{Wine Wednesday} Super Super Bowl sips

WineWednesday

It’s that week! It’s a big, big weekend for Seattle (and New England) football fans! It’s also a big weekend for those of us who like to throw parties (me) and watch the best-of-the-best TV commercials (me, again).

While I won’t be throwing a party this year (I’ll be working), I love to plan them and I love sharing my tips with you. Today’s post is all about the drinks of Super Bowl. Tomorrow we’ll have appetizers and on Friday, decor! There is plenty of time to make Sunday memorable. (Even if you’re not the Seahawks re-Pete-ing!)

Enough with the puns. On to the cocktails! Cheers!

Jell-O shots

Seahawks Jell-O shots made by my friend Laurel

Seahawks Jell-O shots made by my friend Laurel

My friend Laurel made these and they’re beautiful! I’ll bet they taste amazing too!

Washington Apple Twisted Shotz

Washington Apple Twisted Shotz

Washington Apple Twisted Shotz

I can’t find these online for the life of me, but I did see them at the Downtown Seattle Cost Plus World Market. They’re blue and green whisky-flavored liqueur and sour apple shots. Doesn’t sound the most appetizing, but they fit the bill in terms of Seahawks colors!

Skittle vodkas

Skittles vodka! Given some time, these will be vibrant

Skittles vodka! Given some time, these will be vibrant

I made these Skittle vodkas for my Q13 debut at the beginning of the NFL season. They’re super easy and super quick! Literally: you open the bottle and pop in a Skittle or two! Voila!

12th Blend Wine

Seahawks 12th Blend: Red, White and Rose!

Seahawks 12th Blend: Red, White and Rose!

Now we’re talking! There are several “12th {wo}man” wine options out there. These come from the Eye of the Needle in Woodinville. It’s not one of my most favorite wineries, but I do enjoy popping by there from time to time!

Plain old beer

Beer koozies

Beer koozies

Nothing wrong with plain old beer! While the alcohol content is there, you can still step up the presentation for this super SportsBall drinking event.

Drinking wine?

AstroTurf wine tags

AstroTurf wine tags

Spice up — and identify — your glass with a football-related tag.

Water

Water!

Water!

Oh yeah, and water. You need water to live (or to sober up after the game!) These are a cute presentation to your standard plastic water bottle. Don’t forget to reuse or recycle them when you’re done!

CHEERS!

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{Wine Wednesday} Christmas cookie & wine pairing

‘Tis the night before Christmas and I’m excited! We’ve been celebrating the holidays all month (sorry for my lack of posting!) and the next few days promise to be full of great company, food, and wine!

We’re celebrating Christmas with my family this evening and I’ve been assigned dessert for our feast. Here’s a sneak peek of some of the goodies we’re bringing:

White Reese's peanut butter cup polar bears

White Reese’s peanut butter cup polar bears

Meringue Christmas trees

Meringue Christmas trees

Leave it to VinePair to read my mind and send this “favorite Christmas cookie and wine pairings” infographic. Sadly none of the cookies we’re bringing are on this list. But, I’m sharing it with you in hopes that you’ll be able to better pair your cookies and wine. 

Have a wonderful Christmas eve and check back tomorrow for our magical 2014 family Christmas photo!

14-christmas-cookies-wine-pairings

 

 

{Wine Wednesday} Thanksgiving wine pairings

WineWednesday

Lucky us: Vine Pair came through again (Halloween candy-booze pairings) and created this infographic pairing wine, beer and booze with almost every Thanksgiving dish option:

thanksgiving-wine-beer-booze-pairing

If your Thanksgiving drinking plans call for wine, keep the corks and bottles! I’m working on some fun holiday wine bottle and cork crafts that I’ll showcase next week! Three cheers for Thanksgiving!

 

{Wine Wednesday} Job well done, winemakers!

Brandon and I had a few open hours last weekend, so we cruised up to Woodinville and did some wine tasting! We stopped by our favorites (Davenport Cellars and Robert Ramsay Cellars) where they were hard at work finishing the last of this year’s de-stemming, fermenting, and barreling. As we know firsthand (well, Brandon, but you know… royal “we”) wine making is hard work!

Our glasses are raised to you, winemakers and everyone who helps support the process. Thank you for your great work and making Wine Wednesdays possible!

Here are some fun photos I shot at Pomum Cellars and Stevens Winery, some of our new favorite spots to frequent:

Brandon sneaking a peak at the Pomum process

Brandon sneaking a peak at the Pomum process

The warm grapes at Stevens -- the fermenting actually creates heat!

The warm grapes at Stevens — the fermenting actually creates heat!

Working the grapes at Stevens Winery

Working the grapes at Stevens Winery

Happy Wine Wednesday! Cheers!

{Wine Wednesday} Fall reds

WineWednesday

Happy Wine Wednesday! It’s not too early to talk about fall, right? It is less than a week away.

I love, love, love the fall. Why? So many reasons. The cooler weather and the crispness in the air, the weather that gives you an excuse to bundle up but isn’t too cold. The spirit of football season and dressing up to watch the games. The smell of freshly-fallen rain. And finally, the RED wine! Enough of the Rieslings and roses. It’s time for some deep, peppery reds.

The weather on Megan’s Island cooled down a bit, long enough for us to open the bottle we got in the Carmel Valley — the award-winning Joullian 2011 Zinfandel. It did not disappoint and was just as good as we remembered.

A very happy wine Wednesday, indeed!

A very happy wine Wednesday, indeed!

What did we pair with the wine? It’s chanterelle season and we sauteed them with thyme and unsalted butter (about 1/2 a stick over 30 minutes of cooking) and added some half rigatoni noodles. We also sauteed baby zucchinis with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper.  Combined the meal was delicious.

We recently received an email from Joullian and our first shipment of wine club wines is set to ship on October 13 — the day after my birthday — and will include their 2011 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 Family Reserve Syrah, and 2012 Estate Sias Cuvee Zin (the next vintage of this wine).

We’re so excited we joined the club! CHEERS!

{Wine Wednesday} Mercer Island Art UnCorked

 
The weather reports are in and it looks like the Pacific Northwest will have fabulous weather on Friday!
 
If you’re looking for something fun to do, I’d suggest a quick visit to Megan’s Island (aka Mercer Island) and enjoy Mercer Island Art UnCorked, an evening of wine-tasting, art, music and food at the Mercer Island Outdoor Sculpture Gallery, located at Sunset Hwy. and 78th Ave SE.  The event runs from 6-9 p.m.
 
A mere $30 buys you at least two wines from 10 different local wineries. Juried artists from both Mercer Island and the Seattle area will have a selection of fine handmade artwork:
 
Along with wine and art, there will be food trucks and music.  A portion of the proceeds from this evening will benefit the scholarship programs of the Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce and Mercer Island Visual Arts League.
 
Wines poured will be available for purchase on-site, with a 10 percent discount.
 
Buy your ticket today — or stop by on Friday!  I hope to see you there!
 
Happy Wine Wednesday! Pour yourself a nice, big glass as you wait for the web to load!
 
 
 

{Wine Wednesday} Carmel Valley wine tasting

Carmel Beach

Carmel Beach

Why the break from blogging? I’ve been traveling! (And working a ton, but talking about travel is way more fun!)

Brandon and I joined my family on a trip to Carmel-by-the-sea for my cousin’s wedding. We had a great trip. It was exactly the escape that we needed. We flew in and out of Oakland and enjoyed the leisurely drive to and from Carmel.

Always down for a wood-fired pizza (we’re almost done curing ours!), so we took Sunset Magazine’s advice and left Carmel for the 15 mile drive east, into the Carmel Valley. It was a scenic drive and really reminded us of Central Washington.

Brandon at Cowgirl Winery

Brandon at Cowgirl Winery

We started at Cowgirl Winery and ate our wood-fired pizza outside among the chickens. We both ordered the red tasting flight, with a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Pinot Noir. Brandon and I both preferred the Pinot but they both paired nicely with the Wild Forest Mushroom White Pizza (truffle oil, parmesan, thyme, shallots, tomato sauce and mozzerella) we ordered.

Me at Cowgirl Winery

Me at Cowgirl Winery

Chickens at Cowgirl

Chickens at Cowgirl

As we were tasting, we noticed the tractor-pulled wine wagon mentioned in the Sunset piece. Of course we had to try it out.

WINE TRACTOR!

WINE TRACTOR!

Cowboy Pete Azevedo took us a few blocks away to the Joullian Vineyards. It was a bumpy, but extraordinarily fun, ride.

Another bench for Brandon... in the bed of the truck!

Another bench for Brandon… in the bed of the truck!

Joullian 2011 Zin

Joullian 2011 Zin

Joullian’s 2011 Sias Cuvee Zinfandel was just awarded the Best in Class at the San Francisco Chronicle’s 2014 Wine Competition. We love Zins, so we knew we needed to check it out. And? It didn’t disappoint. Neither did their other wines. We enjoyed all of the wines so much that we joined their wine club (#4!) and bought a bottle of the Zin to enjoy in Seattle.

We also tried (and bought) Joullian’s wine-filled chocolates. They were delicious! The milk chocolate truffles were filled with Muscat and Zinfandel. The chocolates that we sampled weren’t labeled (we think we both had muscat) and we bought a package of the Zin-filled chocolates.

We also stopped in at the Talbott Vineyards and we were less than impressed. I’d recommend skipping Talbott Vineyards next time you’re in the Carmel Valley. Not only did their wines suck, they were really rude.

That last experience aside, we’ll definitely be back to the Carmel Valley. And we’ll be looking forward to getting our three bottles of Joullian wine delivered this fall… and next spring. And beyond!

We miss you, Carmel Valley! We'll be back!!

We miss you, Carmel Valley! We’ll be back!!