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Archive for the ‘wine’ Category

Happy Wine Wednesday friends! This is a little later than my usual Wine Wednesday posts, but I’ve had a busy day of work and gym time (need to get serious about training for my upcoming half marathon).

Today’s pick is a delicious Viognier from Tarara Winery in Leesburg, VA. Gotta love those Virginia wines! I’ve actually been to Tarara before, and it was a great experience. If you need a good winery to visit this weekend, it’s a winner.

Anyways, once a month I get together with a group of girls to play bunco! We eat, drink and roll some dice. Before heading over to Jessie’s apartment, I went with Lauren and Elizabeth to Veritas Wine Bar across the street from the office. Their happy hour is 20% off any bottle, so we chose the 2010 Tarara Winery Viognier.

It was a great bottle and so nice and cold. (And 20% doesn’t hurt either)

Since we had some time to kill before bunco night, we ordered a cheese and charcuterie plate. Two choices of meat and three cheeses, along with some crackers, mustard and cornichons. We had sopressata and prosciutto, along with a few cheese whose names I forget. The marbled one there are the bottom was marbled in Guinness!

It was a nice snack, especially with the wine, but clearly we needed a little more sustenance to get us through the night. Thankfully, Jessie had lots of delightful treats for us at her house!

Delicious mac and cheese bites, ham and swiss biscuits, cupcakes, and multiple bottles of wine. After filling ourselves with yummy treats, we let the dice rolling begin. Bunco might sound like an old ladies game, but let me tell you, we always have a blast!

Enjoy a glass of wine and get your dice on! Cheers!

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Welcome to Wine Wednesday friends! Halfway done wit the work week. With all of my recent trips and the holidays, this is my first full week of work innnn forever. And I am of course looking forward to the three day weekend coming up! I will be making the trip down to Charlottesville for the weekend. Can’t wait to cook and perhaps go to a yummy restaurant or two.

Today’s pick for wine Wednesday is a red: Bricco dei Tati Barbera 2009.

I picked it up at Whole Foods last night while getting a few ingredients for a simple Italian meal I plan on making. This wine choice was pretty random. I wanted an Italian wine and at first picked out a Chianti, but then decided to go for this. It was on sale and something that I hadn’t had before. Barbera is an Italian grape variety and produces fruity wines.

This wine was pretty great. Easy to drink and has low tannins, so no super-dry feeling left in your mouth if that’s not your thing. I generally like pretty dry wines, so normally I would choose a different variety than this. The change was nice. What are you drinking tonight?

Cheers!

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It’s Wine Wednesday people! After a heartbreak overtime loss last night by my Hokies, I am definitely in need of some cheer. Anyways, I am by no means a wine expert, but I thought I would share my thoughts on a different wine each Wednesday. I’ll feature some old favorites and try out new bottles as well.

Today, one of my personal favorites: Apaltagua Envero Carménère 2008

I first had this at a wine tasting at Arrowine in Arlington; I also never tried or heard of Carménère. Today, these grapes are mainly grown in Chile and is considered Chile’s signature grape. This particular bottle is 90% Carménère and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. I really enjoyed this at the tasting; it reminded me of roasted red peppers, smooth with a little spice.

Since then, I have bought this bottle many times. I’ve never seen it at the grocery store, but I can usually always find it in specialty wine shops. I have tried lots of different bottles of Carménère, but this is by far my favorite. I you haven’t tried Carménère or are already a fan, this is a great purchase.

Cheers!

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During the holiday season I always look forward to a steaming glass of Glühwein. A traditional German mulled wine, Glühwein is always a treat for me. While spending time family on Christmas, while outside caroling with friends, or watching Twelfth Night in Regent’s Park open air theatre (the first place I had Glühwein), who doesn’t enjoy warmth, wine, & spices?! Yes please.

I have made Glühwein lots of different ways, most often with orange, cinnamon, whole cloves, and sugar. I decided to take a slightly different approach this time around. As I usually don’t like my wines overly sweet in general, I decided to cut the added sweetness for this recipe.

Instead of sugar, I used honey, and in place of the orange juice and peel, I used a little bit of apple cider we had in the fridge. And for easy measuring I used a white wine glass.

Glühwein or Mulled Wine

  • 1 wine glass of water
  • 1/2 wine glass apple cider
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 bottle red wine (I think I ended up using less since I was pouring it out of one of those huge bottles and didn’t want to use all of it)

Bring water, cider, honey, cinnamon and cloves to a simmer in a sauce pot on the stove. I let it reduce and simmer together for around 15 minutes.

Turn the heat to low and add the bottle of wine. Let it heat up until steaming. Don’t let the mixture boil; we want to keep all of that wonderful alcohol! When hot, remove from heat and place a cover on the pot. Let flavors meld together for another hour. I’ll admit, I didn’t actually do this, it tastes pretty good right away! Enjoy!

Happy Boxing Day!

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After a long trip away from home, I had a few lovely adventures this week with a few awesome people.

Monday at work started off with christening my new San Fran mug with a cup of Earl Grey, my fave tea.

I love this mug. So simple. And big.

There was a much-needed catch up session over a few happy hour drinks and appetizers at James Hoban’s. Some beer, wine, chicken fingers, wings, fries. We’re very health conscious.

Not all of the food trucks in DC enjoy coming to Dupont Circle for some reason. So when they do, it’s a big deal! Red Hook Lobster Truck decided to stop by our little corner of the city on Wednesday, so a hot cup of clam chowdah and a lobster roll were in order for lunch. The soup is a seasonal item and it was super delicious. The portion was huge! I also decided to get the Connecticut style roll–lobster poached in butter. Indulgent and awesome.

Thursday’s lunch was spent at Whole Foods with my little sister, Emily, who is home from school for winter break! The Whole Foods by our house was just renovated and has all of the yummy hot and cold food bars now! I got a mix of a lot of different things: chicken fajita, tabbouleh, orzo with spinach, a meatball, Greek chicken salad, and some mac and cheese. Lots of carbs. Whoops. And a Steaz peach iced tea! I love those things.

And now it’s finally Friday! After work today, we’re headed to see the National Christmas Tree and get some food and drinks at Chef Geoff’s and assorted other establishments. Have a lovely weekend everyone!

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cajun pasta

Thursday is my telework day. Our company instituted a telework policy a few months back. So after I finished all of my work today, I made a trip to the store to pick up a few things for dinner.

I cooked for me and my mom; my dad is actually down in Blacksburg with a media pass to the Virgina Tech game. Lucky lucky. So, since pops isn’t here for dinner, we had pasta! He’s not a big carbs fan.

Using some inspiration from Pioneer Woman, I decided to make Cajun Chicken Pasta, just  few small changes. It turned out pretty tasty. I definitely would like more heat, but wanted to make sure Momma would like it too!

My lovely recipe for Cajun Chicken Pasta

  • 1 pack chicken tenderloins, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbs cajun seasoning
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper thinly sliced
  • half of one red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1% since that’s all we had)
  • 1 lb linguine (or whatever pasta you would like)
  • cayenne pepper as needed
  • salt & pepper as needed

Cook the pasta according to the the box; I used whole grain pasta so it took a little longer than usual. I know now everyone is a fan of the whole grain pastas available, but I really like them.

Season the chicken with about 1 tbsp of cajun seasoning. Heat 1 tbsp of butter and oil on high and brown the chicken on both sides. Remove to a plate.

Using the same pan, heat 1 tbsp of butter and oil on high and blacken the peppers, onion, and garlic with remaining seasoning and a dash of cayenne. Remove to same plate with the chicken.

Keep the burner on high and deglaze the pan with the white wine and chicken stock. Let it reduce for a few minutes. Bring the burner to medium low and add the milk or cream or whatever you choose and let it simmer for a few minutes to thicken up. Taste and season as needed: salt, pepper, cayenne, etc.

Add the already cooked chicken and veggies, along with the juices! Cook that up again for a few minutes. Mix in the pasta and you’re ready to eat!

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Currently watching Hokie football, drinking a Bud Light and eating Pioneer Woman’s Olive Cheese Bread.

Last night I had a few lovely girl friends over for a wine tasting/birthday celebration for my birthday, which was actually the week before. I wanted to do something a little different, and I love wine, so there ya go.

We tasted (read: drank full glasses) 6 different wines that I picked up at Trader Joe’s:

Overlake Sauvignon Blanc

Williamsburg Winery Chardonnay

Bogle Vineyards Zinfandel

Caretaker Wines Pinot Noir

Panilonco Carmenere

Gnarly Head Zinfandel

We made a bunch of different snacks to eat as well. Two different flatbreads, the olive cheese bread, baked brie and crackers, and pumpkin bread pudding for dessert. I made tasting sheets to take notes about each wine we tried, besides taking a few notes here and there, we mainly just chatted and drank. Class all the way.

I got to try out two of the birthday presents from my boyfriend: a Vinturi wine aerator and an electric bottle opener. They’re both great. We compared the reds with and without the aerator; it really did make a difference for the better.

After going through all of the wines and food, we decided to head out to Clarendon for some bar action. I’m so glad that we all got to eat delicious cheese and bread snacks and drink wine.

Thanks to everyone that came; it was a great time!

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