Tag: red wine

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, […]

Five Sexy Meals Ideas

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] There is nothing sexier than making a great meal for your sweetheart.  Why battle the hungry hoards on Valentine’s Day, and putting up with dumbed-down menus to accommodate the folks who venture out only on Valentine’s Day.  Besides, this is THE DAY for the Serious Foodie to impress with a hand-crafted meal for the significant other(s) in our life, with matching wines, candle light, flowers, and other romantic touches.  Before you dive into the recipe details, you should also take a look at the Serious Foodie 10 Steps for Sexy Meals (click HERE to see the article now).   While doing our research, we came a across some fun websites that talk about sexy meals: Bon Appetit poles 11 celebrity chefs on their sexiest meals ever (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 (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). Here’s five of the Serious Foodie favorite suggestions on what to serve that special […]

25 Fabulous Red Wines Under $25 for 2014

Each year, the Serious Foodie posts a list of the quality wines we consider bargains – and hopefully wines you can easily find.  Our red wine list gets posted every Fall, after considerable research and input from our associate tasters.  Last year we did 20 wines under $20 – we decided to expand it a bit by including five more wines, and going to the $25 level.  There were quite a few great wines that came in just above $20 that we felt it would warrant the extra few bucks for some tasty wines. There were quite a few quality bargain wines from Italy this year, and a few pinot noirs made the list.  In the past, it’s been hard to find quality bargain red wines from California, but we found a few that were outstanding. We have identified five special wines from this group of 25: The Top 5 Value Wines for 2014 Brancaia  Tre Toscana, Cambria Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Julia’s Vineyard, Domaine de Pallus Chinon Les Pensees de Pallus, Frescobaldi Chianti Rufina Riserva Nipozzano, and Tolani Valdisanti. Let us know what you think of these wines, and send along the names of your favorite bargain bottles.  Here’s […]

Sangiovese Tasting – Round 2

We did a Sangiovese-inspired wine & food tasting a while back –  it was a great success, so we decided to expand the efforts, increasing the number of wines, the geographic scope, and the number of tasters. After some more research, we found a selection of wines that were mostly sourced from local stores (Tampa to Venice FL), with all the wines easy to obtain.  We picked eight wines for this effort, keeping to wines that were at least 80% Sangiovese, and retaining two wines from the previous Sangiovese tasting. This event included: Volpaia Chianti Classico (2007) – Tuscany Casanova di Neri Rosso di Montelcino (2011) – Tuscany Paolo Bea Montefalco Riserva (2007) – Umbria Mocali Morellino di Scansano (2012) – Tuscany Tolaini Al Passo (2009) – Tuscany Tre Monte Campo di Mezzo (2011) – Emilia Romagna Avignonese Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (2011) – Tuscany Bibi Graetz It’s a Game (2010) – Tuscany We keep to a very simple scoring system: Weasel pee Let’s move on – drinkable, but save it for cooking wine Not bad – might buy it. Pass me another slice of pizza This is good stuff – I want more! Yes, yes, yes! (“I’ll have what […]

Sangiovese Tasting – Round One

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] We often share our favorite Italian foods and wines with friends who love Italian wine almost as much as we do.  One night, as we were sipping a wonderful 1997 Brunello (Siro Pacenti), we began talking about sangiovese – it’s many expressions, it’s status as one of the best wines with food, and the fact that none of us had ever done a sangiovese tasting across Italy’s many sangiovese wine regions.  We decided that this last fact needed to be changed. There are twenty regions in Italy, and sangiovese is grown in eight (Liguria, Tuscany, Lazio, Umbria, Emilia-Romagna, Le Marches, Abruzzo, and Molise).   The other regions are either too cold or too hot – the weather and the soil in central Italy is perfect for sangiovese. Within these eight regions, sangiovese is most often blended with other grapes. We did the research, and assembled a core team of tasters to try out this idea.  We picked only six wines for this initial effort, focusing mostly on Tuscan sangiovese wines, and picking wines that were at least 80% sangiovese. Our first tasting included: Casanova di Neri Rosso di Montelcino (2011) – Tuscany Carpineto Chianti Classico Riserva (2008) – Tuscany Tenuta […]

Montepulciano By Any Other Name

We (the Dinner Doctor and Mr. SeriousFoodie) are insane about our wines – we drink, we study, we buy, then we repeat these steps.  And we’ve had lots and lots of wine from a variety of grapes, especially from Italy.  So, we fumbled a bit when we were dining with friends who asked us, “This Vino Nobile de Montepulciano is delicious.  What region is it from, and what grape do they use?”First, we had to explain that Montepulciano is a the beautiful hill town in the southeast part of Tuscany where they make an excellent wine called Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (and sometimes a rosso called Montepulciano) – which is not made from the Montepulciano grape.   There is a lesser quality (but sometimes also very good) wine called Montepulciano d’Abruzzo which is made from the Montepulciano grape – but Abruzzo is a few regions south and east of Montepulciano. If this sounds confusing, try learning Italian grammar.  By the way, there is no connection between the town and the grape as far as we know.So, here are two fairly common Italian wines, made from entirely different grapes from different regions, with different price points and quality, but sound similar.  So, […]

20 Fabulous Red Wines under $20

After tasting many wines under $20 (some were poured down the sink quickly), we found a nice selection to pass on.  We would like your feedback on any of the choices, and most certainly let us know if you have wines that should get on our list.  A few of these wines we separately review, providing more information (look through our postings). So, here goes…. ————————————————————  #20:  La Posta Angel:  2011 Paulucci Vineyard Malbec Argentina Malbec averaging $18.00. ————————————————————  #19:  Scala Dei:  2010 Priorat Prior Spanish (Catalonia) red made from Garnacha Tinta, Cabernet Sauvignon and  Syrah averaging $17.00 ————————————————————  #18:  Leone D’Oro:  2011 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Italian (Tuscany) red made from Prugnolo Gentile, a clone of Sangiovese, averaging $19.00. ————————————————————  #17: Angulo Innocenti:  2010 La Consulta Malbec Argentina Malbec averaging $19.00. ————————————————————  #16: Romero & Miller:  2005 Rioja Rentas  de Fincas Reserva Spanish red made from Tempranillo averaging $18.00. ————————————————————  #15: Vina Equia:  2011 Rioja Riserva Spanish red made from Tempranillo averaging $15.00. ————————————————————  #14: Seghesio:  2010 Sonoma Zinfandel California zinfandel averaging $19.00. ————————————————————  #13: Bodegas De La Marquesa:  2009 Rioja Valserrano Crianza Spanish red made from Tempranillo averaging $13.00. ————————————————————  #12: Bryn Mawr:  2011 Pinot noir Oregon pinot noir averaging $15.00. ————————————————————  #11: […]

Pignolo – Not the Nut, But the Wine

Most foodies know that pignolo is Italian for pine nut.  So, it was a big surprise when Andrew the sommelier at Felidia’s in NYC asked us if we’d like to try a Pignolo -we thought he was joking.  He served us a 2000 Pignol from Bressan, a producer in Friuli-Venezia-Giulia.  It was a great wine, having just the right notes of pepper and spice – it was med-full bodied but had sensational aromatics, with a nice after-taste of raspberry.  So, we were intrigued, and wanted to learn a bit more about the Pignolo grape. The grape is a native red variety grown predominantly in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeast Italy.  Besides being the same name as the pine nut, it also means “fussy” in Italian, which very much describes the grape. So, it is no surprise that Pignolo wines are somewhat rare, with just a few dedicated producers. But it’s worthwhile to try to find, since the wines are typically well balanced (flavors, tannins, acidity). Look for the Bressan wine (about $60), Jermann (about $30), Livon (about $30), or Moschioni (a top-end producer – expect to pay about $100).

Rosso di Spicca – The Chateauneuf de Pape of Italy

We start this series of 20 under $20 with one of the best, most alluring, and maybe the most obscure wines of Italy.  Rosso di Spicca (Pronounced Row-So dee Spee-ka) is a Ovietano Rosso – a red wine coming from the Ovieto region of Umbria in central Italy.  Many people know the white wines from Ovieto, and there are many good, and a few great, Ovieto white wines.  The vast majority of the Ovieto white wines are under $20, so you will see a blog about these very soon. But most folks, even my go-to Italian wine merchant (Will at www.italianwinemerchants.com/) were a bit stumped by these hidden gem.  We first came across this wonder in the wine store attached to our favorite Italian market in Florida (Mazzaro‘s in St. Petersburg – as for Jeff). We were looking for an interesting red wine that would match well with an array of food flavors – and Jeff from Mazzaro’s said this was the best.  He was right. The Ovietano Rosso is a relatively new designation, being recognized as a DOC in 1998.  We coined it as the Chateauneuf de Pape of Italy because it is typically made from a blend of […]

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