Monday, May 19, 2014

Wine Wednesdays

We talk alot about using wine to make an evening special. But on a Wednesday night, with half a week of work remaining, we might turn to a good glass of wine to simply make the evening bearable.

Usually, we consider our wine and food pairing and try to plan an interesting meal for an interesting bottle of wine. But by mid-week, that can be hard to do. It is useful to have a few more flexible bottles lying around that will go with whatever you throw together for dinner. Blended wines offer you a comparatively neutral palate, with a mix of the flavors from multiple grapes. This is something easy to mix and match with a range of meals.

Cooking a real dinner mid-week can be overwhelming, so having a few simple recipes in your back pocket will help. Sometimes, a good crock pot stew can be lifesaver. You develop some deep flavors, and are still ready to eat as soon as you get home from work. Some beef, rice, tomatoes and some broccoli to round it out made for an loose take on Cuban Mofongo.

We picked a bottle of blended wine from Chile. A mix of Carignan, Grenache, and Mouverdre, we had no idea what to expect. But the complex mix of flavors from the mofongo--earthy, acidic, fatty, and a bit of green vegetable--meant we needed some complicated flavors from our wine. This blend of grapes gave us flavors of blackberries, with hints of graphite and cinnamon. The spice of the wine matched the hot pepper spice of the mofongo, while the flavors from the sweet and acidic tomato brought the sweet fruit of the wine to the forefront.

Blended wines are often mistaken for "table wines" (unless, of course, a Bordeaux). It is good to remember that winemakers might attempt to create a versatile blend of flavors that lend themselves to easier pairings... especially on those Wednesday nights where you just don't want to think too hard about it.

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