Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wine Tasting

I have never been wine tasting before... until this past Sunday. I took my first trip to Napa (photos to come) with my boyfriend's family for his mothers birthday. It was so beautiful- scenery and weather wise. Even if you don't live near Napa Valley there are many different spots to visit for a fun afternoon. If you go wine tasting at a winery, the prices start at around $20 a person... and go up from there. Often times there are cheese or fruit plates that accompany the tastings. I love the magazine Food and Wine, and they have a great list of popular tastings from around the U.S.

These area few spots I would really love to travel to, for the rest of the list you can click here

Kazimierz World Wine Bar
Owner Peter Kasperski has compiled the ultimate list of world wide wines, including ones from Serbia, China and Hawaii. Even if you aren't able to travel to all the countries where each wine originates from, a visit to this restaurant will make you feel like you've been around the world in 80 minutes. The wine list is a whopping 75 pages, while the modest appetizer menu compliments it well.  7137 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale; 480-946-3004.

The Black Olive
I am in love with Greek food...and at Baltimore's best Greek spot, authentic dishes are matched by a terrific Greek list compiled by owner Stelios Spiliadis's son Dimitris. With the light, simple, airiness of Greek food, I can only imagine what wonderful wines that they would suggest pairing with it. Now, if only they offered hookah with your baklava and wine. A highlight: five vintages of Skouras Megas Oenos Agiorgitiko Cabernet. 814 S. Bond St., Baltimore; 410-276-7141.

33 Lantern
What is better than enjoying a nice Italian dinner with a sharp Italian wine? ummm.... having the same dish with a sweet wine from Turkey. At 33 Lantern- they are all about mis-matching ethnicity's. Indian food is great with beer, and just as great with a light-bodied, peppery German red wine. Lantern offers brilliant matches like this on weekly wine-pairing menus that might feature dim sum with Champagne, for instance, or Vietnamese food with GrĂ¼ner Veltliner. Late at night, wine-industry insiders hang out in the cozy back-room bar. 423 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill; 919-969-8846.

If you like the idea of Wine tasting but you know that your budget cant easily accommodate, I would suggest hosting your own at home. Tasting wine doesn't have to equal big dollar signs- swing by your local grocer and see what looks appealing (taste and price wise). Then grab some great things to pair with the wines you have chosen. Remember that wine flavors are best with paired with a similar tasting food. Sweet wines with dessert- full bodied reds with red meat- and spicy wines with Mexican/Thai food. Wine and chocolate pairings are also a great idea. Here is a simple list of some things you could try at your party at home.

Dark Chocolate-Cabernet Sauvignon , Zinfandels, Pinot Nior, Merlot
Milk Chocolate- Pinot Nior, Sparkling wine or champagne, Riesling, Port
White Chocolate- Sherry, Saracco Moscato d'Asti, Saracco Moscato d'Asti, Zinfandel

Let me know if you decided to host your own party and what wines you tried.

ciao xx
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