Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What's for DINNER, Mom?

SORRY GUYS!! None of Mom's world famous Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde tonight!
What can we grab on the way home?? Dare we use the coveted Wawa hoagie coupons from a school fundraiser, or save them for another more perilous itinerary?? Pasquale's Pizza IS on the way home, and cheese steak calzone DOES sound good...
Next burning question that just may alter the time/space continuum; What wines do I have stocked at the house?
Hey, you can't blame me for trying to pretend dinner was NOT a rushed decision made on my way through town.
We can still enjoy our hastily acquired food on the real everyday china, all sit at the table (after everyone has SCRUBBED their hands thoroughly) and eat like civilized human beings. A nice glass of wine imparts the feeling that I had this all under control all along.

The stress of meal planning is almost universal this time of year. Just Mad Lib it:
"I have been so busy with__________ (activity) that I have no time to chop_______ (plural vegetable) or pan sear_________(cut of juicy meat), much less consider making___________(starchy carbohydrate you shouldn't eat, or have any business adding massive amounts of butter to)."

Blame it on baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, rototilling your garden. You can even blame it on daylight savings time! That extra hour of daylight still has us all fooled. I am constantly glancing at the clock only to gasp - "Holy cow!! Where did my late afternoon escape to; and, what can I pull off as dinner in the next 15 minutes??"

So, getting to the point, my schedule for the next few weeks is particularly precarious and I must plan accordingly. So, without further adieu here are my picks for pairing a wine to make dinner at least FEEL like, if not taste like I slaved over the stove all day.

Out of the ordinary:
Hoagies and OCTORARA ROSE' (-OR - Subs or Grinders; depending what part of Massachusetts you originate, or what the remainder of the states you hail from that subscribe to one of the trio)
I dare refer to this as my "Hoagie wine", so as to not offend Tim, or anyone else here revolving in finer wine circles. Amazingly enough however, the acidity of the wine balances with the traditional oil and vinegar, and the subtle hints of Cabernet Sauvignon compliment well with the peppery capicola and hard salami. Since it is a lighter Cab, it won't overtake the deli meats, rather punctuate them. I did lure a few unsuspecting participants with the unmistakeable and unrelenting bouquet of genuine Italian hoagie in all it's magnificent glory (I appologize to my customers that appeared right after I enjoyed said hoagie - it does tend to linger) to try it with a few wines and Octorara Rose' was the unanimous pick.
I must also add that the Octorara Rose' won SILVER at the San Diego wine competition!!
Congrats to Tim, and all who work endlessly to produce fabulous wine!
Stop by to give it a sampling - a lovely Rose' wine from both Cab's Sauvignon and Franc, a little lighter that what you might expect from a Cabernet. The brief science behind it is: the lighter vat "bleedings" from 2008 Cabernets blended with a little of the 2007 Cabs resulting in a light Cabernet, still with a nice oaky toast and Cab pepper - but not so deep a red to eclipse lighter fare as pork, or Italian chicken dishes.

The rest of my "fast food" from home and abroad pairings I will be trying for the duration of baseball season, and Twin Brook concert picnics:
Pizza (white): Pinot Gris (soon to be released!)
Pizza (red): Consiglieri
Cheese Burgers: Strasburger Red
Hot Dogs: Blossom Blush
Cheesesteaks: Cabernet Sauvignon
Sloppy Joe's: Icebreaker Blush
Mac N' Cheese: (add a little dried Basil) - Pinot Gris
(top with some Sofrito or salsa) - Chardonnay Reserve

If we all just close our eyes and savor every sip with a family meal, all will be right with the world, no matter WHAT'S for dinner!


  1. Ok... Seriously - you are quite the goddess! I thoroughly enjoyed your post, and appreciate all your input on wine and food pairings - makes complete sense to me (and makes for less guess work for me too). Thanks CJ!!!

  2. GREAT post! I'm all over the Strasburger & cheeseburgers :) Thanks!

    -- Doug
    -- Uncorked Remarks