Thursday, February 28, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Back Pocket No-Fuss Meal

Whether you’re a certified master chef or a self-taught kitchen dabbler, having a simple, tasty recipe in your back pocket is key for those times when you’re surrounded by your nearest and dearest, and you’d rather be engaging in conversation versus shutting yourself away in the kitchen with intense focus on a complicated recipe. One such dish we love for these no-fuss special occasions is seared scallops with a silky sauce, such as Portuguese Scallops from Adore Foods.

Photo: Adore Foods

The wine, of course, should fit the mood of this easy, breezy meal full of fresh and lively flavors. We suggest the Casa Santos Lima 'Monte das Promessas' Branco for its easy-to-drink, refreshing  qualities – a generous touch of citrus balanced with honey notes and minerality. This white Portuguese wine effortlessly complements the reduction sauce of fresh lemon juice, garlic, herbs and wine. Quite simply, this is an impressive meal that can be put together in under 20 minutes so you can enjoy the company of your guests.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Wine of the Week - Casa Santos Lima ‘Monte das Promessas’ Branco

Sometimes simplest is best, as our featured wine of the week illustrates. The Casa Santos Lima 'Monte das Promessas' Branco is blend of Portuguese indigenous grapes Arinto, Fernão Pires, and Vital. Coming from the Lisboa region, this bright, easy-to-drink white shows a refreshing balance of citrus, honey, and minerality, with a prickle of light effervescence at the finish.

Located in Alenquer, some 40 km north of Lisbon, Casa Santos Lima produces quaffable, value-driven wines of excellent caliber. Founded at the turn of the 20th century by Joaquim Santos Lima, one of the most renowned producers and exporters of his day, the estate is now helmed by his granddaughter Maria João and great-grandson José Luis. Casa Santos Lima is an enormous property, spanning some 290 hectares in Estremadura, however the two wines that we represent come from a small area called the Monte das Promessas. It is composed of seven gently sloping hills of young vines that range in altitude from 100-200m. They are graced with abundant sunshine during the day, yet the nights are cool and fresh, with temperatures moderated by the nearby Atlantic Ocean.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Chinese Takeout and Cotes du Rhone

Let’s be honest, sometimes all you want at the end of a long day (especially mid-winter) is takeout food, a good bottle of wine and a comfy sofa to binge watch all your favorite TV shows. With Netflix fired up and Chinese takeout in hand, you may wonder which wine will go best.  

Photo: Jeff Mauro / The Food Network

There’s obviously a lot of flavor variety in Chinese food, but with something smoky, sweet and spicy – such as Takeout-Style Chinese Spare Ribs -- we suggest a bottle of Domaine du Terme Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Sablet. This full-bodied Rhône red is a great match with deeply-flavored spare ribs. The warm spice undertones in the wine mirror the five-spice powder in the spare rib marinade, and the aromatics of dark fruit and wild berries on the nose complement the sweet tang of the ribs.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Wine of the Week - Domaine du Terme Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Sablet

This delightful mid-winter red comes from the village of Sablet in the Côtes-du-Rhône. Known for its sandy soils (sable translates to "sand"), wines from here tend to be full-bodied, with dark fruit and spice notes. The Domaine du Terme Sablet is composed of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah with aromatics of wild berries and currants that meld with spices on a bright, clean palate.

Located in the foothills of the Montmirail Mountains, Domaine du Terme is managed by Anne-Marie Gaudin and her father Rolland, who purchased their first vines in Sablet some forty years ago. Anne-Marie began making the wines in 1987 after earning her oenology degree in Mâcon. Her father, Rolland, who has also been the mayor of Gigondas for over a decade, still consults in the vinification and viticulture process. Anne-Marie believes one must be “flexible, pragmatic, and intuitive” to make quality wine, and have a good connection to the earth. Gaudin does not use any pesticides or herbicides as a matter of course, but not necessarily because she wants to be identified with the organic movement. She simply believes that the best grapes come from the best management of the vineyard. As a result her wines are rich, textured, and exceptionally pure.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Valentine's Day Edition

While there are a few Valentine’s Day clichés we can live without, one Valentine’s Day tradition we can’t pass on is opening up a bottle of Rosé Champagne. Not only are pink bubbles a great way to kick off a Valentine’s Day celebration, Rosé Champagne -- such as Bernard Remy’s Brut Rosé Champagne -- is extremely versatile with food. Whether you’re enjoying a romantic dinner at home or eating out with friends, pink, fizzy Champagne will fit right in with the meal.

Photo: Food and Wine

One pairing we especially love with Rosé Champagne is Food and Wine's Chicken with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes and Cheesy Grits. There is so much goodness going on with this combination. The Rosé Champagne whets and energizes the palate, preparing the taste buds for each bite, while also cutting through the richness of the cheesy grits and crisp-skinned chicken. Meanwhile, the slight sweetness and tenderness of the slow-roasted tomatoes complements the fruit notes and elegance of the Champagne.