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Wine & Food Pairing Tips for California Wine Month

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011


10 CALIFORNIA WINE & FOOD PAIRING TIPS

•    When enjoying cheeses either before or after dinner, consider a California sparkling wine alongside. The effervescence will stimulate the palate in such a way that both the cheeses and the wine will soar.  For a festive and tasty flourish, serve fresh California pomegranates with the cheese and add a few arils, as pomegranate seeds are called, to each glass.  Suggested sparkler: Ponte Winery, Rose Spumante

•    Enjoy smoked fish—oysters, salmon, lox, trout, sturgeon and sablefish, for example—with California sparkling wine.  Suggested sparkler: Danza del Sol Winery, Espumosa Chardonnay Brut

•    California Sauvignon Blanc loves green vegetables of any kind, from artichokes and green beans to tender lettuces and zucchini.  It is also an excellent match with goat cheeses and fresh mozzarella.  Suggested Sav Blanc: Hart Family Vineyard, 2010 Sauvignon Blanc

•    California Chardonnay and Viognier blossom with corn and carrots.  Serve with corn on the cob, corn chowder, creamy polenta topped with California Teleme cheese and corn salsa, corn or carrot risotto, oven-roasted carrots and carrot fritters.  Suggested white: Callaway Vineyard & Winery, 2009 Special Selection Viognier

•    California Pinot Noir, among the world’s most versatile wines, pairs well with a classic BLT as with wild Pacific King salmon on a bed of roasted winter squash.  Delicious with turkey, California Pinot Noir is an ideal Thanksgiving wine, as well.  Suggested Pinot: Wiens Family Cellars, 2009 Pinot Noir

•    California Merlot is delightful with blueberries.  Combine blueberries with wild rice, fresh or smoked turkey and a simple balsamic vinaigrette for a main course salad to enjoy with Merlot.  To enhance the match, add a little Merlot to the dressing.  Suggested Merlot: Mount Palomar Winery, 2006 Merlot

•    Defy the conventional wisdom that pairs fish with white wine and meat with red.  A robust California Chardonnay is wonderful with rare steak and prime rib and California Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect with halibut topped with a dollop of black olive butter or tapenade.  Suggested Chard: South Coast Winery, 2008 Reserve South Coast Chardonnay /  Suggested Cab:  Monte de Oro Winery, 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

•    Enjoy California Syrah with classic Italian dishes, such as spaghetti and meatballs, polenta and stewed sausages and lasagna.  It is also excellent with grilled red meats and ripe backyard tomatoes and roasted sweet peppers.  Suggested Syrah: Europa Village, 2006 C’est La Vie Syrah

•    California Zinfandel is a perfect quaff with burgers, ribs, fajitas and chili but vegetarians will be thrilled to know it is also the best choice with lentils, especially when served with grilled Portobello mushrooms.  Suggested Zin: Doffo Vineyard & Winery, 2009 Syrah

•    For a simple, healthy and delicious dessert, combine seasonal fruits—such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, plums and peaches—with a little sugar and chill for a couple of hours, until natural juices collect in the bowl.  Add about a cup of California Rosé or Pinot Noir, toss and serve, or spoon over vanilla ice cream, with the wine alongside.  Suggested Rosé:  Leonesse Cellars, 2010 White Merlot

 

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Tour Cougar Vineyards in Temecula Valley Wine Country

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Meet Rick and Jennifer Buffington, owners/winemakers of Cougar Vineyard & Winery. Their loyal fan club and fun Italian varietals makes Cougar a standout winery to visit in Temecula Valley Wine Country!

Gift shop and gourmet deli; live music on Saturday & Sunday from 2-5pm.  Tasting room open daily, 11am-6pm

Wine club, special events, group tours, private & group tastings, picnic area; weddings facilities coming soon.

(951) 491-0825; 39870 De Portola Road, Temecula, 92592


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