Category: Wine & Food Pairing

25 Red Wines Under $25 to Try Now!

Every year we publish our compilation our report of quality red wines we've found that are under $25.  These wines are a result of various tasting events, restaurant experiences, and sommelier suggestions we've had this year.  Some usual suspects pop up, as well as interesting bargains from under-appreciated regions such as Lirac in Southern Rhone. The Top 5 Value Wines We have identified five special wines from this group of 25 that are exceptional values and really noteworthy: Palazzo della Torre The Allegrini Family makes some seriously great wines at many price points.  This wine has always impressed us with its consistent quality and value, and it is easy to find.  Allegrini uses an innovative "ripasso" method that gives this wine a style similar to higher end Amarone wines.  Bursting with dark, dried cherries, blackberries, and hints of dates, this wine has a lasting finish bolstered with just enough tannin to make it interesting, and worthy of a few years in the cellar.  Pair with pasta, chicken, or mild sausage. Corvina, Rondinella and Sangiovese. (typically $17 to $20). Tua Rita Rosso The Tua Rita winery is located on the western side of Tuscany, near the sea.  They are world-renowned for [...]

Tailgate Wine Pairings

Even though there is nothing like watching football with a great brew in hand, you don’t need to have a beer-only ootball party.  But the Serious Foodies at your party may not be your average American football fan. So, let’s impress them with a nice glass of vino to go with all those great football party munchies. This article focuses on wine suggestions that would work with most foods you’ll have on hand during the big game(s). Let’s start with the starters – chips & salsa, maybe some smoked salmon, or guacamole.   We think that the whites from Campania are magical with guacamole, like Greco di Tufo or Falanghina (try Taburno).  If you want a riper wine to cut through the spice, try Grüner Veltliner from the Wachau region (Hermann Moser, for example).  You want enough alcohol to match the weight and texture of the avocado, but enough acidity to match the lime.  These wines will also work well with shellfish & seafood (crab dip, shrimp, oysters).   If you are starting with something very spice, you can always go to a semi-dry Riesling.  It might be a wine-pairing cliche at this point, but these wines are perfect with Mexican food, […]

The Best Pizza Wine

The weekend Wall Street Journal had a great article by the brilliant Lettie Teague – she always has something new and interesting to say about wines, always brings in experts in the field, and never seems pretentious about drinking wine.

Red Wines of the Veneto: A Vapolicella Tasting

You might be ignoring Valpolicella wines - most folks see them as light, fruity red wines with little character or finesse, a wine that you might find in checkered table cloth, red sauce only Italian restaurants.  We wanted you to re-think Valpolicella, so the Serious Foodie decided to dispel some of these myths and misconceptions with a wine tasting event featuring reds from the Veneto. It's a pity that Valpolicella lost favor with the US market, mainly because of heavy advertising pressure from mass-produced versions (many of which are still light, fruity, and insipid).  Like other Italian wines, there has been winemaking renaissance in the region for Valpolicella, spurred by producers of the outstanding artisan Amarone wines such as Allegrini.  The Valpolicella wines are produced solely in the Veneto region, just west of Verona, in an area between foothills of the Alps and Lake Garda. The primary grapes used are Corvina (40-70%), Rondinella (20-40%) and Molinara (5-20%), but the vintner can also add up to 15% complementary varieties, which include Rossignola, Negrara, Trentina, Barbera, Sangiovese, and the recently revived Oseleta grape (almost solely due to efforts at Allegrini).  What makes these wines so interesting is the variety of flavors and [...]

Impressive – And Easy – Valentine’s Day Meal Ideas

There is nothing sexier than good food and good wine that you bring to the table yourself.  this is especially true for Valentine’s Day, which is second least-favorite day to dine out (next to New Year’s Eve).  Why?  The good-to-great restaurants are packed, the kitchens are stressed, the prices are higher, and many places dumb-down the menus to accommodate the folks who venture to restaurants only on Valentine’s Day. Besides, this is THE DAY for a Serious Foodie to impress with a hand-crafted meal for your significant other(s) in your life – bring along some flowers, add a bit of candlelight, and check out some of these simple & elegant meal ideas. And let the magic happen… Bon Appetit poled 11 celebrity chefs on their sexiest meals ever – so you might want to check them out (click HERE). There’s a website call Seduction Meals – the title says it all   (click HERE). Food & Wine gives a very broad selection of menus, with lots of variety (click HERE). We really liked the meals selected by Delish for Valentine’s Day (click HERE). What about the vegetarian in your life?  Take a look at this great Buzzfeed article (click HERE). Crudo & Sushi In many ways, […]

Spring Time is for White (Wine, That Is)

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] Lettie Teague did a  great service for people who love to drink Gruner Veltliner in her recent Wall Street Journal article – including the team at Serious Foodie.  It is a great Spring and Summer wine with “bright, lively acidity that pairs well with all kinds of spring food…” with “unusual flavors and aromas, which range from white pepper to citrus and herbs.”  It is also the only wine we know which you can pair with asparagus. While Gruner is one of our favorite white wines for spring food/wine pairing, we wanted to highlight four others that we love to pair with food and share with friends. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_separator color=”grey” align=”align_center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”Gruner Veltliner” title_align=”separator_align_left” align=”align_left” color=”sandy_brown” style=”dashed”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”thumbnail” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_border” image=”4875″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text] Ms. Teague highlighted 3 wines in her article, all under $25:  Szigeti Gruner Veltliner nonvintage Brut ($20), Loimer Langenlois Gruner Veltliner Kamptal 2014 ($18), and Malat Gruner Veltliner Kremstal 2012 ($23).  The Malat sounds particularly intriguing, “…boldly structured with a powerful acidity…”  However, we love the Hermann Moser Karmeliterber Gruner Veltliner 2013 ($19).  The Wine Advocate (91 points) says “It shows total citrus focus, linearity and precision, fringed by green pear peel […]

Coq Au Vin Blanc – A Bird of a Different Color

Coq au Vin always conjures up deep seated emotions and lively, if not loud, conversations on who has the best recipe. It is one of the most ubiquitous French comfort (bistro) foods, probably best defined by the classic Julia Child recipe – which we have done on many occasions. This dish can be found in almost every region in France, with variations based on the availability of ingredients – but most importantly the wine from the region. Bar none, the wine is the most important part of the dish.  We’ve used Burgundy, Côtes du Rhône, and tried Bordeaux blends for the classic red version.  The traditionalists will insist that true coq au vin must be made with red Burgundy wine. You don’t need to spend a fortune on the wine, but the rule of thumb is always this: only cook with wine that you’d drink.  And we won’t tell anybody if you use a California pinot noir. While researching recipes, we found a number of interesting variations: in Provence, they include tomatoes, red peppers, black olives and extra garlic, ; in Normandy, they replace the wine with cider.  We across an interesting recipe in the Wall Street Journal (click HERE for […]

Gavi – a Great Spring & Summer White Wine

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] White wines from Italy are very often over-looked by the wine geeks, mostly because of the mass-produced, insipid versions of Pinot Grigio that appears on most low-end Italian restaurants.  HOWEVER…what we found over the years is that Italy produces wonderful white wines, if you are willing to experiment a bit – with many quality wines under $20 per bottle. We saw a great article by one of favorite wine writers, Lettie Teague, in the 4/11/15 issue of the Wall Street Journal.  Ms. Teague talks about her early love affair with Gavi – a popular wine from the Piedmont region.  In her words, “Gavi offered a more stylish alternative to other Italian whites such as Frascati and Orvieto, was almost as popular as Pinot Grigio (in the ’90’s) and it was just as easy to say (“Gah-vee”). But perhaps more important, it was the favorite wine of my boyfriend back then. (Love stories of wine often begin with love stories of a different kind.)” We have always loved Gavi, since our first trip to Italy in the ’80’s.  Gavi is a DOCG wine made from Cortese, which is found predominately in the province of Alessandria near the Ligurian boarder.  […]

Ten Fun Wines to Try in 2015

The holidays gave us a great opportunity to try many wines, some old favorites and some new delights.   After sorting through all of our tasting notes, we found ten fun wines that we highly recommend for 2015 – some are bargains (under $25), while others are splurges.  Either way, there is something here for everyone. [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1420387087343{background-color: rgba(0,0,0,0.12) !important;*background-color: rgb(0,0,0) !important;}”] Red Wines [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] Soliste is one of those hard to find cult wines, sold only through their mail order list, or found at high-end restaurants.  We were very fortunate to have come upon a few bottles, including the outstanding 2010 L’Espérance Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($65).  Our tasters all felt that this wine might be the best US pinot noir they’ve ever experienced.  It is a moderate reddish purple color in the glass, with intense aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, with a bit of sweet herbs and spice.  The taste is silky soft. feminine in character, with layers of black cherry and black raspberry fruits touched by an array of sweet and savory herbs. The wine fills the mouth with pleasure that carries over to the long and expansive finish.  This wine has a lot of […]

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