Update: The Foodie Guide to Pairing Wine & Cheese

On Nov. 30, guest blogger Sara Kahn, founder of The Cheese Ambassador, wrote a post here called The Foodie Guide to Pairing Wine & Cheese. As I mentioned at the time, not only was Sara kind enough to offer her recommendations for wine and cheese pairings to our readers, she also offered to send us a cheese sample.

I’m happy to report that Cheese Ambassador’s American Artisanal Collection arrived, and we have now tasted three types of hand-crafted cheese. All I can say is wow! Oh, okay, of course I’ll say more!

Over a few days, Dave and I nibbled our way through aged Gouda from central Wisconsin, 3-year-old Cheddar from Pennsylvania and cave-aged Blue from southern Minnesota. This trio of cheeses featured completely different textures and flavors and, naturally, we paired each of them with wine from Washington state. What a taste sensation! Wow!

I highly recommend that if you love cheese, like I do, please look at The Cheese Ambassador‘s website. In addition to the American Artisanal Collection, there’s also a Mediterranean Cheese Course Collection with Tipsy Goat cheese from Spain, Port Salut from France and Piave from Italy.

And each cheese collection includes tasting notes, food & beverage recommendations and serving tips — which makes these collections excellent for entertaining guests or as a unique gift. And if you shop now, there’s 25% off a $50 purchase.

Cheese and wine – mmmmm!


Attention last-minute shoppers – a great inexpensive wine gift!

Wine Mummy is the inexpensive, useful, fun wine gift that you’ve been looking for – a great stocking stuffer that costs only $4.95! I don’t often write about wine-related products, so when I do, you know it’s time to listen up! Wine Mummy is a must-have for any wine lover who travels on planes.

Seriously, you know how hard it is to take wine on airplanes these days. You can’t bring liquids in carry-on luggage, which means you need to put that nice bottle of wine in your bag and check it. Scary! So you place it in plastic bags, stuff it in your socks, surround it by your sweaters or t-shirts, and worry about what will be awaiting you when opening your suitcase again at home.

In response to this situation, Vino Amici created Wine Mummy, which is a padded, zip-sealed travel bag (in black-and-gold packaging) “designed to protect bottles when transported inside checked baggage.” Wine Mummy is compact and lightweight, yet is made of a durable, double-layer polybag with layers of bubble padding.

The company was kind enough to send me a couple of them to review – right around the time when my boss/friend, Laura, was in town for the office holiday party. It just happened to be a big birthday milestone for her too, so I gave her a nice bottle of Alexandria Nicole Cellars Reserve Viognier packed in a Wine Mummy to take back home to Colorado.

Upon arrival, she sent me this email: “I loved the Wine Mummy – protected the bottle, reusable (!), and convenient.  I’d definitely recommend it for those who travel and want to buy that great bottle of wine but need a safe way to get it home.”

I’m sure she’ll love the award-winning ANC Viognier too, but she is saving it for the holidays!


If you love Cab Franc

Goosecross Cellars 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc is, quite simply, one of the best Cab Francs that we’ve had in ages. Tasting it inspired so many descriptors – smooth, lucious, velvety, rich, sumptous, elegant and plush, to name a few.

Better yet, here are the Goosecross tasting notes: Lush, generous flavors of ripe cherries, sweet raspberry, dried herbs and mint finish with toasty oak, spice and a hint of licorice. Pairings: Grilled steak or lamb, slow-cooked dishes, aged cheeses.

We can confirm that Goosecross Cab Franc pairs well with steak – that’s what we enjoyed with our first bottle. It was such a wonderful experience that we ordered another half-case from the winery!

And after all, isn’t wine all about the experience? I’ve written about our terrific experiences in Goosecross’ tasting room whenever we go to Napa. Relaxing at home with our dogs in front of the fireplace, sipping Goosecross Cab Franc, brings back those good times all over again.

We hope to go back soon!

In the meantime, we’re glad we ordered extra bottles from their website store, and if you love Cab Franc, we recommend you do the same.