Food Travel

Wine and Dine

October 25, 2016

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Wine with dinner can truly enhance a meal. My trip to Napa Valley was extraordinary and taught me the importance of understanding how and why the balance of blending, flavors, temperature and region is important.

 

Each day was spent visiting a different vineyard. I learned how to cook with wine, as well as taste firsthand how pairing food with wine can take a meal to a whole new level. I also learned how finishing a meal with a Sauterne, dessert wine or Moscato can also be special.

Champagne has a place in my heart, too! We celebrate landmark days with our teams and even with friends BEFORE a meal as a celebration to life and friendship. A split can easily fill three glasses.

 

THE PERFECT PAIRING

Alinea in Chicago does wonderful parings of wine with each course; this meal can take several hours because each flavor is explained by your servers. Sonoma Wine Garden in Santa Monica has hundreds of wines by the glass to mix and match yourself while overlooking the ocean for lunch or dinner.

Today on your iPhone you can find your choice of experiences easily in your city or book a reservation for a vacation highlight—partaking of a grand meal. Many wine houses offer wine tastings and events.

Even Happy Hours can be a great way (at a more moderate price range) to become familiar with wine and appetizers and light bites while having a wine and dine experience.

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WINE TRIPS

Africa, New Zealand, Australia, along with many parts of South America (such as Chile) are famous for making great wine.

But you don’t have to travel around the globe to have great wine. Southern Michigan, while only ninety minutes from Chicago, is a perfect weekend trip destination for wine tasting. Michigan has a rich wine history.

With some 2,650 acres of planted vineyards, Michigan is the fifth largest wine-producing state in the country.

– Ari Bendersky, “South Michigan is for Lovers–of wine and craft beer,” Crain’s Chicago Business

Read more of this article for a great list of wineries, breweries and distilleries in the area.


CONSULT AN EXPERT

Speaking with a Sommelier (wine expert) at the restaurant can teach you about the wide variety of tastes and places of the wine. Sommeliers love to share tidbits that can turn a bland dinner into an entertaining highlight.

Sulfites in California reds (most popular today) can give sensitive drinkers a headache while European wines with a lower alcohol content can be fine to drink.

 

PROPER PRESERVATIONfifield_wine-and-dine-circles-coravin_1-1rk

Many times people avoid drinking a fine bottle of wine at home when serving two people- why waste a bottle when you just want a glass? CORAVIN wine systems sells a dispenser that allows you to pour by the glass while keeping the remaining wine perfectly preserved. The Argon gas is completely inert, non-reactive and will not interact with the wine.  They have a few choices so you can look up online the device appropriate for your needs. They start at around $299.00 and IT WORKS!

Friends, family, a date or even a quiet evening at home can be made special with a little wine!

Enjoy,

Randy

 

MY SELECTIONS

Here are some of my favorites:

Patz & Hall Chardonnay

Flowers Pinot Noir 

Kistler Pinot Noir

Moscato d’Asti

Chateau d’Yquem

Krug Vintage Champagne

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