Posts Tagged ‘ pinot noir ’

Seductive Wines for Summer: Pinot Noir

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Seductive and friendlyPinot Noir is of those seductive grapes. The bouquet can entice you and leave you wanting more.
It’s fickle like a woman, needing some tender loving care at times, yet when done well can produce some of the most gorgeous wines.

Pinot Noir tends to be very food friendly, complimenting in its style, not over powering. It even goes well with the simplest of food preparations and barbecue. And if you want a red wine in the summer heat, Pinot Noir is sure to please.

All said Pinot Noir has many characteristics I admire in people; seductive, friendly and not over powering.

So as the heat continues, invite some of your favorite friends to be seduced by some great Pinot Noir.
Below is a just a sampling of some great American Pinot Noirs worth sipping.
Some of these wines may be hard to find, but worth buying if found. Enjoy!

* Williams Selyem Sonoma Coast Hirsh Vineyard 2007
* Kutch Sonoma Coast McDougall Ranch 2007
* Cambria Santa Maria Valley Clone 4 2007
* Flowers Sonoma Coast 2007
* MacPhail Sonoma Coast 2007
* Drew Anderson Valley Savoy Vineyard
* Gary Farrell Russian River Valley Rochioli Vineyard 2007
* Landmark Sonoma Coast Detour 2007
* Dierberg Santa Maria 2006
* Merry Edwards Russian River Valley Angel Wing 2006
* Twomey Sonoma Coast 2007
* De Loach Central Coast 2008-Best Value
* Lazy River, Oregon 2007 (Chef E’s recommendation)
* Raptor Ridge Yamhill Carlton Shea Vineyard
* Chehalem Oregon Reserve 2007
* Evening Land Eola Amity Hills La Source Seven spring Vinyeards 2007
* Maysara McMinnville Willamette Valley Asha 2007
* Siduri Chehalem Mountains
* Dobbes Grand Assemblage Cuvee 2007
* King Estate Pfeiffer Vineyards 2007

Cheers! -Adrienne

Cup Cakes and Wine Pairing

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Reeses Iron Cup Cake #3

Do not always reach for the ‘Dessert’ Wine when you are paring wine with a full course, or even just a light snack to guests that include sweets; it will overwhelm the end, and might ruin the party’s great momentum. Desserts and Dessert wines can leave a bad taste in your mouth, so try a dry or different pairing!

Iron Cup Cake Challenge, South Jersey

What more could you ask for having a cup cake contest in one of the most colorful eateries in Collingswood, New Jersey? Set after a 1950’s diner- serving up the usual burgers, fries, onion rings, malts, grilled cheese and more; it was a perfect setting for one of the hottest buzzes in the blogging community, or actually the world has gone cup cake crazy! Hosted by Katies Kupcakes of Moorestown, New Jersey- she had a vision to turn this popular food into a charity event.

The newest recipient of the challenge was the Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Foundation. In fact, there was a special judge, Miss Kelly Rouba who is a JRA spokesperson/advocate, a journalist, public speaker and young woman with a strong passion to help others who, like herself, have lived with the disease. They raised one thousand dollars on July 7th, 2010 at the Pop Shop.

Unanimously four judges picked the winners and announced to them to the crowd. Cheers rang out for each person as they came to the front to claim their prizes. What a great group of bakers and attendees, I was proud to help be a part of this event as a judge. In all honesty and in the name of fun- there were no losers that night. Each person that took their time to creatively, lovingly bake and decorate each small cake, packed them up, and haul them down to the Pop Shop for charity- screams first place winner!

The only thing missing- WINE! I took a few home and enjoyed a glass…of course I did!

Wine & Cup Cake Winner Pairings

Adult Division:

1st Place-Deanna Gordon (Campfire Pb Smores)

Graham Cracker, Cinnamon and creamy Marshmallow- Sparkling White, Beaujolais, or even a Pinot Noir
2nd Place-Molly Rowland (Molly’s Monsters- was my first pick)
Vanilla, Sweet and Sour candy- Sauternes with the sour, and of course a slightly oaked Chardonnay for the vanilla!
3rd Place-Rich Potosky (Reese’s Cupcakes- the young man who created them explained their size)
Chocolate and Peanut Butter- A big Cabernet would offset the overly sweet, but chocolate flavors, and Bava “Libera” Barbera d’Asti, Piedmont Italy- a Pinot Noir could work, but I would have to say Old World, the new world Barn Yard’iness might not work so well with the peanut butter!

Junior Division:

1st Place-Annabelle Jiaconetti (Mini Me Mint Cupcakes)
Peppermint- Not so sure about this, I would have to say a sweet wine like a Muscato, or a light table white, like Elara from Amalthea Cellars in New Jersey!
2nd Place -Gwen Godisil (Gummi Worm Cupcakes)
Fruity- New World Pinot Noir, like one from Oregon or Russian River Valley region of California!
3rd Place-Kayla West (Cotton Candy Cupcakes)
Now there is a new one, Cotton Candy, just plain sugar- well I would say the Asti from Peidmont, Italy again, or even just a dry wine like a Shiraz/Syrah!

Pairing wine with desserts can be daunting, a sure challenge, but if you find the main component of the flavor profile, then it should make it easier. Dry wines are almost a sure bet with pure sugar, but you will never know until you give it a try!

Monster Madness- How I felt after 31!

See what Dr Vino says about pairing wine with cup cakes…

Cheers and Sweets on this one!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Oregon Pinot Noir-So much wine, so little time!

Going with the flow of Pinot Noir, let me spotlight a couple of Oregon Pinot Noir wineries. There’s so many wonderful ones, but if I don’t mention yours, don’t be upset. Too many wines and too little time to visit them all.
so much wine, so little time
I love Pinot Noir and love to experiment with different Pinots from different regions. In my tasting travels I have sipped some of the best Pinot Noir from Oregon as well as California. Do I have a preference for New World Pinot Noir? Some would say yes! I just happen to like the “in your face”, fruit forward taste of some Californian and Oregon Pinot Noir. I’m especially fond of the California 2007 vintage of Pinot Noir as well as Oregon Pinot Noir. New Zealand even makes some good Pinot Noir, but hasn’t found its place yet. Give it some time, though and it’ll get there. New Zealand Pinot Noir can now even be found on wine menus in New Jersey. Give them a try.

Oregon Pinot Noir: Nestled in the Pacific Northwest, the Willamette Valley wineries of Oregon are known for producing great Pinot Noir as well as Pinot Gris (also known as Pinot Grigio). The cool microclimates of the Pacific Northwest are conducive to producing great wines where fickle grapes such as Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris are tough to grow. The Willamette Valley of Oregon is the largest of Oregon’s wine producing areas, stretching from Portland to Eugene. The combination of cool marine breezes and great soil encourages complex-ripe fruit flavors that allow Oregon to compete with world renowned regions. The valley is made up 6 sub-regions to better describe the individual microclimates.

Willamette Valley wineries are small and usually family owned. Many have tasting rooms and charge a small fee for sampling (as compared to Napa wineries). Additionally, many of the wineries produce “green wines” using beneficial insects and predators to control harmful pests instead of harmful pesticides.

Some great Oregon Pinot to get your hands on:
Van Duzer Vineyards , family owned, produces Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris with sustainable farming practices. Their wines are hard to find in New Jersey, so if you come across a bottle, pick one up and give it a whirl.

Cherry Hill Winery nestled in the Eola Hills region of the Willamette Valley produces hand crafted Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir Rose and Pinot Gris. The Papillion Estate Pinot Noir is a delicious blend of Dijon clones producing a big, bold Pinot Noir. Again, the wines may be difficult to find in a local wine shop but are worth sampling if you visit Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Cubanismo Vineyards is a winery rooted in Cuban heritage also nestled in the Eola Hills area. The winery was launched in 2003 by neurosurgeon Dr. Mauricio Collada Jr. Their wines typify the terrior of the land, producing wines of elegance with bouquets of blackberry, cranberry and spice.

Argyle Winery, found in the Dundee Hills area, produces highly rated wines. Most notable is their Nuthouse Pinot Noir which Wine Spectator rated a 93. Argyle Winery also produces two Chardonnays and a sparkling wine as well. Their wines can be found in New Jersey wine shops, but if you travel to Oregon it’s worth going to their tasting room.

Archery Summit Vineyards, deep in the Dundee Hills area produces Pinot Noirs of complexity and aroma, making old world style wines. Their wines are aged in French oak barrels and in addition use natural pest control in the vineyard.

Oh, there’s so many more great Oregon wineries to list. The list could go on and on!

-Cheers!, –Adrienne

Lazy River, Pinot Noir

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Nothing Like A Pinot Noir!

I only wish there was a lazy river made of Pinot Noir.

One of my favorite places to go when I get a chance around my birthday, not this year though, is The Monte Carlo in Las Vegas. You stay up till 1 or 2 Am, and then hit the Lazy River right in their back yard after a light breakfast, and maybe order up a nice glass of Pinot Noir as you relax in the sun- with sunblock of course! However I do not remember them having Oregon Pinot’s, one of my favorites as my palate has matured into the barnyard senses. I know animals and rivers just go together!

Three years ago while visiting Oregon and Washington State I had the chance to hit as many wineries along the trail as I could. Then we happened upon a collaboration of small vineyards. A tasting room full of possibilities. Hearing from some other serious vinophiles this area was a waste of time, my taste buds drifted off to other Pinot Noirs over the past few years.

Lazy River sat in the cellar forgotten- until my birthday this week! Cork popped, and out spilled the most beautiful colors of cherry, plum, and raspberries…rushing visions of wild mushrooms, cheesy sauced pastas, smoked meats, and hints of an earthiness- reminding me why I had to bring this bottle back home to New Jersey.

Ahhh, but why was I really in love with this wine so much I would and spent a meager $33 a bottle? Well it was the subtle tones of chocolate on the finish made it the right choice to pair with my flourless chocolate birthday cake…

Want a good reason to travel to Oregon- Try our Market Monday reason, and to travel on your own Lazy River, Pinot Noir, 06- Lazy River Vineyard, Yamhill Carlton District, Oregon


Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Wine Down Wednesday- Wine and Supper Clubs

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New Zealand Mussels- Sauvignon Blanc

What a great way to show off your wine and food pairing skills by having a wine or supper club over to the house. If you do not want to worry about space for sixteen or less, then host one on the patio or deck. Turn up the heat with the barbecue and serve some good chilled wines, but do not let the opportunity of learning about new wines and trying you hand at global recipes slip away with summer. If there is not one in your area, then start your own with a few friends, and then watch; it will take off like wildflowers.

“When it comes to American Sauvignon Blanc, wine makers will try to imitate either the elegant French style of a Sancerre, a Poully-Fume or the vibrant grassy style of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, hence it may be tough to figure out what you are buying.” says our PIWC wine writer Adrienne Turner in her Sauvignon Blanc post.

However I found the foods paired with this AWS tasting- Sauvignon Blancs, Shiraz, and a two dessert wines really complimented the wines.

Menu- New Zealand Mussels, poached Salmon with dill tartar, kiwi seafood ceviche, smoked boneless leg of lamb with rosemary fingerling potatoes, and my new favorite- sweet english peas with mint are just the beginning. The dessert course consisted of chewy oatmeal cookies called ‘Anzac’, ice cream over ‘Pavlova’, another treat of New Zealand, and of course some sliced Kiwi graced the plate.

Sometimes the simple cuisine of another country can work so well with a good Sauvignon Blanc (example: Cloudy Bay)

Adrienne and I have the opportunity to (we met at last years tastings) be part of a great Central Jersey wine group- American Wine Society. We meet once a month at a pre-determined location and enjoy themed wine and food pairings. Her and I both have had the opportunity to host our own event in the home, and we recommend you join a group near you!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Scene 17, Pinot Noir 07- Lamb, fingerlings & Mint Peas

Supper Clubs Reborn- Crop To Cuisine

Wineing The Jersey Shore

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Iron Horse Pinot Noir & Cheese Platter

Want a sexy hot spot to take summer guest and people watch, or an out-of-town client to wine and dine? Before or after summer is in full swing The Wine Loft is your destination. Who doesn’t like beach combing? A good eatery and wine bar has grown in popularity and part of this activity. After April you may be at risk of sudden squalls, but no worries, just run for the cover of The Wine Loft, Long Beach in Pier Village.

Pier Village is one of the areas upscale draws for a ‘hip foodie’ crowd on the shore. TWL offers wines by the glass, specialty cocktails, wine flights, and great prices on bottles are a draw. The menu reads like a tapas bar (small plates), but no worries, prices match the wine list, and normal for portion size. Wine tastings are offered during weeknights- a great way to work your way around any wine list.

Want to nosh, try the many appetizer choices- their cheese platter with an Irish Porter Stout is meaty (all are good), a good pairing with their Pinot Noir (New World) flight, or Iron Horse Chardonnay (hints of oak). They will enthusiastically bring more baby gherkins, bread or other additions if you ask. The wild mushroom bruschetta was absolutely incredible and easy to share. We also got crab/shrimp and blue cheese in puff pastry with sweet chili sauce. Need more; order salads or a larger entrée portion- .

The bartenders/staff are friendly, knowledgeable about the food, as well as the drinks they pour. This is a great end to a day at the beach, or before eating at one of the restaurants around the corner. Skip dessert and take a walk around the pier as you gaze out into the ocean’s sunset, or your partner’s eyes.

32 Laird Street
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-7770

Tasting Tuesday- Chef Fresco Talks Baron Herzog

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Cheers to Baron Herzog!

We Found this bottle at Trader Joe’s (shocker, I know) and it was a really nice selection. I enjoy a good Cabernet because it always seems to be a bit smoother than a Merlot while still having a good red wine flavor.

The only down side for me is that one; it seems to stain my teeth really bad, and two; it makes me extremely sleepy. I don’t know much about the teeth staining but I think certain people must be more susceptible than others. Reason being that I get it really bad, however Jessi does not. My father also gets exceptional red teeth when drinking red wines—so much that my mother has since forbid him to drink them in public settings, since he looks so ridiculous.

I must admit that this does pose a problem when cheesing it up for photos—you look like a vampire. Well besides the red teeth and sleepy side effects the cab was great. It did not seem to be as fruity as I like but had some hints of vanilla. I would consider the wine to have a high level of tannins. Don’t know what that is? It’s basically the acidity level in a wine, learn some more here from this friendly lady- comes from the stems and seeds when fermenting. Being this wine was not very fruity or sweet I would consider the wine to be very dry, witch I prefer in a Cab. I recommend pairing this wine with a red sauce pasta dish or red meat.

Overall I give it a good recommendation and we might even serve it at our wedding.

Team Chef Fresco– Jessi and Michael are two 20-somethings who are about to be hitched. They both are native North Carolinians and currently live in Charlotte. They stay very busy with work – Jessi does a fair amount of traveling and Michael spends a lot of time on his own freelance work. They are also new homeowners and love to spend time fixing up the new house. Writing about food, wine, and beer on their blog is one of the favorite pass times!

Partners In Wine Team rate this bottle a thumbs up for those of you who love a chewy big Cabernet!

Thumbs Up!

Wine Down Wednesday- Earth Day Pairing

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April 18th, 12 Pacific Time, Iron Horse Winery will be tweeting globally about their wines ‘From Sonoma to New Jersey’ via WineTwits’ Sip and Twit’, and about the Pinot Noir Estate Napa Valley (Green Valley) we most recently paired with food, which by the way is an excellent wine!

Adrienne and I will be posting a video this next week of some Tweets gathering together to taste the wine and discuss its wonderful notes and accolades…

Join Us!

4PM Eastern- Partners In Wine Club will be attending the Iron Horse Tasting at:

The Wine Loft
32 Laird Street
Long Branch, NJ 07740-8100
(732) 222-7770

Hashtag #GreenValley- See you on Twitter

We have paired the Iron Horse Pinot Noir, 07 with a lightly dressed EVO Feta Cheese, olives, and Dolmas, along with an earthy black bean, mixed cheddar, crispy tortillas, and mixed green salads. The bottle of Pinot we opened was a perfect match! So we look forward to tasting more on Sunday!

Cheers and Tweets!

Chef E Stelling,, Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Wine Down Wednesday-Momofuku-gasmic

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PIWC/Urban Food Dictionary– ‘Momofuk-gasmic’- food + porn + mouth sex/ or·gasm·ed, and more… food-gasmic, absolutely orgasmic on the taste buds, and the best damn pork buns you have ever lipped in your life.

One thing PIWC has noticed in the past month of traveling to and fro NYC via our home state New Jersey is how much we miss the great opportunities for Food, Wine, and Life, or should I say lots of interesting things to do and people to talk with!

Chef E- “In and out of New York City in the past week has allowed me to eat at a few really good restaurants. Momofuku, and Gina la Fornarina really made an impression on me! Lets just say one was ‘Momofuku-gasmic’“!

Evidently this is one place (David Chang’s main place- Momofuku),  that has been open for the past year; it is very hard to get reservations for if you do not made them the Tuesday before, 10 AM on the dot, for that following Saturday, if you are lucky. Milkbar is very approachable, with stand up eating, but food goes fast! Various cool bread, sweets, and even a Kimchi butter was available for my experimental cooking pleasures.

Momofuku (means ‘lucky peach’) has an alternative, and pretty much the same menu (if you want the ‘Fried Chicken Dinner’ you call ahead, lol, if you know me you understand). Momofuku Noodle House and Milkbar right next door, 207 2nd Avenue, East Village.

You just have to be at their door at 5 PM on the dot, because the line is long, and it stays packed. After a year? That must be good. We were first this past Saturday. As soon as the book fair was over we hopped on the subway and headed there.

The ‘open stadium’ seating gives you a chance to see the action going on in the kitchen as well as the modern wood artisan seating- people watching going on in the small packed place. New Yorkers know their food, and after a year, they must still feel like Momofuku still has it going on.

The one attraction to the place, Steamed ‘Pork Buns’. Something I have wanted to try for a while. I have seen food blogs write about the delicacy, and honestly they look tasty! I am all about some good pig and beef when it comes to BBQ. Smoked, grilled, or oven roasted- its all about the flavor and sauce.

Raw Bar- Shigoku Oysters (WA) /w kimchi
Steamed ‘Pork’ Buns- pork belly, hoisin, cucumbers, scallions (2)
Small Dishes- BBQ Rib Sandwich(es) (Newman’s Farm, MO) /w red onion slaw
Santa Barbara Uni- whipped tofu, black pearl tapioca, shrimp crackers
Seasonal- Fried Baby Artichokes /w pistachio, sunchokes, bottarga
(a hint of spiciness to all of this, but not overwhelming, just builds slowly, and a good thing for my taste buds!)
Offal- (Disclaimer- Hubby’s meal, I did not touch this!) Cavatelli- pigs head
Dessert- Queen Anne Stilton- pear sorbet, pickled pears, pumpkin ganache (to die for!)
Birch Beer- by the can

As long as Chef David Chang likes cooking great dishes like Steamed Pork Buns, then we will continue to have tasty meals coming from his three locations of Momofuku, Noodle Bar, and Millkbar in New York City, hopefully more.

Wine Pairing:
domaine barmés buecher, riesling tradition ‘07 (alsace, fr)
viña godeval, godello ‘08 (valdeorras, spain)
red hook winery, chardonnay ‘08 (long island, ny)
domaine guillot-broux, gamay ‘07 (mâcon-cruzille, fr)
les baux de provence, mas de gourgonnier ‘07 (provence, fr)
domaine st. pierre, syrah ‘07 (côtes du rhône villages, fr)
latitude 50, pinot noir, ‘07 (rheingau, ger)

The selection of wines are chosen to fit the menu, and menu changes if necessary. The Riesling goes well with the subtle spiciness of the kimchi sauce on the oysters and uni. The Gamay was a good pairing for the crispness of the artichokes and the pistachio sauce. Syrah and Pinot Noir work well for the pork buns and the rib sandwiches, but again a subtle tone of spiciness might over power your own taste buds. Definitely went well with the Cavatelli and its adornments.

Over all this meal was excellent- Service excellent- Wine selection, and tasting excellent!

Chef E Stelling– eats, wines, and writes her way around New Jersey, as well as writes about her tasting travels; if she gets a chance to make it into NYC…she will share those unique eating opportunities as well! Read more about her food and wine adventures at her Food ~ Wine ~ Fun! blog at

Market Monday- “Are You Feeling Lucky Today”?

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Luck does not just have to be associated with St. Patrick’s Day, or in relation to gambling.

My husband is a lucky guy anytime he is at home. He has an incredible wife- me, a job he loves, a house, a car, and kids that run our days, but hey that’s expected.

Once he tucks them in bed (the days he does that) and then meets me back in the family room, we usually end up sharing a flick (one of those movies packed full of action and emotion, to remember all of your days), and still we both almost fall asleep.
This step-by-step every day routine does not make us happy every night, for sure. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to add some spice!
Well, there’s no way we can avoid tucking our kids in bed; telling the bedtime story, singing a song will be expected, but the next step should be different. Heading for the couch is good but not to watch TV! Tonight, we will share a good bottle of wine, maybe a Pinot Noir, feed each other chocolates, and talk about everything as we take time to relax. First let’s set up the Candles, the Love Spell Soy Candle is my favorite, switch off the lights, and makes everything at a moment’s notice, more intimate. This will help both of us feel more relaxed, and more aware of each other. Now it’s time for some massaging, more relaxing. Nothing naughty but simply using the Vibrating Head Massager to send some shivers throughout the entire body, then the upper back and especially around the neck. You can use the Anti Stress Aroma Therapy Massage oil by simply beginning over the clothing. This will help killing two birds with one stone: your partner will feel much better and closer to you (that’s one) and chances are they will get rid of one layer or two. Once you are pampering your lover’s skin and rolling your palms on their shoulders, your lover is guaranteed to feel definitely better.

My husband may not expect anything special to happen at this point, but chances are he will be starting to lie over the couch and expect a full massage from toe to head. This is where you should step back. Put a very little on your hands, warm up it by strolling your hands against each other, starting from the bottom of their back to the neck. Going up, going sideways, going one side then the other, you can improvise and be receptive for your lover reactions. You should always use the full hands and switch to tip of fingers only and then go back. Pressing not very hard but gently feeling where the nerves are struck. Don’t panic, your partner will ramp up soon. Ask them to roll onto the back and present the face. Here you should be really careful. Start with the legs from feet to knees, then thighs, especially going from inside to the outside. Go to the belly, circles and diagonals are key moving from inside to outside and back. Your lover will be anxious for more.
Now, you are the driver of this lover’s vehicle. You can go for the arms, shoulders and front torso (do not touch the woman’s breast just yet, tease), or you can go from belly to torso, to shoulders and arms. In that sequence insist on the palms and fingers. Take your lover’s hands in your, press them to completely connect. At that point, you will begin true process of ‘feeling lucky’. To put a final point to that, do a full massage from toe to tights, from belly to hand, and on your way back, get closer to them, kiss them on the neck. Tell them how wonderful they are.
I swear, you are going to be lucky today!

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