Thursday, December 27, 2012

Naked Winery Fling Gewürztraminer

Naked Winery Fling Gewurtztraminer

Naked Winery's Fling Gewürztraminer 2011 - melon, stone fruit, citrus, crisp acidity, semi-sweet, pairs well with a variety of food.

Disclaimer: This wine was sent to me for review purposes, courtesy of Naked Winery. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give the wine a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

Would you like your wine reviewed?
Contact me at Kovas@50StatesOfWine.com!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Naked Winery Cougar Semi-Sparkling White

Naked Winery Cougar Semi-Sparkling White

Naked Winery's Cougar Semi-Sparkling White - tropical and stone fruit aroma and flavors, slight effervescence, simple sipping wine or pair with all kinds of food!

Disclaimer: This wine was sent to me for review purposes, courtesy of Naked Winery. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give the wine a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

Would you like your wine reviewed?
Contact me at Kovas@50StatesOfWine.com!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Outdoor Vino Wanderlust White

Outdoor Vino Wanderlust White

Naked Winery's Outdoor Vino Wanderlust White - Flowery aromas and honeydew melon flavors, good balance and a smooth finish make for easy sipping. Plastic bottle means you can take it anywhere!

Disclaimer: This wine was sent to me for review purposes, courtesy of Naked Winery. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give the wine a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

Would you like your wine reviewed?
Contact me at Kovas@50StatesOfWine.com!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Meatless Monday: Vegan Truffles

Dark Chocolate Vegan Truffles

With the holidays upon us, treats galore lie in wait, some good, some not, all less than healthy. Minimize those mistakes by eating healthier versions of some of your favorites, including these simple, vegan dark chocolate truffles!

Ingredients:
  • Raw pecans, cashews, macadamia nuts, cocoa, sea salt, pitted dates, nutmeg, dark chocolate
Directions:
  • In a food processor, pulse all ingredients (except dark chocolate) until clumping and able to be formed. Ingredients should be added according to taste -- the dates help it all stick together, so those can be added liberally.
  • While preparing the truffle filling, melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler, or, more simply, in a glass bowl over boiling water.
  • Once the truffles are formed and the chocolate is melted, dip each truffle into the melted chocolate, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Let cool and then enjoy!
Adapted from a Pure2Raw recipe.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Outdoor Vino Rambling Red

Outdoor Vino Rambing Red

From Naked Winery, an easy-sipping basic red: Outdoor Vino, made up of a blend of cabernet, merlot and syrah, has dark cherry aromas and flavors, decent mouthfeel, and a midlength finish. Very smooth and a pleasure to drink. I can imagine this being a great addition to any picnic, hike, or camping trip, since it is packaged in a BPA-free plastic bottle!

Disclaimer: This wine was sent to me for review purposes, courtesy of Naked Winery. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give the wine a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

Would you like your wine reviewed?
Contact me at Kovas@50StatesOfWine.com!

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Stone Hill Winery 2008 Norton

Stone Hill Winery 2008 Norton

Stone Hill Winery 2008 Norton - earthy plum aromas and flavors, nicely balanced, smooth finish.

Disclaimer: This wine was sent to me for review purposes, courtesy of Stone Hill Winery. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give the wine a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

Would you like your wine reviewed?
Contact me at Kovas@50StatesOfWine.com!

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian's Complete Quinoa Cookbook

Vegetarian's Complete Quinoa Cookbook

Quinoa is rapidly becoming one of the more popular superfoods. It is not a member of the grass family and thus not a true cereal, or grain. Quinoa is related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds, contains essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Quinoa is a good addition to any diet, and an important one to plant-based lifestyle.

However, many people are stumped on how to incorporate it beyond using it as a grain substitute. The Vegetarian’s Complete Quinoa Cookbook (North Vancouver, BC: Whitecap Books,  2012),  is the only book you need to incorporate quinoa into a vegetarian diet. Featuring over 125 recipes, contributed by professional home economists, the quinoa-based meals that can take you right through the day, from breakfast to dessert, and everything in between.

As an added benefit, many of the recipes are gluten free. Some surprises included quinoa flour, something I had never heard of. There is truly something here for every palate, and recipes include:
  • Pumpkin Cornmeal Pancakes
  • African Peanut Soup with Red Quinoa
  • Mexi Meatless Shepherd’s Pie
  • Goat Cheese, Red Pepper and Spinach Quiche
  • Dark Chocolate Pudding Cake

Better With Veggies
Head over to Better With Veggies for more quinoa recipes!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me courtesy of Whitecap. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give the book a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
Would you like your wine or food book reviewed?
Contact me at Kovas@50StatesOfWine.com!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Repeal Day

Reepal Day

The Repeal of Prohibition in the United States was accomplished with the passage of the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution on December 5, 1933. According to the Repeal Day website:
"We celebrate Repeal Day because December 5th marks a return to the rich traditions of craft fermentation and distillation, the legitimacy of the American bartender as a contributor to the culinary arts, and the responsible enjoyment of alcohol as a sacred social custom."
I'll drink to that!

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Stone Hill Winery Chambourcin

2010 Stone Hill Winery Chambourcin

2010 Stone Hill Winery Chambourcin - black currants, black cherry, hint of chocolate, smooth lingering finish. Really a pleasant wine to drink.

Disclaimer: This wine was sent to me for review purposes, courtesy of Stone Hill Winery. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give the wine a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

Would you like your wine reviewed?
Contact me at Kovas@50StatesOfWine.com!

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

2012 Holiday Gift Guide

2012 Holiday Gift Guide

Wine and Food:

For a quick bite, why not stay with a healthy snack? Nairns Oatcakes  biscuits are high in fiber. They are made with wholegrain oats to a wheat free recipe. They contain no hydrogenated fat, GM ingredients, artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives. Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans.

From Brookstone,  the Aero™ Wine Aerator Releases wine’s full flavor and bouquet in seconds – the smarter, faster alternative to traditional decanting. Simply insert in bottle or glass and press button to aerate for 30 seconds. Oxygen softens tannins for smoother, better tasting wine. Includes 2 stems (long stem for full bottles, short stem for glasses) and storage stand. If you don't believe this product makes a difference, you are wrong - definitely something everyone should try!

Finding your favorite bottle of wine doesn’t have to be an exercise in pretension. In Uncorked (North Vancouver, BC: Whitecap Books,  2012), Shelley Boettcher has collected 150 wines, all under $25! Filled with helpful hints and tips on which wine goes with which occasion, this book will demystify the world of cork-dorks. Each wine includes tasting descriptions, food pairings, label art, and average price.

For the fruit and veggie lover in your life (or for yourself!):

V Cuisine: The Art of New Vegan Cooking (North Vancouver, BC: Whitecap Books,  2007) “isn’t just for vegans and vegetarians, it’s for people seeking fresh flavors, vibrant colors, and tones of fun.”

The Vegetarian’s Complete Quinoa Cookbook (North Vancouver, BC: Whitecap Books,  2012) is the only book you need to incorporate quinoa into a vegetarian diet. It features over 125 recipes, contributed by professional home economists, for quinoa-based meals that can take you right through the day.

Veggie Revolution: Smart Choices for a Healthy Body and a Healthy Planet (Golden, CO: Fulcrum Books,  2005), authored by the mother-daughter team of Sally and Sara Kate Kneidel, explores all aspects of the decision-making process while providing explicit detail and facts on the ills of typical American eating habits. This book provides a balanced perspective offering choices for all, plus a selection of delicious recipes for you to try vegetarian cooking for yourself.

Bring year-round beauty to your yard and luscious, organic fruit to your table with Landscaping with Fruit (North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing,  2009). A plant-by-plant encyclopedia recommends 39 eye- and palate-pleasing species that are especially well-suited to home landscapes.

Check out other Gift Guides at Midwest Multisport Life and Women's Endurance Gear!

(Disclaimer: I was sent these items for possible inclusion in this Gift Guide. I did not pay for the items, receive payment for this post, or agree to use item in the Gift Guide. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)

Have a product you'd like reviewed?
Contact me at Kovas@50StatesOfWine.com.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Meatless Monday: Sweet Pea Soup

Veggies For Carnivores: Sweet Pea Soup

The recipes in Veggies For Carnivores, by Lora Krulak, are so simple that we tried two in one day recently: Roasted Root Veggies and Sweet Pea Soup.
Ingredients:
  • Chopped Red Onions (we substituted yellow, as we had those on hand)
  • Smashed Garlic Cloves
  • Bouillon or stock
  • Organic, frozen sweet peas
  • Prewashed organic spinach
  • Olive Oil
Heat olive oil in large saucepan, add garlic and onions and heat to soften, but don't brown. Add stock, salt, pepper and bring to a boil. (Stock should be salty as peas and spinach will mellow that effect when added.) When boiling, add peas to soften, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat, add spinach, and then puree as desired: immersion blender or blender. Serve and enjoy!

Krulak suggests topping with Chili Oil - we didn't try that, but it would be a nice contrast to the fresh sweetness of this soup. The onions and garlic add quite a bit of heartiness, making this a good option even in the dead of winter. The beautiful green color brightens up the meal as well.

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