Although winery tasting rooms were forced to close in March, maintaining a steady supply of wine hasn’t been a problem in our house! In order to stay afloat during these wildly challenging times, wineries have provided consumers all kinds of offers. A library vertical – yes, please! A mystery library pack – sign me up! Shipping included – okay! In other words, I’ve discovered some terrific deals. Revealed here are eight Washington Wines worth staying home for and what to pair with them. August is Washington Wine Month so don’t let it pass you by without trying some of these soul satisfying wines priced from just $17-36. Continue reading “Eight Washington Wines Worth Staying Home For and What to Pair with Them”
Although winery tasting rooms have started to open again, the coronavirus has not backed down. As a result, closures are imminent at the end of July for those that do not have outdoor seating. So, for us, that means replenishing our wine supplies to enjoy with a pantry dinner on the patio. Our latest guilty pleasure is pairing nachos with sparkling wine for dinner.
How do you feel about nachos for dinner? I say nachos are the new pasta – the covid comfort food of the season if you will. Although to make myself feel less guilty about serving them I said, “Honey, I made sheet pan tacos for dinner!” Then I opened some bubbles. Because it was Monday.
Sure, beer aka cerveza is a classic pairing with Mexican inspired food. Why? It has bubbles. In other words, it’s a refreshing counterpoint to the spice in the food. Just like sparkling wine!
Wine Pairing for Nachos
It wouldn’t be summer without a dinner featuring heirloom tomato salad on a bed of creamy yogurt. Of course, it is best served while dining outside along with a bottle of wine! Read more for this quick and easy recipe and wine pairing.
The cookbook, Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi as well as his many books that followed have provided much inspiration in my kitchen. Often, yogurt plays a role in the recipes. Here that ingredient shows up as a creamy, flavorful bed upon which the season’s tomatoes rest.
Tomato Salad on a Bed of Creamy Yogurt
Start with the yogurt mixture and combine:
- 1 cup plain yogurt – I favor whole milk cream top style
- 1 tablespoon mint, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dill, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1-2 tomatoes, sliced or quartered
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- A pinch of salt
Spread the yogurt mixture on a plate or shallow bowl. Top with the tomatoes and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Served with bread alongside, it feeds two of us as a light meal. Or, it can make a satisfying lunch for one.
If, like me, you’re still trying to minimize trips to the grocery store and rely on what’s in the pantry, feel free to make substitutions. Use whatever yogurt you stock in the fridge. No mint or dill? That’s okay, parsley works fine, too. Or add some ground cumin. If you don’t have sherry vinegar, use lemon juice. Want a more substantial salad? Add chickpeas and diced cucumber. You get the idea!
There are a number of wine options that pair well with such patio fare. Generally, I turn to juicy white wines that have a savory characteristic to complement this dish. For that reason, Grenache Blanc and Grüner Veltliner are at the top of my list. Additionally, Picpoul is a lip smacking favorite. Or, if you want to stick with something a little more classic, seek out Sauvignon Blanc.
Below are some of my favorite Washington State producers of these exciting varieties. All of them are small, boutique operations where family plays a role. Plus, they’re making fantastic, lively, food friendly wines. Shipping specials are also regularly offered these days (ground shipping was included with my recent order from Cairdeas AND the wine arrived the next day), so check out what’s available!
Are you hungry for more salad and wine pairings? Try my Lentil Salad Recipe.
Who’s ready for some more comfort food? Pasta and pizza have been heavy in the rotation lately. Now, I’m eagerly incorporating other options that require minimal prep. After all, it’s a little challenging mustering up the energy to cook a gourmet feast for two every single night. Here are some of my go to easy comfort foods that taste fantastic, and pair well with wine.
Any of these are terrific appetizer options. As the weather heats up, however, it’s very tempting to assemble an assortment of these dishes together as a grazing board and call it dinner.
Truffled Cannellini Bean Dip
1 can unsalted Cannelini Beans
1 1/2 teaspoons truffle salt
2 Tablespoons truffle oil
Throw it all in a food processor and whir it up until smooth. Transfer to bowl and top with an additional drizzle of truffle oil if desired. Serve with toasted bread, crackers, or sliced vegetables such as celery, cucumber, or fennel.
We’ve had some trouble finding cannellini beans in the stores lately. So, hummus is my backup.
Wine pairing: you can’t go wrong with sparkling wine (yes, even on a weeknight)! Or try Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Gamay Noir. Continue reading “Easy Comfort Foods and Wine Pairings”
This sausage apple recipe is inspired by one I saw in Food & Wine Magazine contributed by Daniel Orr. The preparation is so easy, it’s hard to believe. Plus, it requires a minimal number of ingredients. Better still, the hubby asked if we can add it to our rotation!
Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon butter
One package Kielbasa sausage (I use turkey Kielbasa cut into fourths or sometimes a 12 oz. package Aidell’s Chicken and Apple Minis)
1/2 cup white wine
2 apples (we like Fuji or Granny Smith), halved
1. Melt the butter in an oven safe skillet over medium heat.
2. Next, add the apples to the skillet, cut side down and cook until they start to brown.
3. Now, add the sausages and wine. Put the skillet in a preheated 375° oven for 15 minutes or until sausages are fully heated through.
Boom – that’s it!
Serve over creamy polenta that has been prepared with whole milk, and pour a white wine. Now, read on to discover the perfect wine pairings for this sausage apple recipe.
The Roussanne variety hails from the Rhône region of France and is now also found in Washington State. On an evening in which a simple dinner needs a bit of a boost Roussanne offers something a little unexpected and more refined. Therefore, we turned to a selection purchased from Woodinville based Avennia (a VinoSocial client). The acclaimed winery released their first offering of this variety last year in a sophisticated blend that includes Roussanne’s sister grape, Marsanne. As a result, it’s a special bottle that can pleasantly help break up the monotony of sheltering in place! Notes of apples and pears in this lively wine complement the flavor profile of the dish.
In our house we drink a lot of Riesling. Aged Riesling, dry Riesling, sweet Riesling, German Riesling, Washington Riesling – any of it and all of it! Between the sausage and the apples, the dish has some sweetness to it. Consequently, it’s a perfect pairing for an off-dry Riesling.
Alternatively, a Chardonnay can work well because the wine plays off the creamy texture of the polenta served with the recipe.