Blog Archive

Tuscan Chicken

Tuscan Chicken

Over the long Labor Day weekend, I had the time to look over some of the cookbooks that were collecting dust on my book shelf to see what I could try that was new. I came across a cookbook that one of my girlfriends had given me called,

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Pork Milanese

Pork Milanese

I have always been drawn to cooking Italian food. One of the reasons I love Italian cuisine is that you can make some incredible dishes with very few ingredients. The other thing I love is

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turkey meatloaf

turkey meatloaf

 

My mom is an amazing chef and artist. When my sister Elisabeth was pregnant with her first baby, my mom hand carved a watermelon into a baby carriage for the shower. The thing was enormous and decorated with skewers of fruit—enough to regulate an army of troops.

So then you can imagine my fear of what she would think of my own cooking and presentation skills when my dad informed her that I had a food and wine blog. I received an email from my father that went something like this:

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Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar

Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar

As a busy career girl, I have found out two things about myself. One being that I’m usually over ambitious with my cooking during the week and there are nights where canned turkey chili is perfectly acceptable and two

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Warm Steak and Mushroom Salad

Warm Steak and Mushroom Salad

The weather has been hot. When the temperature rises, I like to make salads without compromising the heartiness of a regular meal. This week’s pairing I have to admit was a bit of an experiment,

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Wine and Cheese Pairings 101

Wine and Cheese Pairings 101

 

Do you remember those 101 classes you foolishly thought were going to be an easy A, but you still had to study and attend class? Well, here’s a way to ace cheese pairings and you don’t even have to go to class.

So last night, my lactose intolerant boyfriend helped me photograph cheese.  Now, that’s love.  As we all come to find our passion and dedication to a way of life, mine has been to

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Fig Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Paired with Zinfandel

Fig Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Paired with Zinfandel

I admit it, I like Zin. Especially Zin’fandel’s with rich fruit flavor with lots of spice finish. Im sorry, but you can’t claim to be a Californian, love wine and not like Zinfandel. It’ s just not possible. Do you realize we put Zinfandel on the international wine map? Although the origin of Zinfandel grapes is debatable, we have truly been gifted with wineries across California serving the most lush and complex Zinfandels. Two of my favorite regions for Zinfandel are

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Chicken Piccata Wine Pairing

Chicken Piccata paired with Tablas Creek Wine

Does a dish inspire a wine selection or does the wine inspire the dish? In this case, on my visit to Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles, the wine definitely inspired the dish and the chef. Grown and bottled on the estate, the 2009 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel blanc inspired my chicken piccata cooking frenzy this evening. With notes of lemon, honey, spice, and a slight mineral finish, it was the perfect compliment to this traditonal italian dish.

Tablas Creek Winery specializes in Rhone Varietals. The Espirit is a white blend consisting of Roussane, Grenache Blanc, and Picpoul blanc grapes grown in the Rhone Valley of France.  Don’t panic if you have never heard of any of these varietals. This dish could easily pair with any white wine, especially Chardonnay which flavors usually compliment, creamy buttery flavored dishes.

Here are two easy rules to follow when pairing wine and food, which I always use:

1. Compliment the dish with similar flavors in the wine. In this case, the key ingredients in the chicken piccata were lemon, capers, and butter.

2. Go opposite. For example, pairing a rich spicy pork dish with a softer, smoky red wine like Pinot Noir. Or a spicy dish with a slightly sweet wine.

3. There are no set rules to pairings. Try what works for your tastes, but  I suggest trying a few traditonal pairings before you get too adventurous, especially when having dinner guests over.

What’s cooking

Chicken Piccata

4 chicken breasts rinsed and patted dry. Cut crosswise. Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper. Dredge lightly through flour. In a frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Cook chicken 3 minutes on each side and remove to plate.  Add 1/3 cuplemon juice, 1/4  cup capers (rinsed and drained) and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Bring to boil.  Return chicken to pan. Cook 5 minutes or until fully cooked. Remove to plate and pour remaining sauce over chicken. Garnish with parsley.

Wine Suggestions

Tablas Creek Vineyard 2009 Espirit De Beaucastel Blanc. $40. Divine.

Budget Version

2009 La Crema Chardonnay $14.99.  Bevmo and most grocery stores.

30 Aug 2010

Wine and Food

Wine Recipes, Food Pairings, Restaurant Reviews.


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