Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wine and cheese, please

Lots of stuff to update. Last Sunday Don and I went up to Healdsburg to pick up wine and cheese at Williamson Wines. They have a great little thing going up there once a quarter. They present a spread of food and cheeses that are all paired with that month's wines. It's free. It's always packed. And the food is always really yummy. Even Elli likes to sample the goods. You do have to be a wine club member to enjoy all this fun. You can learn all about it here.

They had two yummy recipes that I'll be making soon. One was Shrimp Bisque. The other a breaded chicken. Both were winners with the Mulkey's. Elli had two helpings of the bisque. I thought for sure she would prefer the chicken. Go figure.

Chicken Cutlet with a Tomato/Red Pepper Sauce - pair with Merlot
Their wines are only available at the winery. But don't despair! You can order them. And you can probably find these cheeses at your local gourmet store, or even Whole Foods. It's amazing how good they taste with the wine when you have them paired properly. I will get major eye roll from Don when he reads this. "Duh" is what he will say. "Whatever" is what I'll whisper under my breath just loud enough for him to hear.

I did ask him to take a bite of the third cheese down to help me describe the taste. He's usually really good at describing flavors but all I got out of him was "It tastes good." he said. "But what does it taste like? How can I describe it?" I asked again. "I don't know." he responded. He clearly did not want to play the what-does-the-cheese-taste-like game. Great. So the closest thing I can think of to compare it to is white cheddar. The coffee coating on the outside is really interesting and pairs really well with Cab - since cabs often have hints of coffee flavor. And yes you read right, there is ground coffee on the outside of the cheese. We're a little crazy here in California.

White Stilton with Mango and Ginger - Nice chunks of mango. Pair with a sweeter white like Viognier.

The White Stilton would also taste really good with Sparkling wine or a mimosa for brunch.

Midnight Moon - sharp and nutty. Pair with Shiraz
Barely Buzzed - similar to a white cheddar, coffee crusted, really great flavor. Pairs with Cabernet and is Don's favorite
Now on to wine. How about a Wine Spectator Top 100 Update?

Don found two wines on the list at a little place here called The Spanish Table and both were really, really good. We need to get back over there and pick up a few more bottles before they are gone. Especially since one of them is only ten bucks. Nice.

#44 - 90PTS WS $10.99
#52 - 91 PTS WS $21.99
This was not on the Top 100 list. But was also very tasty.

Uh......Elli just walked over to me to show me something. "Mom, look, I've gained some weight." she said. I looked up and she had wrapped her little blankie around her waist and had her shirt covering it. It added a little pooch to her tummy and roundness on her back. "Oh." I said. "You look like me now." was my response to her. "Ick" was all I could think. Maybe I should lay off the cheese.

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