Skip to main content

October 2014 – Spooky Wines

Oct 23, 2014 09:58PM, Published by Jennifer Neys, Categories: Food+Drink



by Maria Terry

I like crazy wines. I like them because they are different and don’t taste like every other wine on the shelf. It’s not that “regular” wines are bad or inferior, but it can be an exciting experience to taste a wine with brand new flavors. Just in time for the spookiest holiday, here are three wines from the Mediterranean that are made with unusual grapes in unusual ways.

To start, what could be more perfect for Halloween than an orange wine? Made from a variety of white grapes, like Ribolla, Vitovska, and Carso, orange wines are produced in northeastern Italy and its neighbors Slovenia and Croatia. Often, these white wines are buried in clay pots and allowed to oxidize for weeks. As a result of this aging, the yellow color we are accustomed to seeing in white wines darkens into a beautiful amber color. The oxidation process also creates unique flavors like dried apricot, camphor, cinnamon, and nuts. Like most Mediterranean wines, they have substantial acidity but little or no sugar. Because of this, they taste good with recipes that have a little sweetness to balance the high acid. I like the Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Apricots below as their pairing partner. The apricots echo the stone fruit flavors of the wine and, along with the maple glaze, offers just the right amount of sweetness. These wines are not easy to find, but Solano Cellars in Berkeley has them on occasion. While they are truly unlike any other wine, if you can’t find one, a late-harvest white dessert wine will work in a pinch.

Plavic Mali is a red grape from Croatia that is actually a cross of Zinfandel and Dobričić. Much like California Zinfandel, it is intensely flavored and high in alcohol and tannin. It has classic aromas of blackberries, black cherries, and black pepper, but is slightly less ripe and fruity than its California cousin. I love the idea of pairing it with a rich Hungarian meat stew called Pörkölt. Pörkölt is always made from poultry, pork, beef, mutton, or venison, with beef being the preferred choice. A big red wine like Plavic Mali or Zinfandel stands up to the pungent fall flavors of paprika and caraway along with the hearty beef.

Passito di Moscato, one of the famous Italian dessert wines, is made using the passito method. The result is a moderately sweet, amber-colored wine with floral, spice and nut aromas. Passito di Moscato, like Recioto and Vin Santo, is "appassire," or wilted/dried, on cane mats. Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding with Brown Sugar Caramel Sauce will play off the spice and nut flavors in the wine as well as maintain the Halloween theme at the end of the evening.

So, go on. Pair Up!

 

Maria Terry is a Certified Sommelier and Wine Educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. www.LaSommelierre.com

 Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Apricots

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb. (8 strips) quality smoked bacon

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Pinch of ground cayenne (to taste)

8 large dried apricots, stemmed

8 pecan halves, toasted

1/4 lb. your favorite blue cheese

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bacon on parchment paper-lined sided cookie sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until partially cooked (so you can wrap the apricots later, while bacon is still soft and won’t crack). 

While bacon is cooking, combine maple syrup and cayenne and set aside for glaze. Open hole of each apricot; stuff each with a pecan half and some cheese to fill generously. Wrap one strip of bacon around each piece of fruit (enclosing the filling) and skewer with a toothpick. Place on a parchment paper-lined sided cookie sheet; brush with some maple syrup glaze and bake 10 minutes. Turn each piece over, brush with more maple syrup glaze and cook another 10 minutes until bacon is crisp. Serve with any remaining maple glaze or make additional for dipping.

Yield: 4 servings

 

Pörkölt

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. salt

1 lb. pork or beef, cut into 1” cubes

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 large onion, minced

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/2 medium green bell pepper, 1” dice

1 tbsp. paprika

1 tsp. caraway seeds

1 large tomato, cored, 1” dice

1 cup red wine

4 cups (or more) water

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Mix flour, 1/2 tsp. paprika, and 1/4 tsp. salt together and place in 1-pound zip top bag. Add meat and shake until coated.

 In a large, straight-sided sauté pan with a tight fitting lid, heat canola oil over medium. Add the seasoned, floured meat to the pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring twice, until meat is browned. Add minced onion and sauté for about 8 more minutes until softened. Add the garlic and green bell pepper. Continue to sauté for another 5 minutes until garlic is fragrant and bell pepper is tender-crisp. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. paprika and caraway seeds evenly over all. Add diced tomatoes, wine, and 4 cups of hot water until the meat is almost covered. Stir and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cover with lid. Let the mixture simmer slowly for about 90-100 minutes, replenishing the water as needed to keep it from getting dry.  Serve over spaetzle, potatoes, rice, or noodles. 

Yield: 4 servings


Pumpkin Bread Pudding w/ Brown Sugar Caramel Sauce

INGREDIENTS

Bread pudding

2 cups half and half

1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin

1 cup (packed) plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsps. pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 tsps. ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsps. vanilla extract

10 cups 1/2-inch cubes egg bread (about 10-ounces)

1/2 cup golden raisins

Caramel sauce

1 1/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup whipping cream

Powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

For bread pudding:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk half and half, pumpkin, dark brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and vanilla extract in large bowl to blend. Fold in bread cubes. Stir in golden raisins. Transfer mixture to a 11x7-inch glass baking dish. Let stand 15 minutes. Bake pumpkin bread pudding until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

 For the caramel sauce:

Whisk brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts. Whisk in cream and stir until sugar dissolves and sauce is smooth, about 3 minutes.

Plate warm pudding just before serving. Dust with powdered sugar, top with sweetened whipped cream, and sprinkle with spiced walnuts.

Yield: 6 servings



  • Happy Hour & A Half

    07/21/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music No cover charge Beverage discount Doors open 4:00


  • SHEILANI ALIX

    07/21/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "Jazz and R&B" Sheilani Alix - vocals Greg Sankovich - keys Kurt Ribak - bass Lincoln Adler...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/22/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • The California Condors of Big Sur Benefit

    07/22/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00AM

    You are invited to a benefit fundraiser for the California Condor and Ventana Wildlife Society ta...


  • THE JONES GANG

    07/22/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "High Octane Americana" Travis Jones - guitar/ vocals Henry Salvia - keyboards Joshua Zucker...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Volunteer Gardening

    07/26/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    07/26/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • Plant Spotlight Classes

    07/26/2017
    12:30PM — 01:00PM

    Bring a sketchbook or notebook to The Gardens at Heather Farm as we spotlight one special plant i...


  • MONTHLY MOSTLY BLUEGRASS EXTRAVAGANZA

    07/26/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Hosted by the Armando's House Bluegrass Band Bruce Campbell - bass Rick Horlick - mandolin L...


  • Happy Hour & A Half

    07/21/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music No cover charge Beverage discount Doors open 4:00


  • SHEILANI ALIX

    07/21/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "Jazz and R&B" Sheilani Alix - vocals Greg Sankovich - keys Kurt Ribak - bass Lincoln Adler...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/22/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • The California Condors of Big Sur Benefit

    07/22/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00AM

    You are invited to a benefit fundraiser for the California Condor and Ventana Wildlife Society ta...


  • THE JONES GANG

    07/22/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "High Octane Americana" Travis Jones - guitar/ vocals Henry Salvia - keyboards Joshua Zucker...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/23/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    07/26/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    07/26/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • Plant Spotlight Classes

    07/26/2017
    12:30PM — 01:00PM

    Bring a sketchbook or notebook to The Gardens at Heather Farm as we spotlight one special plant i...


  • MONTHLY MOSTLY BLUEGRASS EXTRAVAGANZA

    07/26/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Hosted by the Armando's House Bluegrass Band Bruce Campbell - bass Rick Horlick - mandolin L...


  • FPHE Green Team meeting - new members wanted!

    07/27/2017
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    We encourage and support all things Green in Pleasant Hill schools, including school gardens, sal...


  • Summer Sounds - Lesher Center Plaza

    07/27/2017
    05:30PM — 07:00PM

    Modern speakeasy, saloon jazz, parlor pop describes their music. But their ability to charm audie...


  • Artist in Residence Open Studio

    07/27/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Bringing inspiring Bay Area artistic talent to the six acres of lush, natural landscapes at The G...


  • S'mores at Sundown

    07/27/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Relish in the joys of a warm summer night with treats and outdoor activities for families in a be...


  • JENNY KERR BAND

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Country Rock, Blues and Soul” Jenny Kerr - vocals/ guitar/ banjo/ harmonica/ piano Philbilli...


  • Muir Orthopaedic Specialists annual event provides pre-participation evaluation and optional base...


  • Artist in Residence Open Studio

    07/29/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Bringing inspiring Bay Area artistic talent to the six acres of lush, natural landscapes at The G...


  • Eat Stay Love Lafayette Food Tour

    07/29/2017
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Green Hills. Great Schools. Good-tasting Eats. Our Eat – Stay – Love Lafayette food tour is a tw...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/29/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • You are invited to a Party with a Purpose benefiting Monument Crisis Center and Contra Costa Inte...


  • SHARK ALLEY HOBOS + JACKSON & THE IMMORTALS

    07/29/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    SHARK ALLEY HOBOS Che Prasad (guitar, banjo, uke, sitar, accordion, vocals) John Howard (guit...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/30/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • THE SUNDAY PAPER

    07/30/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    "Bay Area Funk" With former and current members of Tower Of Power, Cold Blood, Sly & The Famil...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    07/31/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/01/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/02/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/02/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Ninth Annual Mascot Day at Jelly Belly

    08/02/2017
    11:00AM — 03:00PM

    Visit your favorite mascots at the ninth Annual Mascot Day at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center. Mr....


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/02/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • Plant Spotlight Classes

    08/02/2017
    12:30PM — 01:00PM

    Bring a sketchbook or notebook to The Gardens at Heather Farm as we spotlight one special plant i...


  • Party Under the Palms

    08/02/2017
    05:30PM — 08:00PM

    Unwind under the palm trees at Jack London Square with the coolest craft cocktails as CUESA and t...


  • Habit is the first complete personalized nutrition solution, helping you eat right for your own u...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/03/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Summer Contra Costa Crystal Fair

    08/05/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    The fantastically marvelous Crystal Fair is coming to Walnut Creek on August 5-6. It will be a sp...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/05/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Cute Critter Live Draw

    08/05/2017
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    Join the Bedford Gallery for their Cute Critters Live Draw and art auction from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. ...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/05/2017
    05:00PM — 07:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • The Electric Band: David Laflamme - violin/ vocals Linda Laflamme - vocals Val Fuentes - dru...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/05/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • Summer Contra Costa Crystal Fair

    08/06/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    The fantastically marvelous Crystal Fair is coming to Walnut Creek on August 5-6. It will be a sp...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/06/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Free First Tuesdays at Bedford Gallery

    08/08/2017
    12:00PM — 05:00PM

    Free admission first Tuesday of the month (when open) Sweet n Low features artwork from over 1...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/09/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/09/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • BANJOJAZZ featuring HOWARD ALDEN

    08/09/2017
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    Jack Convery - banjo Howard Alden - banjo/ guitar Dave Marty - banjo Gary Newman - piano Bob ...


  • The Danny Green Trio

    08/10/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    A rising force on the jazz scene, Southern California pianist and composer Green has distinguishe...


  • Happy Hour & A Half

    08/11/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music No cover charge Beverage discount Doors open 4:00


  • DEREK IRVING & HIS COMBO

    08/11/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Retro Rock 'n Roll & Rockabilly” Derek Irving - guitar/ vocals Vance Ehlers - upright bass ...


 

 

 

 

July 2017

 

Oasis Veterinary Pet Adoption Connection

 

Loading Family Features Content Widget
Loading Family Features Article

 

Interested in advertising or becoming a community sponsor? Contact us at 925-335-6397 or email us at info@ourcommunityfocus.com