A Wine with Dinner Challenge

(Like that huh? Yes, I have much spare time today.)

I got a recipe from my friend Roz of Beadimus for Zuppa Toscana and I want to make it this week. (I also borrowed the picture from her, so this is her cooking, yum!)

Here’s the recipe:
1 lb. italian sausage
2 large (I usually use 3) potatos, sliced in half then chopped in 1/4 in. slices
1 onion (medium)
1/2 can oscar meyer bacon bits
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups kale (you can also use swiss chard), chopped
2 cans chicken broth
1 qt. water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
dash of red pepper flakes, optional
salt and pepper to taste
Cook sausages in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes. Drain sausages on paper towel and cut into slices. Place onions, potatoes, chicken broth, water and garlic into pot and cook on medium heat until potatos are done. Add sausage and bacon, salt and pepper. Simmer on low for 10 minutes and then turn on low heat. Add kale and cream. Heat through and serve. I usually serve it with some sort of bread.

What would you serve with this soup? Again, I’m open to all suggestions! When I get home I think I will work on uploading our wine list, but suffice it to say, we have many zinfandels, cabernet sauvignons, sangioveses, various red blends, chardonnays, gewurztraminers, viogniers, various white blends all from CA, plus I am willing to go hunt down a specific bottle if you think something would be perfect with this soup!<a href=”http://www2.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=37542126&postID=3058545895969504413&#8243; url=”


A Dinner with Wine Challenge

In attempting to reach my goal of thinking about my wine first and my dinner second at least once, I would like to ask everyone for their help. I have a few bottles of Roederer Estates Pinot Noir (sorry, the year escapes me at the moment, but I want to say 2000) stashed away that we picked up this summer. We haven’t had any yet and it’s been a while since I’ve had a Pinot Noir and I’m in the mood. The only review I could find online for the Pinot Noir was a 1998 vintage and it wasn’t glowing though the reviewer recommended it (always confused by this, why would you recommend something if you didn’t think it was fairly good?).

So I ask you, what would you serve with my Pinot Noir? I’m a pretty decent cook, I’ve got access to fairly good ingredients at various stores in the area and I’ll try almost anything once. My only limitation is that I’m allergic to soy sauce (but not soy, go figure) and celery (yes, I know it’s water and fiber and logically you shouldn’t be able to be allergic to it, but I am).

If you have any ideas or recipes, I am totally open and would appreciate any suggestions!


I’ve been meaning to post this article from the Washington Post for a couple of days. Bottles with a Princely Pedigree.

Okay, I understand that the bottles of wine are produced at a winery owned by the court of Liechtenstein. But the grapes are grown and the wine is made in Austria. The article says that Liechtenstein wants Americans to find its wines, but then says that most wines are actually made in Austria. So what exactly are we supposed to find? It then goes on to list a few bottles that can be found in the DC area, all of which are from the court winery which again, is in Austria. So wouldn’t that make them Austrian wines, simply produced at a winery owned by people who happen to be from Liechtenstein?

Color me confused.

Quietly Passed 100 Posts

And didn’t even realize it. Cool. Not bad for a little over 2 months of having this blog. Or disturbing because I have that much time on my hands and we drink that much wine. Oh well, whatever, I’m having a lot of fun with this, so what does it matter? I can think of much poorer ways to spend my time 🙂

Happy drinking!

Butterfield 9 Food and Wine

First, some general comments about the restaurant. It was a little tough to find as the signs sort of fade into the windows! There was a nice bar area to wait in until your tabel is ready with plenty of places to sit. I liked where we were seated in the restaurant, at a comfy corner table in an off the main path room. I would not have liked to be seated at some of the tables as they were so close to the enterance. Overall, the wine list was fairly impressive. They had well over a hundred wines to choose from, all arranged by country of origin. Also, I noticed a selection of about 30 different wines by the glass plus about 10 half bottles of wine. However, the least expensive bottle was $30. Two final observations before we get to the food and wine. The servers did not bring the wine promptly. We ordered the wine pairing and we had our first course easily five or more minutes before we got the first wine, same with the following courses. And, they fed us too fast. We had barely had our first course dishes removed and we certainly hadn’t finished the first wine before the next course was on the table (without the next wine). It felt really rushed.

Both of us chose the soup of the day, a clam and lobster bisque for our first course. It came nicely presented, with 2 clames in the center and lighter color soup swirling out from them. Excellent texture and flavor, this was very thin bisque with a hint of chili pepper. The wine pairing was a 2005 Brancott Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. It’s available online for $9.99 and is 13% alcohol by volume. I was struck by the tropical fruits on the nose, especially pineapple. In the mouth there was pineapple and I think guava. I wrote that it had a perfect structure and acidity. It was an okay match with the soup, but was a little overpowering. I really liked the wine though.

For the second course, Matt had the roasted pork tenderloin with creamed barley and mustard greens. I had the boneless braised beef short ribs with cheese grits, mixed veggies and truffle oil. Both entrees were excellent, though I didn’t try Matt’s. My beef was a little fattier than I normally like it but worked well with the bbq sauce. With this course the wine was a 2005 Shoo Fly Aussie Salute Grenache Shiraz from Australia. I got chocolate, spices ad raisins on the nose of this one. In the mouth, I got pepper to start. I could tell this wine hadn’t been opened in advance. It was thin in the mouth to start, but opened up over the course of dinner opened up with a nice spice, cedar and berry mix. This really would have benefitted from being decanted and will probably get better with age. A decent pairing, Matt really liked this one.

Finally, dessert. I had the Vanilla Creme Brulee and Matt had the Chocolate Almond Mocha Cheesecake. The brulee was fabulous. Easily the lightest, fluffiest brulee I have every had (usually I’m not a fan because it’s too much of a thick custard for me, the texture weirds me out) so I was pleasantly surprised by this. Paired with dessert was a Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato D’Asti from Italy. This was the smallest pour of wine I have every seen, ever. It came in a cordial glass and wasn’t even a mouthful of wine! However, I thought this was the best wine of the night and the best pairing. But correct me if I’m wrong, Moscato D’Asti is supposed to be frizzante, right? This had no bubbles. It had a very aromatic bouquet. Floral and light on the nose. In the mouth I got mandarin orange and apricots. Overall, a delicious little wine and very afforable, online for $11.99! It had good structure and great acidity and was served at a perfect temperature.