January is a month of resolutions. This month’s #WinePW, hosted by Christy Majors of Confessions of a Culinary Diva, is no different; the theme New Year Wine Resolutions, what wine, region or varietal do I want to try or learn more about in 2015 and what foods would I like to pair with these new wines. Please join our conversation at 10 AM CST on Twitter using #WinePW and share your wine and food resolutions for 2015. I admit I am not one for resolutions. First, I am not particularly sentimental and second I do truly believe each hour, day, week, or month has the capacity to begin a new resolve; therefore, this particular theme has required a bit more thought than I am used to giving to what I want my wine future to include. I feel before I can move forward I must take a moment to look back at 2014.
My year began with an all-consuming academic undertaking; I wrote a 150-ish page master’s thesis that involved countless hours of translating two works of medieval Spanish into modern English than writing a lengthy commentary on the works. It ended with high praise from my professors and the Dean, as well as a Master’s Degree from SMU in Theological Studies, History of the Christian Tradition, 16th – 18th century Latin America, and strong encouragement to apply to their PhD program. Upon receiving my master’s degree in mid-May I knew I needed to keep up my writing skills but wanted to do so in a more light-hearted, less academic manner. Because I have been a wine lover for years and was increasingly involved in the Twitter wine community I decided to start this wine blog in late May. So from late May till the end of December I enjoyed wines from 15 different countries (US, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, Slovenia, Hungary, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and South Africa) and 13 different states (Texas, Virginia, New York (Hudson River Valley and Finger Lakes Regions), Wisconsin, Vermont, Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Missouri, Michigan, and Colorado); I traveled to Italy in early September as a guest of the Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella where I met incredible people, ate amazing food and sipped outstanding Valpolicella wines till my heart’s content; I attended my first TexSom Conference and loved every minute of it; was invited by Frank Morgan of Drink What YOU Like to be a regular participant each month in #VAWinechat; participated in many #Winestudio sessions hosted by Protocol Wine Studio as well as many other virtual tastings; was invited to a Wines of Chile tasting in Dallas, a Sonoma County Tourism Pinot Noir Cloning class and tasting featuring Davis Bynum Pinot Noir in Dallas, and a wine tasting/meet and greet with winemaker Tony Sasa in Dallas; I met and tasted wine with Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena and Cecil Chappellet of Chappellet Wines in Dallas and met a lot of great people and made some new friends! I am overcome with GRATITUDE and BLESSINGS; it was truly a GREAT year! This picture (posted on Facebook by Kathy Lang Wiedemann,Virginia Made) best illustrates my 2014 and why I do not generally like to make resolutions:
So looking forward, what do I resolve in 2015? I resolve to continue to taste wines from new states, countries, regions and varietals. My mind and palate is open to all and I welcome the adventure. More specifically: First, I resolve to visit new wine regions; this should be doable because in one week I am heading to California to visit wineries in Santa Barbara County as well as the Ventura and Malibu Wine Trails, in August I am registered to attend the Wine Blogger’s Conference in New York’s Finger Lakes Region and in the fall my husband and I are planning a vacation to Italy; Second, I resolve to try wine from a state, country, region or varietal I have not previously tasted each month, I will start this off in January by tasting wines in two wine regions I have never had before: Ventura AVA and Malibu AVA. As far as food pairing, that aspect is easy for me. I am constantly searching out and making new recipes. Additionally, having a blog further encourages me in this area because I am sure you do not want me pairing wines with the same five meals! There are endless recipe and food pairing possibilities and I hope to continue to expand my cooking skills and challenge myself beyond my food comfort zones.
One example of a great food and wine pairing that is diverse is this beautiful dessert wine:
Tokaji Azzu 6 Puttonyos 1999: This wine was a golden brown in color, the color of whisky, it opened with an elegant bouquet of stone fruit, citrus and hazelnuts. On the palate this mouth-filling, smooth dessert wine brings forth alluring flavors of dried apricots, mangos and papaya encased in orange marmalade with toasted hazelnuts on top and lingering caramel spice on the back of the palate. It has very round acidity that balances beautifully with the sweetness of this late harvest wine. This wine was crafted of Furmint, Hárslevelú, Yellow Muscat and aged for over 5 years in Hungarian oak. It contained 11% alcohol. I bought this wine at Pogo’s for $50. I highly recommend this wine; it may be one of the best dessert wines you have ever tasted.
Due to its high level of sweetness I paired this wine with an eclectic cheese board containing cheeses from Italy, France and the US, fruit jellies, honeys, spiced pecans and dark chocolate truffles. The wine was a perfect balance to the “funky” cheeses and the acidity rounded out the creamy cheeses. It was the perfect dessert!
Check out the wine and food pairing resolutions from my fellow #WinePW friends:
Sue from It’s Okay to Eat the Cupcake is pairing Fiery Red & Icy White, will the wine be red or white?
Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla has Argentina on her mind and is sharing Empanadas Mendocinas + ’10 La Posta del Vi Ratero Malbec
Cindy of Grape Experience suggests starting the year with Wine & Dine: Fontana Candida Terre de Grife 2012 Frascati & Slow Cooker Artichoke Dip
Shaina of Take A Bite Out of Boca is offering Herb Marinated Mushrooms with Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon
William of Wild For Washington Wine is giving us “ A Resolution for Greek Wine, A Recipe for Avogolemeno”
Martin from Enoflyz Wine Blog is shaking things up with Querceto Chianti Classico & Skillet Kale Pasta & Seitan Pizza
Jade from Tasting Pour is pairing Halter Ranch GSM and Duck with Cherry Sauce
Sarah that Curious Cuisiniere brings us Chicken Cacciatore & Washington Merlot
Wendy from A Day on the Life of the Farm has a New Year’s Wine Resolution of Prime Rib Roast with 2010 Cotes de Bourg
David of Cooking Chat Food is going Greek with Greek Lamb Stew & Wine Pairing
Jennifer from Vino Travels it taking us to Puglia and sharing Braciole and Primitivo Puglia Style
Jeff from food wine click has made Wine & Food Resolution 2015: Italy Deep Dive
Christy Majors of Confessions of a Culinary Diva is focusing on the Rhone Rangers & Paul Bocuse.
Don’t forget to join us for our Twitter Chat on Saturday, January 10th at 10 AM CST and join the #winePW conversation!
My Song Selection: The song I have chosen to pair with my 2015 wine and food resolutions is Ventura Highway by America; after all I am headed to Ventura County and I will drive on the Ventura Highway so here’s to 2015 and all the great wine adventure that it holds.
What are your wine and food resolutions for 2015 and what song would you pair with them? Cheers!