Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Wine Club

Last night I hosted our Galentine's Day wine club. What's Galentine's Day, you ask? Let Leslie Knope explain it to ya:

Here are some snapshots of the night:

I used my heart punch to cut out cardboard hearts that I scattered on the table with heart cards from a deck of playing cards.

We had to bring wines with romantic-looking labels. Here's what we ended up with:
  • The Chocolate Cellar Red Wine: One of the better "chocolate" red wines I've legit tasted and smelled like tootsie rolls, but it was totally in an appealing way, if you can imagine.
  • Monogamy Cabernet Sauvignon: Dark fruits, like plum, cassis, blackberries plus a hint of oak.
  • Flirt red wine: Super drinkable blend of syrah, tempranillo and zinfandel. The bottle said it had hints of baked cherry spice, cherry cola, vanilla and butterscotch...doesn't that sound amazing?!

  • Ooh La La Pinot Grigio: Ashleigh brought this super easy-to-love pinot that was a great starter for the night. Light, but crisp. Super great aroma!
  • Salvatore Principe Malbec: Smooth, with flavors of red raspberries and plums.
  • Fancy Pants Red Wine: For some reason I was having trouble finding a link, but seriously, this was great. It had a great finish and a smooth hint of vanilla that I really enjoyed.

I served my favorite go-to, no-fail dish: Pork tenderloin with coffee spice rub. Seriously, it hasn't failed me once, and everyone was asking for the recipe. I wish I could claim I made it up!

I like to serve the pork with bourbon peach sauce (recipe included with the pork recipe), which helps take the spice down a notch and is really great on its own. I used frozen peaches, and they worked perfectly.

I made these caprese skewers for our New Year's Eve party and they really are so much bang for your buck and effort. It's just: bocconcini (mini fresh mozzarella balls), basil, Italian sausage tortellini and grape tomatoes, all drizzled with balsamic glaze and basil-flavored olive oil. I'm excited we had leftovers because I'm thinking that's lunch tomorrow.

I made crispy parmesan green beans, but crispy is a bit of a stretch. Regardless, they were great. I read several recipes, but it's frankly almost too simple to need a recipe: Preheat oven to 400, lay the french-cut green beans in a single layer on a cookie sheet or baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and grated parmesan and pop it in the oven until the parmesan is browned.

I experimented a bit for dessert. I had seen an idea on Pinterest to make a grilled cheese with brie, strawberries and chocolate ... amazing, right? But I already had puff pastry and heart-shaped cookie cutters and thought I could make some magic happen. It was definitely a mixed result, and rather than recount where I went wrong, I'll just tell you what I will do if I make it again:
  1. Thaw puff pastry in fridge overnight. When ready for use, roll out, cut with cookie cutter and brush with egg wash and sprinkled with sparkling sugar. If you have left yourself room, fold excess up to create something akin to a pizza crust that will help hold ingredients in place. That was the chief problem with my version.
  2. Cook until slightly begins to puff.
  3. Add brie, strawberries and chocolate.
  4. Either bake or broil until the puff pastry is golden brown and the brie and chocolate is just melted and serve.
We had a fun wine club, and it's always fun to decorate for Valentine's Day. I'm not sure what we're doing tonight...I've been promised a surprise! Have a great day, whether you're celebrating romantic love, friendly love or familial love. It's all good, wherever you've got it.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Oh my gosh, that all looks & sounds amazing! I want to join your wine club!