Kenwood 2011 Yulupa Zinfandel (with two bonus recipes!)

By Amy

I promise I'm not shirking my white wine duties.

But. 

I really couldn't let you go another day without hearing about this zinfandel. And what I paired with it.

As for the wine, Kenwood's 2011 Yulupa Zinfandel is just delightful. Fruit-forward and balanced, with a nice touch of acidity and mild tannins, this zin was a refreshing to drink while I prepared dinner. And the price isn't bad, either; it was about $15 at my local wine shop. 

But I daresay this wine was even better when I paired it with pan-seared red snapper and mango-avocado salsa. 

Oh. Yeah.

I owe you an apology: I don't have any photos of this dish. I know, I know, that's a cardinal sin in the food blog world. But Boyfriend and I scarfed it down too quickly to snap photos (fish gets cold fast, you guys), so you're just gonna have to trust me on this, ok?

You need to make this fish.

I don't even like fish that much, but I'm trying to justify when it's ok for me to make it again (answer: this weekend).

That is how much you need to make this fish. Ok?


Pan-Seared Red Snapper

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil (or your favorite high-heat-compliant oil: olive, canola, etc.)
  • Two 6-oz. red snapper fillets (keep the skin on, if you'd like a little crispy texture—it looks weird, but tastes so good) 
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin—for dusting the fish


Directions

  1. In a 12-inch skillet, heat the coconut oil on medium-high, until melted and rippling.
     
  2. Sprinkle both sides of the fillets with spices (a light dusting will do—you don't want to go overboard, you've got a salsa to eat with it!).
     
  3. Place the fish in the pan, flesh-side first, cooking for 5 minutes per side. The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.
     
  4. Top with mango-avocado salsa, and serve alongside a light salad, or green beans with cilantro pesto (want this recipe? tell me in the comments).


Mango-Avocado Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 mango, diced into ½-inch pieces (Don't know how to cut a mango? Click here.)
  • 2 avocados, diced into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ one medium red onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or a light-tasting olive oil)
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste

Directions

In a big ol' bowl, mix all the ingredients. Feel free to make this before the fish, so the flavors can meld together in the fridge while you're prepping the snapper.

*FYI: this makes about a quart of salsa, and it's perfectly acceptable to eat this with a spoon. Not that I'm speaking from personal experience. 

McWilliam's Hanwood Estate Shiraz 2013

by J.T.

I love good wine. Especially good wine with a great value.

Which is why I've been a fan of McWilliam's Shiraz for years. Dry and fruit-forward, with raspberry, black cherry, plums, vanilla, and a touch of oak, this wine is a flavor powerhouse at a great value. Pair this with a nice gluten-free pizza from Publix (a discovery that has transformed my weekends... and maybe a few weeknights), and you've got a delicious Friday night ahead of you!

Pick up a bottle for only $7.99, and you'll see what I mean. If you've got a hankering for a meat-lovers pizza, this would pair just divinely.

 

Tell your pizza-loving friends about this Shiraz.

Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2012

by J.T.

It's never too early to plan for Valentine's Day, y'all.
 

I'm not trying to rush you—I know you just put away your Christmas decorations. But whether you've got one special someone or a bunch of people you want to show your love to, the best way to do it is through food. Because, honestly, who doesn't like food?

Yeah. That's what I thought.

The Italians know a thing or two about love and food, which is probably why their food is synonymous with a meal shared with loved ones. Whether it's a family-style meal or a candlelight dinner, there's probably going to be something sauced in red with lots and lots of garlic. Mmm...

So what should you pair with this dinner?
 

With hints of black cherry, licorice, nutmeg, black pepper, Seghesio's Old Vine Zinfandel is a spicy-sweet combo that would pair excellently with any Italian meal you've got in mind (come on, what's more romantic than a Lady & the Tramp moment?). There's a nice hit of acid in this, a perfect complement to tomato-based dishes.

Why "Old Vine," you ask? Seghesio's not playing around: their old vine wines are at least 50 years old, which gives you some rich, complex flavors, and tannins that lead to a nice, long finish.  It's a lovely, lovely wine.

You can pick up a bottle here for $34.99. 


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Lapostolle Casa Grand Selection Cabernet Sauvignon

by J.T.

I applaud someone who can branch out beyond family tradition. It's not the easiest thing to do.

Which is why I like the story of the Lapostolle Winery. Nestled in the hills of western Chile, the winery is owned by Cyril de Bournet and Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle.

"Marnier" might sound a little familiar—does Grand Marnier ring a bell? Yep, the delicious orange liqueur. That Marnier.

Wanting to carry the tradition of French excellence instilled in their famous liqueur, but carry on that tradition in the exquisite Chilean terrain, the couple began Lapostolle in 1994. And they sure do make delicious wine.

Lapostolle Casa Grand Selection Cabernet Sauvignon is a bright explosion of fruit—in the best way possible.

It's got a dark, purple color, which defines most Cabs. The medium mouthfeel carries a world of juicy stone fruits, like plums and cherries. I'm gonna put this in a nice Bolognese sauce (which, I've found, is delicious with edamame spaghetti—for all the GF folks out there!). 

Grab a bottle for only $13.99.
 

Is there a more social beverage than wine? We think not. Here's a tweet to share!

Boroli Barolo

by J.T.

Ahh, the classics. The pillars that have withstood the test of time. And in a cacophony of pitches like Try Our New ______ and Now Better Than Ever!, it's no small task to emerge as a beloved staple of . . . well, anything. Sometimes it's nice to revisit an ol' reliable. After all, they are our old reliables for a reason, aren't they?

I don't know if you can get any more classic than a beautiful Barolo wine. 
 

Barolo is one of Italy's most prized and beloved wines. In fact, the varietal itself has a Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) designation, which basically assures (a) its origin and (b) its quality. Grown in northern Italy's Piedmont region, the complex Barolo is comprised of nebbiolo grapes and ages just beautifully. 

And this particular Barolo I've got for you is a force to be reckoned with.
 

On the nose, the Boroli Barolo has ripe red fruits and the heady scents of leather and tobacco. The palate delivers notes of blackberries, oak, vanilla, and even a little espresso, with firm, long-lasting tannins on the finish. This would pair excellently with anything richly savory, like a beef bourguignon, perhaps.  

It's a well-worth-it splurge at $46.99. Maybe something for your Valentine's table?


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