Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wine Cubes?!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is preparing for a great 2012.
Sometimes we finish all our wine at a holiday party and sometimes we have leftover wine in the bottle..."How long will it keep?" is one of my most asked questions. Of course there are variables as to how to answer that because all wines are different and the levels in the bottles can be different. But none-the-less, if you seal up your wine and do not allow additional air to continue to enter the bottle, it should last a couple of days. Fortified wines can last a bit longer. But if you have several bottles open and you just can't finish them, then pour the wine into ice cube trays and freeze them. When frozen, empty the ice cube trays and store in a ziploc bag. These "wine cubes" are excellent to add to all your favorite recipes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One of My Favorite Quotes...

As Benjamin Franklin said...
"Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance."

Friday, November 18, 2011

Recipe Week ... #5 ... Viognier Dressing

We all tend to start our holiday
meals with some sort of salad so I went through my recipe book to find this absolutely delicious dressing...

Zesty Mustard Viognier Dressing


1 c. Mayonnaise

1/4 c. Dijon Mustard

1/4 c. Viognier Wine

1 Tbsp. Sugar

1 tsp. Honey

1/4 tsp. Black Pepper

1/4 tsp. Salt

This yields approximately 1.5 Cups.

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth and creamy...Enjoy!!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Recipe Week ... #3 ... USB Brownies

It is Wine Wednesday and what better recipe to add but Brownies made with Corcoran USB "Port-style" wine. This recipe was created by Karen and she loves to pair them in the tasting room so the next time you stop by, ask for one of Karen's famous brownies :)

USB Port Ghirardelli Brownies
For 16 brownies, you will need:
8”x8”, 9”x9” or 11”x7” pan
1 box of Ghirardelli Brownie mix
½ c. USB Port
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 egg
For 24 extra thick brownies, you will need:
13”x9” pan
2 boxes of Ghirardelli Brownie mix
1 c. USB Port
2/3 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare baking pan by lightly greasing or spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
2) Place dessert wine, oil & eggs in mixing bowl & stir until fully mixed. Add brownie mix & stir until well-blended. Spread in prepared pan. Let it sit at least 30 min. before baking.
3) Bake 45-50 min. for 16 brownies. Bake 50-55 min. for 24 brownies.
For glass pan, add 5 min. to the bake time. Cool completely in pan before cutting. Do not over bake. Store in a tightly covered container.
Enjoy with a glass of USB!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Recipe Week...1st up... Lemon Bars by Tony

Monday...the week prior to Thanksgiving when we are pulling out our recipe books and planning for all those holiday gatherings.
I would like to offer several recipes that are made using Corcoran wines, so if you have something you have created, let us know!!
Here is my first one, LEMON BARS, which was created by one of our favorite customers, Tony!
Enjoy, I sure am!!
2 sticks softened unsalted butter
big 1/2C powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
2C flour
8 eggs
1 1/2 Corcoran Cello
1/2C sugar
3/4C heavy cream
2 lemons (zest + juice)
oven 350
In processor, mix crust. Knead on floured counter. Add powdered sugar if too sticky. Spray oil 13x9 pan. Press into pan. Bake 15-20 min til golden.
Whisk eggs, sugar, lemon, zest, and Corcoran Cello til combined. Stir in cream. Pour over crust. Bake 15-20min til set. Cool on rack. Fridge. If you fridge while still warm it will weep.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat?!

Happy Halloween!
We had our first snow storm of the season and it wasn't even winter yet, so I thought!
Since the weather is soooo cold, we are quick to change our wine drinking from crisp whites to full bodied reds.
But wait, it is still fall and I am going to take the kids out trick or treating and we'll have candy to enjoy at home, so what shall I drink with that?
Some quick thoughts for pairing your treats:
Milk Chocolate & Peanut Butter, great with light bodied reds with little to no tannins (Corcoran Chambourcin).
Dark Chocolate with Carmel & Nuts, great with a medium bodied red with medium tannins (Corcoran Hunters Run Red).
Corcoran offers two dessert style reds; RAZ & USB, both will go excellent with any dark chocolate.
Need I say more?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's Harvest Time

Grapes are being harvested and wine is being made, but last year I made wine with 100% Virginia grown apples and I love it! Not one grape was added to this wine and it has become one of our most popular. Not sweet, not tart, but crisp! I like to say I made this wine to be similar to a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Perfect for a warm fall day or with turkey and all the fixin's...yum!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dessert Pairing with Beer!

Going over to the beer side of things...Kevin, our brew master was sampling some of our beers and created this blend of two beers, similar to a black & tan, just for fun. The dark beer on top is our Slainte Stout, which is the beer I like to pair with dessert.
Slainte Stout is less heavy than a typical Stout but has a smooth chocolate finish. With a hint of coffee on the nose and a chocolate taste, this ale pairs perfectly with any of those dark chocolate treats. Truffles, torts, brownies or cupcakes would all taste great with this beer!
See our new website for more information on all the beers we have to offer.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pairing Desserts :) all I can say about pairing desserts with wine!
One of our newest wines, Cello, is a Petit Manseng wine that I fortified and infused with fresh lemon zest. I like to serve this wine icy-icy cold with pound cake a-la-mode or vanilla cupcakes.
Shown here in my herb garden, I pair with the pineapple mint which will take the sweetness down a notch and make it more of a dinner wine. Try with lemon chicken or a mango salsa.
A personal
favorite as dessert in a glass...Cheers!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Time for Rose'

I have the BBQ fired up and we are grillin' most evenings so it must be time for a glass of Rose'.
We just released our 2010 Rose' and it pairs perfectly with something right off the grill. Try it with BBQ chicken or BBQ salmon and let me know what you think...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Refreshing Drink...

Here is one of my favorite recipes to enjoy on these hot summer days:
2 parts Traminette (slightly sweet/fruitier white wine)
1 part Chambourcin (light red wine)
1 part Sparkling Wine (love adding bubbles)
Mix all together in a pitcher over frozen fruit which will keep the Sangria chilled as well as add additional fruit flavors.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Time for Herbs & Wine :~)

I finally found the last of the herbs I was looking for, Stevia! It is the sugar substitute plant that is sweet and the perfect partner to Chocolate Mint. I have planted and re-planted dozens of herbs in order to offer just the right pairing with wine.
Most people think that red meat should pair with red wine and white meat with white wine, but in fact it is the herb/spice in the sauce that makes the pairing most critical.
As the warm days are upon us and we start grillin' out more, preparing summer salads and rethink the wine we are drinkin'. We'll move away from the heavy reds and lean towards the light, crisp chilled whites so what do we pair with these new wines??
I recently snipped some of my Pineapple Mint and paired it with our new Traminette...very nice! Then I got some Hot & Spicy Oregano...what wine should I pair with this?? What about Basil, Tarragon, Day Lilies?? Only time will tell and hopefully you can come out on a Sunday to Corcoran Vineyards and experience how we change your palate, one herb & one wine at a time.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easter Pairings!

Where did March go?? Here we are at Easter time and I never did a blog for March...yikes!
As we prepare for an Easter feast with family and friends, we bring out the ham. What wine pairs with ham?? That is one of the hardest foods to pair with wine because it is usually salty, with or without honey glaze and maybe even smoked, but all with salt. Ok...lets think of who is actually writing this blog :) My favorite is always bubbles and you know sparkling wine pairs wonderfully with ham. But in case you don't care for that...a dry Rose' is always nice.

Are you doing an Easter brunch with all the fixin's...pancakes, eggs & bacon... more salt but also more complex with both sweet & salty. Again, my go to wine is sparkling because it does truly pair with salty foods, but a Rose' will be nice as well as a light white wine with no oak and more fruit.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Girl Scout Cookie Time...

Well...what can I say...just received my shipment of Girl Scout cookies and the first thing I thought of was, lets pair them with wine?!
Samoa was first up and was quite delicious with the Corcoran Malbec, the chocolate and carmel with the crisp cookie middle...yummy!! Our Malbec is very light in comparison to the Argentinean Malbecs, who has a much longer grower season then us, here in Virginia. So that means lots of spice, some acid and a bit of fruit for us.
Next up was the Tag-a-long, milk chocolate covered cookies with creamy peanut butter in the middle (ok...yummy on its own)...what wine shall I choose?? I pulled the Corcoran Chambourcin because of it doesn't have a lot of tannins and is quite light in did quite well paired with this chocolate covered, peanut butter cookie, I must say!
Last of the evening, but most certainly not least, was the Thin Mint....what to have with a dark chocolate covered chocolate flavored mint cookie??? Ok...I opened the Hunters Run Red, another light red with a Cabernet Franc base blended with Barbera and Tannat. I was thinking that because of the light tannins it would pair good with the chocolate, but the mint does take over here and found it hard to taste all the complexities of the wine with so much other flavors from the cookie...after one cookie and a nice size glass of wine, it paired well...which makes it nice so that I don't eat too many cookies :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Toast to a New Year!

We rung in a new year and brought out the bubbles...Champagne or Sparkling Wine, but why do we only drink these on New Years or special occasions? I don't, but do you??
Sparkling Wine is something that can be paired with just about everything and comes in a variety of styles to please almost every palate. Some styles are called Ultra Brut (bone dry) to Extra Brut to Brut to Extra Dry to Dry/Secco, to Demi-Sec (sweet) to luscious which is often called Sweet/Doux. With so many options, why not cleanse the palate prior to a meal with a dry sparkling like a Cava, enjoy one with some sweetness during a brunch like an Asti or have a sweet one alone for dessert.
Make tonight a special occasion and enjoy some bubbles!
Happy New Year!