Posts Tagged ‘ food blog ’

Grenache- Around The World

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Granache From Around The World

[gruh-NAHSH] Grape that comes in both red-wine and white-wine varieties. When used by itself, the word “Grenache” refers to the red version Grenache Noir, one of the world’s most widely cultivated red grapes. The Grenache grape does well in hot, dry regions, and its strong stalk makes it well suited for windy conditions.

It ripens with very high sugar levels and can produce wines with 15 to 16 percent alcohol. Grenache wines are sweet, fruity, and very low in tannins. They’re usually lacking in color, except in growing areas where yields are low. The vine originated in Spain where it’s called Garnacha and Garnacha Tinta (or Garnacho Tinto) and is the most widely cultivated red-wine grape in that country. It’s widely planted in navarra and in many of Spain’s hotter areas including cariñena, la mancha, penedès, rioja and utiel-requena. In southern France not far from the Spanish border, Grenache is widely cultivated in the areas around languedoc-roussillon, provence and the southern rhône.

Also extensively grown in Algeria, Australia, Corsica, Israel, Morocco, Sardinia (where it’s called Cannonau), and California’s central valley. Guarnaccia is a Grenache strain native to southern Italy’s Ischia island, at the entrance to the Bay of Naples. Red Grenache wines are usually blended with those made from other varieties; 100 percent Grenache wines are rarely found. In Spain Grenache is blended with tempranillo, and in most of France it’s blended with cinsaut and carignan. In châteauneuf-du-pape it’s used as the primary grape, although it is blended with as many as twelve other varietals including clairette, mourvèdre, muscadine and syrah. In rosé wines-particularly those from côtes-du-rhône, côtes du ventoux, lirac and tavel-Grenache is often the dominant grape used. In California and Australia, it’s most often used as a blending wine for inexpensive jug wines. Grenache Blanc (or Garnacha Blanca) is the white variety of this grape.

Although not as popular as the red, it’s still widely planted in both Spain and France. The white wines produced are high alcohol and low acidity. Grenache is known by many different names including Alicante, Cannonao (or Cannonau), Carignan Rosso, Granaccia, Granacha, and Roussillon.

REDS:

  • Marco Real, navarra Granache Spain 05
  • Domaine d’Anderon, Cotes Du Rone France 08
  • Yalumba Barossa Valley, Bush Vine Granache Australia 08
  • Herman’s Story, Larner Vineyard California 06

My impressions, were this group was comparing apples to oranges. Each glass/bottle had their own characteristics, so it comes down to a preference, and mine- all of them were great. The California Herman’s won on overall points at our AWS- American Wine Society tasting event. My taste buds lean towards old world, so I did feel if there was a bottle of Domain d’Anderson left on the kitchen table, I would have found room in my pocket book, and quietly steal away into the night!

Food pairing:

  • Smoked Pulled Pork with homemade canned tomato BBQ sauce
  • Yengling Beer ‘Butt’ Chicken, whole
  • Roasted White and Peruvian Fingerling Potatoes and Squash
  • Cheese Cake
  • Key Lime Pie
  • Maple Brown Sugar Cured Bacon with chocolate, in homemade ice cream

Food Pairing Notes: The fat of the chicken was most notable with its perfect pairing with the California Grenache, as the fat helped balance out the tannic ‘cheekiness’, and this wine could have aged a bit longer. Most all other foods went well with the wines as courses were served, another notable pairing was the Rose with Strawberry Salad!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling & Adrienne Turner were in attendance and contributed food!

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Sexy Wines & Food as a Centerpiece

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Black Truffle 'Deviled' Eggs

Pairing a wine with any ingredient is greatly dependent on personal taste, and the particular type of dish prepared. If truffles are the centerpiece, go for a hearty, rustic red, and you can’t go wrong with vintages from truffle-producing regions.

Earthy, full bodies red wines are an excellent match to truffles and truffle dishes. Try some from the region of Rhône, France. Italy’s Piedmontese wines are another excellent choice, as they are subtly automatized with truffles.

Black truffles and old Burgundy or white truffles and old Barolo- Truffles have a wild, musky, earthy depth that goes very well with the aromas and flavors—gaminess, spice notes, earth, dried fruits and, well, truffles—that these wines acquire over time. They engulfed me; It was intoxicating earthy and sublime. Sexy wines and foods should be respected!

There are some 70 species of truffle, but only two are highly prized for their culinary value: the black truffle, Tuber melanosporum, found in various parts of France, especially in the Périgord and Provence, and the white truffle, Tuber magnatum, found principally in Italy’s Piedmont region.

Any simple meal can become elegant with a little thought, like deviled eggs with a dash of horseradish cream, EVO, by adding quality ingredients like La Boutique de la Truffe-Gourmet Attitude truffle products, or Black Truffle Carpaccio. I have been given samples to try at no cost in the past, but to be honest with you, I purchase them on a regular basis for clients and my own kitchen. Why? Because I love them, and they are by far the best quality in flavor, shelf life, and appearance when plating!

Did you know that truffles grow in New Zealand and also right here in the United States? Oregon as a matter of fact. Some may say that they are not quite like its European cousin, but I plan to find out, and report back…

CookAppeal has tried many other products out there on the market, and many of the truffle oils are, well, just not up to our standards.

Many oils sold on the market today are simply infused concoctions that have no real truffle essence present- truffle oil is actually a chemical concoction made by mixing olive oil with various chemical compounds, such as 2,4-dithiapentane, that has been created in a laboratory which simulates the aroma and taste of white truffles. So why not buy products such as ‘Truffle Carpaccio’ that sits in oil and can be infused in your own dishes, such as these truffle eggs.

Truffle oil may have been created when truffles are soaked in olive oil before commercial truffle oils were introduced in the 1980’s. Chefs in Italy and France traditionally made their own by steeping bits of fresh truffles in high quality EVO. If you are going to purchase truffle products and shell out the money, then buy truffles themselves and infuse the real thing into your dish!

Remember when pairing a wine with food, the first rule of thumb is to pair ingredients grown in the soil with the wines of similar soil for best flavor profiling- Our suggestion for ‘Black Truffle Deviled Eggs’:

Country: FRANCE
Region: BURGUNDY
Sub-Region: COTE DE BEAUNE
Appellation: VOLNAY
Grape Varietal: PINOT NOIR

Price Range: $35 – 50 per bottle, but suggest a New World- Burgundian Pinot Noir as alternative

Tasting Notes- Medium to heavy body, carried the truffle and eggy’ness well with its chewy body, fruit forward nose, earth and a slight funk; tart cherry and gamey flavors, some of my favorite Pinot Noir characteristics.

If the Oregon truffles are as good as their Pinot Noir wines, PIWC will be visiting more often!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling, CookAppeal, LLC- Shares her love for experimenting with flavors @ Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Food Trends for Summer- ‘Spicing Up The Backyard Barbecue’

Wine Down Wednesday- Sancerre

What says ‘A fantastic pairing with Chilean Sea Bass’ than a Chateau de Sancerre from Loire France? Of course I could match a few others, but this is a classic that should never be reckoned with…

Miso Marinated Chilean Sea Bass over Garlic Collard Greens is a great dish to prepare, and not so very difficult either!

This fish was sweet, but yet density and flavor of the sea bas was a great match with the bitter garlic flavor of the sauteed collard greens, a dish my family made often in my southern childhood.

Chateau de Sancerre, Loire France, 07- This Sancerre is light to medium in color with a light yellow and silver core and displays bright aromas on the nose with notes of baking bread, grapefruit, lemon rind and lime skin. The palate is mouth watering, yet elegant with strong citrus character tempered by earthy mineral-edged flavors as well as hints of petrol and fresh cut grass. Medium bodied, refreshing and satisfying with a zesty, clean finish.

‘Corky’ of PIWC is always looking out for drinkable wines at a bargain, and this is…

Country: FRANCE
Region: LOIRE
Sub-Region: CENTRAL VINEYARDS
Appellation: SANCERRE
Grape Varietal: SAUVIGNON BLANC

Reg. 25.45- Often found on sale for under $20!

Chef E Stelling, Chef/Owner- CookAppeal LLC writes about her food and wine experiences on her blog, Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!