wine wednesday: 4 game changing wine books

game changing wine books

Knowledge is power. And becoming versed in wine didn’t happen just because I worked in restaurants. It happened because I was hungry for more and wanted to become educated from the best in the biz. Even if you’re not wanting a career in wine, these books are suuuper helpful for learning the basics and beyond. They’re full of easy to follow verbage, pictures, illustrations and even drunk tales.

And fear not “Wine Wednesday” fans, I will keep my own content coming, filming more wine videos coming to the blog soon!

So to hold you over, enjoy these reads with a glass or two of wine (duh) links for the books at the end of the post!


WINE. all the time. by Marissa A. Ross

This chick. Guys she’s one of my favorites to follow on the ‘gram because she keeps it more real than a 1st edition Harry Potter book. She’s hilarious, knows her shit and is the Wine Editor for Bon freakin’ Appetite! Also she’s not a sommelier proving that you don’t need to pass some old school fancy test to kick-ass. Her book is truly a “casual guide to confident drinking” and will have you laughing. I promise it’s her writing and not the wine.

The Wine Bible. by Karen MacNeil

A true bible. MacNeil’s book is the holy grail of wine information. It’s my go to source when I need to look up unfamiliar regions or varietals. I haven’t cracked through the entire volume yet, but the book is laid out in such an easy to follow format that it’s only a matter of time before I spend a day highlighting my way through. And then booking tickets to said wine regions.

Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine. by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack

My first wine book! I was thrilled to open my package from Amazon and dive right in. Filled with amazing charts and illustrations that give the essentials on all the well known grape varietals. It touches on the wine making process, the basics of reading wine labels and how to serve each type of wine.

Rosé All Day. by Katherine Cole

I meannnnn. Of course rosé deserves its own book. And Katherine’s written one that not only looks good on your bar cart/ book shelf/ coffee table but that highlights everything rosé. And why drinking pink is the greatest! Also why deeper pink rosés shouldn’t scare you. Plus pictures of her favorite bottles and labels to help you shop!


Well there you have it folks. May I also mention that these books were written by W O M E N!!!! Hell yeah ladies (ok hi too Justin, you’re doing great things too!). But going into this I didn’t even realize my favorites were all from females. So pick up their books and promote these women in wine. Crushing real hard on them all.

Cheers!

Nat


wine wednesday: summer’s not over celebration!

 

Also known as the ‘MAINE’ event.

Seriously, I can’t believe summer is already starting to wind down. I did a ‘last hurrah of summer’ trip over the weekend to Austin with some friends from college and the September issues were lining all the airport shelves casually hinting that fall is creeping closer. BUT SUMMER’S NOT OVER!!! A few weeks back I did a lobster dinner with friends in LA and this is such a fun way to celebrate.

So I say, keep the rosé and pét nat  f l o w i n g  like it’s 95 degrees. I’ll stay extra freckle-y and avoid turning the color of our beloved lobsters.

WINE CHOICE:

Bi Fri “Pét Nat”: crisp, clean, mineral with white peach notes. A BEAUTIFUL easy sipper from Italy. Better than those San Pellegrino sodas because this isn’t as sweet…and it’s alcoholic. ‘Nuf said.

ANY DRY ROSÉ: keep that summer water flowing as long as possible.

How are you celebrating? BBQ and wine pairing tips on earlier posts!

CHEERS!!

 

wine wednesday: grilled peaches and pét nat

So gonna level with you, I meant to have this last grill video up 2 weeks ago. EEEEEK. But life happens, and it got away from me. I was a) having a week of where I didn’t feel “inspired” to cut this together (sometimes I don’t wanna edit!) and b) I last minute ended up going to Chicago for a week due to a family emergency.

Getting away was much needed (LA you can take a toll on me sometimes!) but I’ve come back refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of things. So may I present:

GRILLED PEACHES AND PÉT NAT

This is the perfect way to end a BBQ (okay s’mores are amazing too!) but the low heat from the coals (or turn the gas burner down) caramelizes and smokes up the fruit. You’ve got yourself a naturally sweet finish, paired well with the “naturally sparkling” vino.


grilled peaches

GRILLED PEACHES (serves 2)

-2 ripe peaches

-salt

-pepper

-olive oil

-greek yogurt (optional)

-mint

-honey

Set the flames to low if using a gas grill or wait until the coals are petering out. You don’t want to put the peaches over too hot of a grill. Next cut peaches in half and de-pit. Brush the peaches with olive oil, dust with some salt and sprinkle with pepper (helps to bring out their natural flavor!). Place peaches flesh side down on the grill and let them cook for 3-5 minutes. If you want more of a smokey flavor, close the lid of your grill to trap the smoke. Once they are warm take ’em off the grill and drizzle with a little honey, honey. Add a dollop of greek yogurt if you wish and garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve immediately with a chilled glass of pét nat.


WINE PAIRING

Now I talked about pétillant naturel earlier this summer here but as a refresher (and yes pét-nat’s are refreshing AF) they are a sparkling wine that only goes through one fermentation. A “younger sister”  to champagne, this sparkling wine has softer bubbles and is usually unfiltered. That’s because during the initial fermentation, a crown cap (aka the kind that’s used on beer bottles) is added which traps the CO2 that’s created as the natural sugars and yeast interact. They’re fun, refreshing, dry and usually have high acid. Serve them chilled. And buy an extra bottle because it’s so easy to drink that you’ll be sad when the first one runs out!

In this video I was drinking CRUSE WINE VALDIGUIÉ PÉTILLANT NATUREL RANCHO CHIMILESIt’s their pét nat with a lady on the label.


CHEERS!

Enjoy the rest of your summer. Keep an eye out next Wednesday for another food + wine pairing episode, then I’ll take it back to the OG format. If there’s anything you want me to talk about let me know!

wine wednesday: grilled pizza and lambrusco

I want PIZZA: P-I-Z-Z-A, gimme PIZZA, P-I-Z-Z-A! (anyone remember that very old school MK&A pizza party video???…they couldn’t have been older than 11) it was one of my faves back in the day!

Just fact checked and that song was released in 1995, they were born in ’86- so boom baby they were 9! I called it.

Moving along to the present day, I was thrilled when Chef Adam said he was going to make pizzas on the grill. And let me tell you it’s genius. It’s a next level BBQ play that couldn’t be easier to do. It might even be cheaper than doing burgers and dogs if you stick to good old margarita za’s…you can fact check this yourself and let a girl know! pizza party with lambrusco

Are you drooling yet?? If not, all good, guess you’ll just have to test it out for yourself!

GRILLED PIZZA TIPS

  1. TAKE IT EASY Store bought dough will do just fine (or you can make your own!) just make sure you set it out to proof (aka double in size) so that the dough is lighter and more manageable.
  2. STRETCH THAT DOUGH Form your basic rectangle shape before placing on the grill and adjust accordingly once the dough hits the grill.
  3. GREASE IT UP Olive oil is your friend to keep things from sticking!
  4. CLOSE THE GRILL Once you have your dough set, close the grill for a few minutes to act like an oven. It’ll circulate the hot air to cook both sides.
  5. SWISH AND FLIP When the dough seemed nice a cooked and easy to lift off the grill, flip it over using tongs in a quick, confident motion.
  6. TOMATO/TOMAHTO Store bought sauce is just fiiiine, but you can buy late season “uglies/seconds” tomatoes that will be cheaper because they’re not as pretty, more sweet and ripe for a sauce.
  7. FRESH CHEESE FTW Adding hand torn mozzarella is the play, just have a paper towel handy to absorb some of the moisture once the cheese starts to melt. Shredded is totally fine too, but fresh wins.
  8. PLAY WITH TOPPINGS If you grilled up some veg, add it to your ‘za! Or some fresh herbs/basil to really make it homegrown. Prosciutto is totally a move too.

WINE PAIRING

When I think pizza, I immediately want a cold glass of bubbly red. It’s such a playful pairing. Soooo refreshing when it’s hot. Plus the ABV (alcohol by volume) is lower than your average glass of wine so it’s not as potent and you won’t get as tipsy. Now Lambrusco, the classic sparkling red of which I speak, hails from the Emilia-Romagna, a northern Italian region known for its food. Think balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, prosciutto and yummy bolognese sauce. The high acid factor in the wine plays well with the richer meats, so feel free to add meats to your pizza. The wine stand up! A few things to keep in mind when buying this frizzante aka “slightly fizzy” wine:

  1. LOOK FOR “SEC” on the label or ask for a DRY Lambrusco. Then there’s no risk you’ll open a slightly sweet bottle.
  2. DRINK ‘EM YOUNG! These wines are meant to be sipped and served within a year or two of production.
  3. CHILL THEM. You must. End of story.
  4. BUY IN BULK. Trust me, you’ll run out of it sooner than you think because it’s such a crowd pleaser.
  5. RELAX. Take a load off and just have fun with this wine, that’s really the best way to enjoy it!

Let me know if you find any favorite brands. Always wanting to try new labels.

Well I’m off to each some lunch. All this food talk is making me HUNGRY.

Cheers!

wine wednesday: street corn and chicken tacos

Who doesn’t love a good taco?? And tacobout a good wine pairing with a yummy chilled Grüner Veltliner. Corny I know.

…ok I’ll stop. BUT if you want a crowd pleasing, easy for parties set up, do a taco bar and grab a few bottles of GV. Corn is in season at the farmers market and cheap AF. Plus if you find the right ears, you won’t have to deal with adding those corn on the cob thingy’s–you know what I’m talking about right? That you stick on either end?? Corn skewers? Cob holders? Those things you forget are in your drawer until after you’ve eaten your cob? You get the point.

So it’s a date: chicken tacos, tomatillo salsa, guac, street corn and GV.

street corn

CORN/TACO TIPS

  1. IT’S ABOUT THE SLOW BURN: think about the corn like you’re trying to perfectly toast your marshmallow. You want to be turning the corn often, and if there’s a top rack, keep the corn up there once it’s about 80% done.
  2. SIMPLE SEASONING: Chef just used salt, pepper and dried oregano on the chicken breast. Add some chili powder if you want additional spice.
  3. HOMEMADE SALSA: it’s easier than you think! Char some tomatillos up, and combine with chopped white onions, jalapeños,  heirloom tomatoes, salt and pepper.
  4. SAME GOES FOR GUAC: add chopped onions, lime, cilantro and toms and s&p to season.
  5. SIMPLIFY STREET CORN: just head up butter and chili powder. Coat the corn with spicy butter and toss with grated parmesan cheese.
  6. BRING FLOSS: or toothpicks. Because no one likes stringy corn in their teeth.

LET’S A TACOABOUT WINE PAIRING

Grüner was an obvious choice for me because it’s usually a zesty, crisp glass of vino. Usually it has notes of lime, but goes down differently than a marg. And when choosing a Grüner aim to find an Austrian one. They’ll be nice and dry and less filling than a beer–perfect for a hot ass day. Oh, and don’t be scared of twist tops. Hello one less thing to worry about. And some of them might have a little bit of bubbly, who doesn’t like that?

Enjoy your Wednesday.

Cheers!