Monday, January 10, 2011

Fire up the Chili!

I cannot WAIT to get home tonight! I spent the morning chopping onions, dashing in chili seasonings, adding my beans and tomatoes, and mixing it all up in my crockpot. I know that when I walk through my front door, the house will be filled with the delicious scents of savory ground turkey and cumin. I'll stop at Isabelle and Vincent's decadent bakery for a crusty baguette, and Fairfield Cheese Company for my favorite Vermont aged cheddar to grate over my steaming bowl. I'll set out my finest Reidel stemware, fire up the DVR for last week's Grey's Anatomy and prepare to dig in. But WAIT! What to DRINK? Decisions, decisions.....

I could do Malbec, with its seductive, sexy richness- it is so dense, dark and smoky, it brings out the spice in your heartiest chili. I fell in love with Goulart at a recent tasting. It SHOULD be spectacular, given the pedigree of the winemaker, the same guy who makes those 97 point wines for Paul Hobbs in Argentina! The best part? This one is $15!!

My favorite pairing is always a great Rhone wine. Perhaps I could do an elegant, supple Grenache/ Syrah blend from the Cotes du Rhone region. I'm loving Mas Josephine, a bottle I picked up at my friend Terry's store, Horseneck Wines in Greenwich for $14. What a lovely wine for drinking before and during dinner. A great choice if your chili is on the mild side. For fans of Chateauneuf du Pape, I recommend a killer wine that costs HALF of most Chateauneufs, and has all the gorgeous character and structure of these Southern Rhone wines. Cros de la Mure Cotes du Rhone Villages from the famed 2007 vintage is a home-run on all accounts. Serious juice!

Purists eating chili can go the "All-American" route; a route I'm a definite fan of, and perhaps leaning towards tonight, as I want something a little over the top. I found an AWESOME Syrah from Paso Robles called Niner for $19 with loads of blackberry and smoky, chewy fruit. Big, lush body and a long finish. Last, the traditional pairing for chili cannot be forgotten- California Red Zinfandel. Chatom Zinfandel for $22 or Frank Family for $50 are two of the best around. Zinfandel has just enough juicy fruitiness and blackberry mixed with black pepper to cool the spice of chili without overpowering it. It truly is a wonderous pairing that must be tasted to be believed.

Well, all this talk has got me hungry and thirsty, so I'm going to bolt. I know what I'M drinking tonight.....what about you?

-Amy & Elvis

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