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Peep This Pair

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Hello!

Whoa! Things have been very busy chez moi. Most notably being that chez moi is being packed up and moved to a new location in a week! After that, I zip off to California for a wedding, Disneyland, and July 4th festivities. I hope to get a post in sometime in July, but I can’t promise much. Today’s post is a lot of fun and features plenty of photos. Lets start off with one right now:

Do you Peep what I Peep?

Do you Peep what I Peep?

In case you don’t understand this incredible photo, it is my boyfriend and I in front of the PeepMobile (I don’t know if it is actually called that but…c’mon. What other name could there be?) Apparently, there is an entire Peep store in Washington, DC that nobody told me about.  Some may think an entire store devoted to Peeps is absurd, but I would challenge those people to a fight to the death. This store is what America is about.

*Do Not Eat

*Do Not Eat

I think you know where this post is going, so let’s get started.

The Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 Lake County, Butcher Block

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Not Made of Pigs

The Candy: Peeps, Watermelon

No Rabbits Were Harmed in the Making of this Post

No Rabbits Were Harmed in the Making of this Post

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The Dream:

I normally would try these with a Pinot or a Chardonnay, but I wanted to switch it up for variety’s sake. The Cabernet Sauvignon was an attractive option because the balance of fruit and tannins. I did not want anything too sweet  because the sugary candy would immediately throw the flavor of the wine.

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The Reality:

I am underwhelmed by this wine. It’s tart and round but the bouquet is very opaque and I can’t engage to its flavor. This wine would be a good table wine, but it is not great for a pair.

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The Peep is the fake watermelon flavor, which is what I expected. But it is more sweet than tangy. Why did I think it would be tangy? What is with me and associating colors with flavors which are not the flavors advertised? Anyway, it made no difference to the pairing because the wine just a wasn’t strong partner. In my experience, the wine really needs to lead the pairing experience. The pairing was very meh and the wine didn’t taste good, but it never tasted great in the first place.

But it is all ok, because I still went to this fabulous store.

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Alright folks! I may not post for awhile, but I will try to Peep in now and again.

 

(B)limey What a Bad Pair

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(B)limey What a Bad Pair

Hello All!

It has been awhile. I would say I would get better, but that would be a lie! And while this blog does celebrate drunkenness and gluttony, I cannot support lies. I simply cannot.

I am writing this post on Thursday and we are truly doing a throwback for this post. Many months ago my friend Megan brought back some strange candies from England for me to pair. Today’s candy item has been sitting on my table in my broken candy bowl for months if not a year? I have no idea when she gave it to me.

Please keep in mind that this candy item had been on my living room table for a long time. When it was given to me, I completely understood what the candy was. But boy, memory is a funny thing.

The Candy: TouteSweet Chocolate Limes

(B)limey!

The Wine: Presidential Porto

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The Dream:

This is what happened. I looked at this bag of candy every single day. But do you ever find you can’t remember the color of your best friend’s eyes or can’t remember what ring goes where on your hands? What happened here is sort of like that.

When I looked at them the first time, I knew they were lime. But over time, something happened. It can be best described like this: I stopped reading the package and only saw the green. Since I am me, I saw green and thought, mint. When I saw mint, I thought cookie. I knew they had chocolate but the whole mint vs lime thing was negotiable according to my brain. Why I thought cookie, I cannot understand. I had asked Megan for candies and my friend knows the difference between cookie and candy.

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I picked port because in the past I have paired mint and port with some success. I thought this would be a new opportunity to try out the pairing. I didn’t realize my error until I was literally taking photos of the candy bag.

I need you to understand that this bag sat in the candy bowl alone for many, many weeks. I have no excuse. Something is just wrong with me.

The Reality:

I didn’t admit to my boyfriend my mistake. I just went with it. I still haven’t admitted my error. If he reads this post, I guess he will find out and I will find out if he really reads this blog (hi honey, maybe?).

The candy is strange. Obviously, it is lime and tart. The texture is what threw me because it is not quite a hard candy. It is almost a bit soft. The chocolate inside tastes like a tootsie roll but lacks the same texture. They are very weird. As weird candies go, this one is definitely up there in the weirdness level.

This isn’t a very sophisticated port since it is affordable. Don’t go port shopping you guys because boy, you probably can’t afford them.

Well, as could be predicted the lime tastes really weird with the port. It throws the port a bit on the way down and the aftertaste is not pleasing. The port is rich though so the flavor balances out. I didn’t find myself reaching for more candies which is an indicator of failure.

What WOULD I paired if I wasn’t an idiot who can’t read? A chardonnay or a pinot. I have plenty of these little wrapped babies left. Maybe if I am organized enough, I will do a rematch.

 

Wine by the Mountain

Wine by the Mountain

I have betrayed you! I have been behind on posting. The next few days though I will feature some wines we enjoyed. Here are some photos from Phelps Creek vineyards where we partook in a tasting and drank a bottle of Pinot in the mountain’s shadow in Oregon.

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The Wine of a Procrastinator

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Hello All!

I have been behind posting and I apologize. The reason why? Cookie March Madness! Every week in March my coworkers and I have brought in cookies. Each week, one of us gets the cookie crown (not an actual crown made of cookies…but you get the idea). This has left me exhausted of sweets and gluttony in general. As consolation, here are the cookies I made with recipes.

Popcorn Cookie

Popcorn Cookie

From the wonderful Smitten Kitchen. Don’t overbake them like I did! Woops! Would go with a Reisling.

Recipe

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Ultimate Chewy Ginger Snaps

I actually won with these bad boys! Enjoy with a Malbec.

Recipe

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Flourless Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Votes are not in quite yet…keep your fingers crossed. Perhaps a Pinot Noir!

Recipe

I am soon going to Seattle so expect plenty of foody alcohol fun stuff! I will do a pairing this week. I swear.

Liz

Don’t Get Your Hops Up

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Don’t Get Your Hops Up

Hi Friends!

I can hardly believe it but I am running low on my haul from Istanbul. I will have to finally check out that candy shop in Chinatown I have been eyeing! Hopefully I can get some interesting stuff.

Today we return to the familiar war zone-the battle of the gummy pairing. Before we start however I wanted to give a special shout-out to a fan I met during a twitter chat. I won’t mention your name but it was fun chatting with you!

If you are interested in following me on twitter, my handle is @BraveBrasington. I mostly talk about public health stuff.

The Wine: Abadia de la Oliva, Tempranillo 2012

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The Candy: Haribo Frogs & Haribo Rainbow Frogs

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The Dream:

I chose tempranillo because, while it has an undeniable fruitiness, it also has other rich flavors that balance out the sweetness. In past pairings, I found fruity red wines went well with gummies so I wanted to keep to that trend while challenging it slightly.

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The Reality:

The tempranillo is quite lovely actually and smells of licorice and blackberries. The wine goes down smooth with a slight acidity and dryness.

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The small frogs are the superior pairing since they are fruity. The wine is not thrown and the fruity frogs draw out the wine’s sweetness.

The big frogs are a BIG disappointment. Their flavor is not that distinct and the wine’s flavor is altered. It’s not terrible, but not great.

Overall? The fruity gummies go well with the fruity wines. However, I don’t know what to do with the non-fruity gummies.  I think we will try the cola bottles or something sour for the next gummies. I’m always up for a challenge!

 

Hello All!

As you read this, I am in Houston or on my way to Houston. Unless my plane crashed, then I am dead. And that’s kind of dark. On the bright side, my last act will be a blog post I planned ahead of time and that is worth…dying for? I don’t know where I am going with this. Let’s just get started shall we?

The Wine: Apothic, Red Blend 2012

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The Candy: Goetze’s Licorice Cream

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The Dream: 

Apothic is a red blend without any large distinctions to it. I wanted something fairly dependable to go against the licorice and a red wine blend was it. I didn’t know how strong this licorice would be since it has a creamy center. The creamy center added another unknown. I know it sounds like a cop out, and I guess it kind of is, but licorice is a difficult bear. And I want to explore blends a bit more anyway!

IMG_0325The Reality:

The blend is quite ripe with the tartness of raspberries. I even sense a tang of lemon rind. It does not have an overwhelming flavor. I would recommend it as a table wine.

The licorice and cream are actually smooth with the wine. It takes the bite out. Unfortunately, the wine and licorice taste lingers poorly in the mouth. Very, very unpleasant. Overall, though I like the blends, it’s the extra characteristics of different varietals that give a pairings the punch. I may hesitate before pairing with them again.

Keep Calm & Pair On

Keep Calm & Pair On

I’m sorry for the title you guys but I am featuring a British candy and, well, it had to happen. Plus the Olympics were in London last time and they are happening now…but I don’t have Russian candy. But I did feature a homophobic candy in my last post so maybe that counts..?

The candy we paired was described to me as smelling like Grandmas or tasting like how Grandma’s perfume would taste…which is creepy. What’s creepier is that I knew exactly how to pair this and I did so swimmingly.

The Candy: Parma Violets, A BRITISH CLASSIC (maybe?)

The Wine: Sarao Brut Cava

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The Dream:

The pairing was TOO easy you guys. The name plus the grandma reference gave me the perfect vision of this candy in my mind. Obviously it would be violet as well as extremely floral. I knew it had to be a very dry Cava. I hopped on my W Club membership and plopped a Cava into my cart. Yeah I buy my wine online. It’s not a big deal. I am very lazy.

The Reality:

The candies indeed taste like grandma’s perfume and have a chalky texture. They are not quite as chalky as conversation hearts however (which I will NOT be pairing by the way). By themselves, they are not anything remarkable. They could be a nice palate cleanser and they are not unpleasant.

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The wine is sweet and, of course, fizzy. I was a bit concerned by the sweetness. I did not want it to knock the flavor out of sync. But when I tasted the wine while chewing the parma violet the combination fizzed delightfully together. It made the candy slightly sweeter but not achingly so. Overall, I think it improved the candy because who doesn’t like a little fizz?

Overall, a success! My next post will be less of a risk but a bit more romantic just in time for a Valentine’s Night in.

P.S. Also, an exciting announcement! I got into grad school for a MPH–that’s right, public health! This is SUCH a healthy blog after all.

 

Feeling Jelly?

Hello again from the snow-dome that is Washington, DC right now. I have a special post today featuring a special candy I recently had to give up.

I have fewer memories I am more found of than the days my dad brought home a box of Jelly Bellys. The Type-A that rages from me daily loved how each flavor was sorted in a little box. When the jellybeans rolled out of their proper place I always had to resort them. Well, I fear my box buying days are over. It was recently revealed the Jelly Belly company is run by raging transphobes/homophobes. Unfortunately, several months early I had bought Jelly Bellys. So, we are having one last hurrah.

Special thanks to Nicole for helping me out on this special project during her visit.

Wine: Indaba, Chenin Blanc, 2012

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Candy: Jelly Belly, Hello Kitty & Regular Mix

IMG_0236The Dream:

I wanted a light wine that had a slight fruit flavor to compliment the Jelly Bellys. Obviously, I could not break down each flavor so I focused on Hello Kitty. The tart flavors of erm, pink and red (jk, bubblegum, cotton candy, apple, etc) would balance out the light, fruity chenin blanc. I also have never had Chenin Blanc before so this was a good excuse.

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The Reality:

The wine is not very sweet with a slight pear flavor along with the tartness of a Granny Smith apple skin. It’s quite unique–I hope to pick it up in the future.

Hello Kitty: The flavors do not throw the wine. I won’t break down all the flavors because they really act like a group. The tart-sweet flavor of the HK Jelly Beans works well with the Chenin Blanc.

Regular Mix: The wine is seriously thrown by the regular mix. There are way, way too many flavors. I think if you are going to pair Jelly Bellys in the future, go with the themed flavor packs. I think the Hello Kitty ones are a great place to start…if you still want to support Jelly Belly that is.

 

A Weird Start to a Weird Year

Happy New Year!

As promised, I am getting this post out to you before upcoming events and weekends sweep me away. My candy bowl is getting really full so I am going to make an effort to be extra vigilant to pair more often. This upcoming pairing is definitely odd. I have never heard of this candy but I found it back in November and knew I had to feature it. I can’t really say the pairing was good or bad—just unusual. Starting the New Year off right (really weirdly)!

The Wine: Chardonnay, The Wonderland Project, Vintage 2012 “La Reine Blanche”

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Long Live the Queen

The Candy: Abba-Zaba, Peanut Butter Filled Taffy (Strawberry & Plain)

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The Dream:

Wow. Peanut butter-taffy filled taffy….pretty wild. I picked the Chardonnay because I thought the dry sweetness would compliment the salty peanut butter. Chardonnay can really cleanse the palate and compliment a dish. I thought after chewy salty-sweet taffy, the Chardonnay would offer a nice clear flavor to relieve the tastebuds.

An Inside Look

An Inside Look

The Reality:

Both taffies are incredibly chewy because, again, I bought them in November. I really should have paired them immediately. The strawberry is has that unnatural saccharine sweetness with a touch of tartness. It reminds me a lot of strawberry laffy taffy which obviously makes sense. The peanut butter is good on its own–it’s that cheap sugary peanut butter you find in Reese’s. The candy is just bizarre on the whole. It’s like a train-wreck in your mouth–you really should stop eating it but it’s just so horrifying you can’t stop.

The wine is light, sweet and not very dry. There are some prominent pear notes with a nice hint of lemon. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t say it is my favorite Chardonnay. I do love that label though. When paired with the strawberry it is light and refreshing but does not add anything. I sort of ripped open the taffy to get more of the peanut butter but I don’t know if that helped.

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The plain taffy really doesn’t have anything going on. It is in fact plain. I would have preferred at least a vanilla or something because it is so much chewy taffy before the peanut butter. Again, the wine is perfectly fine. I think you lose a lot of the flavors of the wine because your  mouth is just so confused by the taffy. It’s like someone interrupting you when you are really busy and you have no idea how to respond. After you swallow the taffy the wine is delightful but I think I am just happy I am no longer eating the taffy?

I don’t know guys. It was a weird ride. I ate this taffy so fast as well. If you are not allergic to peanuts, I would try this candy just for kicks. I really have no clue what a better wine would have been. I think the fact the wine didn’t taste absolutely awful with the pairing is a success.

 

Pinot Noir & Later

Hey all! I hope you had a happy holiday and didn’t suffer at the hands of your families. We are looking down the barrel of awful weather but perhaps you already experienced it. Remember to stay safe and keep off the road, especially if you try the treat below. I hope to include some Christmas candy soon, but honestly I have so much candy in my house right now to pair that I may not. I mean, Xmas candy is pretty much the same…chocolate, mint, etc. Been there, done that.

If you are my age, it is very likely you indulged in the candy I am featuring today. Additionally, you may have forgotten about it so here I come with a real blast from the past!

The Wine: Cava Pinot Noir, 2009

IMG_2535The Candy: Now & Later

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The Dream:

A pinot noir cava! How exciting! I immediately picked this wine for the pairing because of how unique it sounded. Also, being a cava, it has a nice lightness and the pinot noir offers a fuller flavor. Now & Laters are extremely sweet and chewy, so I did not want anything too sugary. The cava pinot noir offered the ideal balance.

The Reality: 

The pinot noir is bubbly and the bitterness is a bit off putting initially. I think of the wine you sip at church and that distracts me. After a few sips, the flavor flattens out into a pleasant sweetness. It is difficult to get any flavor notes or distinct flavors. And you definitely can’t blow through a glass of this–it’s a lot to take in.

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Let’s break this down by Now & Later flavor:

Cherry:

At first this pairing isn’t that impressive, but when the bubbles interact with the candy it adds a little sweetness to the pinot. The effect is not at all unpleasant, though I am not necessarily eager to keep eating.

Grape:

Though this is tasty enough, it doesn’t add anything to the wine that is remarkable or worth noting.

Watermelon:

I enjoyed this pairing a lot. The tartness of the watermelon adds a kick that lightens the sometimes bitter pinot flavor.

Apple:

Not good. The combination creates an unwanted liquor flavor. Blech.

Well, there you have it! A classic candy from my kidhood which brought back found memories of gooey candy bits stuck in teeth. Hopefully, I will have another post up before the holidays!

See you later! (see what I did there?)