Toast the New Year with Missouri Sparkling Wine

December 30, 2013

The start of a new year is the perfect time to pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly. A celebratory sip of one of Missouri’s award-winning sparkling wines is a refreshing alternative to traditional Champagne, a term commonly used to describe all sparkling wines but only really means those made in the Champagne region of France.

Missouri’s sparkling wines vary in color from white to rosé and have a light to medium body. They treat your taste buds to floral flavors and the aroma of fresh-baked bread. The famous bubbles in sparkling wine can be created through double fermentation, known as méthode champenoise. In this process, the second round of fermentation takes place inside each individual bottle of wine, and the wines are aged for a period of 15 months to more than three years before being sold. There is also an easier, faster bulk process of adding bubbles to wine called the Charmat process.

Before choosing a sparkling wine, you should be familiar with the different types that are available.  Missouri sparkling wines typically come in one of these categories:

  • Brut/Extra Brut sparkling wine is very dry, with extra brut being the driest. These are popular because they pair well with most foods including smoked salmon, fried chicken and spicy Asian cuisine.
  • Extra Dry sparkling wines have just a hint of sweetness, and are often served before a meal with light appetizers like oysters, cold shrimp or chicken saté.
  • Dry sparkling wines can be mixed with juices or liqueurs to create innovative, trendy winetails.
  • Spumante/Sweet sparkling wines put the finishing touch on your meal as they are an ideal match for fruit and desserts such as chocolate dipped strawberries and sorbet.
  • Mead sparkling wines have a main ingredient of fermented honey, and pair well with strong cheeses and savory, hearty fare.
  • Fruit sparkling wines fizz with the juices of real berries, peaches, plums, apples or cherries. Save these ripe, juicy bubbles for dessert, use them as a winetail mixer, or try with grilled pork and spicy cheeses.

If you are hosting a New Year’s Eve gathering, assortments of hors d’oeuvres that complement Missouri sparkling wines are sure to be a hit. Try these spinach and goat cheese tartlets and spicy curry pork pies with a brut. Indulge your sweet tooth with dark chocolate-raspberry cakes served with a sparkling fruit wine or spumante.

Before the festivities begin, chill your sparkling wine for 30-40 minutes in ice water or three hours in the refrigerator. A temperature of 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit will keep your beverage delicious. Any unfinished wine can be preserved for a couple of days in the refrigerator with a sparkling wine stopper.

Sparkling Wine Cocktails, Cheers!

December 26, 2013

Everything is more festive when you add bubbles. That is equally true when talking about cocktails. There are some really fun concoctions out there, but adding a little bubbly is a special treat that makes any celebration more exciting. Try out these delicious recipes crafted by Master Sommelier and Master of Wine (There are only four people in the world that hold both titles!), Doug Frost:

Seelbach Cocktail

5 oz.                       Noboleis Noblevescent

1 oz.                       Buffalo Trace Bourbon

7 dashes              Angostura and Peychaud bitters

Build in a fluted glass.

 

Missouri Mule

3 oz.                       Les Bourgeois Vineyards Brut

¼ oz.                      Ginger syrup

¼ oz.                      Cream sherry

¾ oz.                      Lime juice

½ oz.                      Ron Zacapa

Combine and shake all ingredients except Brut. Pour over ice into a copper mug and top with Brut. Garnish with dried pineapple and grated fresh nutmeg.

 

French American 75 (not pictured)

2.5 oz.                   Les Bourgeois Vineyards Brut

1 oz.                       Plymouth Gin

1 oz.                       Simple syrup

1 oz.                       Fresh lemon juice

Combine and shake all ingredients except Brut. Top with Brut.

Missouri (sparkling) wine pairs well with cocktails!

Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Wine Lovers

Pumpkin, Pumpkin and More Pumkin!

December 11, 2013

There are many people that believe the best part of Fall is pumpkin… everything. You can find it in lattés, pies, and even smoothies. Pumpkins provide more than just flavor this time of year. Visiting a pumpkin patch is fun for all ages. They act beautiful Harvest-themed decorations around the house. You can even find pumpkin sneaking into wine. Several Missouri wineries make pumpkin or pumpkin inspired wines.

Embrace the pumpkin take-over with these delicious and festive treats:

Sweet and Salty Pumpkin Seeds make a great snack or appetizer and pair well with Chambourcin.

Pumpkin Leek Soup is the perfect dish for a cool day. Match this slightly sweet soup with a rich, smooth Chardonel.

Bring Sausage Pumpkin Cornbread Stuffing to your Thanksgiving celebration and you will be the talk of the meal. Don’t forget the Vignoles!

Take the classic pumpkin pie to the next level with this Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe and pair with a pumpkin wine or Traminette.

Missouri Wine and Riedel Partner for Vignoles Glass

December 10, 2013

Riedel Crystal has been producing glassware for more than 250 years and 11 generations. Riedel is recognized worldwide for designing and producing the highest quality wine glasses. Riedel began making varietal specific glasses to highlight the unique characteristics of different grapes. In 2009, Riedel and the Missouri Wine Industry worked together to select a glass for the popular Norton varietal. We’re very excited to announce that we’re partnering again to select a glass that best highlights another popular Missouri varietal… Vignoles.

On December 6th, Georg Riedel, 10th generation head of Riedel, flew to Missouri to lead a workshop of winemakers and industry professionals. Participants evaluated 14 glasses, looking for the glass that best translated the “message” of Vignoles (aroma, acidity, balance, etc.). According to Riedel, shape, size and rim diameter are the three variables to consider when evaluating varietal specific glassware.

After much deliberation and discussion, it came down to two glasses. The votes were so close, Georg instructed the participants to take both glasses with them and do more comparison and consideration with their colleagues. Stay tuned to see what glass they choose!

Missouri wine pairs well with Riedel glassware!

Why did the chicken cross the road?

December 09, 2013

Photo courtesy of the National Chicken Council.

It’s the age old question… why did the chicken cross the road? The answer is simple, because that’s where the wine was!

At times chicken is given the stigma of being boring. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Chicken is one of the most versatile ingredients in your kitchen. You could eat chicken every day for the month of September and never have to eat the same thing twice. From the simplest to the most complex recipes, chicken rises to the task. And what’s better? It is one of the least expensive and healthiest protein options available at your grocery store.

As you’ve probably heard, September is Missouri Wine Month. It is also National Chicken Month. How fitting is that? Chicken dishes in their vast variety pair incredibly well with Missouri varietals. Here are some examples from our friends at Food and Wine Magazine:

Try a Chicken Panini with Spinach and Pesto for a delicious and quick meal. Add a glass of Missouri Chardonel and you are set for a satisfying lunch or dinner.

Step up the excitement with Filipino Grilled Chicken. The combination of flavors will not disappoint. Pair with a slightly sweet Vignoles to calm the spiciness a bit.

Learn the secrets to the perfect roast chicken from Chef Jonathan Waxman of Top Chef Masters fame. The best thing about roast chicken is all of the things you can do with the leftovers. How do Chicken Tacos sound? Good, right? They sound even better with a glass of Vidal Blanc. Or try this twist on the classic Chicken Salad with Walnuts and Tarragon.

Whichever way you decide to prepare it, enjoy some chicken this month in celebration of National Chicken Month, and don’t forget to pair it with a glass of local wine!

Winetails: Volume II

December 02, 2013

The Holiday season is underway and that means festivities and gatherings aplenty. Spice up your soiree with these Missouri wine-tail recipes, crafted by Master Sommelier and Master of Wine (There are only four people in the world that hold both titles!), Doug Frost:

Blanc and Sand

2.5 ounces          Stone Hill Vidal Blanc

1 ounce                Cognac Ferrand Cigare

1 ounce                Orange Juice

.5 ounce               Pineapple Juice

Shake all ingredients and ice. Strain in a coupe glass. Garnish with a slice of pineapple.

 

Suave Agave

1 ounce                Milagro Reposado Tequila

2 ounces              Strother Ridge Chambourcin

.75 ounce            Pomegranate Juice

.25 ounce            Hibiscus Syrup

.25 ounce            Lemon Juice

Shake all ingredients lightly. Serve over crushed ice garnished with orange slice.

 

Bamboozled

2 ounces              Stone Hill Cream Sherry

.75 ounce            Carpano Antica Vermouth

.75 ounce            Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur

1 dash                   Angostura Bitters

Shake all ingredients lightly. Serve in a glass rimmed with sarsaparilla and sugar.

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes…. That won’t bore you to tears!

November 28, 2013

Photo courtesy of CHOW.com

No one likes to see food go to waste, but the same-old-same-old Thanksgiving leftover recipes are tired. Let them retire and try out some of the out-of-the-box recipes we’ve gathered.

So, you had family in for the holidays and you need to feed them breakfast. Don’t worry about making a special trip to the grocery store in the middle of Black Friday traffic. You have everything you need in your fridge. These Baked Eggs in Stuffing Cups are an easy and satisfying way to start the day. Add some Turkey Hash Patties and everyone will thank you. Just need something for a quick bite with your coffee? Make this Pecan and Sweet Potato Bread for an easy breakfast treat that’s great if you’re on the go.

Now that breakfast is taken care of, what about lunch? That’s easy, but don’t worry, a played-out turkey sandwich is nowhere in sight. Curried Turkey Salad is a great way to spice up an old favorite. Pair with a fruity and floral Missouri Traminette. Treat yourself to a decadent American classic with a twist… a Monte Cristo Sandwich, matched perfectly with a semi-sweet Vignoles. This recipe is especially great for families that have both turkey and ham at their holiday feasts.

It’s getting chillier out there. Warm up with this Jerk Turkey Chili, complemented by a fruity, subtle Chambourcin. The slightly more adventurous Turkey Posole a la Guerita provides a completely unique flavor. You won’t even recognize you’re eating leftovers. Pair with a Vignoles to calm the heat.

Don’t let those leftovers sit in your fridge taking up space and taunting you every time you open the door. Reinvent them with these delicious recipes.

Missouri wine pairs well with your leftovers!

Invite Missouri Wine to your Thanksgiving Feast

November 21, 2013

The Thanksgiving feast can be a tad overwhelming. Let our friends at Feast Magazine help. The November episode of Feast TV features tips and tricks from local chefs on how to have the perfect meal this holiday. And let Missouri Wines help you decide what wines to choose for perfect pairings.

The Turkey:

Turkey is the most traditional of main courses for Thanksgiving Dinner, aptly so. A well-executed turkey, whether roasted, smoked or deep-fried, is the definition of comfort-food. A rich, fruity Chambourcin with subtle tannin is a great compliment to savory turkey.

The Side Dishes:

Some look forward to the sides more than the main course. There is nothing wrong with that! If you tend to look past the turkey at the plethora of flavors that await, try these pairings for a holiday treat.

Potatoes-

Sweet potato or yam dishes are complimented wonderfully with the slight sweetness of Vignoles.

Green Bean Casserole

This recipe is a gourmet twist on the classic green bean casserole with button mushrooms, parmesan and shallots. The best thing about this recipe… you can make it ahead of time. The creaminess of this dish and the mushrooms make it the perfect pair to a Chambourcin wine.

Stuffing (or Dressing)-

What would Thanksgiving be without the stuffing (or dressing if you don’t want to actually cook it in the turkey)? Take your pick with this collection of 50 stuffing recipes. If you just can’t wait for the main course to enjoy your stuffing, try these sausage and apple stuffing bites as a fun hors d’oeuvre. Stuffing is usually savory and often features spices that pair beautifully with Chamboucin, Missouri’s varietal of the month for November (How appropriate!).

The Sweets

Are you saving room for dessert? Us too! There’s the Thanksgiving classic, pumpkin pie. Or you might lean toward apple or sweet potato pie. Do you prefer pecan pie? Are you a fan of chocolate? This recipe for chocolate pecan pie will take your sweet tooth to new heights. Pair any of your delectable desserts with a Catawba or Vignoles.

If you’re looking for one wine that will best cover your entire festive feast, we recommend Chambourcin for your table. It is rich and fruity, but has a subtlety that will let your food shine alongside it, rather than running it over.

Missouri wine pairs well with holiday feasts!

 

A New Take on Cranberry

November 19, 2013

The cranberry is one of few fruits native to America that are grown commercially. [Fun Fact: Several popular Missouri grape varietals are also American natives; Catawba, Concord and Norton.] The fruit was used as food, fabric dye and a healing agent long before the settlers arrived. However, the cranberry’s primary claim to fame these days is in the form of cranberry sauce accompanying turkey on the table at Thanksgiving. The traditional dish is celebrated by some and dreaded by others. Whichever group you identify with, here are some twists on the same-old-same-old that could make you look at cranberry sauce in a whole new way.

Adding a little orange to cranberry sauce is fairly common, so try this recipe as a base and explore several easy ways to spice it up. Try Chipotle for a little kick, or increase the decadence with truffle oil and chives. Do you smoke your turkey? If so, compliment it with this sweet and smoky version of the classic accoutrement. You can add a little zing with this lemon-tarragon version or some Asian flare with ginger-miso.

Wine makes everything better, right? If this is your mantra, you’ll definitely be a fan of this mulled wine cranberry sauce recipe. Use a young, fruit forward Chambourcin, or for a bolder flavor add Norton. Do you prefer your cranberry sauce on the sweeter side? What could be more decadent than Missouri Port? Try this recipe for Port-cranberry sauce to satisfy that sweet tooth and compliment the savory turkey.

Bring one of these unique twists on the traditional cranberry sauce to your Thanksgiving celebration and you’ll be the talk of the table. Homemade sauce is arguably better than the gelatinous can, however, there can still be a place for the quintessential can in the festivities. Cranberry Carving is a fun activity that lets your loved ones, young and old, unleash their creativity. The supply list is short, but the possibilities are endless!

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