Mac n Cheese Monday!

Ok, so it’s more about the wine than the mac and cheese but Rosé doesn’t start with M

My girl is home from college and as a budding gourmet, she wanted to experiment with a simple but yummy mac and cheese recipe. So which wine would be interesting? 

A few days ago, HubbyDoug came across a 2016 Alexander Valley Vineyards dry Rosé of Sangiovese. We’ve enjoyed many of AVV’s offerings in the past but a Sangiovese Rosé was what peaked his interest. Who was I to say, “Bah!”? 

Rosé is made from black grapes and its production is similar to red wines, but fermentation is at lower  temperatures, and is taken off grapeskin contact after only 12 to 36 hours so that the wine doesn’t become too deeply colored or tannic. Most red wines maintain skin contact for more than two weeks (for richly flavored wines). 

This wine was amazing with the combination of Jarlsberg and Monterey Jack cheese; it cut through the creamy butter vibe with a refreshing acidity and wonderful light fruity quality. To try to assauge our guilt, we added a nice combination of sweet green peas and broccoli to the mix. 😉

I’ve often enjoyed a crisp, bubbly Prosecco with dishes that are this creamy and rich, but this Rosé was a surprising and wonderful alternative. And for summer, Rosé is a fun change of pace. Think pink!



Mangia! Mangia!

The Beautiful 07 Ruffino Santedame Chianti

The Beautiful 07 Ruffino Santedame Chianti

It’s a drab, rainy Tuesday night in the Cleve, and I wanted to pair my weekly pasta dish with something special. Looking in our  wine rack, I found an 07 Ruffino Santedame Chianti. I’ve always enjoyed Ruffino in the past, and thought I’d pair it with my freshly made tomato basil sauce with (leftover) meatloaf crumble ~ yes, I’m frugal and, yes, it’s better than it might sound.

The bright, rich color, as it poured into my glass, was very inviting but the thing that was most intriguing was that I couldn’t place what was going on with the nose. It smelled of a lovely perfume, which was a new vibe for me.  And it was bugging me that I couldn’t quite place it. Finally, it dawned on me: It was rose. And it wasn’t the kind of rose you associate with the cheap stuff; it was the light-scent-that-delicately-wafts-on-the-air-of-a-summer-breeze rose.

The mouthfeel was on the grippy side with a velvety finish and the predominant flavor was of a bold, sour cherry. The sour of the cherry beautifully counterbalanced the savoury of the sauce that made the pairing really terrific. For a back- to- basics dinner the night after summer’s last long weekend, a few fireworks still managed to pop.