Hosting the holidays this year? Holy Stress, amiright? Not only do you want to please your guests with delicious vittles, but you're also thinking about the music, the decor, the flow of the evening...
And then there are the beverages.
Ideally, you would stock a crazy supply of beverages to please every person's personal palate, but that's tricky without spending loads of cash and ending up with lots of extra bottles you might not be crazy about once all of the guests have gone home.
Let's keep it simple, shall we? Here are three different wines that are friendly enough to appeal to a range of people, while also suiting the harvest vibes of a holiday meal. Don't knock yourself out. After all, the most important part of a holiday gathering is the warmth of good company, right?'
Domaine J. Laurens "La Rose No°7" | France**
This sparkling rosé of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Noir is adorably pink AND a stellar companion to all things Thanksgiving Day. It's got a delicate mousse...
Photo: Bree Felten Leidel
EVERYTHING is Halloween right now! If you're just a little sick of the Snickers and Twizzlers and pumpkin-shaped Reeses, get a load of this adult Halloween treat below—created by my pal Corey Meier of Create Catering—that you can whip up in under 20 minutes. The best part about it? It pairs well with a fizzy little Moscato!
Trick or treat, friends!
PUMPKIN SPICE RICE KRISPIE BARS
*Pair to an off dry Moscato, like the 2017 Foris Sparkling Moscato*
Makes one 9×9 pan
For the Bars
• 2 Tbsp Butter
• 1 Bag Marshmallows
• 1Tbsp Instant Coffee Granules
• 5-6 Cups Rice Krispies
For the Pumpkin-White Chocolate Ganache
• 2 Tbsp Pumpkin Puree
• 1 Cup White Chocolate
For the Spice Mix - Make to your liking!
• Cinnamon to taste
• Ginger to taste
• Nutmeg to taste
• Ground Mace to taste
For the Dark Chocolate Drizzle
• 4 Tbsp Dark Chocolate Chips
1. Melt the butter and marshmallows together in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat.
2. Once melted, add the coffee granules and stir to combine.
3. Fold in the...
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...
Photo: Jo Jo
Sure, you could have beer at your next barbecue. But why not play the wild card and pair your smokey outdoor eats with WINE?
Pairing wine to grilled meats and vegetables is a lot easier than you think. Just make sure neither the food nor the drink overpowers the other. So, if you've got a super savory marinated steak, you'll need a heartier wine--like a Cabernet or Zinfandel--to stand up to its big ole flavor. Similarly, try a lighter bodied wine that's full of fruit when enjoying the more delicate flavors of grilled zucchini or pork chops.
Pro tip: Try chilling light-bodied reds (Pinot Noir, Gamay, Frappato, lighter Nebbiolos) before serving them. They'll taste extra fresh and keep you cool while you man the grill.
Below are some of my favorite red wines to grill and chill with in the summertime, complete with some handy little pairing ideas:
1. Elk Cove 'Estate' Pinot Noir Rosé | Willamette Valley, Oregon
This sunset-colored rosé of Pinot Noir is all juicy, tart cherry and rose petals...
Photo: spotted at Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza
When you first start learning about wine, it can feel a little freaky to drop $20 or $30 on what you’ve heard is a “nice” bottle.
Wine labels aren’t always forthcoming (or even in your own language!), so you could be left fending for yourself, taking anyone and everyone’s advice and just defaulting to what’s most expensive. Because what the heck do YOU know?
But that, my friend, is no way to live. And! There are plenty of affordable wines out there (like, cheaper-than-a-cocktail affordable!) that are truly delicious and compromise nothing in the way of value. I’m here to clue you in! Once you’ve got these 3 wines in your back pocket, you’ll start developing your palate and gain the confidence and courage to continue learning and seeking out other wines. Maybe even some of those “nice” bottles? It’s all up to you.
Here are 3 wines under $12 that you should try:
1. Evolúció (Dry) Furmint | Tokaj, Hungary
Furmint is the most prolific grape in Hungary, and you’ll usually find it featured...