Summer Wine Pairings

There is an art to pairing food with wine. Nuanced undertones, blushes of flavor, hints of spices, and lingering tastes commingle with personal preferences and memories to create deep interactions that lead to strong opinions. Trying new combinations of wine and food is an endeavor that can be intimidating, but is rewarding upon success.

There are certain accepted pairings; you have red wine with red meat and white wine with most fish, chocolate goes well with red while other desserts trend with whites, etc. Finding the perfect balance of flavors between a dish and a wine is an accomplishment and feels like a victory of sorts. It improves a meal you likely already love, provides a point of conversation, sets up a full dinner lineup for future special events, and is an entertaining experience unto itself.

We wanted to share some of our favorite wine pairings as places to start an adventure (or at the very least a very good evening) this summer. We had several people take on the task of completing this image with some wine and food combinations:

Imagine the slow summer sunset settling over your home, the light catching the edge of your cushions and umbrella as the shadows from your house begin to eclipse the patio. Sitting in a comfortable seat, perhaps a frameless chair by a hammock, you swirl a glass of wine that perfectly finishes your meal, waiting for the stars to appear and the cool air to settle.

Some lovely pairings came to mind and we’ve got those below. We’ve also included a recommended brand or vintage to try if you’re unsure where to start with each varietal/blend. These are not perfect combinations or even liked universally amongst our pairing team, but each has found its way into each of our particular palates this summer.  Read through, find some that intrigue you, experiment, and share!

For an infographic about wine, including red wine vs white wine, click here.

To learn about wine tasting, click here.

Amanda’s Assortment

Sparkling Brut with Mac & Cheese

2007 Extended Tirage Brut

Cheese and wine go together ALL the time … every time. The next time you have a bottle of Brut, make a homemade béchamel sauce for your noodles and if you’re feeling fancy, lump some lobster or crab in there. The balance of salt with the fish and cream of the cheese compliment a more mineral-based Brut. If you’re looking for a nice bottle that won’t break the bank, try Schramsberg’s 2014 Blanc De Noirs ($23) which is a complex brut made of red Pinot Noir grapes. Its name White from Black is just as it suggests. If you have a bit more cash to spend, one of my personal favorites is a brut from Oregon’s Argyle winery – 2007 Extended Tirage Brut ($75). Their 11 yr old Fall barrel brut packs a punch that is nothing but soft and will leave wine lovers with goose bumps.

 Chardonnay and Bacon

Marimar Estate 2009 Acero Unoaked Chardonnay

Most people want to always go red with meats, but go big with a full bodied Chardonnay so it can hold up against bacon that packs a big punch of flavor. The best region to buy a buttery, oaky chardonnay is California. Benovia Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($32) is well balanced with citrus and oak with a long finish. Unoaked is growing MORE popular every day after the oak bomb of the 90’s and another option from the Russian River Valley is Marimar Estate 2009 Acero Unoaked Chardonnay ($29). There’s no oak on this beautiful Chardonnay, but it’s so rich, you won’t even notice and will enjoy the pure personality of chardonnay.

Fruity Riesling and Spicy Tacos

2016 Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Riesling

Switch out the beer for an easy drinking Riesling with tacos this summer, it’s less filling! The fruit balances out against the heat and a hint of citrus found in most Rieslings will pair well with any guacamole. The best most surprising Riesling I’ve had lately came from 2016 Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Riesling ($12) from the Columbia Valley. It’s a dry Riesling that isn’t the sugary/entry wine people start out with. This one is hints towards sweet but brings you back quickly with a crisp finish and goes amazing with any kind of protein.

Red Blends with Burgers

Molly Dooker’s 2016 Two Left Feet

At your next BBQ, break out the blend! You never really know what people will load their burgers with, so a red blend is the best bet so that you aren’t tipping too far into one varietal. Mark Ryan’s 2016 The Dissident ($38) over delivers on tasting notes that is mouth-filling in the various grapes used that balances each blend with each other.If you’re in the mood for a lighter side – give Molly Dooker’s 2016 Two Left Feet ($27) a try and make sure you do the proper Molly Dooker Shake before you pour out.

Tawny Port and S’mores

Fonseca 20 Year Tawny Port

If Summer had a dessert – it would be S’mores and wine’s would be Ports. If you’re looking to pair just the description alone can probably sell you “Ripe berry fruits with a delicate nuttiness and subtle mellow notes of chocolate, butterscotch and fine oak wood. Smooth and silky on the palate and full of ripe figgy, jammy flavors which persist on the long finish.” Enjoy the long and warm structure of the Fonseca 20 Year Tawny Port ($33). Hints of nut with orange peel and cocoa on the nose are a perfect after dinner sipper that packs a punch.

 

Brad’s Best

Barbera and Spinach Chicken A La Fresca

2015 Tempo Vero Barbera, Monferrato DOC

Served at room temperature – From the Monferrato region of Piedmont, Italy. “Tempo Vero” translates from Italian to English as “Real Time,” a name that celebrates winemakers who seek to preserve Italy’s history in liquid form. This 2015 Barbera is from the Monferrato DOC in Piedmont – one of the classic wine locales in Italy. Vibrant with notes of strawberry, cherry, wood, and bright acidity on the palate, it pairs wonderfully with foods like cheese, salami and pasta with cream sauce. Other pairings include – pizza, pork, lamb and veggies.

Touriga Nacional with Beef Tacos

2016 Field Theory Touriga Nacional

Served at room temperature or slightly chilled – From Paso Robles, California. Field Theory highlights curious varietals from unfamiliar places, like this Touriga Nacional from Pomar Junction Vineyard in Paso Robles, CA. The result is a light, early-drinking red with a fresh, fruit-forward flavor. Pro tip: On a warm day, drink slightly chilled. Pairs well with beef, cheeses and veggies.

Pinot Noir with Chicken Cordon Bleu

2014 Porter & Plot Pinot Noir

Served at room temperature – From Sta. Rita Hills, California. Porter & Plot showcases the unique, nuanced individuality of California’s most exceptional vineyards and appellations. In this case, we’re talking about Sta. Rita Hills – an AVA in California’s Central Coast that is highly regarded for luscious, round and premium wines made from Pinot Noir. Enjoy blue fruits, along with a silky texture, and nuances of earthy spice. Pairs well with poultry, pork, cheeses and veggies.

Tempranillo and Palomino Chicken

2016 Copycat Tempranillo

Served at room temperature – From Clarksburg, California. Tempranillo is a grape native to Spain, but this funky-fresh example is a modern one from Clarksburg, California. Thanks to whole berry fermentation (as opposed to the grapes being destemmed), this Tempranillo is more easy drinking than most. You’ll enjoy juicy blue and black fruits, and a little spice that is almost always present in Tempranillo. This red doesn’t require food, and is prime for drinking young. With that said, it pairs well with pasta in red sauces, pork, cured meats and veggies.

Gamay and Grilled Salmon 

2016 Les Bobos Gamay

Served at room temperature or slightly chilled – From Beaujolais (province) in France. Many people associate Burgundy with Pinot Noir, and rightfully so. But in the Southern part of Burgundy in the region of Beaujolais, Gamay is the star and it is not to be ignored. Gamay and Pinot Noir have many things in common, like being light-bodied, easy-drinking, food-friendly and often a great mix of both fruit flavors and complex herbs and spice. This particular example of French Gamay is just that. Gamay wines are often un-oaked and meant to be enjoyed while young and fresh. Pairs very well with poultry, fish, cheeses and cured meats.

 

Heather’s Hoard

Ice Wine with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

2016 Goose Ridge Riesling Ice Wine

Ice wines are some of the sweetest wines you come across and are often viewed as desserts onto themselves, which is why they are largely considered dessert wines. They pair well with fruits (that match the natural undertones of the wine) and can take the edge off of an extremely spicy meal. I think that an ice wine with a small serving of ice cream can add a level of depth and maturity to an all time favorite. With ice cream or on ice cream…is there truly a difference?

Gewurztraminer and Szechuan Chicken

B Lovely Gewurztraminer

Gewurztraminer has a surprisingly nuanced flavor (given the difficulty of reading or pronouncing the name). The main undercurrents in Gewurztraminer tend to be tropical fruits and spices. In the variety listed above, lychee, pear, and honeysuckle are strong. It is a sweet wine with a bright spirit. It pairs well with dishes that include fragrant spices–ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf, coriander, curry, etc. As far as a full meal is concerned, I think it works well with a Szechuan Chicken or Chicken Asado; however, I do like this as a dessert all on its own.

Riesling with Chips & Guacamole

2016 Eroica Riesling

Riesling wines are well received as one of the most popular white wines, and are favored as being palatable by both wine lovers and beginners. Riesling is one of my go-to’s for an evening drink because of how well it pairs with other foods. I’m especially fond of pairing Riesling with latin and asian dishes, and it goes surprisingly well with salty or fried foods, like onion rings. Chips and guacamole, while not a meal, have the salt, spice, and variety that can be lost if you use an aggressive wine.

Syrah with Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon

2015 Chateau Ste Michelle Syrah

Syrah varietals are powerful red wines that can range from medium to full bodied, with low to high tannin levels depending on the region in which the grapes were grown. Syrah will often have notes of blackberry, blueberry, and violet, with rich, earthy undertones of leather and punchy spices like pepper, mint, and anise. Due to the acidity of a Syrah, they don’t always pair well with cheeses and tend to do well with beef, pork, and probably chocolate. Bacon-wrapped filet mignon checks two of those boxes so it’s my choice for a summer grilled dish to pair with Syrah.

Merlot with Pizza

2014 Reserve Merlot Pheasant Run Vineyard

Merlot wines are smooth Bordeaux reds that favor fruity undertones (plum, cherry, and currants especially) with notes of chocolate, herbs and occasionally hints of cedar or other woods. Merlots can be difficult to pair with foods because they’re not as acidic or have the tannins of bolder reds, and can be overwhelmed or overwhelm other foods. Merlot pairs well with red meats, red sauce dishes, fish, shellfish and as well as mushroom dishes. As Amanda, mentioned, cheese does pair well with most wines; in this case, it lends to a fulfilling experience of a red wine and pizza.

Have a favorite pairing of your own? Let us know.

Summer Wine Pairings

4 Seasons of Giving

Tis the season of giving!
We like to think of Classic Accessories as an all-season company, year round, we’ve got you covered. We also like to extend the giving to our community of Kent, WA year round.

We have been fortunate enough to be able to work with some great local non-profits and organizations like:

Bloodworks Northwest

This year our staff donated enough blood to save 63 lives right in our parking lot with
Bloodwork’s Blood-Mobile.

Northwest Harvest

This Spring we helped prep and pack 5,500 pounds of rice which helps feed 4,269
families in our community – that’s HUGE!

Kent School District Elementary

We started the school year off by donating much needed school supplies to an
elementary school down the road from us. Everything from backpacks and supplies to
nurse station care kits.

Green Kent Partnership

New this year was a park clean up at Glenn Nelson Park. We worked with the Green Partnership of Kent who let us know that the mulch we spread is very beneficial because it retains water for the trees during these dry summer months and will eventually break down in to healthy soil and food for the trees. The mulch also helps to smother weeds and makes the park even more beautiful. We also cleared many black berry bushes away from the native shrubs.

East Side Baby Corner

This Fall we connected with East Side Baby Corner with a giving tree in our office. We purchased much needed items for children in need from newborns all the way through teens. EBC was founded in 1990 when a local pediatric nurse practitioner, became concerned about the large numbers of babies in her practice that began life without adequate food, clothing, beds or safety equipment. Her commitment to giving these children a stronger start grew from a idea and a few items gathered in her dining room, into an agency that in 2016 filled its 500,000th order of absolute essentials.

We are a lucky team here at Classic Accessories to be able give back to our community and we are looking forward to doing the same next year.

4 Seasons of Giving

a Classic Thanksgiving

When it comes to the biggest dinner of the year, we all find ourselves in “this camp, or that camp” with very little wiggle room. Thanksgiving has always been a wonderful time for family and friends filled with an abundance of delicious food and meaningful memories made together. We had a little fun with how things are done in our co-workers’ homes this holiday: What camp are you in?
Classic Accessories Inforgraphic - Thanksgiving
From all of us at Classic Accessories, we wish you and your family a very
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sources:
Classic Accessories Employees
Graphics: Heather Thomas

a Classic Thanksgiving

Fresh Ideas to Kick Patio Season Off Right

We’re officially in patio season, why not mix it up this year? Below are some fresh ideas from some of our favorite bloggers.

1. Sarah Le from I am Food Blog has a delightful take on a summer picnic salad. This Vietnamese and foodie inspired the salad uses fresh ingredients like: mint, cilantro and lime, and features quinoa, veggies and a little sriracha for spice. Check it out!

2. Kristin Jackson of the Hunted Interior, created a beautiful backyard oasis as part of a HomeDepot.com style challenge. We noticed her work last year when she stenciled her stained deck with a large graphic pattern making it a unique and bold space: here. Take some inspiration from her latest outdoor creation with a simple palette that pops, a creative wall of plates, and a fun bocce court.

Kristin-Jackson-Patio-Style-Challenge-83. Apartment Therapy has a great post to help you get started creating your outdoor dream space. Sounds pretty practical and fun! Once you go through the steps, you’ll have a clearer idea of what needs fixing, what you would like to incorporate, what supplies you have on hand, and what supplies you might need. Browse Apartment Therapy’s site if you’re looking for DIY inspiration, they have a ton of great ideas.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Fresh Ideas to Kick Patio Season Off Right

Ask Martha

Martha has some great tips on creating outdoor spaces for entertaining. Whether it’s a full on BBQ or morning coffee outside with a good book, creating spaces with thoughtful purposes is the secret to having a nice flow to your outdoor space. Check out her quick tips on making it work for you and your next gathering:

askMartha

 

Ask Martha

Make your patio your own – starting with the furniture

It’s that time of year when the days are longer and your inner entertainer is eager to get the patio ready for the first get-together. If it’s your first home or maybe you need to garage sale the set your in-laws passed down to you, picking the right furniture to entertain can be a little daunting. What kind is right for my space, the weather, the comfort? We’ve been trolling some sites and living vicariously through Pinterest, blogs and photos for inspiration and found a great video on Good Housekeeping to start off your season of outdoor entertaining. Check it out!

Create a cozy outdoor room with the right patio furniture

 http://www.bhg.com/videos/m/33743595/patio-furniture-the-ultimate-guide.htm

Patio Furniture Types

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make your patio your own – starting with the furniture