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The Bachelor on the Cheap guide to making wine selection and food pairing easier - Pinot Noir

Wine FunBy Mike Thayer

This is the sixth of an ongoing series of wines and food pairings

Wine, it's the perfect beverage for a romantic dinner, a go-to for a casual get-together/party and a holiday meal is complimented by it.  Whether it's a meal for two, a small party for friends or a gathering of family, having the right wine elevates the occasion. 

And while most people follow the basic rule of thumb - red wine for beef and white wine for chicken - selecting the right wine can still be challenging.  What KIND of red for that roast beef?  Or, What KIND of white for that lemon chicken dish?  Does dessert call for a different wine?

The choices are many and can be intimidating, with the reds there's Merlot; Cabernet Sauvignon; Zinfandel; Syrah/Shiraz; Malbec; Pinot Noir; Nebbiolo; Sangiovese; Grenache and all kinds of red blends to choose from.

With the whites there's Chardonnay; Sauvignon Blanc; Moscato; Pinot Grigio; Riesling; Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Torrontes, Albarino and yes, white wine has it's share of blends as well.

So you walk into the liquor store in need of a bottle of wine for a dinner date or special occasion... 

Sure, you can rely on the store attendant to help you with a selection but that can be hit or miss.  A good attendant will ask you if you prefer wines on the sweeter or dryer side and what you might be pairing it with.  But keep in mind the attendant's palate is different than yours, their sweet and dry preferences are different than yours and they might try to push a particular brand on you that's in the store's best interest, not yours.  So why not walk in the store knowing what you need?  That's what this guide is for, to help you with food pairings, what is sweet, what is dry and getting a good wine for under $15 a bottle.  That's the Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly thing to do, get something nice, without paying too much for it.

For previous reviews, click on the link below:

Today's featured wine:  Pinot Noir

First cultivated in Burgundy, France, the Pinot Noir grape is now grown all over the world.  The appeal of Pinot Noir is how versatile it is with food pairings, it's a red that can go with just about anything.  Think about that next date, you're at a quaint restaurant, a candlelit table for two...   You're having steak, your date is having salmon, what kind of wine can you share?  Get a bottle of Pinot Noir!  With flavors of cherry, plum, spice, and some earthy notes, this food friendly wine has soft tannins and a bright acidity.  It's a lighter bodied red wine with a smooth finish.  Pinot Noir is an excellent choice for a charcuterie board that includes ham, goat cheese and olives.  And in thinking of the diversity of a charcuterie board and all those great options, think pizza and all the great topping options...  Yes, pizza and Pinot Noir is a great match!  Pot Roast, roast turkey, roast chicken, glazed ham, rack of lamb, the aforementioned steak and salmon, they're all complimented by a glass (or two) of Pinot Noir.  This wine is also excellent with mushroom anything, asparagus and roasted root vegetables.  It pairs well with hummus (w/roasted red pepper is a personal favorite), gnocchi, ravioli, risotto and here's a really good one, spinach & artichoke dip.    For dessert, think chocolate, decadent brownies, chocolate covered strawberries or a chocolate mousse.  And like other red wines, serve it slightly chilled, at 60 - 65 degrees (refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving).

Bread-Butter-Pinot-NoirBachelor on the Cheap Recomendation: Bread & Butter Pinot Noir - $14.99.  Here's the description:  Bread & Butter Pinot Noir is all about that juicy red fruit. Think cherries and raspberries with a touch of cassis. Delicate hints of cedar, smoke, and bay leaf cut the sweetness of the fruit, creating a nicely balanced bouquet. That luscious fruit bouquet continues onto the palate, where it’s joined by soft flavors of oak and savory notes. With a long and beautifully smooth finish, this Pinot Noir will melt in your mouth.

And something to consider, subscribing to a wine club.  Here's one that I've tried and I have to say every bottle I sampled was something I would order again.  WineShop at Home

Next Up in the series:  Nebbiolo

$pend Wisely My Friends...


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The Bachelor on the Cheap guide to making wine selection and food pairing easier - Malbec

Wine FunBy Mike Thayer

This is the fifth of an ongoing series of wines and food pairings

Wine, it's the perfect beverage for a romantic dinner, a go-to for a casual get-together/party and a holiday meal is complimented by it.  Whether it's a meal for two, a small party for friends or a gathering of family, having the right wine elevates the occasion. 

And while most people follow the basic rule of thumb - red wine for beef and white wine for chicken - selecting the right wine can still be challenging.  What KIND of red for that roast beef?  Or, What KIND of white for that lemon chicken dish?  Does dessert call for a different wine?

The choices are many and can be intimidating, with the reds there's Merlot; Cabernet Sauvignon; Zinfandel; Syrah/Shiraz; Malbec; Pinot Noir; Nebbiolo; Sangiovese; Grenache and all kinds of red blends to choose from.

With the whites there's Chardonnay; Sauvignon Blanc; Moscato; Pinot Grigio; Riesling; Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Torrontes, Albarino and yes, white wine has it's share of blends as well.

So you walk into the liquor store in need of a bottle of wine for a dinner date or special occasion... 

Sure, you can rely on the store attendant to help you with a selection but that can be hit or miss.  A good attendant will ask you if you prefer wines on the sweeter or dryer side and what you might be pairing it with.  But keep in mind the attendant's palate is different than yours, their sweet and dry preferences are different than yours and they might try to push a particular brand on you that's in the store's best interest, not yours.  So why not walk in the store knowing what you need?  That's what this guide is for, to help you with food pairings, what is sweet, what is dry and getting a good wine for under $15 a bottle.  That's the Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly thing to do, get something nice, without paying too much for it.

For previous reviews, click on the link below:

Today's featured wine:  Malbec

According to Wine Folly, Malbec has been a popular blending grape in France for years, but thanks to Argentina, Malbec has become popular in it's own right.   This is a very fruity wine with a deep purple color and full body.  Carrying notes of blackberry, black plum, and black cherry, the wine also has savory notes such as black pepper, spice, sweet tobacco and cocoa.  Typically higher in alcohol content than other wines it also has a short finish, to mean it doesn't stay on your tongue long.   Because of that short finish, Malbec pairs well with leaner meats like a flank steak rather than a ribeye.  Pork loin dishes are a nice pairing as is poultry with dark meat and leaner cuts of lamb.  Game meats such as bison, venison and ostrich are also good.   For folks seeking lighter fare, Malbec pairs well with goat and blue cheeses.  Mushrooms are excellent with this wine as are stuffed peppers.  For dessert, think chocolate desserts and/or salty caramel.  Serve Malbec in a wide bodied glass to take full advantage of the fruity aromas.   And like other red wines, serve it slightly chilled, at 60 - 65 degrees (refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving). And you've heard the phrase, "Let the wine breathe?" Malbec benefits from decanting (that means pour the wine out of the bottle and into a decanter for those of you who live in Haysville). Go with a Malbec made in Argentina, that's where the best ones come from.

Alamos MalbecBachelor on the Cheap Recomendation: Alamos Malbec - $10.99.  Here's the description:  Alamos Malbec captures the spirit and terroir of Argentina’s signature variety. Grown at high-level altitudes, our Malbec offers layers of dark cherry and blackberry with a velvety mouthfeel. This complex red wine pairs beautifully with a wide range of cuisine and is recognized for its pronounced freshness.

And something to consider, subscribing to a wine club.  Here's one that I've tried and I have to say every bottle I sampled was something I would order again.  WineShop at Home

Next Up in the series:  Pinot Noir

$pend Wisely My Friends...