wine wednesday: roasted veg + rosé

I don’t know about you, but I’ve eaten more burgers and hot dogs over the past few weeks that I don’t know if I could do another for the rest of the week **drives to in-n-out tonight and immediately loses this battle**

Bottom line is, if you’re looking for a break from burgers/want a fun addition to any BBQ, roasted veggies are the way to go. Like Chef Adam said, prep is minimal (hell yeah!) and they can be added to pizzas, salads or stand alone. Here are a few quick grilling tips to make your veggies turn out like a pro.

GRILLED VEGGIE TRICKS

  1. BUY IN-SEASON VEG! Easiest way to do that is at the farmer’s market, straight from the source. But you can always ask what’s fresh at the store. Eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, corn, and onions are all summer staples
  2. FRESH HERBS FOR THE WIN! While at the farmer’s pick up a bundles of fresh herbs because they’ll really make your veggies sing. We got thyme, oregano, rosemary and basil.
  3. SEASON THAT $#@+! Use olive oil or avocado oil liberally, along with the fresh chopped herbs and plenty of pepper and sea salt.
  4. CUT THE VEG THICKER THAN NORMAL! This way it has less chance of ending up in the flames and more likely ending up on your plate.

LET’S TALK WINE PAIRING

Not only does roasted veg and rosé have a nice ring to it, but it’s easy to remember. There’s just something about the cold wine that really makes the roasted veg sing. As far as which one to choose, any lean, dry rosé will do the trick. I happened to pick up a super yummy bottle at Whole Foods, 2015 Mas de Cadenet Arbaude which is a Côtes de Provence rosé. But Italy, Spain, Austria and the US all make kick-ass French style rosé that is worth a try too.

Enjoy the pairing!!

Until next week, Cheers!

frosé all day

 

It’s that time of year…the weather’s starting to heat up, summer is almost here, and frozen cocktails are on the brain. Or maybe it’s just that it feels necessary to celebrate the gorgeous weather and everyone’s sun-kissed/freckled skin.

Frosé crept into the scene last year and with the some recipe testing, I’ll let you know it’s very easy to make at home!

This is for the hot days, where you want to add ice cubes to your wine, or blend up a batch for a BBQ, book club, or just because. I promise the added sugar doesn’t make it sweet at all. It’s needed to balance out the tart lemon and blended wine.

FROSÉ (serves 5)

  • 1 bottle rosé
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup cut strawberries
  • approx. 2 lemons

Using a large freezer zip-top bag, pour entire bottle of wine into bag.  Seal bag and press extra air out (don’t want it to balloon in the freezer). **Freeze for 12 hours**

**note that this step can be omitted. When I first read a frosé recipe I skimmed over it like an idiot so when I made this video I didn’t have the 12 hour frozen bag in place.

Anyway….To make the strawberry simple syrup you’ll need to: first, cut up 1 cup of strawberries, slice, dice, whatever you want and set aside. Next, add 1/2 cup boiling water to 1/2 cup of sugar. Mix until sugar is dissolved. Place cut berries into warm sugar water and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, juice enough lemons to get yourself 2oz worth.

Set up your blender. Now, if you haven’t frozen your rosé for 12 hours, add about a tray worth of ice cubes as the base (simply omit this step if your rosé is in a semi-frozen state).

Add frozen rosé, simple syrup, strawberries and 20z lemon juice to the blender.

Start up that blender and let it whirl until frothy.

Garnish with a berry, drink, dance and be merry!

(repeat when necessary) 

PS: the wine glass I used can be found HERE 

wine wednesday: bloopers

 

Blogging from Midwest today! Happy to be back in the Windy City with family and friends. If you happen to be last minute wine shopping today (hi, typical me) here are some top notch picks to bring to all the parties this weekend…the magnum of bubbles will certainly be the star!

thanksgiving wine picks

Segura Vidas Brut Reserve Cava  Bubbles are always a good move, especially if you bring enough to share amongst the larger groups of holiday meals. Plus this bottle looks like it’s straight out of Game of Thrones and available at Costco!

2015 Occhipinti SP68 1.5 L Again, another magnum. Great call for larger groups. This Italian, Nero D’Avola is a crowd pleaser and smooth AF.

2014 Azelia Dolcett0 D’Alba Medium-bodied Italian with notes of leather, stewed cherries. It has a floral nose that won’t overpower the turkey and gravy. Plus at $15 per bottle you can stock on a few!

2015 Idlewild “The Bee” This Sonoma (what’s up domestic picks!) white blend is prodominately Italian white varietals. It’s balanced with notes of tropical fruits. Good to kick off the thanksgiving feast.

Thankful for all you reading up on wine with me! It’s been a fun journey and can’t wait to continue. CHEERS!

wine wednesday: bordeaux, france

 

It’s finally fall in LA *knock on wood* and I am gripping on to sweater weather tighter than my steering wheel in rush hour traffic. Sliiiight overstatement, but loving the cloudy weather today. I know– my family and friends in Chicago are probably rolling their eyes at me saying this, but it’s true! Absence makes the heart grow fonder, no?

Speaking of fondness, I will always be a lover of Bordeaux blends- particularly those from the right bank. *Side* does matter!!

Let’s talk specifics

bordeaux-left-bank-right-bank-wine-vinepair
image c/o vinepair

In a nutshell (like all areas of France I’ve covered) location a.k.a. terroir makes all the difference. The Garonne river divides Bordeaux in half creating a left bank and a right bank.

bordeaux-wine-region-map
image c/o vinepair

LEFT BANK

Wines from this side are generally higher in tannins, acidity and alcohol. That’s because the Cabernet varietal composes more than half of the blend. This side made the region famous. Médoc and Margaux are noteable areas to look for on the label.

right bank

Wines from the right side are a bit more “feminine” meaning they are less tannic, acidic and lower in alcohol. They are generally ready to drink earlier too and tend to have a lower sticker price. St. Émilion is a notable area to look for on the label.

buying tips

bordeaux-wine-infographic-wine-folly
image c/o wine folly

Because of labeling laws, all Bordeaux wines will note the location. If you’re unsure of whether it’s a right or left bank feel free to ask the store owner if you’re in a wine shop. If not, just google the location et voilà! You’ll have your answer which will help you “guess” the notes of said bottle.

left bank picks

2011 Château Greysac Medoc notes of dark berries, hint of licorice and cedar. This is a well balanced elegant wine.

2012 Château Fage, Graves de Vayres notes of dark and red fruits with some cooking spice. Really great and a bang for your buck.

right bank pick

2010 Château Moulin, Canon Fronsac an organic wine that is incredibly smooth and the earthy notes balance the fruit.

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.