Category Archives: Wine Pairings

L de Lyeth 2011 Malbec

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L de Lyeth 2011 Malbec - Colleen's Kitchen

When I find a wine I love for under $15/bottle, I just want to shout it from the rooftops.

So hear goes…

L de Lyeth 2011 Malbec!

Lyeth is based in Sonoma County, California, and is a meritage pioneer. What’s a meritage? Well first, don’t try to French-ify the word like I always want to do. Keep it simple, it rhymes with “heritage.” A combination of the words merit and heritage, the title is used to describe red wines that are blends of typical Bordeaux varietals, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot being the most common as well as others like Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

Many wines, even those with a single varietal named on the label like this one, have some small amount of another varietal thrown in to round out the flavor.

The L de Lyeth 2011 Malbec is a blend of 76% Malbec and 24% Cabernet Sauvignon. The brilliant add of Cabernet Sauvignon lends an air of dark complexity to the otherwise fruity Malbec. Overall, the wine is lush and silky with flavors of dark red berries and black currants.

L de Lyeth 2011 Malbec - Colleen's Kitchen

It’s perfect with a hearty, mildly spicy dish like my Curried Cauliflower Quinoa Bowls. The peppery curry is tamed by the jamminess while also bringing out just a hint of smokiness in the wine. Together, they make for one happy Meatless Monday. Or Wine Wednesday. Or any day of the week for that matter.

The best part? This baby is a steal at under $13/bottle! Yes, that’s correct, just $13/bottle. So what are you waiting for? Go pop open a bottle and taste for yourself how good it is.

Get the recipe for Curried Cauliflower Quinoa Bowls here.

Buy a bottle (or more) of the L de Lyeth 2011 Malbec here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Helioterra 2013 Pinot Blanc

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Helioterra 2013 Pinot Blanc - Colleen's Kitchen

With the gray skies and rain lifting here in the Pacific Northwest, I find myself breaking out the white wines more and more. A little sunshine always makes me yearn for a cool, crisp white to accompany a light meal. An excellent example of that is this Helioterra 2013 Pinot Blanc with my Spring Pea Farro Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette.

A small, artisan winery based in Portland, Oregon, Helioterra operates in the capable hands of winemaker Anne Hubatch. Anne studied at the hands of well known vintners including Eric Hamacher, David Adelsheim, Dave Paige, Joe Dobbs, and Alfredo Apolloni before launching her own label, Helioterra, in 2009. And thank goodness she did, because the 2013 Pinot Blanc is truly outstanding.

Helioterra 2013 Pinot Blanc - Colleen's Kitchen

Fresh and bright, the Helioterra 2013 Pinot Blanc has flavors of meyer lemon, fennel, and a slight minerality that make it a perfect combination with my Spring Pea Farro Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette. Together, the two remind me that spring truly has arrived and summer is just around the corner.

Buy a bottle of Helioterra 2013 Pinot Blanc here.

Get the recipe for Spring Pea Farro Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Lunatic 2012 Red Wine

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Lunatic 2012 Red Wine - Colleen's Kitchen

Okay, I have to admit it, I first picked up this bottle of Lunatic 2012 Red Wine because of the label. I mean, how intriguing is a wine called Lunatic with a picture of hands cuffed together?

And then, the wine steward poured a bit in my glass and I sniffed, swirled, sniffed again, and took a sip. Wow! Supple, dark, and juicy it boasts hints of spicy cedar and a smooth blackberry finish. It’s a standout wine for it’s price category of under $15.

Lunatic 2012 Red Wine - Colleen's Kitchen

I knew right away that this wine was destined for barbecue. Nevermind that it’s not exactly barbecue season in the Pacific Northwest. Yet.

I also happen to have this new bottle of Organic Sriracha and Roasted Garlic Barbecue Sauce that I picked up. Kismet? Definitely.

And so the marriage of this beautiful blend of Sangiovese, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon and my scrumptious Sriracha BBQ Chicken Sandwiches was born. The combination of dark fruit and spicy, tender chicken is a marriage made in wino heaven. So much so, that I already have plans to reunite the two.

Get the recipe for my Sriracha BBQ Chicken Sandwiches here.

But a bottle of the Lunatic 2012 Red Wine here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Terra Vina Simpatico

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Terra Vina Simpatico - Colleen's Kitchen

Now you might think that for a pairing with something like Bourbon Molasses Glazed Pork Chops, I would forego the wine and feature a bourbon cocktail instead. Well, you’d be wrong.

A hearty meat dish like this needs a good wine, something big and fruit-forward that will complement the bite of the bourbon, syrupy molasses, dense chops, and sweet carrots and apples that it’s served on. Enter Terra Vina.

Terra Vina Wines is a small, family-owned affair in Oregon that produces grapes grown from their estate in Oregon’s Chehalem Mountains AVA under their La Famiglia label and also sources grapes from eastern Oregon and Washington state for big reds produced under their Terra Vina label. Winemaker Karl Dinger started his life as an architectural engineer and spent many years in the high-tech hustle and bustle of the Silicon Valley and, later, the Silicon Forest, until he followed his passion and turned professional winemaker in 2004. Influenced by the family’s Italian connections, Karl and his wife Carole have sought to make wines here in the Pacific Northwest that evoke the old-world style of Italian reds.
Terra Vina Simpatico - Colleen's Kitchen

The Terra Vina Simpatico is an excellent example of the Italian-style quality that can be found in new world wines. A blend of cabernet franc, dolcetto, merlot, and petit verdot make for a smooth red blend with tart, juicy flavors of raspberry, cherry and dark cola. It’s the perfect wine for a rich meal like my Bourbon Molasses Glazed Pork Chops. I can’t wait to try it with some barbecue this summer.

Get the recipe for my Bourbon Molasses Glazed Pork Chops here.

Buy a bottle (or two) of the Terra Vina Simpatico here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Andrew Rich 2013 Sauvignon Blanc “Croft Vineyard”

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Andrew Rich 2013 Sauvignon Blanc 2013 "Croft Vineyard" - Colleen's Kitchen

There are few things in life more satisfying than when a meal and a wine come together in perfect harmony. Of course in my kitchen that means there are many satisfying dinners, but nonetheless I still get excited when I find the perfect wine for a recipe I’m crafting.

This week I bring you the Andrew Rich 2013 Sauvignon Blanc “Croft Vineyard” from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Best served chilled, it’s crisp  with flavors of passionfruit and citrus that make me long for the warm spring sunshine. The long, bright finish lingers on the palate, delighting the tastebuds.

The grapes for this Sauvignon Blanc are 100% sourced from Croft Vineyards, an organic certified vineyard. Situated in a microclimate protected from harsh winds by the Pacific Coast range, Croft Vineyard nestles on a gentle slope in a deep, well-drained soil derived from sedimentary rocks. Grapes produced here are known for their outstanding flavor, color and balance.

Andrew Rich 2013 Sauvignon Blanc 2013 "Croft Vineyard" - Colleen's Kitchen

I served this Sauvignon Blanc with my Tuna and Asparagus ala Niçoise. The crisp, brightness of the wine is perfect with a light meal such as this, bringing out the tart lemon and tangy dijon mustard flavors in the dressing. Together the two make for a perfectly delicious spring dinner.

Get the recipe for Tuna and Asparagus ala Niçoise here.

Buy a bottle of Andrew Rich 2013 Sauvignon Blanc “Croft Vineyard” here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Matello Pinot Gris 2013

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Matello Pinot Gris 2013 - Colleen's Kitchen

Last year I introduced you to a delicious Rose of Pinot Noir from Matello, and this week I’m happy to feature the recently released Matello Pinot Gris 2013.

The grapes for this Pinot Gris are sourced from small family owned vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, my home territory. The warm dry summers and cool falls here make it an excellent area for growing Pinot Gris, a white varietal that can be found throughout the valley.

Matello Pinot Gris 2013 - Colleen's Kitchen

Winemaker, and new dad, Marcus Goodfellow, crafts a consistently superb Pinot Gris that is bright and zesty with floral notes as well as pear, lime and a hint of minerality. This is a wine that is perfect with seafood, such as my Shrimp Stuffed Artichokes. The light citrus notes in the wine really pull out the flavors of sweet shrimp, lemon zest, and creamy ricotta cheese in the recipe.

The best part? The wine is a true bargain for its quality, retailing for between $14 and $17.

Get a bottle of Matello Pinot Gris 2013 here.

Get the recipe for Shrimp Stuffed Artichokes here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Terra d’Oro Sangiovese 2012

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Terra d'Oro Sangiovese 2012 with Tuscan Chicken Stew - Colleen's Kitchen

This week as I crafted my Tuscan Chicken Stew, I just had to have an Italian varietal wine to use in the recipe. I mean, anything else in a Tuscany inspired dish such as this would just be a crime. Plus, what better way to warm up on a cold winter night than with a glass of Italian red wine?

Normally, I would select a Chianti or Chianti Classico for this recipe. But as I searched for just the right bottle of wine, I decided to look closer to home. After all, while the Italians have been crafting old world varietals into delicious red wines for centuries, there are so many great varieties being produced domestically. Chianti wines are primarily Sangiovese grapes, which can be found in the warmer climes of California and south-central Washington state.

Plucked from carefully groomed vineyards nestled in California’s Sierra foothills, the Sangiovese produced by Montevina Winery under their Terra d’Oro label is an excellent example of new world craftsmanship of an old world varietal. Established in the early 1970’s by Cary Gott and his father-in-law, Walter Field, Montevina Winery has the distinction of being the first post-prohibition winery in the Sierra foothills.

Terra d'Oro Sangiovese 2012 with Tuscan Chicken Stew - Colleen's Kitchen

The warm summer days and shallow, rocky soil of Amador county are well suited for growing Sangiovese, but the grape’s thin skin also means that it burns easily and requires a lot of attention on the vine. Workers take particular care in grooming the vineyard as well as trellising and irrigating the vines. The attention pays off in a quality wine to rival a classic Italian Chianti.

Aged in American oak barrels, Terra d’Oro’s Sangiovese is light, smooth and supple. It’s rich with fruity cherry and raspberry flavors, peppery, and spicy. It’s absolutely perfect with the rich, creamy flavors of my Tuscan Chicken Stew and a great companion to warm up with on a cold winter night.

Get my recipe for Tuscan Chicken Stew here.

But a bottle of Terra d’Oro Sangiovese 2012 here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Jones of Washington 2011 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

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Jones of Washington 2011 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - Colleen's Kitchen

Can you believe that I went over a month without drinking any wine? Because of the pain medication I was taking following my accident and surgery, I was forced to abstain from any alcohol. For a girl who loves her wine and wineries as much as me, this was pure torture.

However, I have now been able to level back on the prescription medication and indulge in a glass or two each week. And what better way to start than with a nice, big cab from Washington’s Wahluke Slope?

The Wahluke Slope AVA is situated in south-central Washington state, bounded by the mighty Columbia River on it’s south border. It has one of the driest and warmest climates in the state, making it perfect for bold, red wine varietals like this one.

Jones of Washington is a family-owned and operated winery in Washington’s Columbia Valley that owns, farms and produces all of it’s own grapes, ensuring high quality wines. The attention to detail and craftsmanship has resulted in numerous awards, including being named Washington’s Winery of the Year in 2012.

Their Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a good example of the Jones family’s commitment to producing exceptional wine. Peppery with notes of juicy cherries and blackberries, it’s complex and smooth on the palate.

Chipotle Quinoa Stuffed Yams Recipe - Colleen's Kitchen

I especially loved the 2011 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon with my Chipotle Quinoa Stuffed Yams. The meatiness of the wine gave the dish heft while balancing the spicy and sweet flavors. It was a delicious welcome back to my cherished world of wine.

Get my recipe for Chipotle Quinoa Stuffed Yams here.

Buy a bottle (or more) of Jones of Washington 2011 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alchohol responsibly and in moderation.

Desert Wind 2011 Ruah

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Desert Wind 2011 Ruah with Cherried Brussel Beef Stir Fry from Colleen's Kitchen

Ruah

Ruah is a Hebrew word meaning “breath” or “spirit.” Just pronouncing it “rue” – “ahhh” invokes the meaning of it for me, as my voice trails off the end of the word in a delicate breath.

Ahhhh…

Ruah is also the name for a delicious red blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc from Washington state’s Desert Wind Winery. Located in Prosser, Washington, Desert Wind is owned by the Fries family. Doug and Jo Ann Fries hail from central California and moved to Oregon’s Willamette Valley in the 1980s where they started Duck Pond Cellars, today a leading producer of Oregon’s Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.

In the early 90s, the family acquired a 540-acre parcel on Eastern Washington’s Wahluke Slope, famous for producing some of the states best big red wines. Dubbed Desert Wind Vineyard, the family began planting Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and more.

And thus, Desert Wind Winery was born. Still owned by Doug and Jo Ann Fries, today son Greg is the president of the company and oversees the winemaking, having earned his enology degree from UC Davis, while daughter Lisa manages day-to-day winery operations.

Desert Wind Winery boasts a beautiful Southwest-inspired tasting room, restaurant, and overnight lodging that is a must visit destination for any oenophile touring the area. Relax by the kiva fireplace or take in the view from the patio, but be sure to enjoy a tasting flight for just $5, refundable with any purchase.

Desert Wind 2011 Ruah with Cherried Brussel Beef Stir Fry from Colleen's Kitchen

The Ruah is Desert Wind’s flagship red Bordeaux-style blend, the spirit, or ruah, of the winery if you will. With a mix of 45% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 17% Cabernet Franc, it’s a big red with flavors of dark cherries, pepper, cedar, and a hint of coffee. And it’s absolutely perfect with my Cherried Brussel Beef Stir Fry.

The dark fruit flavors perfectly complement the cherries and sweet brussel sprouts in the dish, while the bold wine stands up well to the hearty beef and spices. Rarely is a wine so perfect with a meal as the Ruah is with this recipe.

Get the recipe for my Cherried Brussel Beef Stir Fry here.

Buy a bottle of the Desert Wind 2011 Ruah here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and moderation.

Lido Bay Bitch Tongue 2010 Grenache

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Lido Bay Bitch Tongue 2010 Grenache

Admit it, the name of this wine got your attention. Didn’t it?

Well it certainly got mine! I mean, who wouldn’t want to try a wine with a moniker like Bitch Tongue?

Bitch Tongue is the name of a line of big, fruity reds from Lido Bay that bills itself as “for the mouth that’s ready for fruit-drenched reds and the tongue that’s ready for everything else.” Intrigued? I don’t blame you one bit, my friend. So read on.

Lido Bay was founded by wine aficionado Dave Armstrong in just 2008, so it’s a relatively new winery in the wine world. But what an entrance they’ve made!

I discovered this Bitch Tongue 2010 Grenache several months ago at a tasting I attended and I’ve been hoarding it for just the right dish to serve it with. Now let me ask you, is there any better wine to pair with chili than Grenache? The answer is no.

So when I crafted my recipe for my Chili Roasted Butternut Squash Chicken Chili, I knew this sassy bottle of wine would be perfect with it. The Bitch Tongue 2010 Grenache comes from the Sea Shell Vineyards on the banks of the Huero Huero Creek near Paso Robles, California. The warm days and cool evening ocean air make for a bold, juicy wine with lots of character.

Lido Bay Bitch Tongue 2010 Grenache - Colleen's Kitchen

The Bitch Tongue 2010 Grenache is smooth and silky with jammy flavors of cherries and raspberries and a lingering, peppery finish. It is so entirely perfect with the sweet and spicy taste sensation of my Chili Roasted Butternut Squash Chicken Chili that I had to go back for more, both of the wine and the chili.

The winery says “we want our customers to be consumed by Lido Bay. Hook, wine and sinker.” You’ve got me!

Get my recipe for Chili Roasted Butternut Squash Chicken Chili here.

Buy a bottle of the Lido Bay Bitch Tongue Grenache here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.