A Look Back to 2012

Better late then never, huh?!

2012 marked the best year of my life. I married my best friend, grew my career and hit some milestones in my blogging life. It was full of highs. So here's a roundup of my highlights of 2012:

I completed my first ever race; Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon! This taught me that I should probably train for something like this next time...but hey, I crossed that Finish Line...where the wine was!

Met the amazing winemaker from Hall Wines in CA at a wine dinner at the Ronald Reagan Building.

I began guest blogging on multiple blogs including Dining in DC, BarHappy & Virginia Wine Nose!

Met the CEO of Silver Oak, David Duncan, at Cleveland Park Wines while they toured the country with the iconic Tower.

Had record breaking hits on my post of Favorite Bars to Grab a Cocktail; Founding Farmers, Co Co Sala and The Passenger.

Of course the marriage to Bryan was the highest of highs!

And our honeymoon doesn't trail too far behind. Experiencing the wines of Greece was not only a learning experience but an eye-opening adventure in the international wine world.

I took part in the 2012 harvest in VA wine country at Fabbioli Cellars, my first assistance with harvest ever!

I planned, coordinated and marketed my first winemaker dinner at Equinox with Domaine JJ Confuron from Burgundy! What an evening it was.

I was featured in the Northern Virginia Magazine, VA wine edition!--->

One Classic Wino turned 2 and I celebrated with weekly giveaways, a newsletter and a party!

And finally, I made the career change back to wine as the Marketing Manager of Boxwood Winery!

Ok, 2013...what do ya got?!

Port, Sauternes & Blue Cheese: The Ultimate Sweet/Salty Pairing

I love odd, off the wall food and wine pairings; french fries and sparkling (my fav), Thai food and Pinot Noir, among others. I also love sweet and salty pairings. Sauternes, Port and blue cheese is the ultimate sweet/salty pairing.

Earlier today I lead a tasting event of just that. Sauternes, ports and dessert wine in general doesn't get a lot of attention in our culture. Most people don't know many things about those wines or regions or have even tasted one. That's the idea behind hosting a tasting like this, it's a great educational, eye opening tasting.

photo courtesy of wikipedia
Sauternes is a sweet, white wine that comes from the Sauternes region in southern Bordeaux. The most common Sauternes blend is of sauvignon blanc, sémillon and muscadelle. The sweetness comes from botrytis, or noble rot. This is the result of the wine grapes actually rotting on the vine, concentrating the flavor. This is very common in ice wine and other styles as well.

The result is a sweeter white wine with hints of honeysuckle, stone fruits like peaches and apricots, and can age very well, even beyond 100 years! The sweetness of a Sauternes is a perfect match with salty foods like blue cheese or another classic pairing is foie gras.

Ports are also a dessert wine that pairs well with the saltiness of the blue cheese. Ports are produced in the Douro region of Northern Portugal. They typically consist of multiple Portuguese grapes such as, but not limited to, Touriga Nacional, Tinto Cao, Tinta Barroca, Tempranillo, Touriga Francesca.

Ports are a fortified wine which causes the alcohol content to be much higher than the average, most are around 19%! These wines are a heavier dessert wine than Sauternes and usually is a great ending to a meal paired with some cheese.

The nose and palate on most ports showcases a raisiny, oaky, vanilla and sometimes even molasses flavor. The blue cheese helps to cut through these flavors and evens out the mouthfeel.

Sure it might sound unusual but don't knock it until you try it!