Friday, August 24, 2012

Pairing Wine & Chocolate

It's Friday! In preparation for the weekend, let's all think about our favorite wine and chocolate pairings! I remember when I first tried wine and chocolate. It was at a friend's wedding. There were a bunch of those little Dove Chocolate hearts strewn around on the table, I had a glass of OK anonymous house Merlot in front of me, and I quite unintentionally took a bite of the chocolate and then a sip of wine.

BOOM cherry flavor was everywhere! Bite after bite, sip after sip was like indulging in an endless cherry cordial. Suddenly the wine became the most delicious wine I'd ever had!

In the months since, however, I've noticed that not ALL red wine pairs well with chocolate, and milk chocolate, semi-sweet and dark chocolate all react differently.

What are some of your most successful wine and chocolate pairings that have made your taste buds stand up and take notice?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wine makes a thoughtful gift!

Wine is a thoughtful gift, and wine clubs make it easy! The Traveling Vineyard's monthly Wine Club is only $38.90 + tax. Shipping is already included! Click on the picture above for more information.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pinot Grigio - Think Summer!

Someone asked me on Twitter yesterday to recommend a good Pinot Grigio. Other than my favorite (Bright-Eyed Bird) I've only ever tried a handful, because it's not my go-to white. I think it's probably because in the past, all the pinot grigios I've ordered at restaurants have been so, well...underwhelming. But I presume pinot grigio is getting much better, because I'm finding out now that there are many to choose from. If you normally drink sweet wine, pinot grigio (fruity, but not sweet) is a good "entry wine" into developing a more mature palate, and learning how to taste wine correctly so that you can enjoy it with food - which is what wine was designed to do in the first place. Without the proper food pairings, it is difficult for most people to learn to appreciate and drink wine.

The Bright Eyed Bird 2010 is 100% Pinot Grigio from California, and at only $15.99 is my benchmark for other affordable pinot grigios I decide to try. Well balanced, light, crisp and fruity (peach, pear, tart green apple, lemon zest & honey), it's the perfect summertime sipping wine. Bright Eyed Bird pairs well with a variety of light appetizers such as antipasto, or with a light chicken or fish entree. If you enjoy pinot grigio, or white wine in general and want to explore pinot grigio territory, you can't go wrong with the Bright Eyed Bird. I always have a bottle or two in my cellar, but when I'm out of stock (it's not available in stores, only through The Traveling Vineyard) I need to know what is good (and affordable!) at my local package store when my menu calls for it.

I found recently that Seven Daughters makes a nice pinot grigio for $13.99 that will get the job done. The nose is green apples, and I found the taste to be less complex than the Bright Eyed Bird and a bit more assertive, definite peach and honey. This is one I would buy again.

Then there was a pinot grigio that I remember trying in a box! It was Pepperwood Grove's Big Green Box, and I was surprised that it was actually drinkable! They do sell the pinot grigio by the bottle, and for $9.00 you get a decent pinot grigio that I remember tasting like citrus and melon.

The thing about wine tasting, though, that I want to point out is that you will most likely taste something different, and what I enjoy may not be what you enjoy! The reason I love the Traveling Vineyard is because it makes it easy for people to order wine they know they like to keep on hand for when they would like to enjoy a glass, or when company comes, or they need a nice gift to bring to a friend or to a dinner party.

So venture out and try some real wine! Don't forget the food pairings - they are crucial to your enjoyment of the wine you select. And remember - life is too short to drink bad wine. Together, let's find the good stuff!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Host a Wine Tasting or Become an Independent Wine Consultant

Sound interesting? Visit for more information about hosting an in-home wine tasting or becoming an independent wine consultant with The Traveling Vineyard!