Chocolate and Wine Is So Fine

A box of Russell Stover for V-Day? Come on, you can do better than that. Instead splurge on two tickets to the Chocolate Wine Trail in Hermann. You and your honey will spend the third weekend of February sampling luscious chocolate and wine pairings at seven stops along the beautiful Hermann Wine Trail.

The tasting menu at the 2013 Chocolate Wine Trail, February 16 and 17, will feature:

• Adam Puchta Winery — Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake, paired with the newly released Cat’s Meow

• Bias Winery — Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Surprise, paired with Strawberry Weisser Flieder

• Dierberg Star Lane Tasting Room — Blueberries in a Black Pepper Chocolate-Syrah Syrup, paired with Three Saints Syrah

• Hermannhof Winery — Chocolate Truffle Torte with Norton-Blackberry Ganache, paired with Norton

• OakGlenn Winery — Cincinnati Chili, paired with Chardonel

• Röbller Winery — Chocolate Whoopie Pie, paired with Villa Rouge

• Stone Hill Winery — White Chocolate Popcorn with Raspberry Drizzle, paired with Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine

The $30 per person ticket price includes a souvenir wine glass. Participants also may enter a drawing for a $30 gift certificate from each winery and a night’s stay at a Hermann B&B. Wine Trail tickets may be purchased online at Visit Hermann or from the Hermann Welcome Center, 800-932-8687. Advance purchase is required. (A word to the wise—tickets usually sell out early for this popular event.)

Information about the Hermann Wine Trail is available at Hermann Wine Trail.

The Chocolate Wine Trail is one of five annual events hosted by the Hermann Wine Trail, which hugs the Missouri River for 20 scenic miles between Hermann and New Haven.

Thinking ahead? Bacon will be the theme of this year’s Wild Card Wine Trail the first weekend of May; Berries & BBQ Wine Trail during the last full weekend of July celebrates the flavors of summer; and the Holiday Fare Wine Trail is the third weekend of November for a festive start to the holiday season. Say Cheese Wine Trail rounds out the year during the second weekend of December which is the same weekend as Hermann’s popular Kristkindl Markt.

CoMo Food : Design a Label for Les Bourgeois

Fancy yourself an artst? Or perhaps a wine lover? Combine the two and design the next label for Les Bourgeois. The annual Collector’s Series wines is a chance for the Les Bourgeois winemakers to showcase their artistic creativity with small batch fermentations. The Les Bourgeois Collector’s series is made with best grapes and is considered the highest quality and most unique wine released each year by the winery.

Three of the Collector’s Series wines are released each year and the winery holds a wine label art competition each winter for the label designs. The following summer a wine release party and art show featuring the winning artists is held at the Blufftop Bistro.

Want in? Download the entry form for details and competition rules!

CoMo Food : St. James Nouveau

For many wine lovers, November isn’t about Thanksgiving as much as it is about the release of Beaujolis Nouveau vintages. Nouveau began as a celebration wine commemorating the end of harvest, but in a post World War II cash-strapped Europe, Beaujolais wineries and winemakers decided to stop waiting 7 to 18 months for Nouveau wines to age. Instead they developed a wine style designed to be enjoyed right away. It went for sale on the third Thursday of November, and a new tradition was born.

You can put a Missouri twist on this tradtion with St. James Winery. They release their Nouveau wine tomorrow November 17, the third Thursday of the month.

“St. James Winery is one of a very few wineries in Missouri to make a Nouveau wine, our 2011 Nouveau is a rare opportunity for wine lovers to get a sneak peek at Missouri’s 2011 grape harvest,” said Peter Hofherr, CEO of St. James Winery. “This year’s Nouveau blends Corot Noir, Chambourcin, and Rougeon grapes, and it’s bursting with the flavors of fresh raspberries and red cherries. There are underlying notes of cocoa, too. Our Nouveau is created with cranberries and turkey in mind, so that makes it a wonderful addition to Thanksgiving dinner. It’s really a great wine for the holidays.”

This wine is meant to be enjoyed right away, it’s at the height of its flavor for the first six months making it perfect for the holidays.

St. James Winery’s Nouveau is produced in small quantities, only 200 cases, so shop early. The wine can only purchased at the winery or online.

Ahhh! Mango-Cucumber Wine Cooler

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We were enjoying the last of our Shrimp and Leek Linguine in White Wine Sauce the other night when I realized we still had quite a bit of local Missouri Les Bourgeois vidal blanc left. It was still insanely hot outside; the day before was our hottest day yet, a blazing 108 degrees! Neil and I were both getting ready to leave town, and for me, getting ready for BlogHer just made the heat feel that much worse. A colorful chilled drink was definitely in order, they fix everything right? {Via Bon Appétit}

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Ingredients:

1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 750-ml bottle Sauvignon Blanc (we used the fabulous Les Bourgeois Vidal Blanc)
1 hothouse cucumber, peeled, cut into 1/4″ rounds
1 mango, pitted, peeled, finely diced
12 sprigs fresh mint, divided
1 cup ginger ale

Directions:

  1. Stir sugar and 1 ½ tablespoons hot water in a large pitcher until dissolved.
  2. Add wine, cucumber, and mango. Remove leaves from 6 sprigs of mint; stir into pitcher. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 6 hours.
  3. Stir ginger ale into pitcher. Fill 6 large wineglasses with ice. Divide wine cooler among glasses. Garnish with remaining 6 mint sprigs.

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Lightly sweet and refreshing and just what we needed to relax a bit. Because I don’t drink much, I’m usually quick to talk myself out of overly complicated beverage recipes. This however was easy to put together on short notice, and I loved it the longer we let it sit covered in the fridge.

Feeling bold, we tried taking them outside to enjoy on our deck, but the bugs and heat drove us back inside pretty quickly. Isn’t it nuts that it can be too hot to BBQ or enjoy your deck in summer? Now that the temperatures are finally starting to cool down, hopefully we can make up for it. It would be a shame to end the first summer in our new house having barbecued only once.