Wine and Chocolate Pairing Guide – 4 Steps to FUN!

Did you know that National Chocolate Fondue Day is right around the corner? February 5th marks this special day in chocolate lovers’ hearts. To celebrate, we’re going to explore the world of Chocolate and Wine Pairing! But before we get to that, take a look at these tasty chocolate fondue recipes to celebrate all month-long! chocolate-fondue

What to dip? Here are a few ideas: marshmallows, pound cake, banana slices, pretzels, strawberries, pineapple, waffle bites, various cookies, graham crackers, chips, cinnamon roll bites, doughnut holes, pretty much anything you’d like to chocolate-ify!

Ok, now that you’ve read (and bookmarked!) some delicious chocolate fondue recipes to try all month-long, let’s have a good laugh with some of the funniest chocolate quotes we have found out there on the web. Just because. :)

“Why can’t I be comforted by carrots? Why does it have to be chocolate or wine?” – someecards.com

“Nobody knows the truffles I’ve seen…..” – George Lang

“The 12 step chocoholics program: Never be more than 12 steps away from chocolate.” – Terry Moore

“Chocolate comes from cocoa, which comes from trees – that makes it a plant. Therefore, chocolate counts as salad.” – Daniel Rafferty

“The parenting skill I’m most proud of is being able to shove a whole chocolate bar in my mouth then talk normal when my kid walks in.” SnarkECards

Now let’s get down to business – it’s time to learn about chocolate and wine pairing! We know wine is delicious on its own, but sometimes it’s fun to treat your taste buds to new and interesting combinations! Wine and chocolate go together like a horse and carriage – they’re a match made in heaven, but that’s not to say you can pair any chocolate with any wine and expect to hear choirs of angels. Let’s go through four basic rules for chocolate and wine pairing.

The 4 Cardinal Rules of Chocolate and Wine Pairing:

Rule #1 – Choose gourmet chocolate. Yes, you may have a great experience pairing leftover Christmas candies with wine, but it likely won’t be one for the record books. Whatever chocolate you enjoy, be it dark, milk, or white chocolate, it’s best to pick gourmet.

Rule #2 – Pick wine based on the sweetness of your chocolate. The distance of sweetness between the wine and the chocolate should be short. It’s safest to pick wine that is at least as sweet as the chocolate you’ve picked, even a touch sweeter. The further apart wine and chocolate are on the sweetness scale, the more bitterness creeps in.

Rule #3 – Match the richness. Light chocolate pairs better with lighter-bodied wines. The stronger the chocolate’s flavor, the more full-bodied wine you’ll want to pair it with, i.e. dark chocolate can stand up to a bold Cabernet Sauvignon better than white, or milk chocolate can. Also keep in mind that, in general, red wines tend to pair better with chocolate than white wines do.

A quick note before we go on to cardinal rule number four. Did you know that magic happens when you eat dark chocolate and drink red wine? It’s true. Research shows that chemical substances called polyphenols have a dilating effect on blood vessels, improving blood supply to the brain in terms of increased oxygen and sugar delivery. The result of this process allows us to solve complex problems with ease. Amazing!

Wine and Chocolate Pairing WineStylesRule #4 – Always taste the wine first! If you taste the chocolate before tasting the wine, your taste buds will be covered with cocoa butter, which will prevent you from getting a good reading of how the wine tastes on its own. Only take a bite of chocolate once you’ve assessed the wine. If you’re pairing multiple wines with multiple types of chocolates, be sure to cleanse your palate in between pairings. It’s also best, as with any tasting, to go from light to dark. Start with the lightest-bodied pairing, and work your way to the fullest-bodied.

Remember, everyone’s palate is different. What pairs well for one person may taste awful to another, and that’s what makes it fun! Remember, the goal is always to Taste, Learn, and Enjoy :) To get you started, take a look at this simple wine and chocolate pairing guide.

Suggested Wine and Chocolate Pairings:Wine and Chocolate Pairing WineStyles

White Chocolate – A great match for Moscato d’Asti, a sweet Riesling, or a fruity Chardonnay. If you’re feeling dare-devil-ish, try pairing it with a red wine that has heavy tannins. Since this type of chocolate is made primarily from cacao butter, the strong tannins may cut through the chocolate’s fattiness and create a pleasant pairing.

Milk Chocolate – Pair your favorite gourmet milk chocolates with a smooth Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, or dessert wine. Take care not to pair milk chocolate with dry red wines. The sugar in the chocolate can cancel out the fruit flavors in the wine leaving a bitter taste.

Dark Chocolate – For chocolate in the range of 50 to 70% cacao, pair with a bold Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, or Chianti. Once you hit the 70 to 100% cacao range, you’ll want to go all out in terms of full-bodied wines. Pair this range with Bordeaux, Malbec, Zinfandel, or Shiraz.

All – Pair champagne, sparkling or fortified wines with any type of chocolate to find a combo that tickles your taste buds!

Stay tuned for an upcoming post for you craft beer lovers out there – Chocolate and Beer pairing!

W&B_BootCamp_logoFebruary Wine and Beer Boot Camp, Dessert-Making Demo and Wine Pairings:

Want to skip the mess and treat your sweetheart to a night out this Valentine’s Day? Still looking for that perfect date idea? We can help! Check out WineStyles’ February Wine and Beer Boot Camp class, Dessert and Wine Pairings! Let your local WineStyles* team do the talking while you sit back and have fun tasting and learning side by side! Call your local WineStyles to reserve your seat! (Click here for WineStyles store locator).

*RSVP at your local participating store. Wine and Beer Boot Camp offers may vary at different WineStyles locations, dependent on local and state alcohol laws. Offer void where prohibited.

Thanks for reading,

winestyles_ts_logo.png

February Wine Club pairing recipe

moroccan chicken tagineJacqueline’s Moroccan Chicken

Inspired by North African tagines.
INGREDIENTS:

• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs
• 1 large thinly sliced yellow onion
• 3 medium carrots, sliced, 3 inch spears
• 1  tablespoon  fresh ginger, peeled and minced
• 1  teaspoon  cumin
• ¼  teaspoon  salt
• ¼  teaspoon  coriander
• ¼  teaspoon  cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon  fresh ground black pepper
• 4  garlic cloves, minced
• 1 ¼ cups  chicken broth
• 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• 7 ounces dried apricots, halved

DIRECTIONS:Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken to pan, browning on all sides (about 5 minutes). Remove chicken from pan. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Add onion to pan; sauté for 3 minutes or until tender. Add ginger, cumin, salt, coriander, cinnamon, pepper and garlic; sauté for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in broth, scraping pan to deglaze. Return chicken to pan and simmer covered 1 hour or until tender.

Remove chicken using a slotted spoon; cool slightly then cut into bite-sized pieces and return to pan. Add chickpeas and apricots, then cover and simmer 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with preserved lemon slices and serve over couscous or rice. Serves 6.

PRESERVED LEMONS:
• 2 wide-mouth pint jam jars
• 10  lemons
• Coarse sea salt

Sterilize jam jars in your dishwasher set on hot. Wash and dry lemons and sterilized jars.  Cut 6 lemons lengthwise into quarters without cutting through the bottom.  Remove seeds. Pour coarse sea salt into the cut lemons, making sure all the sides/quarters are coated. Place 2-3 lemons in each jar, or as many will fit. Squeeze juice from remaining lemons to jars, covering fruit. Close lids tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 weeks, shaking occasionally. Rinse lemons before using. Recipe courtesy of Cline Cellars.

Cline_SingleVineyard_LosCarneros_Estate_SyrahBold_stickerCline Family Cellars
Estate Grown
Syrah Single Vineyard
Los Carneros, CA

A family-owned vineyard and winery in the beautiful Carneros regions of Sonoma County, California, Cline Cellars is situated on a historic 350-acre estate with sustainable farming.  Los Carneros is their finest Syrah offering. Grapes come from their 18-acre hillside estate vineyard in Sonoma’s Carneros district. Fog and afternoon winds from the nearby Pacific Ocean and San Pablo Bay cool the growing region, allowing the grapes to develop intense flavors. Grapes were handpicked and destemmed without being crushed. Enjoy this wine with big, spicy foods with plenty of zip, such as Blackened Ahi. 

charlie-tsegeletos

Winemaker, Charlie Tsegeletos

“This is our flavor-intense Syrah and is one of the most concentrated wines that we make at Cline Cellars.  The combination of tannin, acid, fruit and great mouth feel come together to created a big, well balanced wine” – Charlie Tsegeletos, winemaker.

Winemaker: Charlie Tsegeletos
Appellation: Los Carneros, California
Varietal Blend: 100% Syrah
Analysis:
14% alcohol / volume
Critical Acclaim:
Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Zinfandel Wine Cupcakes

zinfandel-wine-cupcakesINGREDIENTS:
• 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ devil’s food cake mix
• ¾ cup water
• ¼ cup Zinfandel wine
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 3 eggs
• 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
FROSTING:
•  6 cups powdered sugar
•  1/3 cup butter, softened
•  1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
•  1/8 teaspoon salt
•  ¼ cup Zinfandel wine
GARNISH:
• Chocolate curls and/or Valentine candies

DIRECTIONS:Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. Make cake batter as directed on box, using cake mix, water,  ¼ cup wine, oil and eggs. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about two-thirds full).
Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
In large bowl, beat powdered sugar, butter, cocoa and salt with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat in ¼ cup wine. If frosting is too thick, beat in more wine a few drops at a time. Frost cupcakes. Garnish with chocolate curls and /or Valentine candies.
24 servings. Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker.

Cline_Sonoma_ZinfandelBold_stickerCline Family Cellars
Zinfandel
Sonoma County, CA

Occupying 50 acres in the heart of Sonoma Valley, the Indian Springs Vineyard produces the grapes for Cline Cellars Sonoma Zinfandel. The vineyard sits on the west side of the Valley of the Moon, near Kenwood, California, and the vines are currently being converted from trellis to head-training and are lightly irrigated. This region of central Sonoma County is known for its rich, loamy soil, and the resulting fruit has big berry flavors and firm tannins. Individual lots of fruit for this Zinfandel were harvested separately according to ripeness and balance of acidity. This wine pairs well with pork shoulder, roasted root vegetables, or red curry chicken.

charlie-tsegeletos

Winemaker, Charlie Tsegeletos

“This Sonoma Zinfandel shows concentrated spicy strawberry, firm tannin structure and a balanced acidity. It has a mouth coating richness and depth and a subtle vanilla quality that compliments the dark fruit flavors.” – Charlie Tsegeletos, winemaker

Winemaker: Charlie Tsegeletos
Appellation: Sonoma County, CA
Varietal Blend:  100% Zinfandel
Analysis:
16.0% alcohol / volume, 3.85 pH
Critical Acclaim:
Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

Mediterranean Lamb Sliders

lamb-slidersRAITA SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
•  1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt, plain
• 3 Tbs chopped fresh mint
• 2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 large garlic clove, minced
• 1-2 tsp lime juice
• 1 ½ tsp finely grated lime peel
• Coarse kosher salt

BURGER & VEGETABLES INGREDIENTS:
• 4 Tbs olive oil, divided
• 1 ½ cups chopped onion
• 2 Tbs minced peeled fresh ginger
• 2 large garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tsp coarse kosher salt, divided
• 2 tsp Madras curry powder
• 1 ¾ pounds ground lamb
• 3 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 ¼ tsp cracked black pepper, divided
• 3 medium zucchini (about 12 oz), cut lengthwise into ½ inch-thick slices
• 6 green onions, trimmed
• 1 fresh poblano chili, quartered, seeded
• 13-15 slider buns, or 6-8 hamburger buns or pita
• 1 large tomato, thinly sliced

RAITA DIRECTIONS: Mix yogurt, mint, cilantro, and lime peel in small bowl. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Cover; chill until cold, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
BURGER DIRECTIONS: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, and ¼ teaspoons coarse salt. Sauté until onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Mix in curry powder and stir 30 seconds. Remove from heat Cool onion mixture to room temperature, at least 15 minutes.
Place lamb in large bowl. Add onion mixture, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, cilantro, and 1 teaspoon cracked pepper. Blend mixture gently; shape into six ¼-inch-thick patties.
VEGETABLES: Combine zucchini, green onions, and chili in another large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil, ¼ teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper; toss to coat.
PREPARE BARBECUE (medium-high heat): Place vegetables and burgers on grill. Cook until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes, then turn. Cook vegetables until tender, about 3 minutes. Cook burgers to desired doneness, about 4 minutes for medium-rare. Cut zucchini and green onions crosswise into 2-inch-long pieces. Cut chili into thin strips.  Toast buns if desired. Top with burger, tomato slices, vegetable mixture and a dollop of raita. Serve with remaining raita.  Recipe courtesy of Cline Cellars.

Cline_Sonoma_ViognierSilky_StickerCline Family Cellars
Estate Grown Viognier
Sonoma Coast, California

These grapes were grown in four of Cline’s vineyards, in the Sonoma Coast appellation, which has a world renowned reputation for producing excellent fruit. The soil is mineral-rich and needs very little irrigation. The vines are bathed in early morning fog and warmed by afternoon sun.  Viognier grapes are late to ripen and picking them at the right time is very important. Grapes were hand picked and de-stemmed without being crushed and immediately pumped to the tank press where the juice was gently removed. Fermentation at a cool 50°F in stainless steel tanks and neutral barrels allowed Viognier’s flavorful fruit characters to shine through. Serve this wine slightly chilled, and enjoy with salmon, shrimp fettuccine, or cayenne chicken salad.  

charlie-tsegeletos

Winemaker, Charlie Tsegeletos

“Cline’s Viognier offers distinctive aromas of pears, apricots, orange blossoms and honeysuckle with a fresh, bright demeanor” , winemaker Charlie Tsegeleltos.

Winemaker: Charlie Tsegeletos
Appellation: Sonoma Coast, California
Varietal Blend:  99% Viognier, 1% Riesling
Analysis:
14.0% alcohol / volume, 3.42 pH
Critical Acclaim:
Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Greywacke Winery Spotlight Tasting Event

February Winery Spotlight
Tasting Event
>> RSVP at your local WineStyles <<

Greywacke-Logo

GWK_PinotGris_NVJoin us for a Winery Spotlight tasting event, featuring Greywacke wines of Marlborough, New Zealand.

Winemaker Kevin Judd

Kevin Judd, winemaker

One of Marlborough’s pioneering winemakers, Kevin Judd’s career is intrinsically linked with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Established in 2009, Judd’s label Greywacke (pronounced “grey-wacky”) is the fulfillment of a long-held dream. Named after New Zealand’s prolific bedrock, Greywacke was originally adopted by Kevin and his wife Kimberley as the name for their first Marlborough vineyard in Rapaura, whose soils have an abundance of these river stones. Greywacke sources fruit from mature vineyards within Marlborough’s central Wairau Plains and the Southern Valleys. Also an established professional photographer, Judd’s home in the Omaka Valley overlooking Marlborough’s picturesque vineyards provides inspiration for both his passions.

The Greywacke portfolio is based on the Marlborough region’s signature varieties, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The Sauvignon Blanc is crafted in two distinctive styles: classically pure Marlborough Sauvignon, and an alternative wild yeast-fermented, oak-aged Sauvignon. In addition, Kevin indulges his creative drive with small parcels of Chardonnay, along with aromatic varieties Pinot Gris and Riesling. When the season graces this idyllic region with ideal conditions, limited releases of late harvest wines from the aromatic varieties are produced.

Hand harvesting Riesling, at Ashmore Vineyard for Greywacke - the new Marlborough label of Kevin Judd, Marlborough, New Zealand

Hand harvesting Riesling, at Ashmore Vineyard for Greywacke – the new Marlborough label of Kevin Judd, Marlborough, New Zealand

The wines of Marlborough are known worldwide for their precision, intensity, and distinctiveness, bequeathed by an extraordinary climate and a diverse collection of soils. The expression of unique sites within this distinguished environment lifts the wines of Greywacke to another level. Kevin takes a low-intervention approach to winemaking in order to coax the finest nuance of individuality from each hand-selected vineyard parcel, while maintaining the aromatic intensity for which Marlborough is renowned. Purity of varietal expression is a foregone conclusion in the fruit Kevin works with; indigenous yeast are then left to run their course in new and older French oak barriques, ensuring ample texture and complexity in these compelling wines. Already garnering worldwide acclaim, they show a common thread of layered concentration, fine structure and invigorating freshness.

Greywacke Winery Spotlight Tasting
Marlborough, New Zealand

Greywacke-wines

  • Greywacke Pinot Gris
  • Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc
  • Greywacke Wild Sauvignon
  • Greywacke Chardonnay
  • Greywacke Pinot Noir

 

Limited Seating Available – Reserve your seat ASAP!

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP!

Greywacke-winery

January Wine Club pairing recipe

Wild Mushroom and Chevre Crostini with Metz Road Pinot Noir

Mushroom-and-Goat-Cheese-CrostiniINGREDIENTS:
• 12 slices French-style baguette bread
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 10 oz. assorted wild and cultivated mushrooms
• 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
• 1 clove garlic, finely minced
• ½ cup Metz Road Pinot Noir
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons Chèvre
• 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese
• 1 teaspoon finely chopped chives plus 12 additional sprigs cut to 3” length

BREAD DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place baguette slices on baking sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake for 8 – 9 minutes or until bread is crisp and lightly browned.

MUSHROOM DIRECTIONS: Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms and sauté for 1 minute then add garlic and thyme, sauté for 1 minute then add wine and balsamic vinegar, lower heat to medium-low and cook until liquid is almost entirely reduced, about 6 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

CHEESE DIRECTIONS: In a small bowl place 1 teaspoon olive oil, Chèvre, ricotta and 1 teaspoon chopped chives; stir until well combined.

ASSEMBLE:  Spread thin layer of cheese on each crostini, top with mushrooms then garnish with single chive.  Serve immediately with Metz Road Pinot Noir.   Recipe courtesy of Metz Road.

MR_12PNmellowScheid Family Wines
Metz Road
Estate Grown Pinot Noir
Monterey, California

Scheid Family wines created Metz Road out of a desire to express the unique terroir of a single vineyard site, Viento Vineyard.  Pinot Noir is grown on six of their estate vineyards.  For Metz Road,  the winery selected the top vineyard block from each vintage to craft a vineyard-designated Pinot Noir that is genuine in style and exemplifies this complex, temperamental varietal.  Viento means “wind” in Spanish, an apt name bestowed on this estate vineyard planted in 1972.   The micro-climate is noted for its moderate conditions and cool afternoon winds, ideal for a cool-climate varietal such as Pinot Noir.

DaveAromas of ripe cherries, red fruit and blood orange mingle with subtle notes of vanilla and butterscotch.  The palate is supple and layered with vivid flavors of black cherry and raspberry.  Silky and elegant, the balance of tannin, acidity and intense fruit truly captures the beauty of Pinot Noir.” – winemaker Dave Nagengast

Winemaker: Dave Nagengast
Appellation: Monterey, California
Varietal Blend:  Pinot Noir
Analysis:
13.3% alcohol / volume, 3.60 pH
Critical Acclaim:
Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Roasted Winter Vegetables with Maple-Ginger Glaze pairing recipe

roasted-vegetablesINGREDIENTS:

•  ¼ lb. parsnips, peeled and cut into 2” x ¼” sticks
•  ¼ lb. carrots (3 or 4), peeled and cut into 2” x ¼” sticks
• ¼ lb. turnips (about 2 medium or 1 large), peeled and cut into thin wedges
• ¼ lb. Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and any wilted leaves pulled off; large sprouts halved
• 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into very thin matchsticks (about 1/3 cup)
•  3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
•  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
•  1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
•  1 ¼ Tbs. pure maple syrup

DIRECTIONS:
Heat the oven to 425ºF.  Spread the vegetables and ginger matchsticks in a large, low-sided roasting pan or a heavy rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with butter and season with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat the vegetables and spread them out, so that they’re just one layer deep. Roast the vegetables, tossing a couple of times, until tender and golden brown in spots, about 30 minutes. Combine the grated ginger and maple syrup. Drizzle the vegetables with the maple-ginger mixture, toss, and roast for another 5 minutes. The vegetables should be very tender and browned in spots. Serve warm. Serves 4.  Recipe courtesy of FineCooking.com , Eva Katz, Issue 55

MR_12ChardSilky_StickerScheid Family Wines
Metz Road
Estate Grown Chardonnay
Monterey, CA

The namesake Metz Road runs alongside Scheid Family Wines’ Riverview Vineyard, the site of their Estate grown Chardonnay. Located in the northernmost vineyard in Monterey County, Riverview is located two miles southeast of Soledad and adjacent to the Pinnacles, nestled on a bench overlooking the Salinas River.  The bench location aids in creating excellent air flow and maximizes available sunlight and allows the fruit to ripen slowly and evenly.  Riverview is an ideal site for ultra-premium Chardonnay with a Burgundian flavor profile.  The cool climate produces a steely style, with distinct notes of minerality.

Dave“Juicy red apples, citrus and bright tropical fruit greet the nose, followed by lilting aromas of vanilla and toasty oak.  The palate delivers concentrated apple and pear flavors with a distinct mineral component.  Beautifully balanced, the well-integrated oak doesn’t overpower and a soft, full mouthfeel is complemented by balanced acidity.”,  Dave Nagengast winemaker.

Winemaker: Dave Nagengast
Appellation: Monterey, California
Varietal:  100% Chardonnay
Analysis:
13.3% alcohol / volume, 3.35 pH, 3.3 g/L RS
Critical Acclaim:
Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

LIVE webcast with Doug Frost – January 12

Wine101SPECIAL EVENT:
TASTE LIKE A PRO with Doug Frost, MS, MW
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

W&B_BootCamp_logoJoin us for a LIVE webcast wine educational class with Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.  Attend our very first Wine & Beer Boot Camp educational series of 2016 and learn how to Taste Like a Pro!  Doug Frost will share his tips of the trade, making you look like a pro!  Seating is limited – call your local WineStyles Tasting Station store to RSVP.

DougFrostDoug Frost, Master Sommelier & Master of Wine

In 1991, Doug Frost passed the rigorous Master Sommelier examination and two years later became America’s eighth Master of Wine.  He was the second person in history to complete both exams and almost two decades later he is still one of only four people in the world to have achieved both these remarkable distinctions. According to USA Today, “Frost likely knows as much as anyone in the world about how to make, market, serve and identify wines.” The Wine Spectator has also bestowed the accolade of Master of Spirits on Mr. Frost, and he is one of the founders of BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource), considered by most industry professionals to be the preeminent education and examining body for the spirits and cocktail industry. He continues to teach and examine for BAR and within the Master Sommelier and Master of Wine programs; currently he serves as President of the Institute of Masters of Wine North America.

Doug Frost also reviews, tastes and approves the monthly selection of Wine Club wines for WineStyles Tasting Station.

His first book, Uncorking Wine, is a staple for many restaurant and retail companies and their staff and management. Frost’s second book, On Wine, published by Rizzoli International, was released in 2001 and his most recent book, Far From Ordinary: The Spanish Wine Guide, the third edition released in 2011. Frost is a contributor to the Oxford Companion of Wine, Opus Vino, The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and The Wine Report, an annual report edited by Tom Stevenson. He writes about wine and spirits for many publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Underground Wine Journal, Drinks International, Practical Winery & Vineyard, Wines & Vines, Wines & Spirits, Cheers Magazine, Sante Magazine, and Epicurious.com and is the beverage columnist for the James Beard award-winning food section of the Kansas City Star, as well as Hemispheres Magazine, Missouri Life and Fine Cooking. Frost is the host of Check Please!, an Emmy Award nominated weekly public TV show filmed in Kansas City. He also appears as a featured judge on Public Television’s The Winemakers, PBS’s first nationally broadcast reality show.

To learn more about Doug Frost, please visit his blog at DougFrost.com

LIMITED SEATING
Contact your participating local WineStyles to RSVP!

December Wine Club pairing recipe

December Wine Club WineStyles

MACAY-bowChateau Macay
Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon
Cotes de Bourg, France

The vineyard of Château Macay is situated in Samonac, in the heart of the Côtes de Bourg appellation, 30 km from Bordeaux, on the  right bank of Gironde estuary.  The name Macay comes from the patronymic of a Scottish officer’s surname, Mac Kay.  The castle Macay was founded by the Gagnernot family in 1740.  In 1850, this property was part of seven adjacent farms and a real wine village with a cellar on two floors, its cooper’s trade was surmounted by a tower.  The “Forge de Macay” was the central point of the property.  In 2012, Frédérique and Hervé Descourviéres became the proud new owners of Château Macay.

winemaker-Olivier-Dauga

“This wine has a very beautiful intense, clear garnet red color.  It offers a rich nose of aromatic blackberry fruits and grilled spicy notes.  Its palate is generous and aromatic, soft and fresh with excellent balance, elegant tannins and spicy notes on the finish.  Pairs perfectly with toasted lamb skewers or lamb chops” – Olivier Dauga, winemaker

Winemaker: Olivier Dauga
Appellation: Cotes de Bourg, France
Varietal Blend:  40% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Fran, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume, 3.7 pH
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

Lamb Curry with Basmati Rice

Lamb-curry-recipeINGREDIENTS:
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• 2 lbs (900g) lamb fillet, cut into 1” cubes
•  6 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
•  2 onions, roughly chopped
•  3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
•  2 green chillies, finely chopped
•  1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
•  1 tbsp ground turmeric
•  1/2 tbsp ground cumin
•  1 tbsp chilli powder
•  1 tbsp plain flour
•  14 fl. oz. (400ml) coconut milk
•  1 pint (600ml) chicken stock
•  9 oz. (250g) baby spinach leaves
•  1 pomegranate, seeded
•  7 oz (200g) plain yogurt
•  salt and freshly ground black pepper
•  steamed basmati rice, to serve

DIRECTIONS:
•  Heat a large saucepan and add one tablespoon of the vegetable oil and then the lamb.  Cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the lamb is golden brown all over, then remove and set aside.
•  Reduce the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil.  Add the onions, garlic, chillies and ginger and fry for 2-3 minutes, until golden and softened.  Add all the turmeric, garam masala, cumin and chili powder and fry, stirring well, for one minute. Add the flour and cook for a further minute.  Add the tomatoes and coconut milk and heat to bring to a simmer. Add the lamb and enough chicken stock to just cover the lamb. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze and release any residue at the bottom of the pan.
•  Heat the mixture until simmering, then cover and cook on a low heat for about one hour, or until the lamb is tender and cooked through.  Skim off any excess fat from the surface of the sauce, then add the spinach and pomegranate. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the spinach has wilted.  Add the yogurt, season to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir well.  Serve on warmed plates with steamed basmati rice on side.    Recipe courtesy of Vinadeis.

November Wine Club pairing recipe

Spanish Turkey Meatball Stew

spanish turkey meatballINGREDIENTS:

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
•  1 large onion, chopped
•  5 cloves garlic, minced
•  Kosher salt
•  1 teaspoon smoked paprika
•  1 cup sliced small carrots
• 2 (14 oz) cans low-sodium diced fire-roasted tomatoes
•  2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
•  1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
•  1 ½ pounds lean ground turkey
•  ¾ cup loosely packed fresh parsley (about 1 bunch), chopped, plus more for topping
•  Freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer half of the mixture to a large bowl.

Add the paprika and carrots to the remaining onion mixture in the skillet and cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth and chickpeas; bring to a rapid simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the ground turkey, parsley, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper to the bowl with the reserved onion mixture and mix with your hands. Form the turkey mixture into 20 meatballs. Place the meatballs in the skillet with the sauce and simmer, turning once, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Serve with more pepper and parsley. Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine.

Bold_stickerCorona_ReservaCorona de Aragon
Reserva
Carinena DO, Spain

Corona de Aragon was one of the biggest kingdoms of the Mediterranean in the late Middle Ages, spanning from the east of Spain to the south of Greece, an area with a rich wine-producing history and tradition. These territories were under the jurisdiction of the King of Aragon from 1164 to 1707.  The winery and its vineyards are located in the heart of the Cariñena DO, one of Spain’s most traditional wine-producing regions. The origin of the Aragonese vineyards comes from a region where the inhabitants were known to drink wine mixed with honey as far back as the 3rd Century BC. The DO was established in 1932 and since Aragon has been a pioneer in the wine growing industry of Spain. Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon are the dominant grapes in this Reserva, which offer a modern take on the traditional Spanish wine.

Garnacha adds a fruity freshness, while Cariñena offers great acidity and a beautiful boost of dark color.  Toasted vanilla, cocoa and a subtle nutty character open on the nose and carry through on the palate, complementing the plentiful bold fruit character until the very last sip“,  Marcelo Morales winemaker.

Winemaker: Marcelo Morales
Appellation: Carinena DO, Spain
Varietal Blend:  Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis:
13% alcohol / volume
Critical Acclaim:
Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.