[RECAP] What We Learned At A Virtual Wine + Cheese Party

Photo: Leslee Miller

One joy in the time of Corona Virus? Virtual wine classes!

Sip Better's sommelier, Leslee Miller, has been putting her wine education chops to work from the comfort of her own home. Through her consulting business, Amusée, Leslee has begun hosting live themed wine classes via Zoom, and the latest one turned into one big wine and cheese pairing party! Wine lovers from around the country tuned in on Saturday April 18th to discuss how to create a killer cheese and meat spread (see that beauty up above?), which wines to pair with which snacks, and more. I was there too! And here are three of my takeaways:

VARIETY IS KEY
Make sure your cheese(and meat) board reflects the spice of life: variety! Choose at least one cow's milk cheese (like Gruyère), one goat's milk (such as fresh chèvre), and one sheep's milk cheese (like Manchego). Not only do these different milks offer many pairing combinations and flavor profiles to explore, they also ensure that most of your dining mates will find...

[RECIPE + PAIRING] Quick Roasted Tomato Chutney

Photo: Emily Rentsch

It's September and the tomatoes are poppin'! Here's a fast and tasty way to get into the spirit courtesy of my friend Chef Mike Shannon. This quick tomato chutney recipe doesn't even require fresh tomatoes (although you could certainly roast your own and gain some more bragging rights) and it makes a crowd-pleasing appetizer. Spread it on crusty bruschetta, add to fresh ricotta (as seen above) or goat cheese, serve it with fish or on top of a hearty burger. This is an all purpose delight.

Oh, and don't forget the wine! After the recipe below, you'll find some of my favorite pairings to tomatoes and other late summer fare. 

QUICK ROASTED TOMATO CHUTNEY
from Chef Mike Shannon
Make about 4 cups

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar 
1/2 teaspoon smoked salt
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 cans (28 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
 
Heat oil over medium heat in a medium sauce...

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