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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Wine and Design – the OHBlogging Notes

Here are the tasting notes for the OH Bloggers Association Meeting. (These are so much better than meeting notes, don’t you think?)

Wines for OBA Meeting

The white wines we tasted are a bit of a study in malolactic fermentation. This is the secondary fermentation wines go through. The tart malic acid from the first fermentation is converted to softer-tasting lactic acid. Remember, wine is a bit like laws and sausage… you probably don’t want to know what goes into it, but you know it tastes lovely when its done! You may be familiar with this process if you drink Chardonnay.The malo is what brings out the butter or butterscotch flavors of Chard.

2010 Monmousseau Champagne (FR) $14.99

Brut Etoile – “methode champenoise” – secondary fermentation in the bottle.

Bubbles are refined and persistent and acidity is well-balanced on the palate. Ever so slight sweetness on the finish of this beautiful and inexpensive champagne.

2010 Argiolas Vermintino (IT) $14.99

Vermintino grape from Sardenia. This wine is fermented in stainless steel, and then put through partial malolactic fermentation in the tank which gives this wine a fuller body.You will find orange and vanilla flavors and a zesty acidity (making it a crisp wine). This one is great with Asian food.

2010 Burgáns Albariño (SP) $14.99

Rias Baixas, Spain

Bodegas Martín Códax – a cooperative of 270 growers and the winery.

This wine has good minerality with lemon, peach, tropical fruit flavors and full malolactic fermentation, smoothing the edges of this wine and providing a full mouthfeel.

White Wine Appetizers

Cheddar Cubes, Brie with pepper jelly

Our reds are in the theme of “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” – these are some of the darker red wines with a lighter body, in varietals many people are really unfamiliar with, but are priced well for the budget. Each of them runs $12.99.

2010 Domaine Aime Cabernet Franc (FR) $12.99

Languedoc-Roussillon – Minervois appellation

No oak aging – dark cherry and cassis fruit flavors, slightly spicy and a bit of cocoa.

This is one of my favorite “middle of the road” reds – warm climate doesn’t create the vegetative or green pepper notes that Cab Franc can be known for. Pair it with anything from chicken to pork to vegetarian dishes.

2005 Crianza Camparron (SP) $12.99

The tinta de toro or tempranillo grape. Cherry notes and light oak aging. This is a fruit forward wine with well-integrated wood flavors.

6 months on American oak, 24 months in the bottle before release.

We put this with spanish dishes, of course…although we pair this one with chili and spaghetti quite a bit.

2010 Stella Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (IT) $12.99

Eastern coast of Italy. Montepulciano grapes have also been introduced to Australia, so you may be finding this varietal from there as well.

Aromas of black cherries and herbs. Dry and mellow with concentrated structure.

Best enjoyed young, in order to fully appreciate its fruity character.

Enjoyed with typical Italian dishes, red meats, pizza, and cheese.

Red Wine Appetizer Pairings

The Cleveland Crostini, Southside Hummus and Dichotomy Popcorn

The recipe for the Cleveland Crostini is here.

Many thanks to Greg at Wine and Design for letting the bloggers invade your beautiful space. To Southside in Tremont for the rock star hummus – and to the Ohio Blogging Association for inviting me to put this tasting together for them. It was a lot of fun to meet some of the bloggers who’s work I read regularly, and to see some friends!

We’ve got Beer and Cupcakes at Market Garden Brewery in Ohio City on March 11. And Wine and Cupcakes at The Olde Wine Cellar on March 22. Please join us for more great pairing adventures!

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WOTW – Belleruche Rouge

Belleruche There are some wines that just seem to circle through our wine cellar on a regular basis. It doesn’t hurt that this one is widely available and retails in that precious “under $13″ sweet spot.

Belleruche Rouge – a Cotes du Rhone from Domaine M. Chapoutier is made from 80% Grenache (the grape variety used primarily in Châteauneuf-du-Pape to the south) and 20% Syrah (the grape used to make the Rhône valley’s most famous red wines in Côte Rôtie, Crozes Hermitage, Hermitage, and St Joseph to the north). Chapoutier is known for his wines that bring upwards of three figures, but this one, and its blanc and rosé sisters, are an affordable $11.99 or so.

One of the things that will stand out when you see this bottle is the braille label. The label is produced in homage to one of France’s favorite sons, Maurice de la Sizeranne – blind since the age of 9, and one of France’s most famous philanthropists of the 19th century. Braille appears on each of the wineries labels, including Chapoutier’s highest end wines.

Sizerrane is known for his interest in literature for the blind, and founded the Revue du Braille, as well as perfecting the system of abbreviated Braille widely used today in France. Sizerrane also owned a small parcel of land where Michel Chapoutier sources the fruit from one of the Chateau’s most famous wines.

This is a great dinner wine, but works well as a sipper because of the medium body. Spice, pepper, nice acidity. We’ve paired it with chili, chicken, pork and charcuterie.

And to think you get all of that history in a well balanced, fruity, spicy $11.99 bottle! Highly recommended.

 

A Night at the Races

And the Winner is: @morgan_jody! (that was tough!) Thanks for reading –

and I hope you come out to support this great cause! 

One thing I don’t do enough is volunteer. Way back when MissWineOH was a crazy HR lady, I worked for a company that was all up in the volunteer effort. Building playgrounds, rehabbing gardens, painting houses. We got into it full on, taking an army of employee volunteers and just getting it done for organizations or individuals who needed some assistance. I really enjoyed that aspect of my job, and it prompted me to volunteer for other things in my spare time.

Once I was no longer employed there, my volunteer efforts dropped off, as building a business required more and more of my time. One of my goals this year is to find opportunities to give back to this great Cleveland community that has been so generous to me as I’ve built MissWineOH.

One of the organizations that caught my attention is HandsOn Northeast Ohio. I became aware of this group, which is an agent for community collaborations, organizing volunteers for non-profits and causes that need them. MrWineOH works with a person who is actively involved with HandsOn – and we have decided that this is a group we want to give some time, energy and resources to.

From the HandsOn website:

“We make it simple for volunteers to choose from a variety of projects that connect community needs with their time and interests. Participants are screened and trained to ensure a capable, informed direct service volunteer force, and through this network of individuals, we build the capacity of area nonprofits, schools and municipal agencies.”

HandsOn Northeast Ohio has a fundraiser racing in on Saturday, March 3 at  OLA/St. Joseph Center located in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland at 2436 W.14th Street. This is their 5th anniversary of strengthening our community through citizen-managed volunteerism.

Enjoy an evening out with family, friends and colleagues while betting on video recorded horse races. They will provide dinner, beer, wine, soft drinks and entertainment and you come and gamble for a good cause; to support HandsOn Northeast Ohio’s mission to engage Northeast Ohio individuals and organizations in volunteer opportunities that meet community needs, strengthen community involvement, and build capacity of local non-profit organizations.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS

Your ticket gets you dinner, beer, wine, soft drinks and entertainment, and allows you to bet on the evening’s 10 video races.

Ten horses run in each race; you can bet as much as you want on as many horses as you want in as many races as you want.

If you’re trying to rake in even more cash, you can “buy” a horse, and name it. $25 enters your horse in one race; if your horse wins, you take home $50! Horses must be purchased by February 24th  (purchase online). Make sure you give your horse a good name!!

MissWineOH is giving away two tickets to this event.

MrWineOH and I will be attending, and we’ve purchased 2 additional tickets to show our support.

That doesn’t mean you have to sit with us – just that no one gave us the tickets!

To enter to win, leave a comment below naming your favorite wine, and a NEO charity you volunteer for, or would like to. (add their link!)

Random drawing from all entries will be held on Sunday, February 20 – and winner will be notified by email, and announced here.

AND – if you don’t win, please consider purchasing tickets, advertising in their program, or donating to the cause.

We’d love to hang out with some MissWineOH readers and play the ponies.

Its a Beer and Cupcakes Kind of Day!

You knew it had to happen!

You knew that sooner or later, Northeast Ohio’s most innovative Chief Tasting Officer, MissWineOH, and our number one destination for craft beers, Market Garden Brewery would come together to create the most unique and exciting pairing event of 2012. The wait is over.

On March 11th, you’re invited to join us in Ohio City to take part in the introduction of Cleveland’s newest pairing experience – Beer and Cupcakes!

This is sure to be a pairing adventure that will excite everyone from Cleveland’s avid craft beer aficionados to MissWineOH’s oenophile friends. A carefully chosen selection of Market Garden’s handcrafted brews will be paired with sinfully seductive gourmet mini-cupcakes to create Cleveland’s most unique and refreshing pairing experience.

From Pearl Street Wheat to Forest City Brown Ale, we’ll be pairing Brew Master Andy Tveekrem’s amazing craft brews with unique, one-of-a-kind flavors in mini-cupcakes.

You’ll even get a preview of the latest and greatest yet to be named Belgian Triple.

Cupcake recipes will be designed and developed specifically for this event by MissWineOH and will be lovingly baked by Cleveland’s favorite, A Cookie and A Cupcake in Tremont. This is sure to be the most unique and enjoyable pairing event of this New Year. Don’t wait to buy your tickets!

For the price of your ticket you will get 6 beers and 6 perfectly paired mini-cupcakes, and perhaps a special guest. This is a formal tasting, so we start promptly at 3pm in order to keep everyone on the same track. The tasting will run approximately 2 hours.

Register for Beer and Cupcakes in Cleveland, OH  on Eventbrite

What’s a Wine Lover to do for Valentine’s Day

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I’m not a fan of going out on Valentine’s Day. Too many people, prices are hiked, and there’s SO MUCH PRESSURE  – I’d rather make a great meal at home and pull out on of those “special occasion” wines – but not everyone loves the kitchen like I do.

So, another way to celebrate is to do something fun around that day – instead of fighting the insanity.

Gone Crazy sign

Pick your favorite restaurant (or one you haven’t tried, but heard great things about!)  – and make a reservation (or just pop in and grab a table in the bar) Order several appetizers to share between the two of you. There are always special menus being created around this time, so don’t be afraid to try something new or unique! Then pick a slightly more expensive bottle of wine than you normally would. You’ll come out in the end spending about what you would for dinner, but you’ve experienced your evening in a tapas and wine fashion. The new experience will light that spark that you can carry into the rest of your evening.

Cheesy Romance Image

We all look like this, right?

Another way to do something different is to call your favorite restaurant and place an order for carry out. Once you’ve set the stage for a romantic evening at home, picking up a great bottle and then your favorite foods from the restaurant, all you have left to do is relax and enjoy the company of your favorite person. (and a little clean up later)

Dinner by the fire

There are always things happening around the city that might entice the wine lover in you.

Here are some wine events happening around Cleveland this week and next!

Winestyles in Fairview Park has their Wine and Chocolates Tasting on February 9 and again on February 11. Reservations are recommended. $10 for 6 wines, but its $5 if you spend $10 while you are there on wine/accessories.

Little Italy Wines will be pouring Italian wines from @TuscanyCLE from 5-9pm on Friday, February 10. $5 for 4 wines.

And the newest wine shop in Cleveland, The Wine Spot, will be having their St. Valentine’s Day Massacre from 4-7pm. With bubbly, wine, seasonal craft beer and fine chocolates from Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates – for $12 per person – and reservations are NOT required there.

If you are up for a bit MORE adventure – take a drive to Lake Erie Wine Country, just north of Erie, PA. From February 17-19, the more than 23 wineries in the area will have their Wine and Chocolate Weekend. Enjoy wine & delicious food samples at each of their 23 wineries for $35 per person. ($20 for DDs) While all wineries will have the chocolates out, many will be serving other savory dishes with their wines.  Tickets include a LEWC wineglass, a gift, a recipe booklet and a $5 voucher good toward wine at any winery or food at designated restaurants. Even if you don’t hit all 23 in the weekend. Even a few will make it worth the trip. More information: Lake Erie Wine Country.

Whatever you decide to do, just put a little thought into what your partner would like.

It works every time.

What do you do (or NOT do) for Valentine’s Day? Leave some ideas in comments!

Beer Love for Valentine’s

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Throughout February I’ll be putting up guest posts from some great women I know who know their beer. While I don’t necessarily agree that beer is a better pairing <ahem> I am a fan of the brew, and have some great craft beer and cupcakes events coming up soon!  This is a completely different pairing adventure – Enjoy!

If you are looking for a creative pairing that isn’t winecentric  – perhaps your significant other is a beer fan? Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to try a new adventure. This first post is from the wonderful Renee DeLuca, the Brewer’s Daughter. See more about her at the end. Many thanks to Renee for this great creative contribution!

His and Hers Beers

Valentine’s Day often brings to mind Cupid, roses, romantic dinners, chocolate and wine for two…but let’s not forget about delicious craft beer pairings that will romance any palate! Men and women alike are discovering that beer and food go better together than wine ever could—think about it: wine is always going to have that grape note. With beer, the flavor possibilities are endless.

Your options for fantastic food and brew combinations have never been greater. Here are some of my favorite pairings for beer lovers. Get to your local beer specialty store and ask for further recommendations when it comes to specific breweries.

Valentine’s Day Brew Menu for Two

Starting with a nibble on some cheese and crackers? Each type of cheese longs to be paired with a different type of beer. Some of my favorite combinations include an aged Gouda with a brown ale, Marscapone or an herbed cheese with a Hefeweizen, or a sharp blue cheese with a crisp IPA.

Add a burst of romantic red to your salad by tossing in some dried cranberries or tart pomegranate seeds. Pair with a light Kolsch or cream ale.

Sharing a seafood dinner? Try those aphrodisiastic oysters with a dry stout. Or pair a blackened fish with nice porter for balance. Perhaps crabcakes and an Abbey Tripel. Mild fish or some steamed mussels and a witbier.

Lovers with a hearty appetite for roast beef or lamb will appreciate a Scotch ale with dinner. Or how about a petite filet and strong ale to balance out?

Dessert on Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to include chocolate, but it often does. There are many delicious chocolate stouts, bocks and porters. Don’t just drink them with your dessert—cook with them! Add beer to your brownies? Oh yes! But dessert pairings go beyond the obvious.

Top that bread pudding with an Abbey Dubbel reduction. How about ice cream made with beer? Several brands are now including brews in their ice cream recipes too—why not make a beer float? Fruit desserts call for a nice Helles or Dortmunder style beer.

The key to enjoying delicious beer and food pairings is to keep your mind and your taste buds open to all the possibilities. And as in romance, you never know when an unexpected pleasure will surprise you and become a lifelong love. Cheers and happy Valentine’s Day!

Renée M. DeLuca, is the daughter of pioneer microbrewer Jack McAuliffe. As owner of The Brewer’s Daughter Marketing & Public Relations Agency, she offers media and marketing services within the craft beer industry. She lives in NE Ohio with her husband, two teenagers, a 100 lb. yellow lab, two cats, and a refrigerator full of beer. You can find her on Twitter or read what she’s got to say here

Help a WINEOH out!

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***** Many thanks to all of the friends of MissWineOH who spread the word. We found 2 tickets for the Dare to Pair event for this couple. Special thanks to one of the great staffers at Winery at Spring Hill for their help! This is one of our Geneva, OH wineries, you should check them out!*****

 

I know a great couple in Cleveland who have given of themselves to give back to the Cleveland community by taking in special needs foster children for several years.

They had planned to attend the Pairings Ohio event tomorrow night, with a stay at the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake. They got a call today saying there was a mistake at the Lodge and their certificate is actually NOT good for this event.

They’d been planning for weeks to attend, and it was to be their first night out as a couple in over 14 months!

So here’s what I’m asking – does anyone have 2 tickets for the Pairing Ohio dinner that they are not using. They now know its a sold out event, but they already had reservations through the Lodge – so finding out TODAY that they actually CAN’T go is a huge disappointment.

The couple is willing to pay the cost of the tickets, they just wanted a great night out!

So help a WineOH out. Let me know via email at misswineoh@gmail.com if you can help.

Tammy

 

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