wine wednesday: street corn and chicken tacos

Who doesn’t love a good taco?? And tacobout a good wine pairing with a yummy chilled Grüner Veltliner. Corny I know.

…ok I’ll stop. BUT if you want a crowd pleasing, easy for parties set up, do a taco bar and grab a few bottles of GV. Corn is in season at the farmers market and cheap AF. Plus if you find the right ears, you won’t have to deal with adding those corn on the cob thingy’s–you know what I’m talking about right? That you stick on either end?? Corn skewers? Cob holders? Those things you forget are in your drawer until after you’ve eaten your cob? You get the point.

So it’s a date: chicken tacos, tomatillo salsa, guac, street corn and GV.

street corn

CORN/TACO TIPS

  1. IT’S ABOUT THE SLOW BURN: think about the corn like you’re trying to perfectly toast your marshmallow. You want to be turning the corn often, and if there’s a top rack, keep the corn up there once it’s about 80% done.
  2. SIMPLE SEASONING: Chef just used salt, pepper and dried oregano on the chicken breast. Add some chili powder if you want additional spice.
  3. HOMEMADE SALSA: it’s easier than you think! Char some tomatillos up, and combine with chopped white onions, jalapeños,  heirloom tomatoes, salt and pepper.
  4. SAME GOES FOR GUAC: add chopped onions, lime, cilantro and toms and s&p to season.
  5. SIMPLIFY STREET CORN: just head up butter and chili powder. Coat the corn with spicy butter and toss with grated parmesan cheese.
  6. BRING FLOSS: or toothpicks. Because no one likes stringy corn in their teeth.

LET’S A TACOABOUT WINE PAIRING

Grüner was an obvious choice for me because it’s usually a zesty, crisp glass of vino. Usually it has notes of lime, but goes down differently than a marg. And when choosing a Grüner aim to find an Austrian one. They’ll be nice and dry and less filling than a beer–perfect for a hot ass day. Oh, and don’t be scared of twist tops. Hello one less thing to worry about. And some of them might have a little bit of bubbly, who doesn’t like that?

Enjoy your Wednesday.

Cheers!

 

where to find rosé

Almost like an add on to the last rosé post, because the wine is made from all different grape varietals, it can come from anywhere wine is produced. Yes Provence is reigning Queen, but there are many different wine regions that are producing something in that vein but with their own twist. Dare I say a new place will take over Provence’s rule??

What I’m aiming at, is other rosés deserve recognition. You don’t have to go Provence or bust- there are plenty of other dry, mineral forward, crisp, hint of fruit (strawberry, raspberry, white peach, etc.), delicious choices out there!

yes way rosé

And I have two in mind that you should try:

La Spinetta Casanova Rosé

the palest of pinks, this one is a true crowdpleaser from one of Italy’s best and renowned winemakers!

Arnot-Roberts Rosé

super dry and perfect for the beach, this California rosé stands up to the best of the South of France!

 

CHEERS!!!

 

wine wednesday: burgundy

Before a certain anchor man tried to claim his spot as the top “Burgundy”, wine from this landlocked part of France claimed the highest of ratings. And while Mr. Burgundy can almost do no wrong, the whites and reds produced from this region are top-notch, world class, silky-smooth, and would n e v e r say “f you” to its hometown. In short, wine from Burgundy is kind of a big deal. And if you have never seen Anchorman, do yourself the favor. My joke attempts will make a lot more sense.

Anyyyyyway, back to the vino. Burgundy, also known as Bourgogne, is a narrow wine region known for some of the top wines in world. It is the birth place of the Pinot Noir grapes and home to some kick-ass Chardonnays.

the region

Like I said in the video, location is everything! The terroir (pronounced “tear-wah”) aka how a region’s terrain, soils, climate and winemaking practices affect the wine’s taste, plays a huge role for Burgundy wines.

map c/o the BVIB
map c/o the BVIB

There are five regions to note:

  1. CHABLIS
  2. CÔTES DE NUITS
  3. CÔTES DE BEAUNE
  4. CÔTE CHALONNAISE
  5. MÂCONNAIS

Believe it or not, the soil and temperatures vary enough that each of these regions produces wine that is uniquely theirs. More on buying tips per region below!

the grapes

burgundy-wine-grapes-chardonnay-pinot-noir
image c/o wine folly

WHITE BURGUNDY: 100% Chardonnay and mostly produced “unoaked” therefore giving a more crisp and clean taste for the drinker as opposed to the butter-bomb Chardonnays produced state-side.

RED BURGUNDY: 100% Pinot Noir and a difficult little grape to grow. Loves the climate and soil this region provides. As a result, Pinot’s are more earthy and floral.

CRÉMENT DE BOURGOGNE: A sparkling wine from the region that can be produced with both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.

buying tips

When looking at a bottle of Burgundy, look for the specific region it’s from. My notes below will help you pick the bottle that suits your tastebuds.

From North to South:

  1. Chablis: amazing, high acid, bright Chardonnays. Mostly unoaked, but at the top Grand Cru level ($$$$$), some see aging in oak barrels.
  2. Côtes du Nuits: rustic, mushroom-y, earthy, tart berry, and spicy Pinot Noirs.
  3. Côtes de Beaune: richer, pear/apple, white flower Chardonnays. Some do see oak!
  4. Côtes Chalonnaise: plum, clove, dark berry, earthy Pinot Noirs that are usually less expensive, more of a “value” bottle. Also lots of lovely Créments come from this region!
  5. Mâconnais: stone fruit, citrus, zesty Chardonnay from this region, look for Pouilly-Fuisseé for the most value.

burgundy Wine picks

2014 Benjamin Leroux Chablis: well balanced, great mix of citrus and saline, nice and zesty. Not your mama’s Chardonnay! Around $15-$20.

2012 David Duband Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits Louis Auguste: yes it’s a mouthful to say, but this is a rich and silky pinot. Dark cherry, touch of acid and around $30 which is a good value given the producer and vineyard location!

I’m Natalie Pelletier signing off from Burgundy! Let me know if you have any favorites from this region.

 

wine wednesday: côtes du rhône, france

As Fall weather starts to creep in everywhere else in the US besides LA, medium bodied reds are always a crowd pleaser. Most wines from the Côtes du Rhône region are red blend containing the varietals Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Usually the highest acclaimed CDR’s have the largest portion of the blend being Grenache; however, since up to 22 varietals are allowed in the blend, taste a bunch to figure out your own preference!

buying tips

cotes-du-rhone-labels
image c/o Wine Folly

It’s all about reading the label! There’s even a “Level 4” version of CDR wines called “Cru” and those are the most expensive, like Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Long story short, the more specific the label the more expensive the bottle.

cÔtes du Rhône pick

$: 2014 Caves du Fournalet Côtes du Rhône: medium-light body, notes of strawberry and raspberry light tannins, great with food and under $10 from Trader Joes.

$$: 2014 Domaine La Manarine Côtes du Rhône: tart cherry and a spicy finish, this is a fab under $20 pick that is a great step up palatte wise from the Caves du Fournalet.

Cheers!

bites of life: september

And just like that, we’re more than a week into October. Before it’s too far gone, here were some of my September highlights:

sweet: cake at proof bakery

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This cake, known as “Gateau de Savoie” or commonly “the sponge cake with the whipped cream and blackberries” is heaven sent. Yes-yes, I do have a big sweet tooth so I do deem a lot of sweets amazing, BUT this takes the cake. Literally. It’s so damn light I felt like I was floating after I finished. Ok, maybe that was the combined caffeine and sugar buzz-but, if a slice is available snatch it immediately. Thank me later. @ProofBakeryLA

savory: Sen Chan Pen Pu, aka #18 at sapp coffee shop

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Upon recommendation from my noodle-expert friend, Emily (@FoodLoversDiary) I made my way to Sapp Coffee Shop to try their famous noodles. She suggested the “Sen Chan Pen Pu” stir-fried noodles and I went to TOWN. The dish is so simple but flavorful AF: rice noodles, garlic, chili, egg and crab meat. Squeeze a little lime, request extra cilantro and all of your needs can go “bye-bye”.

drink: topo chico

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Behold the next big thing in sparkling water, Topo Chico. And by next big thing I mean, this stuff is gaining popularity nearly as fast as LaCroix. AND it’s been around longer, since 1895 #hechoenmexico. I had my first while working a restaurant pop-up. The chef “popped” one of these open for me and I was hooked. Feeding my sparkling water addiction one bottle at a time!

restaurant:sapp coffee shop

HOLY $h*T, need to go back stat. As I mentioned above, their #18 was my favorite savory bite this month, but their #23 Drunken Noodles (flat noodles with ground beef, chili and garlic) came in close second. Yes, I ordered two noodle dishes all to myself. Sue me. The leftovers were- dare I say it- even better. Next up I’ll go for the Jade and Boat noodles, which are famed and Anthony Bourdain approved.

entertainment: the infinity mirrored room at the Broad, lA

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This wasn’t my first time in the Infinity Mirrored Room, but it was my first solo trip. Last time I was in artist Yayoi Kusama’s piece was here. And I have to say, second time around was just as infatuating and breath-taking. My tip: get to The Broad at a decently early hour to enter your name in the queue, see the upstairs exhibit and at the end of your trip, ask kindly to enter the line early. No winking necessary 😉

Hope your October is already off to a great start…please send fall weather to LA!