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: 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!

 

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!

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!!