Posts Tagged ‘Food and Wine’

What’s (Not Quite) Cookin’?

January 24, 2015

Hey Y’all,

Just checking in to show you what’s for dinner…

Talapia Ceviche on Mini Tortillas

Tilapia Ceviche on Mini Tortillas

And here’s the wine sample that went with it…

Villa Bellangelo 2012 Dry Riesling

Villa Bellangelo 2012 Dry Riesling

What are y’all having for dinner?

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 153: France vs Italy

January 24, 2015

In this episode, Jeff pits two cool-climate Gewürztraminer samples against each other.

Wine Tasted:

Willm 2012 Gewurztraminer, Elena Walch 2013 Gewurztraminer, and Curry Soup

Willm 2012 Gewurztraminer, Elena Walch 2013 Gewurztraminer, and Curry Soup

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your favorite Gewürztraminer? Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 152: Everybody Wants Mo’ Scotto

January 12, 2015

In this episode, Jeff tries two samples from Scotto Family Cellars while making dinner…

Wine Tasted:

Scotto Family Cellars 2012 Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon with Roasted Asparagus and Pan Seared New York Strip with Chimichuri

Scotto Family Cellars 2012 Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon with Roasted Asparagus and Pan Seared New York Strip with Chimichuri

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your favorite non-Zinfandel based wine from Lodi?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 144: Syrah, Jerky, and BBQ Potato Chips

October 14, 2014

In this episode, Jeff pairs this $40 Syrah with $4 worth of snacks.

Wine Tasted:

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Cornerstone Cellars 2012 Napa Valley Syrah

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What is your favorite Syrah from Atlas Peak?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 140: Chianti Rufina and a Burger

August 16, 2014

In this episode, Jeff pairs this Chianti Rufina sample with his guacamole burger…

Wine Tasted:

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Nipozzano 2010 Chianti Rufina Riserva

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your favorite Chianti Rufina? How did it compare to other Chianti and Chianti Classicos you’ve tried? Leave a comment and let us know.

#FLXWine to the fullest! or… Is it too soon to hashtag #WBC15? or… Sometimes Wine + Blogging Does = Wine Blogging

July 17, 2014

One week ago, I sat down to review one of several wines samples sent to me from Villa Bellangelo Winery.  In particular, I sat down to review this wine…

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Bellangelo 2012 Gewürztraminer

Now…

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that it really doesn’t take that long for me to assess and come to a conclusion about wine.  In my video reviews, you’ll see me talk about a particular wine from anywhere from five to twenty minutes… But really… It only takes me a minute or two of that tasting to form my opinion.

“So, Jeff…” you may be wondering, “Why have you been struggling with putting together this wine review?  I mean… Seriously?  You’ve been working on this post for over a week?  You’re only 147 words into this thing… And that includes this made-up dialogue.  What gives?”

Well…

There’s a couple of different things going on here.

1. I don’t do nearly as many written reviews on this blog as I used to. Go ahead and take a peek at the last ten posts.  I’ll wait…  Do you see that?  Nine of the last ten reviews I did on this site were of the video variety!

The reality is, aside from the technical aspects, video wine reviews are easier… for me anyway.  That’s one of the major reasons why I do them.

2. When I do a written piece on this site, I want there to be a theme that ties everything together.  The problem that I’ve been having with this review is that there are too many themes that I wish to include. Every time I started to write about this wine from one particular angle, a new theme would surface, and stuff would start to get all confusing.

So…

Maybe I should just lay out some important things to consider about this wine, and see if I can piece this together somehow…

A. Chris Missick of Villa Bellangelo approached me about reviewing some of his wines near the end of June.

B. Six samples from Villa Bellangelo arrived at my doorstep at the beginning of July.

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C. Hella Villa Bellangelo Samples now inhabit my refrigerator.

D. As you can see from the photo above, Villa Bellangelo specializes in cool-climate Riesling and Gewürztraminer from the Finger Lakes AVA of upstate New York.

E. While I’ve been very much aware of the style of the Finger Lakes region, I’ve never had any wines from this area.  My experience as a Californian has been that one must really search to find these wines around here.

F. Days after the samples arrived, Kara and I drove down to Santa Barbara County to attend the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference.  We had a blast!

G. I learned at the Wine Bloggers Conference that the expression “We had a blast!” is mad cliché, and should never be used.

H. On the final night of the Wine Bloggers Conference, the announcement was made that next year’s conference will be held in the Finger Lakes.

I. Since returning to from #WBC14, I’ve been attempting write a post which makes a connection between my experiences at the conference with the wines of Villa Bellangelo (and all the other #FLXWine).

So…

Let’s give this a go.

On the opening day of the Wine Bloggers Conference, the keynote speech was delivered by Corbett Barr of Fizzle.  While not an expert at wine blogging, specifically, Corbett has made a very good living for himself as a blogger and podcaster.  I truly appreciated his take on the state of wine blogging.

Corbett is a fantastic storyteller.  One of the most memorable bits that I took away from his speech was when he talked about doing research on wine blogging.  Corbett talked the time he took a bottle of wine down to a park, drank it, and tried to blog.  He summed up his experience with the following equation.

Wine + Blogging ≠ Wine Blogging

Now…

I totally get what Corbett was saying here.  There is a whole lot more to this art form (That’s right!  I went there!).  You can’t just throw some booze in your glass and fake it… though some may try.

But…

Sometimes you get stuck.  Seriously… It’s been 720 words in this post so far, and I still haven’t gotten to reviewing this Gewürztraminer.

So…

To aid in reviewing the Bellangelo 2012 Gewürztraminer, I’ve opened up this sample…

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Bellangelo 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling + Blogging

In some ways, I feel like the 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling is a better wine to start with, if wanted to explore the wines of the Finger Lakes.

As wine drinkers, we should all be familiar with Riesling.  Now… whereas many wine lovers will geek out over all things Riesling, the typical wine drinker may stay away from it.  Many complain that Riesling is too sweet.  This may be due to the typical, almost dessert-like, domestic Riesling.  In such cases, these Rieslings are too sweet because they are grown in the wrong place, or just made poorly.

When one explores the killer, cool-climate Rieslings of Alsace, France or Germany, one can really get a firm grasp of all that Riesling really has to offer.  High acid.  A touch of residual sugar.  Balance.  They’re hecka tasty.

My hope is that the Finger Lakes show more like European Riesling versus their domestic contemporaries.

So…

Let’s try the 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling!

Color: Light golden-yellow.  One swirl of the wine in the glass not only highlights the typical color, but also fades to this beautiful slow sloshing of the juice, highlighting its viscosity.

Nose: I love the typical oily notes that can be found in good Riesling. This wine is no exception.  I am also noticing a touch of lemon and savory herbs.

Palate: Nice tart lemon on the front of the palate are rounded out by those oily notes.  There is a touch of residual sugar (1.8%), but the 7.95 g/L of titratable acidity provides the balance that Riesling needs. You would never characterize this wine as being too sweet.

Score: The 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling is from the Morris and Gibson vineyards in the Finger Lakes.  I’m excited to see how this wine stacks up against some of the single-vineyard offerings from Villa Bellangelo.  This is a fresh and balanced number.  The perfect wine for a summer day when you’re in a blogging rut.  90 points!

Okay…

Now let’s get back to the Bellangelo 2012 Gewürztraminer that I tasted last week!

Color: Pale golden-yellow.  Very similar to the Riesling (minus the sloshiness of the swirl, of course).

Nose: Honey and lemon zest dominate this nose, but there is an oiliness here (reminiscent of the Riesling).

Palate: This wine has weight.  There is a very viscous, oily palate. Good notes of honeysuckle.  There is a hint of sweetness (1% residual sugar) here.  This Gewürztraminer is Riesling-like, but with much less of an acidic backbone (5.4 g/L TA).

Score: This wine is pretty.  While easy-drinking, there is a nice floral complexity to this.  This wine was also grown from the Morris and Gibson vineyards in the same year as the Riesling.  It’s nice to see how similar these two varieties can be when one strips away virtually all the other variables that could exist from one bottle to the next. This is a tasty 89er.

Food Pairing:

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The Gewürztraminer was paired with Kara’s Pasta Salad of Fusilli with Arugula, Goat Cheese, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes.

I’m a big fan of both of these wines from Villa Bellangelo.  The acid (more so from the Riesling) provides a versatility in food pairings. The sugar gives them both a pleasant sweetness, without making them overly goopy.  Try them with any food you like… I really don’t think you could go wrong with anything here.

This is #FLXWine to the fullest!

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your favorite wine from the Finger Lakes?  Leave a comment, and let us know what you think.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 125: Taking My Time with Food and Wine

December 22, 2013

In this episode, Jeff takes his time in analyzing these two fine samples from Cornerstone Cellars. Get yourself a nice bottle of wine, and a big plate of food, before you watch this one… This one may take a while.

Wine Tasted:

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Cornerstone Cellars 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

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Cornerstone Cellars 2010 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Food Pairing:

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The Big Roy featuring Roasted Garlic, Bacon, Pepper Jack, and Garlic Aioli with a side of Fries, House Ketchup, and Chipotle Ketchup from Cafe 152 Burger in Gilroy

Wine Samples provided by Cornerstone Cellars.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your take on the Cabs of Napa Valley, Howell Mountain, and Cornerstone Cellars? Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 119: This wine is soooooo good..

September 15, 2013

Jeff takes a break from packing boxes for the big move to review this French sparkling wine…

Wine Tasted:

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Jaillance Cuvee de l’Abbaye Cremant de Bordeaux Brut

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s the last wine that moved you?  Leave a comment, and tell us about it.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 115: Lamb Curry, Hash Browns, and Syrah

July 30, 2013

In this episode, Jeff tries a gets a little creative with some food and a killer Syrah…

Wine Tasted:

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Valley of the Moon 2009 Syrah

Food Pairing:

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Lamb Curry and Hash Browns

After the Fact:

To learn more about Syrah, check out Cyrus Limon’s blog, Solo Syrah.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your favorite value Syrah? Leave a comment, and let us know.

Pancakes and Pinot Noir

July 27, 2013

So…

I’ve been rethinking the way I look at food.

Let’s take pancakes, for example.  I have never been a pancake-for-breakfast type of guy.

They’re way too filling.  They’re way too sweet.  They’re almost always made from some crappy mix from a box that’s been sitting in the back of somebody’s pantry for way too long.

But…

When we change the idea of a pancake from a fluffy, sugary breakfast food to that of a hearty, crisp, savory meal… Well… That’s something I can get into.

So…

The other day, I was watching The Chew.  On this episode, guest chef, Ming Tsai, showed how to make a simple, savory pancake out of leftover Chinese food.

It looked so tasty…

So good…

So not like a traditional pancake…

I just had to make my own version (without the leftovers).

So, here’s what I did…

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I mixed together 2 cups of flour with one cup of warm water until it became one fluffy ball. I kneaded the dough for about ten minutes, then left it in a bowl (covered by a damp towel) for about an hour.

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While the dough was resting, I chopped up about a quarter of a cabbage and two scallions, and threw them in a bowl.

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I rolled out half of the dough really thin, brushed it in olive oil, sprinkled in some salt, and covered the dough with the half of the cabbage and scallions. I then rolled up the dough, pulled it apart into two smaller pieces, and rolled each piece into a 7″ pancake. I proceeded to make two more pancakes with the rest of the dough.

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Each of the pancakes was cooked over medium heat in an omelet pan with a little bit of olive oil for about 3 and a half minutes each side. To finish the pancake, I topped it with some prosciutto and a little bit of the leftover cabbage and scallions.

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To serve, the pancake was cut into four slices, topped with a drizzle of Sriracha, and accompanied by a butter lettuce salad with a spicy peanut vinaigrette.

Wow!

I was really happy with how this turned out.  The pancake is crisp and chewy.  The cabbage and scallions give the pancake an earthy flavor.  The prosciutto gives a delicate meaty flavor, while the Sriracha adds a spicy complexity.

Now…

You know I’ve gotta have some wine with this.

Here’s what I chose…

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VINTJS 2012 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Trader Joe’s keeps surprising me with the quality of juice they are bringing for price.  In a world where people are obsessing over Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley of Oregon, usually the entry-level wines from this region come in at $20.

So…

When I saw this wine for $8, I had to get it.

Color: Very light ruby.  I know Pinot Noir is always going to be light, but this is one of the lightest I’ve ever seen.

Nose: Upon first inspection, the fruit on this wine is hard to miss.  Though it does dissipate as the wine opens up, initially, all I could really get was fresh raspberries.  Notes of maraschino cherries, whipped cream, and even some lettuce leaf begin to appear over time.

Taste: Though dry, I can’t help but think of a summertime dessert of cherry, raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry tart when tasting this wine.  There are some good notes of vanilla, spice, clove, and tobacco leaf.  While pretty, the wine finishes a bit thin for me.

Score: Make no mistake.  If you really want to know what Willamette Valley Pinot Noir tastes like, this not the wine for you.  But… If you want a quality wine for 8 bones, this will do the trick.  88 points.

With Food: I am really happy with this pairing.  The savory, salty, and spicy pancake highlights notes of tea leaf and tobacco in the wine.  It provides a good body and depth of flavor to the wine as well.  The peanut dressing on the salad continues to provide a great earthiness I felt was lacking in the wine.

Do yourself a favor…

The next time you’re thinking about pancakes, put down that maple syrup and grab the Pinot Noir instead.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What wine would you pair with your favorite pancake? Leave a comment, and let us know.


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