Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rodney Strong Vineyards with Down Home Downtown Seasonal Recipes and Sift Cupcakes on Tastelive

What would you say if someone asked you to participate in a wine and food tasting that included cupcakes for desert? Cupcakes with wine eeewwww was the words from my wife and youngest child. Well you were both wrong because not only was this night an absolute treat that included a fresh salad and chicken dish, the chocolate zinfandel cupcakes along with the stud muffin cupcakes (brown sugar beer cake, salted caramel frosting, cayenne dusted bacon) were to die for. The 4 wines we tasted tonight Charlottes Home Sauv Blanc, Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Estate Russian River Pinot Noir and Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel. Robert Larsen, Josh Silvers, Cailyn, Joel and a host of guest bloggers were treated to a night of great wine, food and conversation.

Up first Charlottes Home Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County 2011. Full of great tropical aromas and flavor. Tangerine, honeydew melon, pear and lemon treated the nose. Pear and melon first treat the mouth with a nice long lemon/mineral finish. Paired with the Frisee Salad Lyonnaise, both complimented each other very well. Loved this first wine and wondered where this was on my hot July days this summer.

Second wine the Chalk Hill 2010 Chardonnay paired with pan roasted chicken and spaghetti squash carbonara. Big fan of this wine with its aromas of caramel and butterscotch, baking spice wrapped around warm apple. Day 2 brought some tropical notes of coconut with hints of vanilla. The flavor was creamy from start to finish with pear and apple followed by a soft spice/oak ending. Another wine I could have in my glass everyday and a steal for $20.

Third wine of the evening the 2011 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir which I paired with the stud muffin cupcake. Rose petal, ripe cherry, hints of toasty vanilla with rich cloves. As I continued to swirl a touch of earthy mushroom and cinnamon. Excellent flavor with the dark rich cherry, strawberry and finishing with spice, vanilla and oak. I could swirl this wine all night! Amazed at how the wine softened the cayenne bacon and turned that cupcake into a creamy delight. You can never go wrong with pinot, bacon and caramel right Robert!

The final wine of the evening which by this time I'm headed to a food and wine coma, was the 2010 Knotty Vines Zinfandel. I have tasted this wine on many occassions and love its quality and consistency. Fresh jammy fruit (raspberry, cherry, plum, black raspberry) with pepper notes and oak both in aroma and flavor. Normally this wine I would pair with my bbq dishes but tonight it was the chocolate cupcake with zinfandel frosting (loved the blue sparkles). OMG so delicious. Chocolate, rich dark fruit and creamy frosting I'm sure this has to be illegal it was that good!!! Sift cupcakes you are amazing!

I have a few folks to thank for this wonderful evening. First to Robert Larsen of Rodney Strong Vineyards you spoil us with these quality wines each and every time. Josh Silvers author Down Home Downtown Seasonal Recipes from his Sonoma Restaurants which is full of delicious recipes. Highly recommend you purchase! To the fine folks at Sift Cupcakes you make the most delicious amazing treats! It's no wonder you were champions! Finally Cailyn and Joel always great events and thankful for the opportunity to participate. I am one lucky wino!


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