Boundary Breaks Riesling

By Amy

One of my favorite things about December is the flood of End of Year lists.

Oh, you know the ones I'm talking about: The Best Books of 2015! 2015's Biggest Red Carpet Fails! The Most Memorable Moments of All the Things That Happened or Could Have Happened or Maybe-Sorta-Kinda Happened in 2015! 

Those lists are fine and good, and we all read them (fess up: I know I'm not the only one). But honestly? My favorite End of Year list has do do with, unsurprisingly, FOOD. 

And yesterday, I had my #1 lunch of the year. Isn't it great when you save the best things for last?

My fearless leader took us out for Christmas lunch at Etch here in Nashville. I've admired Etch from afar for a while, reading rave reviews about its eclectic mix of food that was rumored to be done extremely well. Their most renowned dish is actually an appetizer—of roasted cauliflower.

Ok, you don't just make people rave about cauliflower if you don't know what you're doing.

And yes, the cauliflower lived up to the hype! Condiments, people. It's all about the condiments.

Tender-crisp cauliflower florets,  lightly charred on the ends, were paired with a spread of roasted red pepper sauce, a creamy feta dip, truffled pea pesto (I swear it had hints of smokiness), and blanched almonds. I mean, come on.

And the wine list—so extensive! I ordered the Boundary Breaks 2012 Riesling Ovid Line North, which paired delightfully with this appetizer. The wine is crisp and smooth, not-too-sweet, and has some lovely citrus notes that played well against the roasted red pepper and creamy feta. 

Bonus: it's only $19.95 per bottle!

P.S. If you're looking for a great meal in Nashville, go to Etch. Lunch prices were especially reasonable!

You share because you care. 

Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio

By Amy

Have you ever had something follow you around til you were sick of it? 

A younger sibling. An unrequited crush. A black cat. Things that make you want to cringe if they just don't back off.

Gnarly Head Vineyards is not one of those things.

I've been running into Gnarly Head a lot lately, both in store displays and social gatherings. I just commented on how much I enjoy their Chardonnay as my go-to, affordable white. Their marketing department must be working overtime these days—but at least it's for a worthy cause.

My friends and I had our annual Friendsgiving last weekend, and this year's theme was a pasta night (aka Carb-o-palooza). One of our friends was nobly charged with bringing booze (his taste credentials had been vetted—an important but sometimes unfortunately overlooked trait in selecting the booze chooser), so when I peeked in his bag upon arrival, I was pleased to see Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio. 

Light and bright, with a honeysuckle aroma and citrus flavor of Meyer lemon, this Pinot Grigio was delightful alongside a spicy penne alla vodka. I bet it'd also be great with some fish tacos in the summertime (or even some lemon chicken and broccoli!). 

And since it's in the Gnarly Head family, you're getting a good product at a good price: it's only $9.99.

Lonely Cow Sauvignon Blanc

By Amy

I'm a marketer's dream: aka, I love products with clever names.

Like my men, I'll far for anything witty—if it makes me giggle, I'm a goner. 

It's no surprise that I still have tons to learn about wine—I really do (as Stuart Smalley would say, "And that's ok."). So it should also come as no surprise that when I'm perusing a wine list, my choice is simply determined by which vineyard name jumps out at me. I'm like the woman in the March Madness office pool who wins the bracket challenge because she chose her favorite mascots. 

Whatever. I am who I am. 

And so it was, during my visit to The Honeysuckle in Cool Springs (which is so wonderfully, rustically homey that you forget you're in a suburban strip mall) that I was, again, tasking myself with finding a delicious vino accompaniment to my meal (because I'm a wine blogger now, guys) when I saw it.

Lonely Cow Sauvignon Blanc.

Tee hee!

All I thought think was that "lonely cow" could be a double-entendre for my Friday night dates with Netflix and a wine glass, but my waiter didn't think that was nearly as funny as I did.

But I digress—onto the wine!

With white peach and zesty lime aromas, this crisp Sauvignon Blanc (another from the Marlborough region of New Zealand) tastes of candied pineapple and tangerine, followed by white pepper accents on the finish. Honestly, I found it was a bit too late in the year to be ordering this wine, wanting something with a bit more body with a cold night's meal (again, still learning!), but this would be deliciously paired with a light chicken or fish dish during the warm months. 

But great news: it's very reasonably priced! 

You can find it here for only $11.99.