Wine with Dinner Challenge Results.

First, the soup was excellent! I ended up subbing fresh bacon for the bacon bits, adding some chicken stock and putting in more cream so that I had a bigger batch! Much thanks to Roz for the recipe! Secondly, I took Farley from Wine Outlook‘s advice and paired it with a Rose because it was the “fruitiest” wine I had on hand and it seemed the recommendations were leaning toward that (both Cooking Chat and El Jefe from El Bloggo Torcido suggested fruity reds). We have plenty of leftovers though so I will try it with some of the other suggestions, I just need to get to the wine store. My picture doesn’t look as pretty as Roz’s, but you’ll have to excuse me since our light went out in the kitchen and we were working by candlelight.

The bottle I chose was a 2004 Wilson Winery Merlot Blushing Flamingo. We picked this up at Wilson Winery on our trip this summer. The bottom picture was taken overlooking their vineyard. This was a sharp, dry rose, quite different from many of the sweet ones I am used to and much different from the one we consumed a little later last night.

At 14% alcohol, this is no small wine; it also had a real cork closure. It paired really well with the creamy soup and the spicy sausage, thanks Farley! Strawberries on the nose and in the mouth, with melon and oddly enough a hint of lime. An interesting rose, we have a bottle or two more hanging around. I’m sure it makes a great summer wine (though it may as well have been summer here with temps nearly in the 70s!


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=”; 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!

Cooking with Wine

As an actual ingredient and not just as something I sip while cooking. I use wine in certain dishes. Tomato sauce, certain creamy chicken dishes, as a marinade for a roast, fondue, some stews, but not in much else. I’ve been contemplating using it more often lately and am very interested in finding recipes that focus on wine. As such, I’ve been thinking about purchasing the book The Wine Lover Cooks with Wine. Do any of you own this one? Not sure how Matt would feel about another cookbook though, as I did just get the Joy of Cooking, The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy, a cookbook his family made, one his Uncle’s company made and one from his grandmother’s collection.

Any thoughts on this one? Or, if you’d like to share a favorite recipe with me that inovles wine, I’d love to give it a spin! I’ll even post pictures of the results.