Villa Maria Twitter Tasting November 16, 2016

by Nannette Eaton on November 4, 2016


As the days grow shorter, the air gets a crispness that signifies the change from autumn into the holiday season, and our thoughts gravitate to our holiday celebrations — Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years — what to cook and what wines to pair with the feasts and family.

Join Villa Maria on Twitter on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, at 5pm PST (8pm EST) to taste and talk about a pair of Villa Maria wines — the 2015 Private Bin Pinot Gris and the 2015 Private Bin Pinot Noir. The event will be moderated by Janet Fouts (@JFouts) and Villa Maria (@VillaMaria_Wine and @VillaMaria_USA) winemaker Helen Morrison (@Helen_wine) will be joining in from New Zealand to answer your wine questions and share the winemaking experience. There will be giveaways during the event, so don’t miss all the fun. Use the the hashtag #SipNZPinot to follow all the action.

Thanksgiving wine pairings can be tricky, as the diverse offerings on the table make pairing a challenge. After many years of experimentation, we’ve found that serving pinot noir and pinot gris at Thanksgiving is the perfect pairing. With Villa Maria, you’ll get a quality wine at a friendly under $20 price-point.

The Villa Maria story is one of absolute passion. Each wine is crafted in the unique, fruit-driven style of New Zealand, showcasing the very best of the country’s distinct wine regions. Villa Maria sources grapes from New Zealand’s premium grape growing regions, including Marlborough and Hawkes Bay, and produces wines in state-of-the-art winemaking facilities in Auckland and Marlborough. The winery Sir George Fistonich started in 1961 is still family owned and stands as an icon of superior quality and innovation in New Zealand winemaking. In 2016, Drinks International named Villa Maria the most admired wine brand in New Zealand and among the top 10 most admired wine brands in the world.

Grab a bottle (or two!) and join us on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, at 5pm PST (8pm EST) to launch the start of the holiday season.

Photo credit: Villa Maria ©2016

Full disclosure per FTC Act 16, CFR 255 :: Compensation (that means paid!) is being provided for this announcement and for participating in the Twitter event.


Dirty + Rowdy at 18 Reasons

by Nannette Eaton on October 29, 2016

Now this is how to throw a winemaker dinner. And this how to make wine. Last night in the Mission at 18 Reasons, Dirty and Rowdy held their annual chicken dinner, and what a playful and irreverent evening it was. It started with a (very) welcome glass of sparkling which was paired with a retro-cool pimento spread and pecans. Wedge salad. And the mourvèdre. Paired with crisp fried chicken with collard greens, smoky beans and cornbread, it’s elevated comfort food. Here’s a few images of the dinner. The takeaway for everyone? Play with your food and have fun with your wine pairings.

"So great to see you! Would you like a glass of Dirty + Rowdy sparkling?"view-from-the-street-sandwichboard-dr-dinner-dirty-and-rowdy-18-reasons-wine-harlots sparking-dr-dinner-dirty-and-rowdy-18-reasons-wine-harlotsmenu-with-flowers-and-wine-at-dirty-rowdwy-dinner-at-18-reasonspimento-cheese-dr-dinner-dirty-and-rowdy-18-reasons-wine-harlotswedge-salad-dr-dinner-dirty-and-rowdy-18-reasons-wine-harlotsbottleshot-lineup-dr-dinner-dirty-and-rowdy-18-reasons-wine-harlotstableau-dr-dinner-dirty-and-rowdy-18-reasons-wine-harlots"eXtreme close-up on the chicken! Sasquash!"ice-cream-in-canning-jar-dr-dinner-dirty-and-rowdy-18-reasons-wine-harlotshardy-wallace-3-dr-dinner-dirty-and-rowdy-18-reasons-wine-harlots


Halloween Candy Pairing

by Nannette Eaton on October 28, 2016

halloween-candy-pairing-tawny-port-fortified-wine-raisinetes-copyright-wineharlotsThe Wine Harlots Halloween ritual is booze, candy and a movie. (Which is our basic move every day of the year, too. Boring? No! Call us consistent.) Since the main caveat on dessert pairings is that the wine needs to be at least a sweet as the food. With candy, this eliminates most table wines from consideration. What really seems to pair well across the board with candy? Tawny. Whether you pick a Tawny port, or a fortified wine from around the world, Tawny rules. It paired really well with a Snickers bar, but ultimately, we chose a classic movie pairing, Raisinets. The milk chocolate and chewy raisins was a synergistic pairing. Tawny and Raisinets is what we’ll be enjoying with our double feature of girl-power Hocus Pocus and the always unsettling Halloween.

Photo credit: Nannette Eaton ©2016


Bargain Alert!
$7 Red from Portugal

by Nannette Eaton on August 3, 2016

“No nation is drunken where wine is cheap.” — Thomas Jefferson

Tuella Douro Trader Joes 6 copyright Nannette Eaton for WineHarlots

Run as fast as you can to your local Trader Joe’s and stock up on the Tuella Douro red. It’s juicy, unpretentious and delicious — and with the price of $7, we recommend stocking up for summer entertaining. And it’s delicious. (Did we already say that? It bears repeating.)

The Tuella came to our attention via our friend Liza of Brix Chicks. The Chick was taking a wine pairing course at Las Positas College, the final project was to create the most synergistic pairing. Liza’s team stretched their pairing experience by selecting Garlic Pannacotta with Tomato Soup, a perverse combination of flavors, textures and acids that would stump the most experienced vinophile. To find the optimal pairing, the group tasted 27 wines, at every price-point from $6 to $90, and the Tuella dominated the pairing competition.

Tuella Douro Trader Joes 3 copyright Nannette Eaton for WineHarlots

The Tuella has juicy fruit and medium tannins. As Jon Thorsen at Reverse Wine Snob notes, the wine is even better on day two (or day three, in the Wine Harlots opinion) so it makes it perfect for those who don’t finish a bottle in a sitting. (We’re not sure who those folks are, but we’ve heard they are out there!)

The perfect pairing? Wine Harlots say this is the ideal backyard barbecue wine, excellent for any grilled proteins. Otherwise, if you want a daring pairing, go with the Brix Chick recommendation of Garlic Pannacotta with Tomato Soup — yes, not only does it pair — it rocks the pairing and challenges those conceptions of “what works.”

Tuella Douro Trader Joes 4 copyright Nannette Eaton for WineHarlots

The music match is Aimee Mann’sThat’s Just What You Are” from the disc I’m With Stupid.

The details: 13.5% alcohol. Cork closure. Appellation: Douro. Grapes: touriga franca, tinta barroca and tinto cao. Vinter: Symington Family. Available exclusively at Trader Joe’s. Price: $7 ($6 in California and Arizona.)

Tuella Douro Trader Joes 5 copyright Nannette Eaton for WineHarlots
Photo credit: Nannette Eaton ©2016

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