Wine Wednesday – Skinnygirlâ„¢ Chardonnay

Hi there!

NOW, guess what day it is? 🙂

karen wine gif

Whoop, whoop!

Seriously, though, did you or did you not love Will and Grace? Karen was my idol. 🙂

If you said you did not love that show, you just probably didn’t watch enough of it. Or drink enough wine. I suggest Netflix so you can start over.

Anyway, I finally did it.

I broke down and bought a Skinnygirlâ„¢ wine.

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I’m not sure what came over me. Maybe it was the allure of the 10.99 price tag. Maybe it was the allure of the “SILVER MEDAL” sign hanging below it. Maybe I meant to grab the Columbia Winery Chardonnay but missed? I don’t know.

Not that I have anything against Skinnygirlâ„¢ – as a wine lover, that brand just seems more, I don’t know, commercial to me rather than actually wine oriented.

I can see the draw though – the thought of “low-calorie wine” could be very attractive to someone who’s on a diet and still wants to enjoy a bottle glass bottle-sized glass of wine.

See, the thing is, this wine boasts 100 calories for a 5 ounce serving. So you THINK you’re getting a great deal on calories but the same portion of a traditional white wine (not “skinnyfied”) is only about 110 calories and 120 calories for red wine.

Hm. You do the math.

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Plus, it still has 12% alcohol by volume (that means sugar). Most wines are 13% (unless they’re really, really big Syrahs or Cabs and they clock in at 14+%) anyway so, really, where are these “calorie savings?”

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And, I have to be totally honest. This wine was WAAAAAYYYY too easy to drink. So, whatever “calorie bonus” there actually goes out the window with each glass you pour. Because, it does get easier to pour. And drink. And then it’s gone. Just like that.

drink all the wine

So, if you’re looking to buy a bunch of wine for book club – okay, wait. I cannot seriously recommend that you buy this wine. If you are having people over that you DON’T like and you have to provide the wine, then maybe this is a good choice but if you are having friends over and you want to have a nice wine with your meal/book club finger foods/cocktail party/etc, buy something real. From a vineyard. That cares about wine, not calories.

Besides, you don’t want to wear your 4 year old daughter’s pajamas anyway. 😉

Okay, side note: if you regularly buy/drink/love this wine, please don’t get mad at me for my review. I’m kind of a wine snob and I’m very particular. AND, I spent 3 years in Monterey, California with some AMAZING wine available to me. That being said, it WAS tasty. And I did drink it. ALL. I’m not proud. Or sad about it. Although, I did have a slight headache the next day so, that part wasn’t fun. I am SO not in my 20s anymore.

dory wine

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– jennifer

Wine Wednesday – Thanksgiving wine recommendations

Hello, hello!

Happy Wine Wednesday before Thanksgiving Thursday!

The weather outside is most definitely frightful and, if you’re traveling today, please be careful. I’m sure your family/friends would enjoy giving thanks for your safe arrival. If you’re traveling tomorrow, the same story holds. 🙂

So, let’s talk wine.

I mean, it IS Wine Wednesday, after all!

cheers!

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Do you have a plan for what wine you’re pouring with tomorrow’s meal?

If you do – Excellent! What are you pouring?

If you don’t, and you’re in charge of the wine, you’re in luck. I’m here to help!

Oh, and if you’re not in charge of wine this time around but are for Christmas, these tips will work for that meal, as well. 🙂

The first thing you need to figure out is how much wine to have on hand.

Generally, a standard bottle will yield about 4-6 glasses of wine, depending on who does the pouring. If it’s my dad, we’re looking at 4 glasses. 🙂

So, for math purposes, we’ll go with 5.

Plan for about 2 glasses per person (some will drink none and some will most definitely drink more) but 2 is a good average.

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Then, you have to figure out how many people will be there.

Adults, not children. Please don’t give the children any wine.

We’re going to have 15 at my folks’ house but out of those 15, 6 are below the age of 21. So, we’ll have 9 wine drinkers.

So, 9 wine drinkers plus 2 glasses each equals 18 glasses of wine. Divide that by how many glasses you can get out of a bottle – (remember from up there?) – 5 and we’re looking at about 4 bottles of wine for the meal.

Now, you can mix it up and offer both white and red, if you want. You’ll still want to stick to those estimated calculations. If you know that people will drink more because they aren’t driving, then you can plan for that.

Whatever you plan for pre-dinner drinks is completely up to you and if it’s more wine, you’ll have to account for that in your wine bottle total.

Ooohh, you know what’s handy?

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Wine charms! If you have quite a few people drinking wine, it’s very common for someone to put down their glass and walk away for a minute only to come back and discover that it’s gone. With wine charms, everyone basically calls dibs on their own glass with a little charm! They wrap around the glass stem, aren’t very expensive, and can be found in most wine markets and places like World Market, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and, who knows, probably even Target! (*note – if the store sells wine glasses, it probably sells wine charms)

And now it’s time for the good stuff!

What to drink!!

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If you’re doing the traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey or ham, there are a variety of wines that pair with both (and all the side dishes) quite nicely.

Let’s start with white wines, shall we?

Rieslings, Gewurztraminers, and Chardonnays are all excellent choices.

They’re all light and fruity without being overly sweet. Gewürztraminers bring a little bit of spiciness to the table and pair excellently with both pecan and pumpkin pie. When looking for a Chardonnay, you want to look for something “unoaked” or stainless barreled. Some oaky Chardonnays can be intensely buttery and might overwhelm your meal. The lighter, unoaked are both crisp and full-bodied and delicious.

Some of my favorite Rieslings include Fetzer, Chateau Ste. Michelle, and J. Lohr.

Favorite Gewürztraminers include Fetzer (again). I haven’t tried too many others so that’s all I got.

And Chardonnays include Kunde, Mer Soleil ($$), Fess Parker, and Josh Cellars.

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For red wines, traditional choices are Beaujolais and Pinot Noir. You could also go with a Malbec or a Zinfandel. If you decide to buy a couple bottles of different kinds, serve the Beaujolais and Pinot Noirs BEFORE the Malbecs and Zinfandels.

Beaujolais and Pinot Noir are both light and fruity with a little bit of earthiness. Malbecs are a more lush, medium-bodied wine and Zinfandels are powerful and fruity and full of depth.

If your Thanksgiving crowd are wine lovers, you could definitely throw the Malbecs and the Zinfandels into the mix without worry but if you have wine novices or people who prefer a “lighter” wine, then you should definitely stick with the Beaujolais or Pinot Noir.

I don’t have a favorite Beaujolais as I normally grab a Pinot Noir. Some favorite Pinot Noirs include Rubeus of Lore, Edna Valley, and Decoy.

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Favorite Malbecs include Middle Sister (SO GOOD!!), Acacia, or most Meritages (includes the Malbec grape).

Favorite Zinfandels include Four Vines, Seghisio ($$), and Rancho Zabaco.

So there you have it! You’re all set. Well, as far as the wine goes. I can’t help you with the cooking part. 🙂

Talk to me: Pumpkin or Pecan pie?

– jennifer

I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put some in the food! :)

Hello, hello!

I don’t know about where you are but my Wednesday is presently filled with clouds, raindrops, wind, and just general ickiness.

I’d so much rather be at home snuggled up under a blanket with something a’cookin’ in the oven or crockpot and a nice glass of wine in my hand.

Because, it’s Wine Wednesday, after all!

rule 66

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I’m doing this Wine Wednesday a little different though.

Don’t fret – I’ve got PLENTY of bottles of wine to share with you in the future!

Today, I want to talk about wine and food.

Or more specifically, wine IN food.

cook with wine

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(pssst….have you ever clicked on my image source links? you might just find something interesting … like a recipe that uses WINE!)

Did you know that you can substitute wine for the liquid in many of your meals?

Well, maybe not brownies. But, I haven’t tried it yet so……

Say, if something calls for chicken broth, you can use wine (white would be best) or a combination of the two.

Or, for example, if you’re making a homemade pasta sauce and it’s a little thick, you can add some red wine for depth and flavor and to thin it up a little.

Very Important Tip!

Please, please, please only cook with wine that you would drink.

Do not, under any circumstances, use anything that’s labeled “Cooking Wine.”

GAG!

Seriously, there’s nothing worse than ruining a recipe with a bottle of bad wine or Boone’s Farm or something like that.

Don’t do it!!!

I’m not saying you have to cook with your expensive wines but I wouldn’t recommend 2 Buck Chuck, either.

Blackstone Winery makes a variety of decent and inexpensive wines that would round out a recipe quite nicely.

Yellowtail Wines are also a good option, if you’re looking for inexpensive.

Want to give it a try but are a little nervous because you don’t want to screw it up?

Well, you should definitely read this article from Wine Enthusiast – Guide to Cooking with Red Wine & White Wine.

Now, on to some recipes!

First and foremost, I love Food and Wine Magazine for recipes, especially those that use wine in the recipe.

I mean, they’re pretty much the experts. 🙂

With Fall officially here, many cooks are turning to those favorite “comfort foods” to warm bodies and fill tummies.

Like meatloaf.

Except, this ain’t your mama’s meatloaf.

Meatloaf with Red Wine Glaze

Or, how about beef stew? YUM!

Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce

Do you love Coq au Vin?

(omigosh, me too!!! So delicious and worth the time and effort!!)

(um, for those who don’t know, that’s French for chicken in wine. #fancy)

Well, how about changing it up and using a white wine instead of the traditional red? Now that’s a dish that’ll both surprise and please your family/guests/tummy. 🙂

Coq au Riesling

So, I saw this article the other day and shared it on my Facebook page: 27 Awesome Ways to Use Leftover Wine.

Wait, what?

left-over-wine

Who knew?!

Well, I also came across this blog post ‘100 Recipes Using Leftover Red Wine‘ so apparently, it’s a THING.

Which means, I’m going to have to try it.

Oh. My. This list has Merlot Cream Cheese Brownies on it.

soexcited

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Talk to me: Do you cook with wine (as in, put it in the food) or do you just cook with wine (as in, drink it from your glass while attempting to get dinner finished before you fall over)? 😉

Do you have any favorite recipes to share?