Monday, November 9, 2009

Down Home Cookin' (& Drinkin)

I love the Food Network! I love the Neelys on the Food Network! So imagine how excited I was to have tickets to see the Neelys live this past weekend. They were doing an hour long live segment at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show in DC. I barely made it out the bed and to the convention center in time, but I got there! They were fantastic! I love to see husband and wife teams and the Neelys are no exception. Gina Neely got on one of the guests because she had a little too much 'lust' in her voice when she was asking her husband Pat a question. The audience erupted in laughter. But the most important thing, the food looked delicious!! And they actually cooked it, most of the other celebrity chefs had other people in the background making their dishes while they talked. Not the Neelys, they were hands in mixing and grilling themselves. On the menu, grilled stuffed pork chops, cheesy rice fritters, and apple crisp. The pork chops were stuffed with breading and bacon....anything with bacon is getting my vote everytime. I just need an indoor gril or grill pan because I think the flavor of the chops comes from the grill lines.

No food show would be complete without wines, so after the Neelys, I headed over to the Beer, Wine & Spirits section. I had quite a Saturday night, so I couldn't do the type of tasting that I usually do in these situations, but I did conquer 4 wines.

Bodegas Breton Criadanes Lorinon 2007 Navarette (Rioja) Spain
Made from 100% viura grapes, this wine was fermented in American oak and had slight contact with lees for aging purposes providing a creamy mouthfeel and hints of vanilla. Citrus flavors are also present on the finish along with a slight oakiness.

Monte Toro Rosado Garnacha 2006
I don't like to bash wines ever, I just mention that it wasn't perhaps to my liking. This one wasn't to my liking. I hadn't had a 'light' garnacha before and was excited to try this one because I'm a huge garnacha (grenache) fan. The strawberry aromas had my mouth watering but after the swirl and sip, it was all downhill. The flavors were very tart and astringent and fell quite flat. The color was also off, for a rosado. I'm expecting a light pinkish maybe salmon color...but this was quite dark for a 'rosado'. Perhaps a bit more skin contact would result in a stronger more garnacha-like flavor.

Ironberry Cabernet-Merlot-Shiraz 2008 Australia
Great nose, rich with berry aromas. Smooth and well rounded mouth with a soft oaky finish. Loved the toasted oak flavors on the finish. Would love to have a glass of this while I watch Grey's Anatomy.

Pirovano Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2008 Italy
Young, full red fruit smells and flavors. Soft tannins, great acidity and moderately intense cherry and herb flavors make this sangiovese a very easy drinking wine.

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