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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Guest Post #2: Jack Be Nimble

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope your day is sunny and fine. We have another guest post today from my friend Sarah. Enjoy and remember, you too can guest post. Just leave your contact info below or contact me via email (if you have it).

Sarah claims she is no wine-expert, but she sure knows how to make my mouth water for her latest discovery.


So I’ll start off by saying I’m NOT well-versed in wine. I’m still
figuring out what I like, what’s reasonable to spend on a bottle, and
what different types actually mean. My latest adventure has been to
find a wine I tried at a restaurant recently- it was a Pinot blanc and
it was so delicious. It paired perfectly with my soup, scallop entree,
and desert. What more could you ask for in a wine?

Since this wonderful discovery, I’ve been searching for variations on
this white wine as it seems Pinot blanc is a rare find. I went to my
local liquor store and they had a big display for this company
“Steeple Jack” which apparently does unique combinations at super
inexpensive prices. I picked up the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc which is
described as follows: “This wine has a burst of tropical fruit and
grassy notes followed by a crisp, citrus finish.”

Photo Credit: Ballast Stone Estate Wines website

I was hoping it would be a light but bitter wine and after tasting it
it was definitely bitter but not exactly the lightness I wanted. When
I decided to pair it, I wanted to do my favorite evening guilty
pleasure: strawberries and nutella.


I was totally unprepared to make a planned/educated pairing so I
figured it would fail miserably, but this was actually a delicious
combination! The heaviness of the nutella really cut the bitter/sharp
taste and allowed some of the softer flavors to come out of the wine.
The strawberries kept with the fruity flavors and helped cut the
nutella as well. My only negative note to this pairing is that the
nutella takes too much of the bitterness out of the wine and leaves
the wine with a rather plain flavor/experience. There were moments
when I asked whether or not it even tasted like wine or just a
flavored water of sorts.

This was my first pairing and first review of a wine- huzzah for
success! I’ll keep on my quest to find a delicious Pinot blanc to
enjoy at dinner but in the meantime I will continue to experiment with
cheap white wines I’ve never heard of before. And its likely they’ll
all go through the nutella test after this enjoyable experience.

Not for the Faint of Tongue

This weeks post is sure to sandblast your tongue, but in the best way possible. It is a bold pairing that surprisingly worked out very well. I took on two difficult mediums-gummy and sour. Yes, the contender this week was Sour Patch, otherwise known as those little people that you eat. This candy came recommended as a pairing with a white wine. But since I am fresh out (Chardonnay, I still miss you), I had to make do with what I had of my Groupon stash. I must say, it worked out for the better.

I can not say I came away with an expert way to pair sour with wine. Every ounce of me says this type of companionship will always end in tears. But instead it ended with me eating sour patch and drinking wine in front of the TV. It’s amazing what a good relationship can do.

The Wine: Viña Alarba, Old Vine Grenache (Product of Spain)


The Candy: Sour Patch

I always find this little guy disturbing

The Dream:

If I am honest with myself, I thought this would turn out terribly. I felt sure that the wine would sour and turn after my first sour patch. This candy played a huge role in my childhood of destroying my young taste buds. My tongue looked like the field after Antietam when I finished a bag. I didn’t go with the Malbec I had on hand, since I thought the stronge flavors of a Malbec could warp too easily. The wine I chose boasted of a finish of white pepper spice. Spice. That, I thought, could just maybe work out.

How do you like my book selection?


The Reality:

This wine lunges and bites you at first sip. I found myself taking a step back and needing several sips before I could make any sense of it. As the wine roles over your tongue it makes small nips, keeping your mouth alive for flavor. The wine is deceptively smooth at first before it ripples through you. There are notes of plum and well, it sure is spicy. After the initial snap there is a lingering of sweetness and fruit in your mouth. It is a fun wine because it keeps you awake.

Compared to this wine, the candy is a sweet surprise. It does not take me back by its sour flavor. Each flavor of candy is a bit different, but the lime flavor has the worst effect on the wine. Overall, the wine is mostly unaffected and the flavor does not bend or warp. The cherry candies are sweeter and bring a new note of fruitiness to the pallet.

I wrote down that I did not think this was a home run. But reflecting on this pairing, I am going to take that back. Considering the challenge of sour patch, I think this turned out well.


Next week we will have a guest post since I am taking an online class right now and I’m a bit busy!

The Fruits of Labor

Happy Labor Day weekend!

I will go against the grain here and labor a bit in order to make a new post. I am going to stop talking about how I get a bit behind on posting because I am sure that’s very boring.

Summer is officially over. I do not know how that will change my pallet. Hopefully the crisp Autumn, that won’t come to DC until late September, will bring exciting flavors. Today’s post is certainly something different, venturing into a type of sweet I usually don’t like: white chocolate. It’s not that white chocolate isn’t lovely; it’s perfectly fine. I consider it a lower chocolate. Although it doesn’t taste like it, white chocolate reminds me of hardened lard. It’s a solid white mass that is very fatty and usually pretty bland. That’s why I decided to take it on. What would this blog be if I didn’t step out of my comfort zone?

We continue to go through the bag of wine I got a few weeks ago. I have to say I was disappointed this time around. Unlike the stunning chardonnay I sampled last, this wine didn’t knock my socks off. It was fine but but I can’t say I will buy it again. As pairing goes, it was good which is saying  a lot considering I paired two things I don’t exactly like.

Enjoy the post and please, relax today. I know I slept in after a very busy week and tomorrow I start my online statistics class. Tonight I plan to work on another pairing and celebrate the end of a truly great summer. Thanks to you all for helping make it great.

The Wine: Cuvée de Peña, vin de pays des Pyrénénees-Orientales, 2009

Pretty label, but it rubs me the wrong way somehow

The Candy: Lindt, Lindor Vanilla White Chocolate

Little Scoops of Ice Cream

The Dream:

The reality is I bought these while on the phone so my mind was elsewhere. I also love vanilla and Lindt is relatively safe. I know it’s not too fancy, but it’s white chocolate, the trashiest of chocolates (sorry I’m not sorry if I offended you). I actually did not mean to have the packaging of the wine and chocolate match, but it turned out quite lovely right? White chocolate has this viscosity to it and is simple flavor wise.

Pairing the Lindt with a generic wine felt safe but still had the potential to pleasantly surprise me. Since white chocolate is relatively bland, the red could build on it’s flavors and provide the extra boost white chocolate usually lacks.


The Reality:

The chocolates are little scoops of vanilla ice cream. Each ball of chocolate is sprinkled with black vanilla flecks and the vanilla flavor is intense and rich. I froze them, because that is just how I prefer my chocolate. It also keeps them from overwhelming your mouth. When each chocolate unfrozen it sort of makes my mouth sweaty. They sort of make my lactose-intolerant mouth lurch at first taste, but that is ok. I like that just one is enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The wine has a leathery smell with notes of blackberry. It is smooth with an acidic finish, but lacks any outstanding flavors beyond the blackberry. I think this is a great table wine that would go with many dishes. It won’t overwhelm your food but certainly will not start any conversations.

The small truffles creates additional smoothness for the wine and gives it a softer finish. The sweet vanilla adds to the subtle blackberry notes and elongates the fruit flavors. It’s an indulgent treat and I could not eat too many. The pairing is good and I imagine it would go well with any generic red (sorry for the word generic, it’s not right). I imagine a nice rioja would also be pleasant.


Have a happy holiday and remember, it’s California wine month!