Monday Wines-A Spanish Treasure

Tonight’s scramble of a dinner turned into a tasty meal with the help of a delightful wine-The Spanish Quarter has a Chardonnay-Albarino blend that paired really well with my play on Chicken Piccata. Bright and fruity, floral and round, it was a good balance with the dish. 

I had to come up with something quick, since I went to the gym late today.  At 5:45 my original plan for dinner was not going to happen.  Instead, I sautéed some chicken and then deglazed the pan with about a 1/4 cup of wine, 1/2 cup stock, and 2 tbsp of butter.  I cooked it down and then add capers and the juice of a lemon.  I threw the al dente pasta in the pan and dinner was served.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the wine as it was a bargain (50% off) but I was really pleased.  As it was a new blend for me, I wasn’t sure how it would pair with the dish, but it worked really well.  A nice little treat at the end of a Monday. 

 

Gobble, Gobble, Gewurztraminer

Turkey Day is almost upon us!  I think you could go in several directions for pairing your gobbler and your goblet, but one particular favorite is a dry Gewurztraminer.  Gundlach Bundschu has a FABULOUS one.  Here is the description in Wine Enthusiast:

“A very nice example of a dry Gewurtz. Name an exotic spice, and you’ll find it here, especially cinnamon. The fruit is all about oranges, pears and lychee, while acidity is brisk and fine. Will challenge home chef and sommelier pairing talent. Pork and stewed fruit come to mind”. (90 points)

Equally fabulous are the promotional videos they have pulled together this year-Turkey Love.  If you have five minutes, they are worth viewing. 

Depending on your sides and personal preference, you can always go with a Chardonnay or Pinot.  I am curious to hear from you folks on this one.  What is your favorite Thanksgiving wine?  Do you go with more reasonable and more of it?  Or one glass of something super special?  Is there a side you have in mind or do focus on the bird?  (or Tofurkey, Turducken, Spam?)  Whatever you pour, you will, no doubt, have much to be thankful for this year! Cheers!

Change of Seasons

If you live here in Central Texas, you are getting your first whispers of Autumn.  We have had a few chilly mornings and have broken out the jackets, on occasion anyway.  If you live up north, you are in full fire mode.  You have already shoveled your way out of the house and, more than likely, stepped in your first puddle of melted snow.  You are well into sweaters and Syrah.

It isn’t so simple here.  The calendar says it is November, there are scarves and sweater-coats in the fashion magazines, but it is still hitting the 80s on occasion.  The change of seasons can be a hard time for fashion if you don’t want sweat in your corduroys and you’re over your sundresses.  It can also be hard on wine choices when you are really wanting to open a Zinfandel and you are done with Sauvignon Blanc.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love my sundresses as much as I love my Sav. Blancs, but I am ready to usher in big reds and cozy sweaters.

I will drink both red and whites all year-long, depending on the menu, but there are some varietals that, I think, lend themselves to traditionally oppositional weather reports.  In summer, a slightly chilled Pinot Noir is lovely.  An oaky or buttery Chardonnay drinks nicely by a fire.  Some wines are like denim: when paired well, they work all year around.  Those are the wines I think of at this time of year.  Viognier is versatile; Pinot Noir rarely disappoints.  If you are wanting Italian, think Sangiovese or Barbera.  Grenache can be big and juicy or light and easy.  And, of course, I never turn down a good glass of bubbles. 

What are your favorite transitional wines?  Like a light sweater or favorite skirt, you never put them away for the season. Add a scarf or tights, over a sundress or with a tank top, some things are too lovely to keep in the closet, no matter what the temperature.

AWOL

It has been a while.  Life has gotten in the way.  Creativity has been stifled by a house full of sniffles, fevers, and general chaos.  I feel like I am just getting my feet under me again.  That should last for about 10-15 minutes.  There are times when I feel like I could write 8 blogs in a row.  I don’t because I know the bombardment of the banal would cause my few followers to jump ship, but, there are times it feels possible.  And then there are times like this past month. 

 I know you have all been there.  The minutia of motherhood (or work,relationships,commitments) becomes a constant static in your head.  There are no channels coming in clearly and you are going batty from the noise.  This past month I feel like my antennae have been broken.  Granted, I have been nursing sick kids, making Halloween costumes, suffering through allergies, while trying to keep up with everything that comes with life.  Not the most conducive atmosphere to pen (or type) anything of interest.  And yet, it is hard to see past the fog sometimes. 

In the fog, I question everything and the answers are usually negative.  I judge myself harshly.  I judge my husband harshly.  I question my decision-making and feel like I am failing at everything.  I look around at all the other women who seem to be doing (fill in the blank) so much better than I can.  They are juggling careers, kids, volunteering, and still have clean homes and a tight derriere.  What?  I can’t even shower before 5pm some days. 

And then the fog starts to lift, usually after a few decent nights of sleep, some exercise, and some alone time.  I remember that the comparison game is a slippery slope into depression.  I remind myself that each of my amazing friends possess talents that I do not, and I have some that they may not have.  In a recent study of Ecclesiastes, I was struck by one of Solomon’s bits of wisdom.  He said,”Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire; this also is vanity and chasing after the wind.”  I should be grateful for, and use the talents that I have, not compare them with the ones I do not have.  A wandering desire…yes, that too, is part of the fog.

So, at this point, you are probably asking yourself, “What does this have to do with wine?”  It doesn’t.  Whine, maybe, but not much about wine.  But, this blog is written by a Stay At Home Mom with not many opportunities to process.  So I am processing here.  On my blog.  A blog mostly about wine. which I promise to write about soon.  Promise.  Cheers.