More Great Wine – More Great Recipes


A big thank you to the huge amount of you that shared and read last week’s blog on comfort food.  I had tremendous feedback, especially from some non-wine drinkers who really enjoyed the recipes.   (Lisa, again thanks for the great idea)…Are we on to something here?  Or is winter bringing out the comfort food in people?  It doesn’t matter, here are a few more of my favorite recipes with some of my favorite wines and some new wines I have discovered since the holidays.

   Caprese Chicken

Nothing irritates me more than making a recipe, and it doesn’t come out looking like the recipe.  I guarantee, if you try this recipe, it will come out looking like the picture above.  Also, it is so easy, both my cooking-challenged sisters could make this recipe, and it would still come out looking like the picture.  I had this recipe last night, so I thought I would share it today.  EASY!

Caprese Chicken (5 easy ingredients)

* Chicken Breast * Mozzarella Cheese *Balsamic Vinegar * Tomato * Sun-dried Tomato Salad Dressing *Basil

– Cook the chicken in the Sun-dried Tomato Salad Dressing till almost done

– Slice real Mozzarella cheese and place it on top

– Lay a slice of tomato (or 2) on top

Finish cooking, till the Mozzarella cheese has started to melt down the sides

Remote from heat, and drizzle Balsamic vinegar over the chicken.  Sprinkle with Basil, and I love fresh Basil.

Every time I make this for guests, they are super impressed, and  honestly, it’s my week-day go-to chicken dish, because it is so easy.

Now the fun part….. matching the wine!

This is the wine I had with it, it’s a Pinot Noir from Burgundy.   Oh, to say they were good together would be an understatement.   It was divine.   It was a 2006 Savigny Les Beaune from the Burguny region in France.  So flavorful and smooth, there is not a drop left in that bottle this morning.

The wine next to it  is a new wine I have discovered this past week, and it would be a great wine to go with those delicious chicken flavors.  A blend of Syrah (55%), Grenache, Mourvedre and Petit Sirah make it complex enough to stand up to all those unique flavors in the Caprese Chicken, but won’t over power it.  Winemaker Austin Hope has created a delicious fruity wine with flavors of smoke and violets.  I have to stop recommending wine to people, I went back to buy more at my favorite store and it was sold out.  As was this one….

The DaDa 2 from Argentina, which is 100% Merlot, was sold out as well.  This wine would also go excellent with the chicken, and at just $15.99 a bottle, this is a staple in my wine rack.  I have everyone at the Radio Station I work at (the job that pays for the wine) drinking this wine and loving it…. I have to stop that.. (only kidding).  Plump, juicy and flavorful, this wine goes great with most chicken and pork dishes.

A Chardonnay would also go perfect with this chicken dish, and this is a new one I got this week.  490 Meters Chardonnay is fresh and fruity with flavors of peach, fruit salad and citrus.    And it comes in under $20.  Another choice for Chardonnay, would be the Dreaming Tree Chardonnay from Dave Matthews’ Vineyard in California.
And because Caprese Chicken is Italian, an Italian Pinot Grigio would be awesome together.   A good rule of thumb is that a wine from a region on many occasions will go with food from the region.  In all my wine courses I am told, ‘Match the wine of a region to the food of the region’.    So many wines, one chicken dish.
BBQ Ribs  ( I knew that would get your attention!)
My Dad says that I make the best BBQ Ribs he has ever had.  And every time he comes to visit, or I go home to visit, he asks me to make my ribs.  Like the picture below I separate my Baby Back Ribs bone by bone as well.   This recipe isn’t hard either, but it does take some time.
So you start with my marinade.  As you can tell with many of my recipes, I don’t use measuring spoons, so just toss it in a bowl.
* Brown Sugar * Vinegar * Worcestershire Sauce * Lime Juice * Fresh Ground Pepper * Chili Powder * Garlic * Paprika * Bottle of BBQ Sauce.
I like to marinade them for 6 hours, or even overnight.  Then I put them in my crock pot, and slow cook them for about 3 hours.  Your house will smell delicious.  Then I fire up the grill and finish them off to get those nice grill marks, and a little more BBQ sauce.   Low heat, as they are cooked and you don’t want them to burn.
Here’s the beauty about making BBQ ribs.  You enjoy wine while cooking the ribs on the grill,  and you enjoy wine while eating the ribs.  It’s win-win really.
Having an Old Vine Zinfandel with BBQ ribs is like having the love of your life serenade you with a love song.  It’s just makes your heart skip a beat.  Gnarly head is one of my favorites and under $20, another win-win situation.  An old vine Zinfandel makes a statement, and a delicious one.  Flavors of spice, plum, vanilla and toasted oak, this wine goes with any food you want to put on the grill.
A California Cabernet Sauvignon would also go hand in hand with BBQ ribs and McManis makes a gorgeous award-winning Cab.  Dark berry fruits, a hint of smoke, and toasty oak screams for BBQ ribs.  Also a great wine with BBQ steak.  I am a huge fan of the full line of wines from the McManis family.  Check them out, and let me know what you think.

On that note, I thought this was good advice to leave you with.  Live Simply, Laugh Often and Wine A Lot!  Thanks for sharing with your friends, it’s greatly appreciated.

Till next week, In Vino Veritas  (In Wine there is Truth)


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