Monday, January 30, 2012

Game day wine

We’ve been trying wine with different, unexpected foods all year. Wine with Buffalo Wings, picnic food, and … With the “Big Game” coming up, we thought we’d keep on with that experiment, and try a bottle with some typical game snack foods.

Keeping it simple, we decided on a just few, easy snacks: Chips with cauliflower dip, nachos, and chicken tenders. While the cold weather makes us lean towards a red wine, the fatty nature of the food, along with the idea of drinking throughout several hours of entertainment pushed us towards a crisp white, so we selected a bottle of Viridian Pinot Gris.

The food was everything one looks for in a game day spread: light enough that you can nibble for hours, with some complicated flavors, and stuffed with cheese at every turn. The wine was a great accompaniment. The crispness cut through the fattiness in each of the dishes. It added a citrus note to the nachos for a little extra punch (think, a slice of lime), and accentuated the sweet heat of the jalapenos. The grass notes of the Pinot Gris game through with the dip, creating a deep, almost earthy, mineral flavor.

America is a beer culture. Our quintessential events, the ones that make us proud to be American, are built around drinking domestic lager. Wine is seen as part of a different world, a high-brow concoction sipped at dressy parties and expensive dinners. But there is no need. American wine is, like our beer, a product of our farms and local production processes. Wine, in general, is the daily libation of the masses throughout the world. So, embrace it, and enjoy it with your favorite snacks as you spend the day with your friends, watching the game!

Cauliflower Dip:
½ Head cauliflower, chopped
1 cup Greek yogurt
8 oz Cheddar Cheese

Boil the cauliflower in a pot of water until soft. Drain, then chopped in a blender until smooth. Return to the pot, add the yogurt and cheese, and simmer over low heat until the cheese is melted.

1 tbsp Butter
3 Plum Tomatoes, diced
1 small Onion, diced
3 Cloves Garlic, sliced
1 Avocado, diced
1 Jalapeno, sliced
1 Bag Tortilla Chips
8 oz Cheddar Cheese

In a small sauce pan, melt butter until browned. Added the onions & garlic and saute until garlic is browned. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Pile the tortilla chips on a large platter, then layer on the tomato mixture, diced avocado, jalapeno and cheese, then microwave for 2 to 3 minutes on high, until the cheese is melted.

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