Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘new zealand’

Last Sunday, I hosted my first wine tasting. How excited was I? Pretty darn excited. Even though it was a group of my friends (or perhaps because of that), I was nervous. I had carefully selected 6 wines to taste with the group, assembled all my glassware, made the savoury and sweet snacks, had the welcome Cava chilled and ready – all I needed was the group! They trickled in over the course of an hour or so (welcome glass of Cava = brilliance as they were sufficiently warmed up within a few minutes) and around 3, we kicked things off…

   

The lineup:
Clos Monistrol Cava, Vintage 2008 (welcome drink)
Martin Codax Albarino, 2011 (Rias Baixas)
Domaine Thibert Pere et Fils, Saint Veran AC, 2010 (Burgundy)
Ned Pinot Noir, Marlborough 20120 (NZ) ** CROWD FAVORITE
Vidal-Fleury, Saint-Joseph AC, 2009 (Northern Rhone)
Matsu, El Recio Tinto de Toro, 2009 (Toro Spain) ** CROWD FAVORITE
Jean Marc Lafage Mise Tardive, Maury AC, 2009 (Roussillon)

What we covered: 
Glassware: why its important and the ideal tasting conditions
Sight, Smell & Taste: Why you go through the steps and what you are looking for
Food pairing: Really we just took a break between the wines to devour some spinach-artichoke dip (recipe below), homemade bread, greek feta pie and madeira cake!!

After we finished the tasting, everyone wanted to open another bottle of the Matsu – so we enjoyed more of that incredible wine and finished off the snacks.

If you want to learn more about wine, you live in (or can travel to) the London area and this sounds like a bit of fun, sign up now for one of my upcoming tastings. Payment is donation only and homemade snacks are always supplied. 

Hot Spinach Artichoke dip
Mix together the following ingredients in a big bowl: 2 packs soft cream cheese, 1/2 cup mayo, 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 cans artichoke hearts, 1 cup thawed (and drained) frozen spinach, 2 cups fresh spinach, 1 tsp hot chili powder (to taste), 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese.
Place the mixture in a baking tin (shape/size doesn’t matter but make sure it doesn’t sit above the top of the pan).
Top with slices of parmesan cheese (flakes or slices – just make sure they’re thin)
Bake at 180 – 200 degrees C until bubbly and golden
Serve with bread, tortilla chips, pita chips – or just with a spoon!!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

What will be on my table this year:
– Majestic wines is having a sale on Lindauer Sparkling so I’ll be picking up a few bottles of their rose sparkling to start the evening off. It will have a bit of berry fruit and lots of big bubbles to make a delightful, festive start to the meal. We’ll be serving up salmon / cream cheese and onion dip w/ crinkle chips. YUMMO!

– I have also picked out a great New Zealand Pinot Noir to go with my meal (also on sale through Majestic. Don’t judge, its a bad economy!) – Wither Hills Pinot Noir, 2009. Its big, spicy and perfect for my roasted meat, sausage/sage stuffing and creamy potatoes.

Read Full Post »

Lake Chalice ‘Platinum’, Marlborough, 2006 ($60 NZD in restaurant)
– Brilliant – heavy blue cheese nose (you just want to eat the cheese!!!). Would be amazing with stilton and quince. Extremely beautiful and full bodied Marlborough Merlot – reminds you why Merlot is so good when its made in New Zealand. This is no watery bland grape when the Marlborough folks get their hands on it!! Backboned with strong tannins that accent the moorish-ness of this wine. Could easily be one of my all time favs.

Saddleback, Central Otago, 2007 ($70 NZD in restaurant)
– Woodsy backboned Pinot Noir – amazing! Very tasty with tons of `Oregonian type Pinot characters. I am not the biggest Burgandy fan – but am in love with this wine. It reminds me of my hometown (Seattle)!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: