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#WineandCupcakes – Olmsted Falls

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#WineandCupcakes is coming to the far west side on January 17th, 2012. (Tuesday)

Wine and Cupcakes pairing

Photo credit to Meg Cline

We’ve partnered with the Olde Wine Cellar on Columbia Road in Historic Olmsted Falls to bring you the first tasting of 2012.

We’ll be pairing 6 incredible savory and sweet cupcakes and 6 tasty wines to fit all budgets.

This educational 2 hour tasting will include topics of flavor pairing, weight and balance and tips for choosing wines for your meals.

We’ll be tasting:

Chateau Belair White Bordeaux

 Bonny Doon Albariño

Root 1: Pinot Noir

InZINerator Zinfandel

Hey Mambo Sultry Red

and a Secret Blend wine

Please join us at 6pm for this fun and educational tasting.

Tickets on sale now, $30 per person in advance.

You must be of legal drinking age to attend this event. Wines and pairings subject to change based on availability. Tickets for this event must be purchased in advance. Sales will close on January 15. There will be no “door sales” due to catering restrictions. Price includes all taxes and gratuity.  Wines will be available for retail purchase at the event.

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Holiday Weekend – A Pairing Adventure, Part 1

Holidays in our house have always been two-part affairs. A Christmas Eve gathering with heavy appetizers and paired libations, and then a holiday meal of roast beast or glazed ham and assorted sides, with a few wines that will blend well and keep us from saying anything that will get one disinvited next year.

This year was no exception – just with a slightly smaller crowd. Momma WineOH came from North Carolina for the holiday week, and we dragged in Chef Buglet from Chardon, because my daughter’s desserts and mashed potatoes are a requirement for any gathering of family.

Saturday’s menu consisted of: (click on the links for the recipes)

Raspberry Baked Brie

2010 Gerard Bertrand Picpoul de PinetMomma WineOH requested this after seeing it posted on the site following the Beaujolais tasting. It was just as delicious this time! We paired a 2010 Gerard Bertrand Picpoul de Pinet with the brie. The crisp acidity in Picpoul goes beautifully with the cream. Floral and peach aromas are typical of this varietal from the Languedoc. The raspberry jam made from King Estate pinot noir complements those flavors.

Squash & Pear Bisque

We used a pumpkin squash bisque for a pre-holiday tasting, so I decided to try my hand at preparing a bisque. It’s easier than it looks. You should give it a try. Curry, ginger and nutmeg add tasty fall or holiday flavors. Pair a Viognier with this soup. I’m a fan of Virginia Viognier, so try this site as a guide, VAWineTime – you might also try Bonny Doon Viognier or something from Cote Rotie or Languedoc.

         Sausage Balls

A family tradition, sausage balls have been a staple of Christmas in our house for years. I’ve paired many wines with this, including Mollydooker’s Two Left Feet, always an incredible wine, but occasionally hard to come by – a Zinfandel will pair well, and we opened up Plungerhead from The Other Guys. They have a few I haven’t had… so if you have enjoyed The White Knight or Pennywise, let me know your thoughts. 

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Sausage Bites

These are my go to appetizers for a crowd. They pair beautifully with red wine, and can be made ahead and reheated. I invariably put these tasty bites with a pinot noir, because well…. it just rocks together. There are some incredible pinot noirs to be had in the $15-18 range. Good ones to be had at $9-14. And amazingness above $20, particularly out of the Pacific Northwest. In the everyday catagory, go for Rex Goliath – in the mid range, Underwood Cellars or Castle Rock are consistent and tasty. Above that… the sky is the limit and the flavor profiles and quality increase exponentially.

This was our Christmas Eve spread… stay tuned for our Christmas pairings, including the breakfast casserole, and

“what do you serve with Waldorf Salad”…

What did you have for Christmas Eve? Do you have traditions for the night before Christmas? Share them in the comments!

Light by Beaujolais – A Pairing Adventure

I had the privilege of inviting a few people over to MissWineOH headquarters for a Beaujolais tasting on December 7. It was a collision of two worlds – a few people from #MrWineOH’s office, and a few great people I’d met through my tastings.

SEDavenport and her husband, WhyCLE and her beau, and EatDrinkClev joined us to delve into the beaujolais world and nosh on some appetizers. The entire event was a twitter tasting and broadcast under the #beaujolais hashtag. All of the Beaujolais wines were served chilled to 60°F.

We started the evening with a little palate cleansing French sparkling. Yes, there are reasonable French sparklings – we picked up ours from Wine and Design in Tremont for less than $15.  The first Beaujolais poured was a 2010 Christophe Pacalet, Chiroubles. Most of our guests thought it to be a light, fruity wine. Others tasted a perfume base, followed by the fruit. This was not high on the list of favorites for the evening at $16.99. It was paired with a Pastry Wrapped Baked Brie.

Baked Brie Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large sheet of puff pastry dough or 1 tube of refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 1 round or wedge of Brie cheese (do not remove rind)
  • Raspberry Jam, or other sweet jam
  • Brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2 On a non-stick cookie sheet, lay out the puff pastry or the crescent rolls flat; put brie round or wedge on top.

2 Spread jam on brie, fold dough over top, cutting off excess dough. Drizzle maple syrup and place a handful of brown sugar on top.

3 Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes, pastry should be golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with crackers and apple slices.

The 2009 Domaine de Colette, Regnie was the second wine poured. All cherry and berry on the palate, this wine opened up nicely and was enjoyed for the duration. We paired it with a soppressata, beef sausage, and smoked gouda platter – the olives were a hit or miss. Some thought they paired well, others thought the quality price ratio was not up to par. This wine retails for $18.99.

The third wine we poured was the 2009 Chateau de la Chaize, Brouilly. This Brouilly is from the among the oldest and most historic estates in the region of Beaujolais. Medium bodied, fruity, with a long finish, most of our guests picked this as the QPR winner of the evening at $13.95. It was paired with a Proscuitto wrapped camembert.

Proscuitto Wrapped Camembert

Ingredients

  • 6 large fresh sage leaves
  • 8 oz. whole round camembert
  • 6 large slices prosciutto
  • 12 slices French bread stick (baguette), toasted
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Arrange 3 sage leaves on top of the camembert. Place 3 slices of prosciutto over the sage. Carefully turn the camembert over and fold in the ends of the prosciutto slices to enclose. Repeat with the remaining sage and prosciutto to completely enclose the camembert.
  2. Place the camembert on the lined tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until the prosciutto is crisp and the camembert is soft. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with the bread.

Our last Beaujolais of the evening was the 2010 Pavillion de Chavennes, Cote de Brouilly – the most complex wine of the night, there was a floral aroma on the nose and spice on the finish. Even at the $21.99 price point, this became the crowd favorite and quickly disappeared. We paired this wine with Crunchy Apple Salsa over Chicken.

Crunchy Apple Salsa over Chicken

Salsa

2 cups York or Fuji apples, halved, cored and chopped

3/4 cup (1 large) Anaheim chile pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup lime juice

salt and pepper to taste

Marinade

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup apple juice

1/2 tsp. grated lime peel

1/2 tsp. salt

Dash pepper

4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine salsa ingredients and mix well; allow flavors to blend about 1/2 hour. Serve over or alongside grilled chicken. Makes 3 cups salsa. For grilled chicken combine marinade ingredients, pour over chicken breasts. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and cook in an oiled skillet, turning once, until done.

WhyCLE takes pictures, I pour wine. (Thanks, Jen!)

It wouldn’t be #MissWineOH without a cupcake pairing. I chilled and poured the 2007 Markko Select Reserve Johannesburg Riesling. If you have never experienced Ohio wines, Markko makes some of the finest in the state. This is a slightly sweet riesling with floral aromas. I’d pair this with a seafood dinner or a savory chicken dish.

The cupcake I chose for this event and pairing was the pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese icing from A Cookie and A Cupcake, on of my favorite Cleveland bakers. The savory pumpkin paired beautifully with the riesling. It balanced the sweetness of the residual sugar in the wine, while allowing the minerality to show through.

So, what was the conclusion? A rousing success of course! The wines of Beaujolais are always lovely, and you should seek them out when you find them. I’d recommend pairing a Beaujolais with food – try some of the recipes I’ve included. Many thanks to @sedavenport, @whycle and @eatdrinkclev for joining us. Follow them on twitter because they are interesting and cool ladies in Cleveland.

If you’d like to join us for a future event, stay tuned to the calendar. We’ve got #wineandcupcakes and #beerandcupcakes coming up in January. Or like MissWineOH on Facebook for wine related articles and information from around the world.

The Beaujolais wines were provided by Discover Beaujolais.

Spanish Wine Experience

We’re going to celebrate all that is Spanish wine the week after Thanksgiving. Pairing 6 well crafted but affordable wines with an international array of cheeses selected from West Side Market. Returning to the beautiful back room at Market Avenue Wine Bar, we’ll begin our Wine Experience at 730pm on November 29. (Tuesday)

These are the wines we’ll be pairing:

2010 Zios Albarino
2010 Perfum de vi Blanc – vaventosi blanc
2010 Borsao Macabeo

2008 Triton, Castilla y Leon Tempranillo
2008 Clos de Noi – negre samso
2009 Verasol mcsJ

The price includes all wines and cheese appetizers, palate cleansers, taxes and gratuity.
$35 per person. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

All wines will be available for retail purchase following the event.

Wining at Holiday Tables

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willworkforvino.blogspot.com

Visible Voice Books and MissWineOH are teaming up on November 18 at 7pm to offer Wining at Holiday Tables – a unique pairing experience where you will be presented with 4 wines to taste and 2 perfectly paired mini-tarts to enjoy with them.

Our wines will include:

E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc

Domaine Lapalu Beaujolais Villages

E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge

D’Arenburg Stump Jump

This culinary treat will provide tasters with examples of how to pair multiple wines with all the holiday meals you have to tackle, without breaking the bank.

As with #wineandcupcakes tastings, the tarts will be prepared by a local baker and creatively paired to enhance and compliment the wines.

The BonBon Bakeshop will be providing our mini-tarts. We have some incredible flavor combinations for our four wines. True savory tarts which will perfectly compliment the holiday table.

All taxes and gratuity are included in the price of admission. There are only 30 tickets available, so please purchase in advance. There is no guarantee of at the door tickets being available.

All wines served will be available for retail purchase.

Just click on the link below to purchase your $20 ticket now!

We look forward to seeing you on November 18.

Wine and Cupcakes – City Beverage tasting notes

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We had a great evening in the tasting room at City Beverage in Winston-Salem. Spencer from CityBev was pouring, and I was passing cupcakes – the lively crowd had plenty of opinions on what the best wine and cupcake pairings were. This is what we served:

2010 Bourgeois Cuvee Stephi Chardonnay  paired with blueberry cake and cream cheese icing

A custom project made in partnership with Thierry Rodriguez in Veyran, Languedoc. The domaine is comprised exclusively of older Chardonnay vines (20+ yrs old). Cuvee Stephi practices sustainable farming.

A: Green and citrus aromas, including lemon on the nose, with a hint of spice.

P: Medium-bodied, tropical and citrus flavors, and a clean, refreshing finish.

Unoaked – Aged for 8 months in stainless steel tanks with 3 months on its lees.

retail price $13.99

This pairing juxtaposes the citrus flavors in the wine with blueberry and balances the acidity with cream cheese.

Picture compliments of Meg Cline

2010 Valdesil Montenovo Godello paired with vanilla bean cake & strawberry balsamic icing

100% Godello – one of the oldest grapes on the Iberian Peninsula

Valedorros, Spain

C: Extremely pale like ginger ale.

A: apple, pear, honey, citrus,

P: green apple, grape juice, and a tart finish that lingers with caramel-honey notes.

Some heat early on and lots of acidity.

13% abv

Stainless steel fermented – this wine should be consumed within 18mos of bottling.

Retail Price $9.99

The chilled Godello reminds me of one of the crisper viogniers – so we paired the   vanilla bean to mimic oak while complimenting the acidity with the strawberry balsamic icing.

2010 Big Fire Rose paired with a saffron cake with cardamom icing

R. Stuart & Co – Oregon

Umpqua appellation

blend of 80% syrah and 20% pinot gris

Sustainable farming

Harvested exactly a year ago,

Aged for 1 month in 7yo french oak barrels so you get very little of the oak in the wine

11.5% abv

559 cases produced

.5% RS

Pescatarian friendly due to filtering techniques.

Retail Price: $15.99

The winemaker calls this his “big fruit bowl” – but I get a wine that just blends seamlessly with some spice, thus the saffron and cardamom, a typical indian spice pairing. I’d love to put this wine with Thai food as well.

2009 Dante Pinot Noir paired with roasted garlic cake with smoked gouda icing

From Michael Pozzan Winery

90% California, 10% Carneros

100% Pinot Noir

Aged 6 months

C: brilliant garnet

A: romas of sour cherry, dried orange peel, a hint of clove over a back drop of earthy leather.

P: rich and supple, spice and finishes with a balanced touch of cocoa and coffee.

Cases Produced:5000

Enjoy until 2012 – I recommend this wine as a drink now. Particularly at the price of $13.99

I usually pair a bacon cupcake with pinot – I highly recommend it. After all, everything is better with bacon. However, Camino is a vegetarian bakery… so, we got creative with some of the spices and flavors you find in bacon appetizers. Roasted garlic and smoked gouda are perfect compliments to the smokiness you find in a pinot noir.

2009 Periano Estate Merlot paired with a dark chocolate cake with currant icing

Lodi, CA

Peirano Estate Vineyards’ Merlot is produced from 6 different clones, or sub-varieties, of Merlot grown on the estate, including two rare French clones (#181 and #314), as well as the very rare Italian clone #9. Peirano Estate was the first commercial winery to grow and produce wine from these rare Merlot clones.

Aged for 12 months in all French oak barrels, of which less than 20% was new oak.

A: rich ripe cherries, blackberries with vanilla

P: cherry, plum, cocoa and cinnamon

I’m also fond of “The Others”, Immortal Zin and “The Unknown” – these wines are great every day drinkers.

Retail: $11.99

The chocolate and berry hints in the wine are enhanced by chocolate base, while the tannin and cinnamon are complimented by the currant.

2008 Domaine Janasse Cotes du Rhone  paired with chocolate spice cake with cinnamon icing (vegan)

This winery and vineyard covers 122 acres of vineyards distributed among different appellations : Châteauneuf du Pâpe, Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Village, Vin de Pays de la Principauté d’Orange and Vin de table.

Grape variety : 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 15% Carignan, 5% Cinsault – stem removal : 80% – maceration : 12 to 15 days – elevage : 6 to 9 months in vat

Tasting :

P: strawberry, black cherry , a tinge of minerality and spices

60 000 to 80 000 bottles per year.

GSM, or Cotes du Rhone blends love spice. So we put a chocolate spice with some cinnamon for this wine. GSM also does well with harvest fruit dishes, and is a great thanksgiving complement.

As every year, the 3rd Thursday of November is the release date for the 2010 vintage of Primeur Côtes du Rhône. You may be familiiar with Beaujolais Nouveaux releases, this is similar – and the wines of this region are great for holiday meals.

I hope you enjoy the tasting notes, and if you are in Winston-Salem, head to City Beverage to get some of these wines. This event could not have been successful without the help of Paul Jones, location scout and operations guy extraordinaire. You should follow him on twitter. and the folks at Camino Bakery were extremely friendly – and they do vegetarian in a creative way. Thank you for everything!

Attendees, what were your favorites? If you like what you saw here, join us for the next #WineandCupcakes tasting! And we’ll be heading back to City Beverage for an all new event in February. Hope to see you there!

Only in North Carolina – Wine and Cupcakes – Barnhill’s

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Wine and Cupcakes has another Pairing Adventure in Winston-Salem on November 2, 2011.

wine tasting at Barnhill's

Only in North Carolina!

Join us at Barnhills at 6pm for a unique wine experience. We will be pairing 6 beautifully crafted North Carolina dry wines with 6 perfectly paired gourmet mini-cupcakes and pastries provided by Camino Bakery. We will also have a Gluten Free cupcake option available, provided by Maxie B’s in Greensboro. Please be sure to select that ticket if you want gluten free. Quantities are limited.

Discussion will focus on some of the best ways to pair wine and food. All wines will be available for bottle purchase following the tasting.

The wines include:

Owl’s Eye Chardonnay
West Bend Viognier
Divine Llama Chardonel
Round Peak Les Trois Chiens
Grove Merlot
Sanders Ridge Big Woods

What will we pair with what? You’ll have to be there to find out! We’ve got mini-whoopie pies from Maxie B’s in Greensboro, and mini-pastries from Camino Bakery. Some fruit, some nuts, and as always, some chocolate.

Think savory, spicy and not your grandma’s cupcakes…. but you can look at Wine and Cupcakes, Cleveland to see what we did there! The Gluten-free option will provide two specially paired cupcakes – one for the reds, and one for the whites.

Tickets are on sale now for $30 in advance, and $35 at the door. Gluten free tickets are only available in advance. Seating is limited to 30 people, so buy early to avoid missing out on this fun evening.

Register for Only in North Carolina at Barnhills in Winston Salem, NC  on Constant Contact

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