Super Tuscan Wine and Cottonbell Cheese, Paired with Italian Tomatoes

I was on Social Media recently when someone said “Maria, we’d guess that you have some cool chip and dip pairings with wine.” Surprisingly I didn’t so when I saw this cheese at the Durham Farmer’s Market, my gears started turning. What if we used this soft-ripened cheese, that is essentially a dip, with some multigrain chips and turned them into bruschetta? And since bruschetta is Italian, we could see what kind of Italian wine we could find to pair with it. Not quite chips and dip in the traditional sense but we are far from traditional people. We present to you, our version of chips and dip featuring a Super Tuscan Wine, Cottonbell Cheese (by Boxcarr Handmade Cheese) and Italian Tomatoes. 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…

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…

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Sparkling Wine and Cheese!

Can you believe we’ve only had a handful of Wine and Cheese Friday sparkling wine entries? We really like this type of wine so we figured we could take this chance to learn some more, and who can resist the bubbly? Sparkling wine is always festive, but what better reason to drink some bubbles than Valentine’s Day. It’s only a few days away, you know. Learn more alongside us and then give a new bottle of bubbles a try on Feb. 14. Of course, we’ve got some cheeses in here too for you to pick up. Read More…

Wines of Instagram

In December each year, we come up with some wine compilation entries to showcase some wines we tried throughout the year. This year we posted quite a few wines to Instagram that you might not have heard about. If you have an Instagram account, follow us @winecheesefri. If you don’t use Instagram, you’re in luck because you can still see our posts below. There’s even a direct link to each post if you want to read through the comments or see a little more about each one. Read More…

Dracaena Wines, Paso Robles, CA

We made a plan to hang out with Lori from Dracaena Wines, during our trip to Paso Robles. She was so excited to show us all the iconic places of the region, and I was hopeful that we’d get to see her vineyard and winery, too. I met Lori on #WiningHourChat and knew we’d be friends once I found out they made a Cabernet Franc. After hearing about their wine for a couple years on the chat, this was the day that I was finally going to be able to taste it. I’m not a Cabernet Franc expert, by any means, but I used to pour one at the Winery Collective and I always enjoyed it. My favorite part about the plan was that we’d get to taste the Dracaena wine next to the vines that produced it. How cool! Read More…

Hitching Post 2 and Buellton, CA

You’ve heard that we went on a Sideways Wine Tour of California and this entry will be a continuation of that series. Have you been to Buellton, CA? Any superfan of Sideways probably has and this was actually our second trip out there. No trip would be complete without visiting The Windmill Inn (now called Sideways Inn), The Hitching Post 2, and maybe you’ve even gone to see those pesky ostriches that nipped at Jack? Read More…

Sideways Wine Tour

For how many times Neil and I have watched Sideways, we’ve never been to the region to try the wines. We made a point to take a trip to the Santa Rita Hills AVA this summer to follow the Sideways tourist map. We were calling it our Sideways Wine Tour and it would begin outside of Santa Barbara and end in San Jose with us stopping every day or two along the California Coast. Read More…

Johnson Estate Vineyard Walk & Brunch, Westfield, NY

Neil’s mom, Linda, works at a vineyard in New York, so while we were planning our trip to the Erie, PA area we made reservations to attend the brunch at Johnson Estate. Although we’ve visited the Lake Erie Wine Trail a handful of times, we’ve never done an official vineyard tour there. I was so excited to learn about some of the grapes local to the area and what a bonus to have brunch and a wine tasting included!
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Garnacha y Valdeon, Spanish Wine and Cheese pairing with @JustTheBottle

When I was approached to be the guest on Just the Bottle we talked through a few ideas of what the theme would be. I had recently done two Spanish wine and Spanish cheese pairings, (http://wineandcheesefriday.com/rioja-with-sheep-cheese-a-little-piece-of-spain/ and http://wineandcheesefriday.com/white-rioja-and-goat-cheese-log/) that were well matched, so I suggested the idea. Christina, the hostess, happily agreed since she is a fan of Spanish wines. This was our chance to get better acquainted with a new region for wine and cheese. We’ve had Grenache from California and quite a few blue cheeses but neither one from Spain so when we came up with the idea of Garnacha and Valdeon, it was settled. Read More…