Wine Down Wednesday- Give The Gift Of Spice & Wine

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As old as time, ancient time- Wine and Spices had begun to be paired together. In not so obvious ways, but as man began to move across lands conquering, taking their spoils and riches back home, a merge of the two took form. Even in today’s time we have begun to cross barriers that only the very adventuresome might try in their own kitchens. These global ocean trials have swept into the realm of wine and food pairing.

Sometimes as simple a few ingredients having been blended in a country such as the African Islands. Ingredients that we have had in our own spice cabinet for hundreds of years are being discovered to have been right in front of our noses. One such blend is Za’tar- known by many spellings and uses, is mostly used for a condiment made from the dried herbs, often Thyme, mixed together with sesame seeds, salt, as well as other spices. Used in Arab cuisine since medieval times, both the herb and spice mixture are popular throughout the Middle East and Levant still today.

Some such blends have been protected by families for centuries, and are only now being explored. These components blended with a few other ingredients such as mustard, oil, and parsley, then used as a rub for rack of lamb, and a dash of Za’atar blended with a cream sauce for Lobster ravioli can be a new discovery for the taste buds. Once this pairing has taken place- a wine pairing may develop.

Try a Charles Creek Winery- ‘La Vista’ Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet 04, an oak aged wine that has begun its perfect journey to be a leading ballet on the taste buds. Subtle rich red fruit and spice help make the right dishes such as a ‘Surf and Turf’- the perfect marriage to prove that ancient man had began a journey long before he may have realized, and one we all can continue for many many years to come!

Something in my own personal opinion is worth more than any riches, as on the spice trade it was horrendously valuable- A good meal and a great bottle of wine- Priceless beyond any gift you could ever pass on to me!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling, CookAppeal LLC Read more of her food pairings @ Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

The legendary Stagecoach Vineyard rises to an elevation of 1700 feet above the eastern portion of Napa Valley’s Oakville district, stretching from the western side of Atlas Peak to the southern portion of Pritchard Hill. Cabernet Sauvignon grown on this site is prized for it’s intensity and complexity of flavor.

Deep, saturated purple color is the introduction to this intense young wine. Dark fruit, baking spice and a dusting of fine tannins in a richly textured package suggest a good decade (or more) of cellaring, if one can resist the temptation to break out a bottle tonight.
In either case,beef, lamb or game would be prime partners for this classic Napa Cabernet.

  1. Lobster ravioli and cabernet-you are bold Chef. Is this a lighter more fruit typical early california drinking cab versus the traditional heavy tannin type? i will have to check out the Za’tar. The other challenges I always run into are the Latin and Asian spice profiles and something beyond a Gerwurtz, reisling or veltliner.

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