Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wine Club Gets Healthy (ish)!

Maybe aging is finally affecting us, because everyone in Wine Club is finally trying to be sorta kinda healthy. Don't worry, we're still dipping into some mac and cheese or pizza on occasion, but we're making more room for green things. In this spirit, we had a "healthy favorites" wine club that was super delicious! Only problem? I ate so much it couldn't possibly be considered healthy!

We chose wines we thought would suit our respective dishes. We sampled:
  • Sheep Thrills Pinot Grigio: Delicate floral and tropical fruit aromas, perfect with my bell pepper panzanella. 
  • Love Noir Pinot Noir: This is an especially delicious and lush pinot noir with "generous notes of dark cherry." It was a fantastic match for our espresso-soaked steak. 
  • Alamos Malbec: Ripe red fruit flavors with notes of vanilla and anise. 
  • Kris Pinot Grigio: Hints of lime, tangerine, apricots and almonds with a long finish.

On one side of the table, we had Stacie's "green spaghetti," with broccoli, mozzarella cheese and olive oil, Erica's steak marinated in Savor the Olive's espresso oil, and Lauren's Fresh Market fruit and custard tart.

On the other side of the table, we had Ashleigh's Famous Kiwi Guacamole, Lauren's amazing quinoa salad and my bell pepper panzanella (from a Plated recipe). 

My overloaded (and delicious!) plate. I can pretty much wholeheartedly vouch that all of these were tremendous, and — maybe not together — healthy options.

Click for the panzanella and guacamole recipes!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Wine Tour of Portugal

Wine Club recently ventured to Tinto in Chesapeake, one of three locations for this small group of wine and cheese bars. Tinto specializes in hard-to-find wines from Portugal and Spain, and they were kind enough to accommodate us for a special guided tasting through the delicious varietals. We also had this spectacular cheese plate...seriously, this Midnight Moon cheese was so good we ordered an extra wheel.

 The cheat sheet for our journey through Greece, Spain and Portugal's grapes.

 It's cozy and cute! The other two locations are in Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

We sampled a Greek Savvatiano, a tropical white that I really loved.

Basa Lore Getariako Txakolina, an effervescent Spanish white with hints of lime and a crisp finish.

Leira Reyero Albarino, a Spanish wine from Burgos. This was a lovely light, tropical wine with a dry finish and hints of apricot and pineapple.

Bajancas, from Douro, Portugal. This was a well-rounded chocolatey, spicy red.

We also had Bodega Picos Gran Gregoriano, a blend of tempranillo, garnacha, syrah and cabernet sauvignon. This was oak-aged and dry, with notes of cherries.

We loved our journey through Portugal that didn't include the obvious (port). Excited to try more wines from this region!