Wine Chat...

Wine and food is an adventure. Come explore with me

Wine n' Cookies

A fun opportunity to pair wine and Girl Scout Cookies presented itself today.  And, I am never one to shy away from rather odd pairings…and though this one isn’t too far out there…there were a couple of surprises!  Here’s the scoop…or sip…or 411 on how it works to marry some of the iconic profiles of GSC favorites and wines in a way that doesn’t put you into a sugar coma. 

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I pulled 4 cookies and 4 wines.  As always, we did a little palate cleansing with a dry sparkly wine from Italy…Asti region…but sans the residual sugars you might expect!

First, we played with Lemonades and 3 Paisanos, a blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, and off dry Riesling. The notes of citrus with lemon and grapefruit notes played really well with the buttery creaminess of the Lemonade cookies and created a nice balance of sweet, buttery and tart!

Next up was the Do-si-dos/Peanut Butter Sandwich with a pre-mixed wine cocktail - Cipriani Bellini.  Sassy and snarky from the gate, it is possible we joked about a drinking like an adult, but really and truly…this was the most surprising pairing!  Peanut butter can be a trick to pair with, but this pairing heightened both the sip and the bite in a delightful way!

Third, we married the Caramel deLites/Samoas with a Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend from the Yalumba winery in Australia. And. Oh. My!  This pairing was absolutely the class favorite!  The equation of caramel + chocolate + coconut +new world cab sauv + shiraz = all kinds of blissful!  Moments of humming and swaying happened and all was good!

Finally, we introduced the classic Thin Mint to a Chilean Carmenere.  This was not our favorite pairing…though there was no “ewww”…there was no “sigh” either.   

I also brought in a little Dubliner Cheddar.  Note…having a many sweet moments sometimes needs to balance out with a little savory.  For the most part, the crowd had an expectation for a sweet afternoon - but we balanced it…sweet, savory, dry and delicious!

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Wine & Food Pairings: Livin' Dangerously

Eight years ago I created the Curious Palate - an educational wine tasting series that is all about exploring different styles, varieties, profiles and nuance…and how it all works with food.  More often than not, the pairings are right on and the food and wine just sing! Occasionally the pairings are…meh…and don’t enhance either the wine or the food. And certainly, there are moments when the flavors or textures or chemistry just don’t work! Usually, those moments are found in my own kitchen rather than in a crowd, but when food pairings go awry, I find delight in all that gloriously gross failure!  It keeps the experience real and approachable; two words that don’t often pop up in the wine industry. 

When exploring pairings in Curious Palate tasting events, I don’t mind if the food pairing is a bit of a miss because we can ALWAYS learn from it and we are reminded that this shared experience is ultimately different for each palate. It makes me thankful for the moment and the people willing to share it with me. 

Last week, we compared two different Italian grapes: Sangiovese and Nebbiolo.  For the Sangiovese, I presented bites with a fresh vegetal focus. For the Nebbiolo, I presented bites with a distinctively earthy focus. The class favorite was a Nebbiolo from Langhe paired with a Fig/Goat Cheese/Pancetta/Shallot Crostini…all that earth worked so well!  And for those who were willing to explore, we found that when the same crostini was paired with the Sangiovese from Chianti, that pairing just didn’t play well. And you know what? That is such good information to have and despite what we were taught as children, there is no shame in playing with our food!  Be open. Be curious. Live a lil’ dangerously and allow yourself to explore what works for you and your distinctive palate!

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Curious Palate & The Parlor on the Airwaves

Please check out my KRDO radio interview with Teresa Farney, Food Editor at The Gazette and radio host extraordinaire!  We chattered about the 2019 Curious Palate Tasting schedule and my new adventure, The Parlor!  Click here to hear the KRDO podcast!

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Michaela on the Radio

Last week was so exciting.  I had the great pleasure to be interviewed on the KVOR Table Talk show by Teresa Farney, Food Editor of the Gazette.  We talked about our new Curious Palate classes at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.  Click here to listen to the podcast.

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