Food from the Hart

Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Tip of the Day: Chill Wine in a Flash

In Tips on May 24, 2011 at 11:20 am

It’s 6 o’clock on Friday evening and you have guests coming over in 30 minutes.  Apps plated, the table is set, flowers look great, but you forgot to chill the Sauvignon Blanc.  Fear not.  Wet a dish towel and wring it out.  Wrap it around the bottle of wine and throw it the freezer for 15-20 minutes.  When you take it out, you will have a perfectly chilled bottle of wine for guests to enjoy! It doesn’t get much easier or quicker than that. Happy partying!


Wine and Cheese Party

In Celebrations on March 10, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Throwing a wine and cheese party is fun, casual and doesn’t require much space.  It’s a great way to get a group of friends together without all the fuss of a classic cocktail party.  Here are a few easy tips to get you started:

  • When you invite guests ask them each to bring a wine and cheese pairing (see the chart below for pairing suggestions).  Ask that they let you know what they’re bringing so several people don’t come with the same thing.  It’ll be more fun if you have a variety of cheese and wine with different textures and from different regions.
  • Before the party stock up on crackers, baguettes, and fruit like apples, pears, figs, grapes, melon.  The fruit will bring out the flavor of the cheese and wine and add an extra element for tasting.  You might also consider purchasing a selection of smoked meats like prosciutto, salami, speck and bresola to serve along with the cheese.
  • Have wine glasses, cocktail napkins, hors d’oeuvre plates and large platters on hand.  When guests arrive, plate their cheese selections along with fruit and meat. Use index cards or place cards to label each cheese and wine pairing.
  • If space permits, scatter the platters of cheese and wine pairings around the room.  This way guests won’t gather in one spot.  It will make mingling and tasting easier and more fun.
  • Even though this is a casual shindig don’t forget the ambience.  Dim lights, light candles, and make sure you have some soft music in the background to set the scene.


Country Wine Type Fruit
Bel Paese Italy Chardonnay Semi-soft
Blue Varied Strong, Red Hard Apple, Grape, Pear
Brie France Champagne, Merlot Soft Plum, Apple, Pears
Camembert France Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir Soft Plum, Berries, Apple
Cheddar England Cabernet Sauvignon, Rioja, Chardonnay Hard Melon, Peach, Apple
Colby U.S. Riesling, Champagne, Cava Hard Apple, Peach
Edam Holland Riesling, Champagne, Pinot Noir Hard Apple, Grape, Pear
Emmentaler Switzerland Beaujolais Hard Pear
Gouda Holland Riesling, Champagne Semi-Hard Apple, Grape, Pear
Goat Cheese France / Varied Sancerre Soft Apple, Fig, Pear
Feta Greece Pinot Grigio, Sancerre, Beaujolais Soft Apple, Pear, Peach, Fig
Gorgonzola Italy Champagne, Cava, Prosecco Soft Pear
Grana  Padano Italy Barolo, Barbaresco, Hard Apple, Pear, Fig
Manchego Spain Rioja, Merlot Hard Pear, Melon
Mozzarella (Fresh) Italy Pinot Blanc, Light Reds Soft Melon, Peach, Nectarine
Muenster France Zinfandel Soft Melon
Parmesan -Reggiano Italy Chardonnay Hard Fig, Grape, Apple, Honey
Pecorino Italy Chianti Riserva Hard Fig, Grape, Apple, Honey
Swiss U.S. Riesling, Gewurztraminer Hard Apple, Grape, Pear
St. Andre Franch Fruity Rose Soft Apple
Port Salut Denmark / France Chardonnay Semi-soft Melon
Roquefort France Tawny Port Semi-hard Apple, Pear

Wine and Food Pairing Cheat Sheet

In Features on March 7, 2011 at 7:15 pm

The craft of pairing wine and food is incredibly complex, but when you get it right, both the food and wine taste so much better. Good sommeliers spend years learning the science and constantly challenge themselves to master the art of wine. But it doesn’t take a seasoned sommelier to create a good wine and food match.

Forget all the crazy rules and must’s.  Much of creating a good match is personal taste and preference.  The cheat sheet below is just a guideline, giving suggestions of varietals that mesh nicely with staple proteins. The rest is up to you and your guests taste-buds’.  Bottom line, trial and error is the best way to find the perfect pair!

Light Seafood: Vouvray, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Sancerre, Verdicchio

Spicy Seafood & Poultry: Gewurtztraminer, Riesling, Chardonnay, Dolcetto d’Alba, Beaujolais

Light Pastas & Salad: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Orvieto, Rose, Cotes du Rhone

Pork & Lighter Meat: Rioja, Barbera, Pinot Noir, Cotes du Rhone, Tempranillo

Lamb & Beef: Cabernet Sauvignon, Valpolicella, Rioja, Zinfandel

Full Flavored Meat & Game: Barolo, Barbaresco, Bordeaux, Shiraz

Tip of the Day: Leftover Wine from a Party?

In Tips on February 24, 2011 at 11:21 am

No one likes to waste a good bottle of wine.  But after a party you often end up with a half bottle or two.  Instead of leaving it on your counter with the cork in it, turn it into something wonderful.

Dump the wine into a saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat until it has reduced by 3/4.  This should cook out most of the alcohol leaving a rich wine flavor.  Cool the liquid and pour into an ice-cube tray.  Freeze.

Use the cubes to intensify flavor in sauces and soups.  Or for a savory treat, reheat in a saucepan, add some sugar and a vanilla bean and serve over vanilla ice cream.  The possibilities are endless!

Tip of the Day: Reuse Wine Bottles

In Tips on January 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Next time you have a finish a bottle of wine instead of chucking it recycle it!  Wash it out and use it for table water at your next party or turn it into a shabby chic candle holder.  Both are great ways to stay “green” and impress you guests! 

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