wine wednesday: cause for celebration

Confession: I haven’t been following my own advice. Me, the champion of celebrating and eating up what life has to offer, wasn’t excited about my own movie premiere. I was downplaying the hell out of it to the point that I was confusing my excitement for nerves (which is a thing btw- they both give off the same physiological symptoms: faster heart rate, higher levels of cortisol, sweating, etc.)

So here I was days before the big night aka tonight poo-pooing my success: “Oh, it’s gonna be bad” “My acting’s going to suck” “It wasn’t a big budget thing soo…it’s gonna be campy” “It’s nothing to be proud of”

F*$& THAT

Thank God I had a moment where I realized what I was doing was dumb, and was able to shift my mindset. This is a big deal. So what if the film isn’t going to any festivals in the future? It was my first experience being a lead in a feature and I should damn well celebrate my work. Period. End of discussion. Because if I can’t take the time to celebrate my own work, why am I even chasing the dream?

Well, I’m off to get done up, drink some bubbly and celebrate with my onscreen fam (pictured below)!

And in case you want your wine lesson for the day…

MORE ON BUBBLY:

I talked about the champagne process here complete with a little 60 second video to get you up to speed. We can say merci to the French for creating this spirited beverage!

wine wednesday: summer’s not over celebration!

 

Also known as the ‘MAINE’ event.

Seriously, I can’t believe summer is already starting to wind down. I did a ‘last hurrah of summer’ trip over the weekend to Austin with some friends from college and the September issues were lining all the airport shelves casually hinting that fall is creeping closer. BUT SUMMER’S NOT OVER!!! A few weeks back I did a lobster dinner with friends in LA and this is such a fun way to celebrate.

So I say, keep the rosé and pét nat  f l o w i n g  like it’s 95 degrees. I’ll stay extra freckle-y and avoid turning the color of our beloved lobsters.

WINE CHOICE:

Bi Fri “Pét Nat”: crisp, clean, mineral with white peach notes. A BEAUTIFUL easy sipper from Italy. Better than those San Pellegrino sodas because this isn’t as sweet…and it’s alcoholic. ‘Nuf said.

ANY DRY ROSÉ: keep that summer water flowing as long as possible.

How are you celebrating? BBQ and wine pairing tips on earlier posts!

CHEERS!!

 

wine wednesday: grilled peaches and pét nat

So gonna level with you, I meant to have this last grill video up 2 weeks ago. EEEEEK. But life happens, and it got away from me. I was a) having a week of where I didn’t feel “inspired” to cut this together (sometimes I don’t wanna edit!) and b) I last minute ended up going to Chicago for a week due to a family emergency.

Getting away was much needed (LA you can take a toll on me sometimes!) but I’ve come back refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of things. So may I present:

GRILLED PEACHES AND PÉT NAT

This is the perfect way to end a BBQ (okay s’mores are amazing too!) but the low heat from the coals (or turn the gas burner down) caramelizes and smokes up the fruit. You’ve got yourself a naturally sweet finish, paired well with the “naturally sparkling” vino.


grilled peaches

GRILLED PEACHES (serves 2)

-2 ripe peaches

-salt

-pepper

-olive oil

-greek yogurt (optional)

-mint

-honey

Set the flames to low if using a gas grill or wait until the coals are petering out. You don’t want to put the peaches over too hot of a grill. Next cut peaches in half and de-pit. Brush the peaches with olive oil, dust with some salt and sprinkle with pepper (helps to bring out their natural flavor!). Place peaches flesh side down on the grill and let them cook for 3-5 minutes. If you want more of a smokey flavor, close the lid of your grill to trap the smoke. Once they are warm take ’em off the grill and drizzle with a little honey, honey. Add a dollop of greek yogurt if you wish and garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve immediately with a chilled glass of pét nat.


WINE PAIRING

Now I talked about pétillant naturel earlier this summer here but as a refresher (and yes pét-nat’s are refreshing AF) they are a sparkling wine that only goes through one fermentation. A “younger sister”  to champagne, this sparkling wine has softer bubbles and is usually unfiltered. That’s because during the initial fermentation, a crown cap (aka the kind that’s used on beer bottles) is added which traps the CO2 that’s created as the natural sugars and yeast interact. They’re fun, refreshing, dry and usually have high acid. Serve them chilled. And buy an extra bottle because it’s so easy to drink that you’ll be sad when the first one runs out!

In this video I was drinking CRUSE WINE VALDIGUIÉ PÉTILLANT NATUREL RANCHO CHIMILESIt’s their pét nat with a lady on the label.


CHEERS!

Enjoy the rest of your summer. Keep an eye out next Wednesday for another food + wine pairing episode, then I’ll take it back to the OG format. If there’s anything you want me to talk about let me know!

wine wednesday: grilled pizza and lambrusco

I want PIZZA: P-I-Z-Z-A, gimme PIZZA, P-I-Z-Z-A! (anyone remember that very old school MK&A pizza party video???…they couldn’t have been older than 11) it was one of my faves back in the day!

Just fact checked and that song was released in 1995, they were born in ’86- so boom baby they were 9! I called it.

Moving along to the present day, I was thrilled when Chef Adam said he was going to make pizzas on the grill. And let me tell you it’s genius. It’s a next level BBQ play that couldn’t be easier to do. It might even be cheaper than doing burgers and dogs if you stick to good old margarita za’s…you can fact check this yourself and let a girl know! pizza party with lambrusco

Are you drooling yet?? If not, all good, guess you’ll just have to test it out for yourself!

GRILLED PIZZA TIPS

  1. TAKE IT EASY Store bought dough will do just fine (or you can make your own!) just make sure you set it out to proof (aka double in size) so that the dough is lighter and more manageable.
  2. STRETCH THAT DOUGH Form your basic rectangle shape before placing on the grill and adjust accordingly once the dough hits the grill.
  3. GREASE IT UP Olive oil is your friend to keep things from sticking!
  4. CLOSE THE GRILL Once you have your dough set, close the grill for a few minutes to act like an oven. It’ll circulate the hot air to cook both sides.
  5. SWISH AND FLIP When the dough seemed nice a cooked and easy to lift off the grill, flip it over using tongs in a quick, confident motion.
  6. TOMATO/TOMAHTO Store bought sauce is just fiiiine, but you can buy late season “uglies/seconds” tomatoes that will be cheaper because they’re not as pretty, more sweet and ripe for a sauce.
  7. FRESH CHEESE FTW Adding hand torn mozzarella is the play, just have a paper towel handy to absorb some of the moisture once the cheese starts to melt. Shredded is totally fine too, but fresh wins.
  8. PLAY WITH TOPPINGS If you grilled up some veg, add it to your ‘za! Or some fresh herbs/basil to really make it homegrown. Prosciutto is totally a move too.

WINE PAIRING

When I think pizza, I immediately want a cold glass of bubbly red. It’s such a playful pairing. Soooo refreshing when it’s hot. Plus the ABV (alcohol by volume) is lower than your average glass of wine so it’s not as potent and you won’t get as tipsy. Now Lambrusco, the classic sparkling red of which I speak, hails from the Emilia-Romagna, a northern Italian region known for its food. Think balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, prosciutto and yummy bolognese sauce. The high acid factor in the wine plays well with the richer meats, so feel free to add meats to your pizza. The wine stand up! A few things to keep in mind when buying this frizzante aka “slightly fizzy” wine:

  1. LOOK FOR “SEC” on the label or ask for a DRY Lambrusco. Then there’s no risk you’ll open a slightly sweet bottle.
  2. DRINK ‘EM YOUNG! These wines are meant to be sipped and served within a year or two of production.
  3. CHILL THEM. You must. End of story.
  4. BUY IN BULK. Trust me, you’ll run out of it sooner than you think because it’s such a crowd pleaser.
  5. RELAX. Take a load off and just have fun with this wine, that’s really the best way to enjoy it!

Let me know if you find any favorite brands. Always wanting to try new labels.

Well I’m off to each some lunch. All this food talk is making me HUNGRY.

Cheers!

wine wednesday: grill and chill your reds

I am thrilled that I get to share this series with you! One thing I love about summer is all the BBQs, and since 4 of July is right around the corner, I figured I’d start with the basics: burgers and dogs.

Now feel free to fancy up the burgers/hot dogs with cheese and other accouterments, but at the minimum, you’ll have ketchup and mustard on hand.

bbq spread

TOP GRILL TIPS

  1. BUY GOOD MEAT! The better the quality, the better the burger. This also goes for the ratio of meat to fat. Chef (and I can vouch too!) says 80:20 is what you should look for on your ground beef labels. That way the burger will be juicy and not dry.
  2. SEASON YOUR MEAT! You don’t need to get fancy, but a good dose of S&P is key!
  3. TOUCH YOUR MEAT! And by meat, I mean the stuff that’s on the grill. Once the burger starts cooking, it will firm up. The firmer the burger, the more cooked.
  4. LET YOUR MEAT SIT! Don’t throw it on the bun right away. By letting the burger rest on a plate for a minute it allows all the juices to settle and stay in the burger. You don’t want a one bite in all the juice is on your plate situation.
  5. GRILL YOUR BUNS! Butter isn’t necessary and Chef didn’t use any…but hey I’m from the Midwest, so I’d add a little butter or EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

LET’S TALK WINE PAIRING

In general, I think red meat needs a red wine. With summer temps already getting up drinking a red on its own isn’t my cup of tea unless I’m in a very air-conditioned space. So solution is to CHILL YOUR REDS!!! Now I said light-medium bodied reds because anything too tannic/grippy (think big Cabs/Italian/Bordeaux Blends) won’t be your best call. But those wines that are smoother tend to chill up nice and easy!

I chose a ZWEIGELTan Austrian red that will work perfectly for this scenerio. Be the unsung hero (but actually people will be talking because they’ll love it so much) and bring a few bottles pre-chilled to your 4th of July party. It pairs perfectly with the burgers and hot dogs, steaks too! If you can’t find a Zweigelt, I suggest getting a Pinot Noir, Gamay (Beaujolais), Sangiovese or any other smooth light-medium bodied sipping vino.

Enjoy your 4th!!