Category

Wine

Oysters & White Wine – A Guide to the Perfect Pairing

Amazing Matriarch is here to help you host the perfect oyster & white wine paring be it for your next party, or a night in with your special someone.

The Oysters

The best way to pick oysters is to do a taste test; whether it be with a marked, mixed dozen at home or at a local raw bar (check out the 10best oyster bars in Boston or search 10best.com  for ideas in your city from other local experts) a sampling will hep you decide what you want to serve.

There’s been a battle between east and west coast oysters for years, personally I find oysters from each coast equally enjoyable, while my husband prefers the more mild flavors and smaller since of west coast oysters. The difference between oyster from each coast is that you’ll find large, firm, meaty morsels of high salinity in the shells of east coast oysters and a slightly sweet melon and cucumber flavor in the smaller, more delicate west coast oysters.

A mix of both is always nice, but  as an east coaster with easy access to briny delights from local waters year-round; who buy into the fresh is  best when it comes to food (especially raw seafood) movement, I recommend sourcing oysters from local farmers and seafood shacks.

Popular east coast oysters, that are easily accessible and worth shucking at home include:

Oysters on the half shell at home
Oysters on the half shell at home
  • Wellfleet – large, meaty, clean tasting with excellent salinity
  • PEI, Malpeque– tender, the brininess and sweetness are in balance
  • Island Creek– rich, fatty meat with a buttery finish in a deep cup
  • Blue Point– medium in size with a mild ocean flavor, meaty and from in texture

Popular west coast oysters worth seeking out include:

  • Kumamoto– cucumber flavor, deep cups, small in size
  • Fanny Bay– strong cucumber flavor, meaty and firm

Serve shucked on a platter of crushed ice or alongside shucking knives and gloves (oven mitts work well) for a more casual “shuck your own” event.

The Sauces

Meeting Chef Justin Shoults
Meeting Chef Justin Shoults

Whatever oysters you choose to serve and however you choose to serve them, be sure to have a sampling of sauces on hand:

  • Tabasco: the watery nature of tabasco allows for a hint of heat without too much bulk to overwhelm the oyster’s texture
  • Lemon wedges: technically not a sauce, just a squeeze of lemon over your oyster is all you need to counterbalance the salinity of what’s in the cups
  • Cocktail sauce: “beginners” eat oysters with cocktail sauce, but those who truly enjoy the oyster prefer to eat it without as the heft of the this sauce. It’s strong flavor and dense texture can overwhelm the oyster (do not even think of putting on west coast oysters) so use sparingly.
  • Mignonette– this vinegar based sauce is easy to prepare and can be altered using various add in (herbs, type of vinegar, & flavoring agents like ginger). My favoirte, simple mignonette to make is from Ina Garten and Food Network.
  • Herbed Creme Fraiche– This is delightful on both east and west coast oysters where the mild flavor enhances the oyster; a sorel laced version I tasted at a seminar presented by Brine’s Chef, Justin Shoults at the 2015 Nantucket Wine Festival was perfect, but other herbs can easily be subbed in, just be sure to puree the herbs as to avoid a chunky sauce.

 

The Wine

Sampling of whites with oysters
Sampling of whites with oysters

I typically pair my oysters with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Luckily, when participating in the Flight of the Oyster tasting at The Nantucket Wine Festival there was an expert (Philippe Newlin) on hand to create a perfect pairing with  dry to sweet Bordeaux; changing how I look at my at home raw bar drink selection forever.

Six that worked well:

  • Sirech Les Deux Terroirs Blanc 2013, Pessac-Leognan
  • Chateau Marjosse 2013, Entre-Deux-Mers
  • Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc 2013, Pessac-Leognan
  • Chateau Cos d’Estournel Blanc 2013, Medoc
  • Hauts de Smith Blanc 2012, Pessac-Leognan
  • Chateau Suduiraut 2007, Pessac-Leognan

Pour your sips and savor the oysters finding the combination that calls to you and filling that glass to the top.

-Helping you rock the raw bar, Jess

What’s your favorite oyster pairing? Tell us via Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  Tag us on social using#amazingmatriarch

 

 

Snacks that Outshine the Lit at Book Club

Hosting book club always leads to a menu complete with snacks from Trader Joe’s, cheese, wine and recipes I’ve been dying to try. My May menu was inspired by spring, a longing for summer and a desire to try something different. Having actually finished the book, The Girl on the Train, I was not only ready to discuss the literature (total thriller, few clues, was never sure of the ending) but excited to sit, eat and drink with the ladies I’ve been sharing lit with since 2010.

Along with my requisite cheese plate and no-fuss heat and serve Trader Joe’ s Shrimp Gyoza, I added two healthy, homemade appetizers and a crock pot dessert that made the ladies in my book club happy.

A big fan of green peas, I’d been dying to try Cooking Light’s Sweet Pea Crostini with Ricotta from the April, 2015 magazine. Feeling a little lazy (and entertaining a 2 year old all day), I skipped the whole make your own ricotta from Greek yogurt thing, and simply bought a small container of fat free ricotta cheese at my local market. This saved me a bit of time and clean-up so I could move along to other recipes before straightening out the disaster area I call my downstairs (in all fairness lots of fun is had here by my kids, but I never can quite keep up with the cleaning).IMG_2112

Assembled beforehand, these look lovely, but I opted for a make your own serving style as to limit waste because this pea spread would be fabulous on We Are Not Martha’s, Lemon Parmesan Spring Flatbread with Ricotta and Peas.

Along with the homemade crostini, I whipped up an Eating Well bean salad. Anyone with a blender, knife and can opener can master this healthy salad. A mixture of pink beans, yellow peppers, and edamame is topped with an herb focused avocado dressing that whips up in the blender in under a minute.  Served cold or at room temperature this meat free, protein packed powerhouse of  salad was flavorful and filling.

To drink we enjoyed our white and red, but in I was inspired to mix us a little sip of summer. Using pre-made Trader Joe’s Watermelon Cucumber Cooler I added a cup and 1/2 of silver tequila and a small bottle of champagne. Gently stirred, it was served in a glass over ice. This sipper was a star.

So much so that I made similar by the glass cocktails for a smaller crowd a few days later, altering the recipe to create something slightly different. Using the same Trader Joe’s Watermelon Cucumber Cooler, I subbed in a shot of  Privateer Rum and a splash of club soda. This cocktail was another winner and has me thinking that I’ll be stocking up on Trader Joe’s Watermelon Cucumber Cooler to use at all my summer gatherings.

A baker I am not; so when I found a crockpot rice pudding recipe in the June, 2015  issue of Cooking Light, I was determined to test it out, and book club gave me the perfect excuse.  This crockpot special features cardamom and vanilla beans and is topped with fresh seasonal fruit (peaches are suggested, I used nectarines).One of the easiest desserts I’ve ever made, all this recipe needed was a quick mix before I set it for 7 and 1/2 hours and forgot it for the day. The results were rich and creamy, with a sweetness that was not too strong and the essence of cardamom and vanilla. Comfort in a bowl that when served room temperature worked well for a cool spring evening.

This spread was as special as the ladies I was lucky enough to share it with.

-Finding excuses for good food and drinks on every occasion, Jess

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“Indulge, Fashion + Fun for Moms” at Simon Malls Thursday, 5/7/15

This Thursday get set to to shop at Simon Malls. Greater Boston area malls are eager to offer mom a little FREE Mother’s Day pampering at their  Indulge, Fashion + Fun for Moms events taking place at malls across the Commonwealth. Each event has a donation component supporting causes that benefit women in need.

Events include:

Burlington Mall, 75 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington, MA  from 6:00 – 8:00pm (Center Court, level 1)

You’ll find inspiring fashion displays by Burlington Mall Retailers, making it easy to recreate the look that night by buying at the the stores within their roof, beauty tips and tricks to make you feel like the Amazing Matriarch you are, food and drinks samples, live entertainment and giveaways. Feel good by donating to a worthy cause, as The American Cancer Society will be onsite promoting their Burlington’s Relay for Life, Making Strides website and “Look Good Feel Better” program which offers assistance to women who are undergoing cancer treatment to help make them feel beautiful. A $5 + donation lets you leave with a Simon Mall cosmetic case complete with a passport entitling you to samples from on-site retailers.      

Emerald Square Mall, 999 South Washington Street, North Attleboro, MA from 5:00 – 7:00pm (Center Court, level 1)

Check out the fashion displays set up by  Macy’s, JCPenney, LOFT, and New York & Company then tag along on a  guided “Mommy Crawl” that will bring you to participating retailers throughout the mall where you can update your look for less by enjoying  special offers each retailer is offering for this event only. Nibble and sip on  the food and beverages out for sampling.

The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Research Foundation will be at Emerald Square to promote GloriDays, a 44-mile, multi-day journey through scenic East Bay, Rhode Island. All money raised at Indulge will be used to support the foundation’s future Survivorship & Wellness Center. For a minimum donation of $5, you gain access to the Mommy Spa along with spa swag, mini massages, manicures and special surprises. Any mom spending $100 gets a Simon  insulated wine tote. Cheers!

Northshore Mall, 210 Andover Street, Peabody, MA, 5:00 – 8:00pm  (Lower Level Nordstrom Wing)

Take in the fashion Show emceed by Aricia Symes-Elmer along with local moms from North Shore Modeling. They’ll be wearing looks from Northshore Mall retailers.  Take advantage of beauty tips & mini makeovers from Northshore Mall retailers, dig into food and drinks out for sampling, take advantage of  in-store events & sales with Northshore Mall retailers, admire the live entertainment. Those who want to up the fun factor and get creative can register for a VIP Glass Painting Class with The Painter’s Pub for $20! $5 from every painter’s ticket will be donated to several local families to support their fight against breast cancer, use the links provided to sign up:  5:30p.m. Session: http://bit.ly/1JbQ0b or 7:00p.m. Session: http://bit.ly/1PYtBnq. Drawings and giveaways will be taking place throughout the night. And those who spend $150 in the Northshore Mall or with local vendors during the event should bring their receipts to Guest Services to receive an exciting gift!

South Shore Plaza, 250 Granite Street, Braintree, MA, 5:00 – 8:00pm (Lower level Nordstrom Wing)

Make your way to the South Shore Plaza for Freeze Modeling Fashion displays by mall retailers, beauty tips, live entertainment and giveaways. Sip, and savor the food and drink samples while socializing at this great event. And for those who can’t make it but want in on the freebies, spend $150 between May 4 and May 7th for a free gift bag. The American Cancer Society will be hosting a VIP Entertainment Center – Make a donation to The American Cancer Society for access into the VIP Entertainment Center which will include a Fortune Teller, a photo booth and make your own wine glass charm! 

Solomon Pond Mall, 601 Donald Lynch Boulevard,Marlborough, MA, 4:30-7:30 (JC Penney Court)

Peruse the fashion displays featuring seasonal  must haves for mom’s closet while enjoying the tasty treats, wine and beer samples. Make time for a beauty session; hair, nail and skin consultants will be happening on-site. Look into your future with a Tarot card reading and be ready to win because Solomon Pond Mall will be giving away prizes at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30. If you find great goods and spend $100 or more Thursday, May 7 thru Sunday, May 10 at Solomon Pond Mall retailers you’ll be eligible for a free cosmetic bag filled with goodies with valid receipts from Guest Services. 

Square One Mall, 1201 Broadway, Saugus, MA, 6:00-8:00pm (Center Court)

Check out the fashion displays by Square One Mall Retailers, get complimentary beauty and fashion tips, and enjoy live entertainment. $100 in purchases gets you a Simon-branded insulated wine tote. Bring receipts to the Indulge Registration Table between 6:00 – 8:00p.m. on Thursday, May 7.

The Mall at Chestnut Hill, 199 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA, 5:00-8:00pm (Bloomingdales Fashion Court)
Along with  fashion displays by The Mall at Chestnut Hill Retailers you’ll find beauty tips including a “Mini Class” on Botox and Wrinkle Fillers by Newton’s La Residencia. There’ll be plenty of food and drinks for sampling, live entertainment and giveaways.

Not to be forgotten, Simon’s New Hampshire Malls are also offering Indulge events on Thursday:

Pheasant Lane Mall5:00 – 8:00p.m. Center Court, 310 Daniel Webster Highway, Nashua, NH

The Mall at Fox Run, 4:00 – 7:00p.m., Sears Center Court, 50 Fox Run Rd, Newington, NH

The Mall at Rockingham Park,  4:00 – 7:00pm, Lord & Taylor Court, Level 2, 99 Rockingham Park Boulevard, Salem, NH

The Mall of New Hampshire4:00 – 7:00pm, Macy’s Court, 1500 South Willow Street, Manchester, NH

Each New Hampshire location is offering a variety of fashion, beauty, food, and other exciting activities, entertainment and giveaways and details can be found on each mall’s Facebook page.

In addition to the Indulge festivities every mall is offering moms and moms-to-be across New England the chance to enter to win 1 of 5 spa packages valued at $500.

Simon’s Indulge events are free and open to women of all ages. For more information, visit the participating properties Facebook pages.

“Simon has had a longstanding tradition of celebrating Moms and the important roles they play in our lives,” said Brian Nelson, Regional Vice President of New England. “Held right before Mother’s Day, Indulge events create a perfect opportunity for Moms – who always think of others first – to focus on themselves and enjoy a social evening of fashion, food and fun.” 

We say, Thank you Simon Malls for recognizing and celebrating the Amazing in every Matriarch!

-A mom who feels good when she looks good, Jess

Fill us in on your Simon Mall shopping adventures at Indulge, Fashion + Fun for Moms, or any day! Send us comments and pictures at: Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  Tag us using #amazingmatriarch and Simon Malls using #SimonIndulge

Host an Approachable Wine Tasting

Bring a little taste of Napa (and your kids) to your next dinner party

When you want to entertain without all the fuss and muss of a formal dinner party, host a wine tasting with a few friends. It will seem like you spent days preparing, but really you’ll have invested a few hours and minimal effort to prep for your guests arrival.

Best of all, no sitter is needed. Plan for an early evening arrival and the kids can play while you sip, savor and nosh and still get everyone to bed on-time.

While the adults make their way through the tasting menu, the kids can play, catch a movie and munch on pizza (courtesy of the local delivery man). Paper plates and juice boxes make for easy clean-up, and special treats like candy or popcorn can help delay the need to leave for a little bit longer.

To set-up your tasting, you’ll want a few bottles of wine. To mimic what you’d find when visiting a vineyard, start with whites and move onto reds (lightest to darkest). Have your guests take part in the wine selection by assigning each couple a bottle or two to bring along. Encourage guests to seek something new so the tasting is a learning experience for all.

At a recent wine tasting party we sampled the following( in this order):

tablescapeI set the table with 6 glasses for each guest (if you find yourself without enough glasses, purchase a plastic sleeve), plates for appetizers, utensils and a guide with tasting notes. In the center, I presented the food to pass around family style.

When each couple brings an appetizer to share, you’ll cut back on the  cooking (and clean-up). Various people bringing dishes also allows for a variety of food to be sampled. Guests should keep in mind the tasting theme and consider what food would pair well with the wines being served.

Treats that have made their way through my doors for wine tasting nights include little crostini topped with fun toppings such as sliced meatballs, chunks of chicken parmigiana, bean dip and olive tapenade. As well as endive cups filled with delicious Tuscan Chicken Salad. But if you’d rather keep the food in house, make it simple by throwing some pre-made (I love Trader Joe’s) appetizers in the oven.

As the host, I jump at the chance to experiment with the cheese plate. Although markets like Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Wegman’s and Trader Joe’s offer excellent cheese selections, when I want to impress my friends I head to a small, local shop.

The one cheese shop I favor, close to my home, is Wasik’s The Cheese Shop in Wellelsey, Massachusetts. The cheese maker, Brian Wasik is typically in store and beyond helpful. I explained what my goal was in cheese selection and he guided me through his cheeses to find the perfect cheese pairings to compliment the wines.

Armed with three cheeses: La Tur from Piemonte, Missouri Truckle, and Taleggio from Lonbardy , Italy, I set off to find the special little touches that would take this platter from something to nibble on to the star of my table. Adding piles of salumi (the Italian word for cold cuts) , some tall bread sticks, a bundle of grapes, pile of apricots, a line of olives, and a little honey to drizzle over the truckle, the cheese plate was ready for my guests to enjoy.

And enjoy they did because the six adults at the table almost polished off the entire cheese plate. First, tasting each cheese alongside the appropriate red or white, then gobbling up the accompaniments as they returned for seconds and thirds.

Guide your guests by sharing the following tidbits about each cheese so that they learn not only about the wines you’re serving, but also the food:

cheeseplate

  • La Tur from Piemonte is a creamy blend of pasteurized cow, goat and sheep milk that pairs well with whites.
  • Missouri Truckle is an unpasteurized cheddar cheese aged in a cheese cloth on the outside, allowing the cheese to breath and resulting in a dry, crumbly texture paired with the light reds.
  • The Taleggio from Lonbardy , Italy is a semi-soft, washed rind, smear-ripened Italian cheese that held up well to the bolder reds.

This allows them the confidence to host their own wine tasting, and hopefully reciprocate the invitation.

Add a little touch of wine to your cheese by labeling using old wine corks. Using a dark colored marker, label each cheese then stick a toothpick into the cork, and insert into the corresponding cheese.

And finally, add a little extra something to your wine tasting party by asking everyone to send you a picture of the wine labels so you can put a wine menu together. To do this, research the wine maker’s tasting comments and add them to sheets of paper accompanied by the photo of the label, and space for taking notes. This keepsake lets your guests not only remember the night, but also find the wines that you’ve discovered. It also acts as a guide for the wine phobic so even if they can’t actually smell or taste the correct flavors in the wine, they can comfortably fake it.  If you don’t have time to create your own guide from scratch, use my template as a starting point.

You’re friends will be amazed at how easy it is to host an elegant evening of wine tasting.

-Just one mom finding a way to enjoy wine with friends, Courtney

Check out Amazing Matriarch on Social Media- Facebook: Amazing Matriarch; Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter:@AMatriarch and fill us in on your wine tasting adventures using #amazingmatriarch

 

 

 

 

The Secret to Beating a Hangover

Before I had children, an occasional night out on the town wasn’t a problem because I could lay around and sleep the whole next day to nurse a hangover.  But I quickly learned after having my first child that having a hangover as a mom is just NOT an option.

On the rare occasion that I do overindulge, it’s not the end of the world as I have found a solution, and it’s one that does not require downing 2 gallons of water before I go to bed to wake up hangover free. This little secret was bestowed to me by a friend of a friend (Thanks Jen!) and I haven’t experienced a hangover since.

My hangover eraser is a magic potion readily available at the local grocery store:  Pedialyte. Made for babies and kids when they are dehydrated from a loss of vital nutrients and minerals as a result of the stomach flu, Pedialyte works wonders on dehydrated adults too.  This cure is very effective; it has been tried and tested over and over by family and friends.  It’s so effective in fact, that I know many responsible adults who now carry Pedialyte packets in their purses so they’re ready to fight their way out of a night of too much fun at a moment’s notice.

Here’s what you do:

Purchase Pedialyte Oral Electrolyte Powder packets (you will get 8 in one box).  If you can’t find it locally, you can get it online.  After a night out, take one packet and mix it with one cup of water (I usually pour it into a 16.9 fl oz bottle of water).  Mix it together (or shake it up if it’s in a bottle).  Take 2 over-the-counter pain relievers and end your night with this one last drink.

Start rehydrating yourself before you go to bed, get a better night’s sleep, wake up rested and rehydrated.  You may feel a little groggy the next day but you’ll be headache free and functional. A must for busy moms that still want to let off some steam every once and a while.

Try it and see if it works for you!  We want to hear about your experience.

Find our Facebook page: Amazing Matriarch; Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch

Sláinte!

A Foolproof Pairing to Impress Your Friends: Italian Wine and Cheese Part 3

If you’re hosting a wine night think Italian and theme it so that your friends can’t help but be blown away by your expertise.

Place a hunk of Grana Padano Stravecchio Oro Del Tempo, drizzle it with high quality balsamic vinegar, accompany it with fresh figs, or fig jam and serve it aside Mortadella Bologna on a stylish cheese plate.

Photo by: Annabelle Orozco via Flickr
Photo by: Annabelle Orozco via Flickr

The versatility of the Grana Padano Stravecchio Oro Del Tempo makes this a cheese to keep in your fridge at all times. It’s excellent on a cheese plate as well as mixed into risotto in place of traditional parmesan, grated onto salads or simply to munch on when the mood hits.

Rich in flavor, and dense in texture, this aged cow’s milk cheese is full of flavor and quite popular.

Available at many cheese shops, you can also find it in the cheese display at many supermarkets. Allowing you easy access to this aged delight.

Pour a Zenato Valpolicella Superiore or Zentao Alanera Rosso Veronese into your glass and you’re friends will be inviting themselves back for more, even if this is all you serve.

http://www.zenato.it/prodotti.asp?idpadrerif=46
http://www.zenato.it/prodotti.asp?idpadrerif=46

The Zenato Valpolicella Superiore comes from  Sant’Ambrogio and is composed of 80% Corvina, 10 % Rondinella and 10% Sangiovese grapes.  It’s aged for 12 months in oak casks and requires no extra bottle aging, making it ideal to pick up the day you plan to drink it, but it can be stored for an extensive period of time if you’d like to collect it. Notes of floral violet and nutty almond come forth in this wine as does the dry, full-bodied mouth feel. A sip alongside the Grana Padano Stravecchio Oro Del Tempo makes a perfect accompaniment.

Zentao Alanera Rosso Veronese is a lovely Italian red that features quite a few flavors and aromas. This wine has hints of cherries, coffee and tobacco.  Much like the Valpolicella, the Alanara Rosso is a full-bodied wine that offers a velvety mouth feel. It’s an easy drinking wine that is meant to pair perfectly with cheeses like the Grana Padano Stravecchio Oro Del Tempo, and the salumi served along with it.

Invite your friends, and serve this pairing as a starter then mix the cheese into the main course in place of parmesan and let the wines carry you through your entire meal.

-Everything’s better when wine’s involved, Jess

Find us on Facebook: Amazing MatriarchInstagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch

A Foolproof Pairing to Impress Your Friends: Italian Wine and Cheese Part 2

Pairing wines with cheese is an art form mastered by some and a mystery to others. When you master a few pairings you’re armed with an arsenal of appetizers that will impress any guest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piave_cheese
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piave_cheese

Serve the nutty Paive Stravecchio cheese with an Italian red or two, and a few simple accompaniments, and you’ll be asked to repeat this pairing at every party.

Paive Stravecchio has a grainy texture that is best enjoyed on cheese board with a dollop of mostarda and a glass of Italian red. From the Veneto region in Italy’s northern area. Manufactured from cow’s milk this cheese takes on the flavor of the land that the cows graze upon.

http://castellare.it/eng/chiantiClassico.html
http://castellare.it/eng/chiantiClassico.html

Two classic Italian red wines that pair nicely are the fruity, full-bodied, smooth, 2005, Tasca d’ Almerita, Lamuri, Nero d/’Avolo Sicilia and the dry, 2013 Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico.

Add a salumi of arista di maiale (roasted pork loin) and you have the makings of a full Italian style lunch or a lovely American style appetizer. Encourage your friends to try each piece alone then mix.

First, sample the cheese along with a bit of mostarda (an Italian condiment made from candied fruit and a mustard flavored syrup that take son a consistency somewhere between honey and jam) and enjoy how the two compliment one another. Then, try the cheese with the arista di maiale and enjoy how the subtlety of the pork loin pairs with the sweet almond flavors of the flaky cheese. Finally, enjoy all three together and you’ll find the making of an excellent broiled sandwich when you top a slice of bread.

Then relax and finish the plate before moving onto your next course.

-“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”, W.C. Fields

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A Foolproof Pairing to Impress Your Friends: Italian Whites with Asiago Cheese & Speck

The Italians know how to live the good life. They sip fine wines, and eat rich foods, and turn their meals into events that could last all day. All you need to recreate the spirit of an Italian celebration is a good hunk of Asiago, a bottle of white, a hunk of crusty bread and a little salumi.

http://www.caputosdeli.com/products/asiago-fresco-dop.html
Agriform’s Asiago Fresco DOP

Asiago Fresco is a spongy, creamy. Italian cow’s milk cheese that has a mild flavor and makes an excellent addition to a cheese pizza. But a piece of this cheese on a plate alongside a a few slices of Speck makes for a an appetizer you’re friends won’t soon forget.

http://www.librandi.it/en/
http://www.librandi.it/en/
Photo from: http://wine.mastroberardino.net/en/Show.aspx?idElemento=16
Photo from: mastroberardino.net/en/

Pair it with an oaked 2013 bottle of Librandi, Efeso-Val di Neto Bianco or an un-oaked Mastroberardino, Radici Fiano di Avellino and the flavors will come to life. These simple wines are elegant, allowing the flavors of the food to shine. The Radici also pairs well with seafood and chicken so you can easily follow up your appetizer with a meal calling for the same wine.

Or keep some on hand to enjoy solo. Top a slice of Italian bread with a slice of speck, a piece of Asiago and a drizzle of honey alongside your glass of wine and call it a meal.

Either way, this pairing will have you living la dolce vita.

-Vowing to serve wine and cheese to please, Jess

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