Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'm Moving to Wine Country

As some of you already know, I'm packing up my cookbooks, computer, and wine collection and heading to the heart of Ohio's wine country. I just bought a century home in Geneva, Ohio and look forward to exploring--and sharing with you--my visits to wineries (such as Harpersfield Winery, pictured above), wine events, and local food markets.

The move is sure to be a little bit of a culture shock for this urban girl, but I'm looking forward to the challenge and the change of pace. Check back for my observations of my new home during the coming year.

(photo © 2008 S. Mitchell)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pairing Cheese with Red Wine

With the snow falling steadily in Northern Ohio, it's a good time to settle back with some cheese and a bottle of red wine. In the video below, "Wine Spectator" Editor-at-large, Harvey Steiman shares his thoughts on the best red wine and cheese pairings:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ohio Wine Varietals

Ohio wines--and those of the Lake Erie wine district--include well-known wines such as Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Riesling, but the area is also home to some unique varietals that thrive in the eastern Great Lakes region that are not found in other parts of the country. Below are just a few of these:

Vidal Blanc - The grape used to create the regional favorite, Icewine, Vidal Blanc is a hybrid, created by marrying the Ugni Blanc and the Rayon d'Or. Originally created by Jean Louis Vidal in the 1930s for use in making Cognac, it was found to be better adapted to the Great Lakes climate. Vidal Blanc grapes are characterized by a high acidity and notes of grapefruit and pineapple.

Chambourcin - A French-American hybrid, the exact origins of this grape are unknown, although it's only been around since the early 1960s. Chambourcin is notable for its deep ruby color and full-bodied, old world-style taste.

Seval Blanc - A French hybrid created in the 1920s, Seyval Blanc is a good cool weather, white wine grape, noted for being crisp and well-suited for making sparkling wines.

(photo © istockphoto)