Friday, April 19, 2013

Read a Book, Sip a Cocktail No. 20

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I was inspired to do a little wine tasting this time around by the book Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik.  The story centers on five women who serendipitously form a book club in their Freesia Court neighborhood in the 1960's. Through forty years of friendship, their lives are unraveled, enjoyed, devastated, and enriched by secrets, marital woes, booze, and inevitable changes and revelations.  I really enjoyed learning about each character's lives and getting the story from each of them because they all had individual voices and perspectives.  The five characters include Faith, a mother of twins who feels a bit lonely, Merit, the pretty doctor's wife, Audrey, resident sex pot (I thought Joan Holloway all the way while I read it), Kari the reliable widow, and Slip who is tiny in size but not in character or strength.The story had both heart warming moments, as well as heartbreak, laughter and of course great books, food and drinks.

I am not the usual wine lover in that I guess I cheat at wine. That is to say that I prefer the sweet, desert wines, so when it comes down to it, I'm not a true wine enthusiast even though I actually have lots of enthusiasm for wine, but my palate is not complex I guess. All I know is that if it is sweet, I like it, no matter the cost, the age, the vintage, nose, varietal, or the obscurity or exclusivity. I don't pick up on nuances like vanilla oak, pepper, rhubarb, or whispers of clove either.  I pretty much stick to a good Riesling, Moscato, Gewurztraminer, and the occasional Zinfandel. And I love sipping a port with some chocolate after dinner too. So this is where the bon bons come in.  I chose three wines and I paired them with a variety of chocolates. I started with Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet, which is a mix of Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah.  It smelled like any other red wine to me, but it was actually not too dry and just smooth enough for me with a hint of sweetness (although with the name I really did expect some sort of a nod to red velvet cake).  I paired it with white chocolate and it was quite nice to sip a bit at a time with the creamy white chocolate.  Second up was the Chocolate Shop Red Wine which is red wine infused with dark chocolate, and I could definitely smell the chocolate before I took a taste. I paired this one with milk chocolate and it was a nice balance to the headiness of the wine.  And finally I ended with a Quarles Harris Ruby Porto, which is an inexpensive port that has a bit of a kick (for something better I would recommend a Fonseca Porto).  I paired it with a dark chocolate and almonds, but I think a chocolate desert might be best with this one.  Out of all three my favorite was definitely the Chocolate Shop Red Wine. It was smooth, not too strong, with a lovely hint of dark chocolate. I could have even sipped it without the chocolate truth be told, which is rare for me as I usually stick to the white wines.  Overall I think if I'm going to have some dessert after dinner or during a book club meeting, I think having it with some wine is definitely a win-win situation.

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons Flight
1 bottle of Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet
1 bottle of Chocolate Shop Red Wine
1 bottle of Quarles Harris Ruby Porto
A variety of chocolate

How to: For this pairing I would recommend making a night of it, inviting some angry or not-so-angry friends over to enjoy the flight with you and just have everyone bring a pairing of a wine and either a chocolate or maybe a cheese or a dessert. And make sure you have a DD as well or plenty of sleeping bags!

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