Panic in the Kitchen with Wine from NZ
The news lately is depressing. Red meat kills you faster than anyone had thought (Los Angeles Times, Tuesday, March 13, 2012). You’re not supposed to drink coffee prior to donating blood, as coffee lowers your iron count. (This is new!)
According to heart surgeon Dr. Dwight Lundell, our years of eating highly processed carbohydrates and the excess consumption of omega 6 vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, and sunflower oil is the #1 major cause of heart disease, and not cholesterol (Sott.net, March 1, 2012). Here’s a quote from the Sott article: “Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped. ” It’s a fascinating article, and I highly recommend you read all of it.
PANIC TIME All this news, though, has caused me to panic in the kitchen. I enjoy making bread, and feeding steak and smashed potatoes to my boys. But at the same time, I want my family to stay healthy. What’s an omnivore who has no interest in changing her stripes to do?
I reached for a bottle of wine, natch!
Starborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough, New Zealand Alcohol 13% by volume. Regularly $12.84 at Vons; on 30% off special for $8.99. (DON’T get me started on that phony $12.84 pricing.)
On the Label: “New Zealand’s South Island is home to the Marlborough wine growing region, known for its natural beauty and some of the world’s finest Sauvignon Blanc. Marlborough’s favourable climate and diverse geography develop wines with a unique character, making them as flavourful as they are refreshing.
“Our Sauvignon Blanc delivers all of the refreshing citrus aromas and lively acidity that characterizes the Marlborough region. Our goal is to take the Starborough experience even further; with a layered testure and long, crisp finish that truly epitomizes the character of New Zealand itself.”
My Take: I liked this wine a lot. I’d come home from work and was in a bit of a panic about dinner; found a healthy recipe and scooted off to the store. Found this wine – and felt my panic recede a bit. The wine was crisp, clean, and yet had a hint of sweetness. Refreshing and very easy to drink. After my first sip, I felt panic slip away and I began to cook.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ I think I may just start buying NZ Sauvignon Blancs when I’m in an S. Blancish mood.
Recipe: Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms via MyRecipes.com
This recipe is one of my favorites – I didn’t list it here, because I didn’t create it, but do check it out. Grilled mushrooms, chopped tomato, garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, olive oil and mozzarella cheese – what’s not to love?
Ahhh…I was sipping wine though, remember. And I was a bit panicked about life and eating. So where the recipe called for 2/3 cup of chopped tomato, I tossed in three chopped tomatoes. And where the recipe called for 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella, I threw in a pound. (Oh, a handful at a time – but by the time I was done, the whole 16 oz bag had gone in. Whoops!)
The only bad thing was, I had made enough filling for twelve portobellos, instead of four. Sigh. If any of us had remembered to put up the extra, it would have made terrific topping for pizza! I did follow the rest of the recipe to the letter – grilling, basting, filling, and melting – and the mushrooms turned out spectacular (by far my favorite way to have them).
I paired this with a lovely chopped salad of bell pepper, zucchini, cucumber, spring onions, feta, three different types of lettuce (butter, red, and some crinkly artisanal lettuce), fresh basil, fresh parsley, and shredded carrot; squeezed one Meyer lemon over it all and added a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper, and mixed the heck out of it all. Tasted wonderful (and there were leftovers for lunch the next day).
On to the next bottle! After a full day of gardening, I came inside and opened another NZ bottle of wine…
Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough, New Zealand Alcohol 13% by Volume – on sale for $8.99 at Vons
On the Label: “Oyster Bay captures the special character of New Zealand’s cool climate viticulture…elegant, assertive wines with glorious fruit flavors.”
My Take: Nice and brief label – love it. I enjoyed this wine, too…it had a slightly more acidic flavor to it, which held up beautifully when paired with a robust chicken/mushroom soup I made and doctored the family with this past week.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ Honestly, I was very pleased with the quality of both these wines. I will go out of my way to search for more New Zealand wines – hopefully I can find some yummy reds, too!
Well, that’s it for this week. Do you have any recommendations for wine under $10? I’m always looking for new ones to try! Remember the ratings are based on my taste buds (and sometimes those of my hubby), and will be influenced by how much the media has managed to panic me that week, how much gardening I’ve done, and the phase of the moon. Your taste buds will be different.
Thanks for dropping by – and remember to Drink Responsibly!