skip to Main Content
What’s The Tastiest Hangover Remedy???

What’s the Tastiest Hangover Remedy???

Did you know that French Onion Soup is a hangover cure? What??? That’s what a lot of people believe. In fact, this heavenly caramelized onion concoction is often served at weddings in France long AFTER the cake … to ward off the dreaded headache and nausea that is bound to plague you the next day!

I made a batch last night. Not because I was hung-over, but because it’s my hubby’s favorite!

Now I know that there are a lot of wine pairing options for this tasty soup, but which bottle should I crack open? Should I go with a Pinot Gris from Alsace, whose Meyer lemon and waxy texture would compliment the soup nicely? A Gewürztraminer crossed my mind, for the touch of residual sugar that would bring out the sweetness of the onions. A Northern Rhone or Beaujolais were also tempting, but I ended up going with a Pinot Noir from Burgundy!

I chose the 2012 Régis Bouvier Gevrey-Chambertin, which I think was a great fit! The bright raspberry, cranberry and cherry fruit in the wine pick up the onion’s sweetness. The herbaceous thyme I used to in the soup brought out the earthiness of the wine. Perhaps most importantly, the great acidity of the wine cuts the richness of the Gruyere cheese (my favorite part!) blanketing the soup!

The wine itself is lovely! Perfectly balanced with fruit and earthiness, this 2012 Régis Bouvier Gevrey-Chambertin is a great value and once again a fine example of why I trust a bottle with the Kermit Lynch logo on the back label!

So go for it!!! Whether you’ve had too much fun the night before (i.e. hangover!) or you’re just in the mood for some warming soup with a kick-ass wine, cook up some French Onion Soup and grab a bottle of Régis Bouvier! Cheers!

https://www.kermitlynch.com/our-wines/regis-bouvier/

 

A Not To Miss Tasting In Sonoma? Balletto!!!

They hadn’t been on my list. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of them before! A staff member at Gloria Ferrer (who’s become a friend because I visit so often!) told me about her favorite rosé in the world. She told me that she just couldn’t get enough of it! So … I had to check them out!

Balletto Vineyards is a family owned winery located in the Russian River Valley AVA in Sonoma County. Started as a successful vegetable farming company, in 1999 they started the shift from vegetable farming to vineyards. Today they sell 90% of their grapes to other wineries, using the other 10% producing their lovely Balletto Vineyard wines!

So, the day after visiting Gloria Ferrer last month, my husband and I stopped by Balletto for a tasting. I couldn’t wait to try their rosé! This pretty pink wine (made of 100% Pinot Noir) has strawberry, a touch of rose and lively acidity to balance it perfectly. I can see why my friend finds it difficult to not finish the bottle in one sitting!

Rosé, however, is not all they do at Balletto! I also made sure to buy a couple bottles of their lovely (not too oaky) 2014 Sexton Hill Vineyard Chardonnay. They also make some rockin’ Pinot Noir (we bought some Burnside that tasted like Strawberry Twizzlers!), Syrah and Zin! A super nice bonus is that their prices are very fair!!!

Looking back I’m surprised and disappointed that I hadn’t heard of them before, but boy oh boy I’m thankful that I know them now! I also want to spread the word about their really nice wines and great tasting experience!

Don’t only PUT them on your list … bump them to the TOP of your list!

http://www.ballettovineyards.com

 

Next Exit? Buellton!

The Hitching Post II is a great restaurant in Buellton, CA, a small town smack dab in the middle (maybe not literally, but dang close) of the Santa Ynez wine region in California’s Central Coast AVA. You may know of The Hitching Post from the 2004 hit movie Sideways! If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing the movie, you undoubtedly know of the wines associated with this popular restaurant too!

Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines is the collaboration of two good friends who seem to have very different backgrounds. Gray Hartley (a former professional fisherman) and Frank Ostini (chef and owner of The Hitching Post) first made “home wine” in 1979. Their first Pinot Noir came in 1981, and their wine “project” moved to a winery in 1984. Initially the wines were made exclusively for The Hitching Post, but now the country is happy to have them distributed so that we can enjoy them even when we’re not visiting California!

My husband and I have visited Buellton and The Hitching Post II several times, and we’re always sure to stock up on some of their wines to bring home with us. They make a fun Rosé, some nice Merlot and Syrah, and an interesting (and very affordable) red blend called “Gen Red”. Their specialty, though, is killer Pinot Noir!

The other night I pulled a Hartley-Ostini 2012 Pinot Noir Highliner out of our cellar. Their flagship wine, this Pinot Noir has a beautiful nose! With aromas of violets, cherry, raspberry and some wet earth, this wine rocks. The velvety palate has bright cherry, raspberry, pomegranate, and that lovely earthiness that I pray for when cracking open a Pinot. This is one heck of a wine!

Whether you enjoyed the movie or not, definitely check out The Hitching Post II and the lovely Hartley-Ostini wines! The Santa Ynez Valley is a fabulous wine region to visit, so if you haven’t been, definitely put it on your bucket list. The fabulous wines, the delicious food and the gorgeous scenery will entice you to go back time and again! Just make sure that you’re not chewing gum while tasting!

Check out the Hartley-Ostini wines here:

https://store.hitchingpostwines.com/storefront.aspx 

 

Pair a Pinot With a Fall Salad!

One of my favorite things about wine is pairing it with the right dish. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m definitely not one of those “Pairing Police” who freaks out when someone wants to drink their favorite Merlot and they’ve ordered fish! I am a true believer in drinking and eating what one wants, whether it’s an “acceptable pairing” or not.

I do, however, appreciate that some wines taste better with certain dishes and vice versa! Plus, it’s really fun to try different wines with different foods.

Last night for dinner I made a wonderful vegetarian Cobb salad with Gala apple, crispy mushrooms, pecans, avocado and a creamy chive dressing. I paired it with the 2012 Weatherborne Pinot Noir from the Santa Rita Hills AVA, and it was a great match!

This Pinot is bright and fruity with snappy Bing cherry, fresh raspberry and plum, and pairs well with the wine-friendly Gala apple. Along with the fruitiness of the wine is also some great Old World-like earthiness, a perfect match with the oyster mushrooms. Roasted with smoked paprika and smoked Maldon sea salt, the mushrooms also compliment a smoky quality in the wine.

The wine itself is lovely and certainly doesn’t NEED food! I can definitely see myself sipping a glass of this on an upcoming fall evening while hanging out with friends by a fire. It would also be the perfect wine with Thanksgiving dinner!

Weatherborne Wine Corp is the child of Cris Carter who originally followed in his father, uncle and grandfather’s footsteps and planned to be a pilot. While studying at UC Davis his love of chemistry and his interest in wine ultimately prepared him for a life in wine! His 2012 Pinot Noir is his winery’s inaugural release, and the ’13 and ’14 are now available on his website!

Be sure to check out this winery, and stock up for Thanksgiving!

http://www.weatherborne.com

Rajat Parr – A Somm & His Wines!

Rajat Parr is one of the most famous sommeliers in the U.S. He is also a very busy man! Not only is he wine director for the Michael Mina restaurant group in San Francisco, co-author of the highly respected Secrets of the Sommeliers (in fact, he won his first James Beard Award for this) he is ALSO a founding co-owner of a winery and a winemaker! I recently attended a wine dinner featuring some of these wines!

Held at the beautiful restaurant Capa, located on the top floor of the Four Seasons in Orlando, the dinner was lovely and the wines were fabulous! Considering that this is a WINE blog, not a food blog, I’m going to focus on the wines!

During the reception we were poured the 2012 Sandhi Santa Barbara County Chardonnay. This is NOT the typical California Chard.  This straw colored wine has white flowers, meyer lemon, apricots and honeydew melon on the nose. The palate is very well balanced with lively acidity, the meyer lemon, green apple and a touch of oak with butterscotch flavors.  I will seek this wine out and buy it by the case.  Yum!!!!

The first course of the meal was paired with the 2012 Sandhi Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay. On the nose is citrus and tart apple. The palate has razor sharp acidity, citrus, tart apple, lots of minerality and is very fresh. This wine tastes much more like a White Burgundy than a California Chardonnay. It actually reminds me of a Pluigny-Montrachet! Again, a delightful wine.

Next up was the 2011 Maison L’Orée Meursault Charmes.  As a white Burgundy freak, I was very excited to taste this. Rajat Parr is also a Burgundy freak! The wines of this region have always inspired him, therefore an opportunity to create a negociant house to help produce wines from this region was undoubtedly a dream come true for him. This Meursault Charmes (a Premiers Cru) has medium ++ acidity balanced by a wonderful creaminess. This wine definitely reflects it’s sense of place, while bursting with citrus flavors and finishing with baking spices.

On to the reds we went with the 2012 Domaine de la Côte Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir. I’m very picky when it comes to this varietal and oh boy, I wasn’t disappointed. On the nose are lively fresh flowers and lots of red fruit, especially strawberry, raspberry and cranberry. The palate confirms the fruit and has some good earthiness. Fermented with 50% whole cluster and 50% stem inclusion, this Pinot Noir never sees new oak. 2100 cases were bottled.

The last wine of the evening was the 2012 Domaine de la Côte Blooms Field Pinot Noir. With rose petals and ripe red fruit on the nose, the palate was quite lush with candied strawberries, dark cherries, some pepper and a touch of saline. That doesn’t surprise me considering this vineyard is located only 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean.  Fermented with 100% whole cluster and 100% stem inclusion, this is again aged in 100% neutral French oak. 500 cases were bottled.

All of the night’s wines poured were lovely. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for each of them. Rajat and his partners should be very proud, and have a very bright future in front of them!

Here are the links:

http://sandhiwines.com

http://domainedelacote.com

 

  • 1
  • 2
Back To Top