Wine & Food Pairings
Butternut Squash Bisque
#1. Wine And Food Pairing October
Butternut Squash Bisque
It seems butternut squash and carrots make a great couple: sweet soul-satisfying vegetables that compete with one another for beta-carotene content and a sweet, earthy flavor. Appetite-fulfilling without lots of calories, butternut squash makes a creamy soup that is comforting to eat. Try making croutons with cinnamon raisin bread for a unique garnish.
1 TB olive oil or butter
2?3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1-inch chunks
3 large carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 TB minced fresh ginger (1-inch piece)
2 qt vegetable stock or cold water
1/8 cup grated orange zest
1 bunch parsley, chopped
pinch of ground nutmeg
sea salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil or butter over medium heat in a large sauce pot. Saut? the squash, carrots, onion, and ginger for 3 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Add the stock and orange zest, and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the parsley, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Pur?e the soup with a hand held immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
The Wine Pairing: 2005 - Montinore Estate - Gewurztraminer (Oregon)
#2. October Food and Wine Pairing
Overwhelmed – that is how I feel often this time of year … back to school events, costumes, holiday parties and busy work schedules. Who has time to prepare a meal? I am a real glutton for punishment when it comes to the kitchen, by insisting that almost everything is home-made. But, there are those days when picking up a pizza and making a salad is my best option. Even pizza night can be celebrated with the right wine.
Pizza is a versatile food – hundreds of combinations with dozens of ingredients. Almost any wine can be paired with different pizzas. A tangy red will pair well with spicy sausage and cheese, while a crisp white like Spanish Albarino for a pineapple and Canadian bacon pizza. Having several bottles of a versatile wine, like 2003 Fire Station Red Shiraz, is as convenient as being able to pick up barbeque, burgers or pizza.
The Fire Station Red Shiraz pairs especially well with a pesto pizza and really ripe (translate sweet) or sundries tomatoes. There is something about the sugar in the tomato bringing out the sweet fruit in the wine. This is a value in a bottle – a medium bodied wine, dark in color with ripe blackberry, black cherry and a hint of green pepper in the nose. The smooth mouth feel finishes with a sneaky spice. Because it has had several years of bottle age the tannins have softened and the wine is “clean”. It is a blend of 75 % Shiraz, 15 % Petite Syrah, and 7% Alicante Bouchet, and 2 % Viognier.
As for the glutton part of me, I can’t settle on just take-out ….why not conclude pizza night (or any night) with a real bang? It will take about 20 minutes to make these Fire Station Red Short Bread Pepper Cookies from scratch. Or, they freeze well, so make several dozen in advance. The surprise of the heat from the black pepper combined with the sugar blends so nicely with the sweet berry and sneaky heat of the Shiraz. Good chocolate truffles are another option. And the chocolate with this wine … discover for you … just tastes too good to describe in words.
Fire Station Red Shiraz is available at Joy Wine and Spirits. Visit them for this and other food pairing suggestions at 1302 E. 6th Avenue, 303-744-6219.
Fire Station Red
2003 Shiraz, California
Black Pepper Cookies
1 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 cup Sugar
1 ½ teaspoons whole Black Peppercorns, coarsely crushed
½ cup Butter
In a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, ¾ cup of the sugar, and crushed peppercorns. Whirl until blended.
In a 2 quart pan, stir butter over medium heat until browned, (stir through the foam to check). Add to flour mixture, whirl until dough forms a compact ball, about 1 ½ minutes.
Pinch off 1-inch pieces of sough and roll into balls. Arrange balls, slightly apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Dip the bottom of a glass into the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and press gently on each ball to ½-inch thickness. Place a peppercorn into the center of each cookie and press gently.
Bake on the lowest rack of a 300° F oven until browned on bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.