French Wine 101 – Loire Valley Wines

Chinon is a beautiful Loire Valley red wine

Wine 101 Series This is one of a series of posts aimed at newcomers to wine with interest but a modest checkbook. Previous Posts Bordeaux, Burgundy & Rhone Affordable Bubbles- Crémant & More Languedoc-Roussillon and Alsace A Few Simple Rules Just the facts, no flowery language Key types of wine from a region Some help in navigating … Continue reading

A Lesson in Wine Costs: Alit Pinot Noir

Alit Pinot Noir represents a new concept in wine sales

Wine Cost Transparency – Should You Care? Have you ever wondered about the costs going into that bottle of wine you’re enjoying? How much of the bottle price was the grapes? How does a $5 wine differ from a $50 wine in terms of actual costs? The cost of the grapes really does matter, in … Continue reading

Nebbiolo Paired With Smoky Mushroom Mac & Cheese

Smoky mushroom mac & cheese paired with two Nebbiolo wines

More Fun With Nebbiolo Here’s another great food pairing and a couple of enjoyable examples of Nebbiolo “beyond the B’s” of Barolo and Barbaresco. The high acidity and tannins in Nebbiolo make it a great partner for rich foods as the two balance each other nicely. Mac & cheese fills the bill nicely, and the … Continue reading

Somewhere between Lodi and Alsace

Alsace view from the Vosges mountains above Ribeauville

  Can Lodi be at Home in Alsace? I visited Alsace last fall, and one of my favorite things was to experience Choucroute Garni in its natural home.  As you drive and hike around the region, you see vineyards of course, but you also see enormous fields full of cabbage, the source of all that … Continue reading

Nebbiolo Paired With Onion Smoked Brisket

Smoked Brisket served with two Nebbiolo wines

Braised Meat and Nebbiolo – a Classic Pairing Braised meats are a classic cool weather pairing with Nebbiolo, so a braised dish was a clear choice to kick off our Nebbiolo pairing round-up. Today, we adjusted a brisket recipe for a smoking trial on the Primo Ceramic grill. Verdict: winner on all counts. Nebbiolo #1 … Continue reading

Soup & Savoie French #Winophiles

Savoie wine bottle emblem

French Winophiles Search for Savoie Our French #Winophiles group is taking an imaginary trip to the Savoie wine region this month. The region may bring a smile and recognition once you make this connection: The Savoie is also “The French Alps“. I should have brought my snowboard! Take a look at the bottom of this … Continue reading

Something Old, Something New – Flank Steak & Douro Red #WinePW

Quinta do Romeu Douro Red wine with steak

Wine Pairing Weekend Tries Something New Our Wine Pairing Weekend January theme is “try a new wine”. My challenge this month was that we were away for a long weekend just before our posts were due. My “something new” tools were the Utah State Liquor Store and our condo kitchen, so my post became a … Continue reading

Never Say Never: Cab Franc #WinePW

Memaloose wine with Primo Grill on the deck

Wine Pairing Weekend Celebrates Cabernet Franc Our blogging winemaker buddy, Lori, from Dracaena Wines just finished hosting a worldwide Cabernet Franc Appreciation day (#CabFrancDay on Twitter) and today our Wine Pairing Weekend group is continuing the celebration. There are links to all the posts further down in this post. Never Cab Franc Lori’s crusade is … Continue reading

Artisan wine from Chile: Garage Wine Co

Chilean Wines in the United States We get a nice variety of Chilean wines in Minnesota, from Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere to Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc from coastal vineyards. However, the large majority of wines are from major wineries, focused on commercial success and internationally styled wines. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, but … Continue reading

Beaujolais: A Versatile Partner for Hunter’s Chicken #winophiles

Translucent red of Beaujolais wine

Beaujolais Flows Freely After spending two weeks in various areas in France, I was impressed by the dedication to local wines. During a week in Lyon we found that Beaujolais was the typical “house” red wine, with Macon being the normal source of a local white. Beaujolais pairs beautifully with charcuterie, cooked sausages, braised meats, … Continue reading

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