So, I have a back log of wine pairings/tastings/reviews from recent weeks and rather than inundate with several posts, I am consolidating. Short and sweet. Then I can finally move on to the Lamoreaux Landing winery review from two weeks ago. Here we go-

Date Night dinner-Chicken Parmesan with ZD Rosa Lee Barbera(25). This is a fantastic medium bodied wine. Bright fruit, silky finish, vanilla and spice. Paired really well. This is a limited production wine so, if you want to taste its deliciousness, you best jump on it. I did the flour, egg, bread crumbs/herbs prep on the chicken. The Panko bread crumbs gave it a perfect crisp coating. I cheated on the sauce and used some Muir Glen organic sauce and added diced tomatoes, herbs, and wine. One of my best attempts.

Last night it was rather chilly in Austin and we wanted some comfort food. I dug through the pantry and freezer and did a quick, healthier version of Chicken and Dumplings. I sautéed onions and celery, used boneless, skinless breast and poached them in broth. Added poultry seasoning, thyme, and s&p. I used the Pioneer Woman recipe for dumpling recipe for a guide and did a corn/flour combo but used buttermilk powder/1% milk and added tarragon and thyme to the dumplings. I thickened the broth a bit with flour but it was on the soupier side. I added some peas and carrots and voila. The flavors paired really nicely with an 06 Gundlach Bundschu Pinot Noir. The earthiness of the herbs in the food brought out the minerality in the wine. Red fruit and spice, bright with a long clean finish.

On my recent trip to Ithaca, in addition to the winery visit, I had a couple of new tasty treats. One was an Arneis. I had never had this Piedmonte White and it was wonderful. Sometimes referred to as a Barolo Bianco, this grape has great pear and nutty flavors. Laura, my fellow flight friend got strong nutmeg notes in the Cristina Ascheri Arneis ($20) we had at Ithaca’s Just a Taste. It paired really nicely with the warm brie and apple crostini. A gem.

Finally, I would be remiss in not mentioning a fantastic bottle of bubbles. With all the fun we were having, I forgot to write down the producer (my hosts are looking into it) but it was a Chardonnay and Malbec blend. I had never had Malbec in sparkling wine so I had to give it a try. Really fantastic-lots of body, yeast, and fruit and under 20. We all really enjoyed the bottle. I know it is near blasphemy to not have the name of the bottle, but there are very few making bubbles with Malbec. If you find some, treat yourself and let me know what you think. And the name of the producer. Ooops.

Hope you have some fantastic food and wine planned for Valentine’s Day! Not a fan of overpriced flowers, waxy chocolates, or over-crowded restaurants so, for us, it is just reason to open a good bottle. I am thinking a super velvety, round and sexy Noir de Noir (Alicante Bouchet) by Wellington.  And some Prosecco for dessert.  What are you opening?