Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Wine Pairings 1


Today is National Drink Wine Day and to me...and hopefully to you, this is cause for CELEBRATION!!  So, in preparing for this day (can I call it a holiday, cause this is definitely a holiday in my mind) my mom, grandma, and I decided what better way to celebrate ahead than go to a winery.  So we can get some bottle to properly celebrate today of course!

We ended up going to a local winery located in Brown County, Indiana called Oliver Winery.  This was some place that I had been a couple times, but neither my mom nor grandma had been before so I thought it would be perfect to take them there.

When arriving at Oliver first, usually you would see a beautiful entrance and rows of grape vines; even though everything was snow covered it's still an exciting site of what's to come.  Leading to the entrance of the building from the packing lot is a curvy pathway surrounded by large stone features, flowers, small trees and water features (all-snow covered of course-can't wait to come back when it is warm and everything is in bloom because I think it is beautiful).

Outside of the building is also a patio and outside seating leading to a pond where customers are welcome to buy various cheeses, breads and other food items, as well as of course some wine and go enjoy them at the different seating areas available along the way.  (I went once and they had a small jazz band playing outside and it was amazing to go and enjoy the music and wine.)

We sampled a lot of different wines; I went completely out of my comfort zone so that I would have a wide variety of wines to talk about.  I'm usually a Semi-Dry to Semi-Sweet kinda gal and I went crazy and went all out with the dry whites and reds (shocker-I liked them too!  See what happens when you try something new).  Plus when you go with other people...especially more than one, you feel like you get to sample so much more because you all trying each other's as well (shhhh...don't tell).
My idea with this is to share a little bit about each wine I tried, and offer up some suggested dishes to make with it.  For the record though, this is my opinion and preferences, this is not written in store and feel free to comment on pairings or if there are certain food that you life with certain wines.  As I get a little further along with this I'll start linking in recipes that will go with some of the suggested pairings.  Really hoping in the future to start going to a lot more wineries and building my knowledge there. 
So grab a glass, read and enjoy.
Pinot Grigio 2012

Oliver had two different Pinot Grigio's; the Creekbend Pinot Grigio 2012 and Oliver's Pinot Grigio, Creekbend is the brand of wines from Oliver that are produced from local Indiana grapes.  I went with the Oliver brand, offering a smooth "flavor" and had grassy (don't judge my descriptions) and subtle herby notes to it.  This particular brand also had pear and citrus listed is some of the aromatic you would encounter and I would definitely agree that you could pick up on that.  This is what wine I would reach for when a recipe is asking for a dry white wine.  It would also be a great wine to have with a lighter pasta dish, seafood dishes as it has some acidic notes to it.  Personally I'd love to have it with a crab and/or lobster bisque or marinated goat cheese.  It would do well with a variety of different cheeses in fact.

Sauvignon Blanc 2012

I found this wine to be very crisp, very.  I think this would be perfect with fish, such as halibut or sea bass.  Honestly, I think almost any seafood or fish dish would do really well with this...grilled prawns, crab legs, seared scallops, clam linguine.  I can go on and on with dishes I'd like to eat with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc by its side.  It also just has something about it that reminds me of spring, and I have always thought of salads for spring.  They just go together in my head.  I would enjoy having a nice spinach salad and a glass of this outside on one of those perfect spring days.


Zinfandel 2010
 This offered up a really nice peppery flavor with oak notes at the end that I was shocked to find was right up my alley.  I have never been too huge of a red wine fan and was pleasantly surprised when I tried both this and the Merlot.  The Zinfandel had a really warm and rich flavor, offering more depth than I expected from a wine.  This to me would go great with meat, from beef to pork to venison (woohoo, I have all 3 in my freezer!), take your pick and I think you'll find that this Zinfandel will stand up nicely right besides your dish.  I also think it would go well with a heartier pasta-Lasagna or a pasta tossed with Tomato Sauce would do really nicely I think (with shaved parmesan cheese over the top of course).  Speaking of cheese, don't forget about it!  Cheese and wine, they just go together. Try out an aged cheddar or Asiago cheese perhaps.
Merlot 2011
Well hello there Merlot, I was not expecting to see you or to like you, but wow you surprised me.  This Merlot was not like most of the other Merlots I have had in the past, it seemed subtler in a way and just didn't seem as dry to me as others have.  It had beautiful, silky oak notes that I quite enjoyed.  I was told during the tasting that they toast their barrels ahead of time before adding in the wine and that this was where the oak flavors I was picking up were coming from. (If this is a known fact to most than I apologize, I don't study wine-I just drink it :) So this was new for me.  Note to self though, do more wine research!)  I think merlot, I think red meat.  They just go together.  Why not a burger like they suggest...like a bacon topped blue cheese stuffed burger.  Not sure if blue cheese would go well with this yet or not it just sounds delicious and it's instantly what I thoughts of when tasting this wine.  I also thought of sitting by a warm cozy fire when I tasted it, but that's neither here nor there when it comes to food.  Aside from the fact that warm, cozy fires in the winter made me think of beef stew so that would actually be nice together. (My mind and the way it works makes so sense-I know.)
I'm going to stop here for today on the wine talk and rambling, a lot of rambling.  Sometimes I just can't edit myself and this blog posts seems to go beyond the point of long.  So, until tomorrow...enjoy.

For more information on Oliver Winery, the history, the wine follow the link to their website below.