Carrie Kalscheuer
 
April 13, 2015 | Carrie Kalscheuer

Top 5 Unexpected Food & Wine Pairings

I think just about everything pairs with Pinot Noir, with one awful exception. Pinot is light enough not to overpower food, but flavorful enough to add depth and nuance. Perhaps not every dish can have the impact that the perfect Pinot Noir pairing can have (lamb chops, Chantrelle mushrooms, pan-fried salmon - wow!), but the overwhelming result is at least pleasant, easy, and doesn't leave me with a massive headache the next morning. (The awful exception: frosted animal cookies. Don't ever try this. Ever.)

Transcendent pairings don't come around often. When this rare and wonderful event happens, it's important to give pause and relish the moment, then tell everyone you know so that they can share in the joy. And if you find something truly bizarre, unexpected and inspirational, well, you write a blog post.
 

My top 5 surprisingly transcendent pairings:

 

  1.  Mezcal and Chocolate. I have a strong affinity for both of these things. It was only a matter of time before I made the happy discovery that they are wildly perfect together.
     
  2. Aussie Shiraz and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Trust me on this. An old friend stumbled upon this gem and we have since tested the pairing on multiple occasions. It works. I'm not sure why, but it works.
     
  3. Chablis and Kettle Chips. Yes, everyone knows about all things fried with Champagne, but to me this is the superior pairing. Chablis' fresh acid and high minerality, yet round, rich palate is the perfect accompaniement to my ultimate guilty pleasure.
     
  4. Oregon Pinot Gris and Salsa. A great alternative to lager for Mexican feasts, especially if gluten is not your friend.
     
  5. Australian Stickies and Gazpacho Soup. Stickies are Aussie-speak for dessert wines. Paired with the high acid of hte gazpacho, this is an unexpected treat.
Time Posted: Apr 13, 2015 at 11:40 AM
Katie McLennan
 
April 2, 2015 | Katie McLennan

So you're pregnant and work at a winery, now what?

Many people have asked me what it was like to be pregnant while working at a winery. Little do they know, that was the easy part. Keeping the big news private for 12 weeks, on the other hand, was where it got difficult. Dodging a special end-of-the-day glass of wine was no easy task! Here are a few tips on how to get out of that occasional, oh-so-delicious, glass of Pinot without telling everyone you are pregnant:

1. Go on a detox cleanse.

Most wine people are health conscious so being on a detox cleanse isn't too inconspicuous.

2. Select a ninja of a wing man/woman.

Pick someone who can keep a secret. They must be willing to swoop in at a moment's notice to save you from a stick situation. Especially for toasts, they will need to swap their empty glass with yours without others noticing. They need to be able to be sneaky to slip some out or be able to handle two glasses as they will be acting as your designated dump bucket. In return, you are their designated driver.

3. The "I have a cold" excuse.

This one requires a good poker face. One little slip up will have the rumors flying! The "don't waste the wine on me right now" always works with a cold.

4. Always have somewhere to be.

Make it a point to always have something planned after work. No one thinks twice if you have to be somewhere. They just think you're a really busy person.

12 weeks is a long time to keep your big news a secret, especially when you're surrounded by fantastic wines. After I was able to announce it to my co-workers, I became the in-house quality control liaison for faulted bottles. With a heightened sense of smell, I was a useful tool for our Tasting Room.

Best of luck to all you expectant moms out there who love wine!

 

Time Posted: Apr 2, 2015 at 2:15 PM