If you know me, you know my that Pinot, Rosè, Chardonnay, and Cabernet are my BFFs. You’ll find them at my side during the good times and the bad. I celebrate promotions with Chardonnay, and Rose comforts me when my children make me want to stick a fork in my eye. I also like a good snack. I eat my feelings, and my feelings are made of carbs. However, I am also a devout intermittent faster. That’s been admittedly a little tougher in the time of the Corona, but I still believe the food I put in my body should be window worthy. Now, the term “window worthy” means different things to different people, but to me it can be summed up by this pithy motto: Life Is Too Short To Drink Crap Wine.
So, in this this time of Social Distancing, I find myself holed up in my house with all of my BFFs, an abundance of shelf stable snacks, and an inability to get the heck away from my children and husband. Ever. So, I am bored and I am having a lot of feelings and as we discussed, my feelings are made of carbs.
I can only imagine others are in the same boat. Therefore, I took one for the team, ignored the chorus of “Mom. Mom. Mam. Mamma. Mommy. MOM! MAAAAAAAAAAM. Mommy. mommy. momomomom. MOM!” coming from the other side of the door, and set to work eating and drinking my way through my hoard in order to bring to you: The Ultimate Quarantine Wine and Snack Guide.
In college we used to say “liquor before beer, have no fear. Beer before liquor, never been sicker” Well, I’m basically too old to drink liquor and beer is gross (Don’t come at me ok? This is MY blog. You can put beer on YOUR blog). But I still basically find that if I’m going to drink wine, heavier is better first. I like to drink the wine that will give me a migraine while I still basically have control of my impulses. My husband is a much more refined wine coinnoiseur than I am, and he would probably argue that starting out heavy will crush the flavor of the white later but again. MY BLOG. We will start with red.
Here I’ve started with a Nicora Syrah (Slide Hill Vinyard 2017, $65 www.nicorawine.com ). You could use a cabernet or any other big red. We aren’t technical here, people. We are just trying to have a nice snack. We really like this winery though, the reds don’t give me a migraine and my husband says they know what they are doing, This is a big compliment coming from him. My husband basically doesn’t think anyone knows what they are doing.
I like to pair my reds with big flavors like nacho cheese and peanut butter. So I drank this wine with Doritos and Tagalongs. Doritos first, then Tagalongs for dessert because I am not a heathen. I feel like the peanut butter of Tagalongs and grapey grapes of the Syrah give a stellar peanut butter and jelly vibe. If you don’t have Doritos (they are are hard to come by during the Great COVID Famine), Cheetos are good choice here as well. I mean, ok, Cheetos are always a good choice.
My favorite red is a Pinot Noir. (This is my favorite Pinot Noir – The Famous Gate $90, www.domainecarneros.com ). A Pinot Noir is a red that isn’t really committed to being a red. See? You can almost see through it. So, I like to pair it with slightly less hearty carbs like popcorn and bread. This particular popcorn is made in a microwave popper with butter and then tossed in salt, pepper, and parmesan. For the parmesan, get you a microplane. it shaves the cheese fine enough that it’ll stick to your popcorn and get a little melty. You don’t want to open a $90 wine just to have the cheese fall off and clump in the bottom of the bowl like sand in the toes of your kid’s sneakers. Sometimes we like to put some truffle oil in the butter and then we usually bump this snack up into the big red category. Truffle oil will punch you in the face a little so I like it with a wine that will defend my honor and punch back. But without the truffle oil, pinot lets you taste the subtle salty cheesy yum. It also pairs well with brie and although my husband will tell you that fig jam and pinot might not be the best combo, I like fig jam with my brie and brie with my pinot and I can do what I want.
Rosè, Whites, & Bubbly
Chardonnay (La Crema 2018 Sonoma Coast $23 www.lacrema.com ) . Otherwise known as elixir from Heaven. Mom juice. Happiness in a bottle. Chardonnay goes with everything and will not give you a migraine. My favorite chardonnays come oaked, un-oaked, with corks, in screw-tops, and range in price from $19- $85. I pretty much always have this on hand because it tastes more expensive than it is. I also, like to pretend I am fancier than I really am, so this wine speaks to my soul. It also goes with everything I want to stuff my face with, most of which is on this plate. Note that Nutella also pairs well with Trefoils Girl Scout cookies, and Manchego cheese, both of which also go with Chardonnay.
I discovered this Rosè in France, where it costs $6. It does not cost $6 here, and I am holding a grudge. You have to get it from a distributor here, like the very exclusive Vons or BevMo. It costs about $11-$13. In actuality, it cost 6 euros in France, which is probably not $6 here, but math is hard. The bottom of this bottle is a very pretty glass rose and the cork is also glass, so it makes me feel fancy. Luckily, it pairs well with my favorite food on earth- French Fries. Is this because Rosè is also French? I don’t know, I’m not good at Geography, I’m just looking for a nice snack. This rosè is light and crisp and fairly dry, if you are drinking a sweeter one, go for a spicy snack like Takis or those weird wasabi peas that make the top layer of your tongue come off.
* A special note about sparkling wine *
My husband wouldn’t let me open any because he said I need to get cheaper taste in wine if I’m going to open it all for a blog post. But, see above motto about Life Is Too Short To Drink Crap Wine. So we will not be getting cheaper taste in wine. My favorite sparkling wine is Le Reve (www.domainecarneros.com) It’s $100ish, and not available right now. I KNOW. But don’t buy cheap sparkling. Go up a paragraph or two and get you a nice La Crema for twenty three bucks. You can thank me later. If you do come into possession of a Le Reve, it’s stupidly delicious with caviar. Sparkling wine is also really great with dark chocolate, berries of any kind, stinky cheese, and chocolate cake from Costco. Don’t knock the chocolate cake from Costco. Trans fats are delicious. Actually, if you must drink a cheap sparkling, the Kirkland brand one won’t make you want to die. I would definitely recommend Kirkland Brut and chocolate Costco cake. While you’re there, check if they have toilet paper yet and text me, k? Thanks.
Well, there you have it. You are now fully equipped to eat your feelings and remain slightly tipsy for as long as you have supplies. I am deeply hopeful that our supplies will last longer than the pandemic, and have great faith that the wine and carb makers of the world will find a way to support us and our obesity slash alcoholism during these challenging days. As a bonus, most of these wines come from wineries that are probably losing a lot of business, but are happy to ship to you in your time of need, So, it’s a win-win!