I love to cook and try new recipes as well as try new wines. Sunday our friends came to dinner and I decided that it would a great opportunity to do both. Our friends are always up for adventures in food and wine and I figured that if the food turned out to be unpalatable then there was always pizza and if the wines were really bad, we had plenty more to choose from. For the entrée I decided to try a new chicken recipe and adapt it to my taste. The recipe “Tomato Basil Chicken” was very good but it called for 2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes. That wasn’t enough, next time I will make it with at least 4 cups tomatoes. Plus it needed more garlic. But overall pretty tasty. I also made a zucchini dish with zucchini and squash from my garden. The recipe called for basil and thyme, but I used basil and oregano instead, because I think basil and oregano go better together. I think it has something to do with my Sicilian heritage. For the dessert I made Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars. The recipe didn’t call for enough Cinnamon, but I rectified that by adding Cinnamon to the crust and a lot more to the streusel topping.
We also tried some very different wines that we don’t have and drink normally. To start we opened a Romanian bottle of red wine that was a gift from another friend. It was called Terra Romana Cuvee Charlotte, 2006. The winery can be found at http://www.terrafirmausa.com. It was made from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Feteasca Neagra. I had never heard of Feteasca Neagra grapes or in English called the Black Maiden, which are an old Romanian grape grown for high end wines. The alcohol content ranges from 12 to 14% and this bottle was 14%, so pretty high alcohol. It was aged in oak barrels and it had that smoky oaky taste. It was dry and acidic and tasted of dark fruit. We all agreed we were pleasantly surprised.
The second bottle we opened was one of the wines that I bought when we were in Texas in May. This one was a Tempranillo, 2006, from Woodrose Winery in Stonewall, Texas. The winery can be found at http://www.woodrosewinery.com. It also had a high alcohol content of 13.6%. This wine was soft and a lighter wine than the first one. Not big and full like some other Tempranillo’s I’ve had.
For dessert we opened up a bottle of Roscato an Italian Sweet Red Wine from Rosso Dolce Provincia di Pavia Indicazione Geografica Tipica. This wine was soft and smooth, with red fruit and cherry notes. It was semisweet but not overly sweet. It complemented the Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars wonderfully. The bottle didn’t last long enough; needless to say I needed more Roscato.
Three wines from three different countries; the Romanian one was a nice surprise. I have had it for a while and to be honest I’ve been a bit leery about trying it. Romania and wine, I wasn’t too optimistic about how good it would be. I thought of it as I do Missouri wines, nothing to write home about. I thought that by sharing it with our friends and if it wasn’t very good, at least between four of us, we would be able to get it down. But I was wrong about it and would not be so skeptical in the future. The Tempranillo from Woodrose Winery was okay, but not nearly as good as the one I had from Pedernales Winery. That’s my biggest problem with wine tasting, after six or seven or more tastes, wines taste much better than later when I’m sober. The Roscato was a very nice finish, not too sweet just soft and smooth.
All in all the dinner and wine experiment was a success, I way overate and was totally miserable. But how do you say no to cheesecake?