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Category Archives: White Wine

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.

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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.

A Twist on a Classic

Happy Thursday. I hope all of my super cool readers are doing well. I know the end of summer looms on the horizon. For some of you it is exciting and for others maybe not so much. Either way, I hope you are coming to peace with the coming fall.

To help you find that inner happiness, I came up with a lovely pairing. It is not revolutionary, but it’s good wine and intriguing candy. Full disclaimer: all the wines for the next 6 postings or so will be classier wines. I snagged a great Groupon for a wine store in downtown DC. I recommend Groupon for finding wine deals. Sometimes they are not actually deals, but when they are you can get a decent haul. I even got one of those fancy bags with different slots for wine…for you know, all those instances where I need to buy a bunch of wine at once (come to think of it, I could use that bad boy to recycle a lot of my bottles!) For some of my readers, this wine may not seem so top-shelf. But for a lowly 23-year old, these wines are absolute treats. I have even enforced a one-glass at a time rule so they don’t dwindle away. Let’s see how long that lasts.

Our candy is an interesting one. It was too intriguing to pass up and of course it came from Trader Joe’s. They are chocolate raspberry sticks. If you read that and have no idea what I am talking about, you are in good company. When Sam and I saw them it was an instant ‘yes.’ I thought the touch of raspberry and the thin chocolate shell could play well with the chardonnay.

The Wine: Cinnabar, 2010

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Starry Eyed

I loved the cap to this wine so I have to share it. It’s adorable, while staying classy. It has a wonderful whimsy to it.

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It’s a blurry photo because this cap excited me that much

The Candy: Trader Joe’s Chocolate Raspberry (Jelly) Sticks

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I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly….stick

The Dream: 

This candy combined two different types of candy–chocolate and jelly-gummy candy. Gummy candies are difficult to pair, so the chocolate edge and the substantial amount of jelly in the middle offered a promising treat. The flavor range was not too big, which made the pairing easier to manage. Chocolate and raspberry are classics, but this candy has a twist to make it interesting. Chardonnay can usually hold its own against sweetness. It can be very potent and since I knew I had a high quality wine, I felt confident. But I sort of always feel confident, so that’s neither here nor there.

ImageThe Reality: 

A sip of this wine is an onslaught of flavor with notes of tart green apples and ripe pears. It is extremely dry and pungent, which for me is what a Chardonnay should be. It’s refreshing and you savor each sip to extract the play between tart and crisp. The color is a deep yellow, like the skin of a ripe lemon. I enjoyed this wine over several days and it felt like luxury. This wine would be wonderful to share with some close friends on a late August evening.

The candy is intriguing. They are indeed jelly sticks surrounded by chocolate. No doubt about that. The milk chocolate is typical but the gummy center is far squishier than I expected. The raspberry is not overly sweet but rather sour. Your lips pucker a bit and the amount of filling washes away the chocolate from the tongue. It really is tasty. I suggest freezing them as well.

Together, these two make a nice pairing. The wine does not go sour after the sweet treat and both are strong flavor wise individually. But I don’t think either one enhances the other. They are both good and they taste well together, but there are no fireworks. The raspberry leaves that slight tart kick that lingers lightly for no more than a second with the chardonnay. An interesting surprise.

I recommend this pairing overall. The jelly sticks are fun, but mostly because the are called jelly sticks. The wine is simply mouth watering. You can’t lose when you are consuming these two, and truly, what else can you ask for?

No Michael Phelps

Hello,

Lucky for all of you, I am home sick with strep throat. And I have enough energy to write a post. As promised, we have an Olympic themed post for you today. Unfortunately, I do not think this pairing gets the gold. Maybe a bronze…but that’s a stretch. Maybe I am just not cut out to be an Olympian.

In my defense, my materials are difficult. I chose peach gummy rings, which are the obvious choice. This blog proved many times that pairing gummy candies is nearly impossible. Just like training a dressage horse, pairing gummies with wine is simply not natural (all do respect to Rafalca).Fortunately for me though, it is a lot cheaper.

Let’s meet the contenders.

The Wine: Simply Naked, Unoaked Pinot Grigio. California 2011

Let’s face it…most Olympians are practically naked when competing

The Candy: Peach Gummy Rings, Giant Brand

Perfect Formation!

The Dream: 

You know, it’s not about winning. It is about the love of the game and the honor of being her….ok no wait, my goal was to delight you all. But gummy candy is a real thorn in my side. Honestly, I need to stop doing themed posts because they are exceedingly limiting. Although they are fun, they can be a drag. It forces me into corners that I don’t want to be in.

For a sweet gummy with a bit of a sour bite, I went with a pinot grigio. The unoaked was appealing (as well as it’s very cheap price) and I wanted something light and playful. It had to be flavorful and full, because the risk of the wine going sour after the candy is big. Let’s see how I faired.

 

The Reality: 

I loved this wine. It is crisp and ends smoothly with a silky finish. It tingles on the tongue. The flavor of grape comes in strongly along with a hint of pear. This wine tastes like sunshine. Unfortunately for this pairing, it is tart. Which means that our super sweet peaches are going to to turn this wine sour.

The peach rings are peach rings. Overly sweet and only a bit peachy. They are fantastic though and do their job very well. The first sip after the peaches has a sour flavor though, though it maintains its lush finish. The flavor does hold out but the slight sourness is extremely distracting. I gulp down the peaches and enjoy my wine as it should be….naked of all distractions.

 

Well, what can I say, gummies are tough! They are very sweet and about any beverage gives you a sour stomach after.

I will explore my next post after I recover from this strep. Happy Olympics everyone and how about those gymnasts!?!

 

Sip Down Nostalgia Lane

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I am on vacation right now and today is my last, sunny, happy day. I’ve enjoyed every minute of mojitos, skinny dipping, and bitter games of Monopoly. But I have not forgotten my duties.

Nostalgia hides itself in strange ways. While in a candy store, I came upon a candy called Zotz. It’s a fizzy, sour candy that I ate during the 90s. I forgot about it until I saw it in the store of candy memories. I had not done a challenge with a fizzy partner, so it met my loose criteria.

The wine also has a story behind it. Smith College, my old stomping grounds, started producing commencement wines in 2011. They weren’t half bad, so I picked up a red and a white. Needless to say, memories had a big influence over this pairing.

The Wine: Smith College Cayuga White, 2012

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The Candy: Zotz! (watermelon, cherry, apple)

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The Dream:

The white wine seemed like an ideal pairing for the sour candy. It’s usually refreshing and with a touch of sweetness. Naively, I imagined that the sourness would play delicately with the sweetness of the wine. And I imagined the fizziness could create a neat champagne effect. Makes sense, right?

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The Reality:

It wasn’t exactly bad. I just wouldn’t repeat or recommend it.

The Cayuga has a fruity, sweet and silky flavor. It slides of the tongue like a milk chocolate. The lasting flavor is tart, a sharp and surprising contrast to the syrupy quality.

The candy is an 8-yr olds dream. At first, it’s a sweet hard candy. After a few dances on the tongue, the insides begin to fizz slowly out with a strong, sour taste. Once you bite in, you find the remaining bubbles hiding inside. All of the flavors taste the same, as most 50 cent candies do.

But these two do not play well together. The wine is unpleasant and bitter after the Zotz. My stomach churns, rather perturbed by the acid attack. I think sour candies are tough, but maybe there are other sour mediums more suited to this challenge.

Get excited for an account of the winery Sam and I visited while on vacation. It was a fun tasting session and a beautiful location.

National Sauvignon Blanc Day

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Hey there!

It’s thirsty Thursday (well, if you are a bro) and what a perfect occasion for National Sauvignon Blanc day! Join the celebration here and converse on Twitter with #SauvBlanc.

Cheers!

A Wedding, Some Wine and Gummy Bears

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Friends,

This is a post purely in honor of my friend Sarah who got married in Portland, Maine. It was a small wedding and I had the privilege of helping her get ready. As a reward, she provides some wine and candy.

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It was tangy, chilled and perfect for the occasion I thought the gummy bears went alright since they were so tiny. This isn’t a proper review but more a gift to the lovely couple.

I couldn’t imagine a sweeter pairing.

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Cheers, Salut, Etc.

Welcome to Uncorked, Unwrapped

I love to drink wine. I also love to eat candy.  But recently, I found myself asking: what if I could make those two worlds collide into the perfect combination of flavors? It would, without any sense of hyperbole, be spectacular. I owe a lot of this idea to one bottle of Malbec as well as the this post by MattBites: “Anything Inside a Tortilla.”

Some would argue that wine pairing is an art. From a hefty steak to a gourmet Asian dinner, there is a wine for the occasion. A wino, a very sophisticated wino mind, would be the only one fit for the task.

Well, I’m not that person. I stumble through wines. I pair my dinner with whatever wine bottle is the coolest or my latest obsession. I will drink only Malbec for months, bringing it to parties so I don’t have to explore other options. I’ll walk lazily through a store until I can find a Cupcake that suits my needs.

It is time for me to learn through the best means possible: by eating candy.

This blog will not be snobby. It will most definitely not be classy. It will not be a restaurant review from the New Yorker. I will sample the cheapest wines with the worst store-brand jellybeans. Sometimes I will try to pair candy with wine, or wine with candy. Most of the time I will probably fail. But when I succeed, it will be…not to be cheap..pretty sweet.

With my glass raised, her goes nothing:

Wine: Andean Sky, 2011 Chardonnay

"The Height of Freshness"

2011 Mendoza, Chardonnay

Candy: Lindt Excellence. 90% Cocoa Supreme Dark

"Deliciously intense, Surprisingly Balanced"

The Dream:

My choice behind the pairing was so simple, it was too good to be true (hint: it didn’t work). To me, white wine is either dry or sweet. Since I go into these pairings without any research, I based the choice on my preconceived notion that Chardonnay is a sweet wine. Balancing the sweet was the challenge at hand. Chocolate seemed obvious, because the other bitter candies were either salty or not bitter enough. I chose the darkest chocolate available at my neighborhood Giant: Lindt chocolate 90% cocoa.

The Reality:

Although the two make a pretty picture, they don’t necessarily compliment each other. The wine had a soft flavor instead of an overwhelming sea of sweet. It tasted subtle and smooth. It turned out, this chardonnay needed a partner that could compliment its softer side. The chocolate was far too dark-the expected sweetness of the chardonnay was supposed to balance the dark, intense flavor of the chocolate. Instead the thick and almost chalky Lindt stuck to your mouth as the Chardonnay could barely battle such strong flavors. It was still a tasty treat, but not the pairing I had hoped.

A doomed pair

Takeaway: Chocolate is the type of candy to pair with a chardonnay. The challenge is to find the right type of chocolate. Is milk chocolate too sweet? Or is there an ideal middle ground? Or is chocolate not the way to go?

I’ll keep this blog as updated as possible. I am welcome to challenges. Do you want to know what wine goes well with a Mallow Cup? Do you enjoy a good Pinot Noir, but can never find the perfect licorice to match it? In these cases, I will try until I succeed. Whatever the costs.