I’ve been following Courtney’s Quit Wineing wine blog for quite some time now. What I love about her blog is that she makes wine fun and entertaining. I enjoy her writing style and she makes wine approachable. As someone who grew up in the restaurant business and has sommelier friends all around her, I will admit that I don’t know how to taste wine in the traditional sense. I like what I like and can’t tell you if I taste blueberries or tar in a wine. Okay, well maybe tar.
Anyway, my favorite thing is that she loves to pair wine with food other than fish and steak. I will totally take her advice on pairing wine with mac n cheese or Top Ramen. She even tweeted about pairing fries with Champagne! Sounds like my NYE plan. Hopefully, I’ll have more on that later.
I reached out to Courtney on doing a feature on my blog. Because of the time of year, we decided on a holiday/winter wonderland wedding pairing. Check out Courtney’s suggestions below.
My 3 suggestions for a Winter Wonderland Wedding are:
1. Signature Winter Wonderland Wedding WINEtail: I served a signature cocktail at my wedding and it was huge hit! When I hear the words “Winter Wonderland,” I think of white snowflakes and shiny crystals hanging from tree branches…maybe with a hint of red mixed in. Mixologist Wendy Hodges and I collaborated on the ultimate WINEtail to impress guests at a Winter Wonderland inspired wedding:
1 oz. Chocolate Shop “Creme de Cocoa” Wine
1 oz. Godiva white chocolate
1 oz. Peppermint Schnapps
1/2 oz. White Chocolate Syrup (Should also be used for dipping rim of glass)
1 candy cane (crushed)
Directions: Prior to serving, dip the rim of a wine glass in white chocolate syrup and then into the crushed candy cane to coat 1/2 inch. This creates a decorative rim. Keep glass refrigerated after dipping with syrup and crushed candy cane to set. Then mix first 4 ingredients together and shake over ice until chilled. Pour into prepared wine glass and serve. Enjoy!
2. “White” Burgundy. It’s Chardonnay from France at its finest. Unlike many oaky, tropical flavored versions of New World (anything outside of Europe) Chardonnay, white Burgundy’s grapes are grown in limestone rich soils which impart a sense of minerality and offer a refreshing amount of acidity due to a cooler growing climate. It works with everything from roasted chicken to steamed lobster and even veal in a cream sauce or pork loin. This wine would be great for the cocktail hour, as well as an option at dinner. I’d probably also offer a red wine if there’s going to be red meat on the menu, unless you choose a white Burgundy with a little more structure like that of the Puligny-Montrachet appellation, which can prove to be quite costly. A great value white Burgundy is Domaine de la Cadette Bourgogne Blanc priced at about $18/bottle.
3. Cru Beaujolais. “Cru” means high quality. Beaujolais is a red wine from France, made from the Gamay grape. Beaujolais is a lot like Pinot Noir: light-bodied and earthy..and since everyone loves Pinot, this is something different and exciting to drink at a wedding since it pairs so well with just about anything you may serve. Plus, the best versions of Beaujolais come at quite a significant cost difference to that of French Pinot Noir, aka red Burgundy. This wine is extremely food friendly and will work with everything from greek salad to roasted chicken, steak to hamburgers and even pizza. During cocktail hour at my wedding, I served mini bacon cheeseburger sliders and mini grilled cheese with french fries and ketchup. Cru Beaujolais would have been perfect with it! Plus, it’s super hip amongst the Sommelier community. A great value, easy to enjoy Cru Beaujolais is Trénel Fils Chiroubles, priced at about $16/bottle.
About Courtney Brown – Native to Las Vegas, I hold a sommelier certification from the American Court of Masters and a sommelier diploma from the International Sommelier Guild. I write an unconventional, highly entertaining wine blog called “Quit WINEing,” where I pair everything from a break up to French fries with wine. I have been featured in and on the cover ofSEVEN Magazine and deemed as the “Wine Muse” for Vegas Rated Magazine. As a freelance sommelier, I provide personalized wine services for stylish wine parties, weddings, restaurants and corporate clients. My main goal is to make wine fun, understandable and enjoyable! When I’m not working I like to take in a flick (with Champagne hidden in my purse to pair with popcorn), watch a live comedy show, host dinner parties in my home, enjoy a cup of joe with my girlfriends, travel and, of course, drink lots and lots of wine! I’m a recent newlywed and madly in love with my husband and 2 doggies! I’m also a serious chocoholic! My wine glass is always half full and if I was to die tomorrow, I’d want my last meal to be Champagne and French fries!!
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