I spent time on New Year’s Eve reflecting back over what I had done in 2013. At first I thought, hmpf, I didn’t really do much. But then I remembered I traveled to Seattle, WA, toured the Lake Chelan, WA wine region, took my first seaplane ride, attended my second Wine Bloggers Conference in Penticton, British Columbia and met a lot of wonderful people I now consider friends. I also continued my writing courses and just signed up for a photography course AND met one side of in-laws for the first time and got to spend time with the other side a few months later.
So what’s on my list this year? More writing, studing photograohy, discovering more cooking recipes and I’m hoping to get to Europe sometime in the spring and of course focusing on wonderful wines. A second honeymoon maybe to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. I also want to focus on bringing a little more to you, the Wine Chicks Guide reader. So I think I’m going to sprinkle in recipes here and there and would love to hear what you would like to see more of in future posts. With that, let’s get started with the first post of 2014.
In December I received a sample of Italian wines, Fonterutoli Chianti Classico and Lunetta Prosecco.
Aromas of red fruits, leather and hay. Complex flavors of plum, dark chocolate with firm but well-structured tannins and an elegant mouthfeel with a long silky finish.
Varietal: 90% Sangiovese, 10% Malvasia, 2% Nera, 3% Colorino and 5% Merlot
Appellation: Chianti Classico DOCG
Winery location: Loc. Fonterutoli – Commune of Castellina in Chianti (SI)
Alcohol: 13,70% vol.
Total acidity: 5,95‰
Vineyards location: 5 different vineyard sites, altitude: 220 – 550 m. (722 – 1,804 ft) a.s.l.
Vineyards age: 12 – 25 years
I love the show Extra Virgin on the Cooking Channel. My husband and I find loads of wonderful ideas that we then make our own. One that looked particularly delicious and easy to make is conchiglie with Guanciale and peas. Sound complicated? It’s not. Really it’s just pasta with your preference of meat. In the Extra Virgin they used pig jowl but since I didn’t have any on hand, I used a cured Italian salami sliced thin and then cut into strips. See below for my
version. I made enough for just the two of us so you can adjust the amount of ingredients depending on how much you would like to make. Sorry I don’t have any photos, I didn’t think about adding it to my posts until after the fact. I do have photos of the dish as it appeared on Extra Virgin attached. It’s the same general idea but with the addition of ricotta in mine it was much creamier.
• Handful of sliced Italian cured salami then cut into strips.
• 1 clove garlic, peeled and thickly sliced
• Pinch of Kosher salt
• 3 cups of any pasta of your choice, I used Campanelle pasta
• Cracked black pepper
• 1 cup frozen peas
• Palm full of freshly grated Parmesan
• 2 tablespoons ricotta
• Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil over the finished dish.
Cook pasta in boiling water after about 10 minutes (this depends on the type of pasta you use) add peas and cook for 2 minutes. Drain peas and pasta. In a bowl mix ricotta, parmesan, pasta, peas and salami and mix well. Plate and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and cracked pepper. Enjoy with a glass of Fonterutoli Chianti Classico.
Lunetta Prosecco by Cavit
Loads of effervescent bubbles, aromas of bread and a hint of apricot. Off dry with vibrant apple flavors. After drinking so much of the inexpensive bubblies from Trader Joe’s this was a true delight. At $12 this is still a great value.
Region -Trentino, Italy
Varietal – 100% Prosecco
Vinification – Grapes handpicked and vinified using the Italian Charmat method, with temperature-controlled fermentation in stainless steel and secondary fermentation in sealed tanks for 30 days. The wine is then promptly bottled and released.
Alcohol – 11.5%
Try pairing this with Caesar salad using my recipe listed below.
I began making my own salad dressings this summer using the abundance of fresh herbs growing in an old washtub outside my back door. I loved having access to Thyme, Basil, Oregano, and a variety of mint. I harvested as much as I could freezing some in ice cubes, turning some into pesto and others into salad dressing. I decided to try my hand at Cesar dressing and I must admit, it came out pretty tasty.
• 4 whole anchovy fillets (you can’t make a true Cesar without the anchovies)
• 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon Champagne Mustard (any spicy mustard will work well)
• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (can substitute red wine vinegar)
• 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
• 2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
• 1/2 whole lemon, juiced
• 1/2 extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
• Dash salt
• Black pepper
Place first six ingredients into food processor. Process, scraping sides periodically. Stream olive oil while processing, occasionally stopping to scrap sides. Add parmesan, salt and black pepper. Process once more and stir thoroughly. Pour into glass jar (I use Weck jars) and refrigerate.
Bon appetite or as I tell my cat every day when I feed her, “Bones in your feet”.