Tacama Wine Tasting, Ica Valley, Peru

Have you ever tried wine from Peru? Today we’ll be featuring three wines from Tacama Winery, the oldest winery in South America. It was founded in 1540 and still continues to produce wines almost 500 years later. The vineyards are located in the Ica Valley Oasis, which boasts hot days and cool nights and can be found in the southern part of Peru. This growing region, as well as any wine from Peru, is new to us. Did you know they started producing wine in Peru long before Chile or Argentina? These are the countries we usually think of for South American wines. Read More…

Copa Vino de Marañón y Mozzarella Cheese

We heard about this wine during one of our previous trips to Costa Rica but couldn’t find it until this year. The wine is made from cashews and we really thought hard about how a wine could be made from nuts. We were telling someone about it and they said “Oh silly, the wine is made from the fruit, not the nut!” Did you know cashew was a fruit?? Just shortly after finding the wine in one of our local licorerias (liquor stores) we came across the fruit in the farmer’s market. We told the farmer that we’d be tasting the wine soon so he gave us one of the fruits to taste too. Read More…

Grilled Cheese Day

posted last year on our Facebook Fan Page

Today is Grilled Cheese Day so I searched online for the best place in Durham, NC to get a grilled cheese. Once I confirmed that we could turn them into gluten free treats, we chose Toast Paninoteca. Read More…

Wine and Chocolate Pairing, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Did you know there’s a region in Costa Rica that grows chocolate? We just found out about it on a recent trip to Puerto Viejo. We were pleasantly surprised to find a chocolate and wine pairing at Cho.co. The store was set up with all different chocolates and bars decorating the walls. I think there might have been ten different chocolate producers sold in the store. We visited on a Friday night and boy was it packed. People were excited to try their chocolate tastings, beer, coffee and wine pairings. Luckily, there was still some space at the bar so we found a spot there and began our tasting! Read More…

Zinfandel/Tannat with a Goat Cheese Log and Aged Gouda

We purchased this bottle of wine during our visit to Brecon Estate back in the Fall, http://wineandcheesefriday.com/brecon-estate-paso-robles-ca/. We visited the winery during our Paso Robles Wine Tasting Extravaganza day. That was our first time trying a Tannat wine and we even got to pair it with cheese that day. We liked it so much we figured we should take home a bottle and learn a little more about this grape made popular in Uruguay. We chose to do the pairing with Neil’s sister Marilou, so we headed over to the local grocery store to see what types of cheeses we could find. We chose two of our go-to cheeses, a goat cheese log, and some aged gouda. This evening we were having Wine and Cheese for dinner so we will also be including our pairings with Prosciutto, Salami, kalamata olives, green olives, gluten free crackers and Melba toast. Read More…

Making Cheese in a Tropical Setting, A Visit to Quesos Monte Azul in Chimirol de Rivas, Costa Rica

When we have visited Costa Rica in the past, we noticed that most of the cheese here falls into the “fresh category” but never really put much thought into why that might be. We usually just chalked it up to which foods are popular here and that a wedge of hard, funky cheese didn’t really fit in. Once we discovered the Monte Azul brand of cheese as something more relatable to our palates and one that was possible to pair with wine, we found out the information we had been missing. Cheese is different in Costa Rica for good reason! It just so happened that Monte Azul was near where we were staying so we arranged for a visit there. Our entry will share the things we learned that day. Read More…

Stemmari Nero D’Avola and Monterrey cheese

For this week’s Wine And Cheese Friday entry we’ll be featuring our first pairing during this trip to Costa Rica. We love visiting Costa Rica, but have found it challenging to find a wine and cheese selection that coincides with our palates. Wine can be found in local grocery and liquor stores here in Pérez Zeledón, but the selection is usually limited. Sweet wines are more popular here, whereas we prefer something drier and more complex, and most wines we find are from Chile and Argentina. Since we’ve visited three times previously, we’ve found our staple brands to enjoy on a regular basis, but are always hoping for something new and interesting. Imagine our surprise when we came across a Sicilian brand that had been previously featured on #WiningHourChat! We made a mental note and went back a week later to pick up the bottle of Stemmari Nero D’Avola.
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Chilean Sparkling Wines

Our final sparkling wine entry for February will showcase sparkling wines from Chile. During our time in Costa Rica and Panama, we have tasted many Chilean brands. When I discuss whats in my glass (#WIMG) on social media, it surprised people that Chilean wineries produced sparkling wines, since they aren’t readily available in the US. Read More…

Sparkling Wines and Cheeses, as we begin our California Wine Adventure

We continue through the month of February with more sparkling wine! We did this tasting with Always Five Star (Pam) and her husband, John, during our trip out to California. Their home on Seal Beach was our first stop in the state. And really who else would you expect us to drink sparkling wine with? They already had a cheese shop picked out for us to visit, Cheese Addiction. Sounds right up my alley! We didn’t need an occasion to eat cheese and drink sparkling wine but it just so happened that Pam hit 10k Instagram followers while we were there! Let the celebrating begin. Read More…

Co-hosting #WiningHourChat with Chris from Wine101 Hamden

We had such a good time the first time I was the guest on WiningHourChat, that Li, Maggie and Cara asked if I’d like to do it again. We had the idea to do it sometime in the Fall and I already new I’d be in New England then. This got me thinking that Chris from Wine 101 Hamden is also in New England and that we could cohost the chat. And so it began! Read More…