty tang as well as tannins that enhance the fruitiness of this intense and juicy wine.
4. Maz Caz Rosé, Cotes de Provence, 2015
Maz Caz hails from the Southwestern Rhone Valley and is made by our friend Michelle D'Aprix, the only American Woman Winemaker in Bordeaux. You already love her red Bordeaux, Pentimento, now try her rosé blend of Grenache and Syrah!
5. Coteaux du Giennois, Loire Valley, France, 2015
This rosé is made from 100% Pinot Noir and is grown in the limestone rich soil near Sancerre. Flavors of tart cherry, violet and watermelon rind dominate with a crisp, mineral finish.
6. La Manarine Cotes du Rhone, 2015
The Rosé from Manarine is a blend of Grenache (60%), young vines Mourvedre (20%) and Syrah (20%) with a slightly deeper tint than a typical Provencal Rose. Flavors of freshly cut watermelon, wild strawberries, violets, wet stone and finishes with a hint of peppery spice.
7. Chat Fou Cotes du Rhone, 2015
90 Points. 100% Cinsault from old vine grapes. Light, bright orange. Complex spicy notes on the palate. Aromas of strawberries and fresh field flowers with hints of herbs. Look for a bright, refreshing acidity and balanced tannins.
8. Domaine Charvin Cotes du Rhone, 2015
An Organic rosé from a Chateauneuf du Pape house made from 50% Grenache and 50% Cinsault in the Southern Rhone Valley. Strawberries, citrus, light spice & dry wild herbs with a tangy finish of black pepper.
9. Marestagno Sciaccarellu Rosé, Corsica, 2015
100% of the native, Corsican grape, Sciaccarellu (Shock-a-rell). Pale pink in color with salmon hints. The wine is fresh and direct with light orange zest, peach and white cherry notes framed by a hint of savory.
10. La Valentina Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo, 2015
Deep ruby colour, with purple shadows. The bouquet shows rose, delicate red fruits similar to currant and raspberry, pepper, clove and accents of brush. Medium-bodied, in the mouth is velvety, with hints of plum, blueberry and licorice, with fresh and energetic tannins.
The Farm, our favorite gathering place in Candler, NC will be hosting a dinner featuring wines from Oregon and Washington State and the Asheville School of Wine will be there!
Chef Mike Ferrari will be using the culinary skills he has obtained from working in some of the best country clubs throughout the Southeast to pair foods with wines selected by Grapevine Distribution's Tom Leiner and the School's own Andy Hale.
The dinner is scheduled for Tuesday August 30th at 6:30 and will cost $50 plus tax and gratuity. Seating is limited so make your reservations now!
As you may have noticed, here at the Asheville School of Wine, rosé wine is serious business! Not just from the South of France either, we love rosé from all over the world and in all kinds of different styles.
To really appreciate the differences between all of the various styles of rosé out there, you really need to try them side by side. That's why we are having another free tasting all day long this Saturday, July 16th, where we will pour 10 different bottles of rosé!
Here are the wines you can look forward to trying!
It wouldn't be a rosé tasting without the crown jewel of Provence represented, Bandol. Domaine Antiane is one of the newer wineries in Bandol but they are quickly making a name for themselves. Enjoy this refreshing blend of Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah for a fraction of the price of other houses from this region!
From the king of Beaujolais, Jean-Paul Brunn comes Le Rosé d'Folie, a crisp, clean wine made from 100% Gamay. This delicate wine has flavors of strawberry, raspberry, cantaloupe and rose petals.
From Elk Cove, one of Oregon's best Pinot Noir producers, comes the new vintage of their Pinot Noir rosé. Crisp and clean, with flavors of strawberry, rose and fresh cut watermelon.
Minimus's small production wine is definitely the most interesting of the rosés we carry. Made from the Beaujolais grape, Gamay, from Eola Amity hills in Oregon, this one shows flavors of sour cherry and tart berries with high acidity and a savory finish.
Domaine les Grands Bois is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan from the the Rhone Valley. Expect to find flavors of strawberry, raspberry and peach with a slightly floral and spicy finish.
Maz Caz is a the newest addition to our rosé lineup. It hails from the Southwestern Rhone Valley and is made by our friend Michelle D'Aprix, the only American Woman Winemaker in Bordeaux. You already love her red Bordeaux, Pentimento, now try her rosé blend of Grenache and Syrah!
For all of the fans of Malbec out there, we will be pouring La Pepie Rosé from the Loire Valley in France. It's 60% Malbec and the rest is made from Cabernet Franc. Though deeper red in color, this wine is crisp and balanced with flavors of raspberry, cranberry and citrus.
From Puglia, "Italy's Heel", comes Liveli's "Primerose" rosé made from 100% Negroamaro. This is a big one! Rich, round flavors of cooked strawberry, peach and plum dominate, but it still has enough acidity to make it refreshing on a hot day.
Weinbiet's Secco Rosé is a sparkler made from the obscure German grape, Dornfelder. No, Dornfelder is not the kid from high school who started the Computer Club. It is a popular German grape that is related to Pinot Noir. This bottle of bubbly is dry and fruity, with just a touch of residual sugar.
Notorious Pink comes from Southern France and is made from 100% Grenache. It isn't as mouth searingly dry as some French rosés, but it's meant as a fun wine to enjoy outdoors with friends. Flavors of bannana and strawberry domainate with some citrus on the finish.
Stop by this Saturday and see just how different these rosés are!
What wine pairs with breaking up?
So I read an article in the New York Times recently called The Stuff of Broken Dreams http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/07/fashion/museum-of-broken-relationships-los-angeles.html?_r=0 about a Museum in Los Angeles that displays the leftover relics from failed relationships. The owner of this museum talked about the future of breaking up. He predicted buying "Breakup Insurance" where you would call a number if you broke up and "someone will come and get you in a car, take you to a bar, buy you a drink and spend two hours talking with you".
This got me thinking, if I were the person you called on your "Breakup Insurance" number, what wine would I serve you to make you feel better? What do you serve with heartbreak?
Here are five factors to look for in wine following a breakup.
1. High Alcohol. Let’s be honest, the reason we are drinking here is to numb the pain. Just like Aspirin for a headache, get an "Extra Strength" wine with more of the active ingredient.
2. Low Cost. This isn't the time to buy a really incredible, complex, multifaceted wine. I'm not suggesting you buy rot-gut, but don't waste your money on a really nice bottle of wine. You won't appreciate all of the nuances and complexities. Get something $20 or under in my opinion. This also leaves more money to buy multiple bottles.
3. Low in Acid. I love wines that are incredibly tart. I'm very comfortable at about 9.5 on the pucker scale. But while the searing acidity may make my food taste twice as good, this isn't the time for that wine, you’ve had enough acid in your day already. You will be drinking a lot of this bottle, and likely on its own, and that much acidity can make your teeth hurt and your stomach feel sour. Opt for one from a warmer climate, like California, Argentina, or Australia that will have less of a harsh, acidic flavor.
4. Fruit-Forward. While I love wines that taste like dirt, this isn't the time for that either. Reach instead for a big, rich, fruity wine that will comfort you like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket. Fruity wines are made to fly solo without any food so it's a great choice for a night like this. Now is the time for a rich, hedonistic, indulgent wine like Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah, or Chardonnay.
5. Drink Your Favorite. Go for a classic wine that you love, whatever that is. Whether it’s Moscato, Muscadine or White Zinfandel, choose a wine that comforts you and makes you happy. This is not a time to worry about the expectations of your friends or what Robert Parker thought of the wine. If it makes you happy, this is the night for it.
I think the wine that best fits all of these factors is hot climate California Zinfandel. It's high in alcohol, low in acid and tannins, rich fruity and easy drinking. If you don't want to over think it, try a Zinfandel from Lodi.
Breaking up is never easy, even if it’s amicable or you do the breaking up. Make your night better by taking care of yourself and indulging a little. Put on a good movie, wrap yourself in a blanket, cook up some comfort food and pop open a good bottle of wine. Hopefully things will seem better in the morning. Just don't call your ex!
Have you ever had anyone ask if "you want a little cheese with that whine"? Well, there's a reason. While that play-on-words refers to attitude and not vino, wine and cheese are a match made in heaven. Cheese accentuates wine and the wine accentuates cheese. Plain and simple. That being said, you want to make sure you pair the correct cheese with wine. It doesn't have to be particularly complicated, just follow a few simple rules.
If it grows together, it goes together. While this is somewhat of a blanket statement, it is mostly true. Generally wines pair well with foods that grown or produced regionally, benefiting from a congruence of ingredients and food culture. If you are unable or don't care to follow that simple rule, try to pair wines and foods that have complimentary flavors. All of that being said, lets get started with a few of my favoirte pairings.
Wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Zinfandel match up well with equally intense cheeses. Match them with a cheese that's firm and a bit salty too. As an example, Sean Minor Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon would pair very well with aged cheddars and peppery cheeses.
If lighter red wines are more your speed, wines like Pinot Noir and Beaujolais match up nicely with delicately flavored, washed rind cheeses, and nutty medium firm cheeses. Gruyere, Fontana, Pont L'Eveque, Taleggio are great example of cheeses for lighter red wine pairings. Consider a Pinot Noir from Grochau Cellars paired with some thinly sliced Gruyere.
For those that prefer white wine, there are many great options. Try cheeses such as brie, tripple cream, or chevre with Riesling, Prosecco, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. One of my personal favorites is chevre on crustinis paired with Le Bouchet Sparkling Vouvray. This Chenin Blanc based wine has wonderful acidity and stone fruit flavors that pair excellently with the tang of the chevre.
Everyone knows that when it comes to Rosés, you drink the current vintage, right? The younger the better.
As a general rule of thumb, that's true. Age can diminish the subtle fruit flavors that swirl in a glass of rosé wine, making the fruit taste less "fresh".
But what if the wine was more of a serious food pairing wine and less of a "porch-pounder"? What if the flavors lean more mineral and less fruity? Believe it or not, there are some rosés that taste better after a few years in your cellar then they did right off of the shelf at your favorite wine shop.
As Eric Asimov mentions in his article There's More to Rosé than You May Think, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/06/dining/wine-school-rose.html?_r=1"the most serious rosés will benefit from a little more bottle age." He mentions Bandol, the crown jewel of Provence in France, as an ageable rosé. True enough, Bandol is incredible! Try Domaine Tempier for arguably the best wine from this region or Domaine Antiane for an affordable alternative.
Speaking of Eric's article, check out one of his favorite rosés from Provence (and a favorite of ours as well) Commanderie de Peyrassol. If you like the Commanderie, you should definitely try the MiP, Made in Provence. Its a smaller producer and there isn't a lot of their wine to go around, but we have some!
But Bandol isn't the only region with ageable rosés. Try wines from Tavel, the only wine region that I know of that only makes rosé wine! Also, the rosés from Sancerre, the home of everyone's favorite Sauvignon Blanc, drink tremendously well for a few years after bottling.
One of my personal favorite rosés is Montenidoli's Canaiuolo Rose coming from San Gimignano in Tuscany. This winery actually used to hold back their rosé for a year before releasing it because they liked it better after a year of age. Unfortunately, the wine didn't sell well because consumers thought it was too old, since it was last years vintage. Now they release the current vintage of their wine, but they still recommend waiting a year before you drink it.
Get some of our favorite ageable rosés here, https://www.metrowinesasheville.com/store/rose/
And don't forget to come by and taste 10 different Rosés for free at the third Great Rosé Tasting all day long on Saturday, July 16th!
Well, it finally happened. Rosé wine has finally made it into the mainstream and is no longer mistaken for its sweet cousin, White Zinfandel. It wasn't long ago that we couldn't get most people to even taste pink wine, let alone buy a bottle! Now our customers come in asking for it on their own, without me begging them to try it or anything!
But in the new age of Rosé, many people are intimidated by the huge selection of rosés available in many shops. To help out with your questions, here are 5 things to know about drinking pink wine but were afraid to ask.
1. You should drink your Rosé chilled. Treat it just like a white wine.
2. You can drink your Rosé all year long. It's not just for the warmer months. If you feel comfortable drinking a refreshing glass of Sauvignon Blanc in the winter months, you can definitely enjoy a glass of rosé. I actually think rosé wines pair incredibly well with Thanksgiving dinner!
3. Light colored Rosés aren't better than darker ones. There is the idea that paler rosés are better than darker ones. This is absolutely not true. They can be very different styles though. The pale rosés are usually much more delicate and light, perfect for sipping on the porch while the darker ones are usually more powerful and rich in flavor. For me, nothing pairs with grilled ribs or BBQ Chicken like a rich, dark colored rosé!
4. All Rosés don't taste the same. Rosés can be made from any red grape and depending on which grape is used, they can contribute different flavors. Rosé made from Cabernet can be powerful, ones made from Pinot Noir can be delicate and acidic, and those made from Syrah can be peppery and spicy. There are even some made from mostly white wine with around 2% of red wine added. These tend to be the most light and delicate, and more closely resemble white wines.
5. You want to drink the current vintage (usually). Rosés are prized for being clean, fresh and fruity, and the longer your wine ages, the less fresh the fruit tastes. For that reason, you usually want to drink the fresher rosés. Although, some serious rosés might be able to age for a while. Some winemakers intentionally age their rosés for a few years before releasing them. These are usually more serious wines intended for pairing with food and less for picnics.
Well, I hope that helped! Feel free to email us if you have any questions. Until next time, happy drinking!