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Tara Reprogle
 
November 18, 2016 | Tara Reprogle

Food & Wine Pairing: The Perfect Cheese Board

The Perfect Appetizer

An elegant cheese board makes for the perfect appetizer – with a quick visit to your local cheese shop or specialty cheese section and a few minutes to assemble, you have an appetizer that is a definite crowd-pleaser. Pair different styles of cheeses with different wines to accommodate red and white wine drinkers and include a variety of dried and fresh fruits to round out the selection.  

Where Do I Start?

The perfect cheese board includes a wide variety of cheeses, fruits both fresh and dried, cured meats, and nuts. Start by choosing one cheese from each of the following categories:

Young and Fresh – this includes fresh cheeses like mozzarella and riccotta, but goat cheese is the most wine-friendly of this category. Try both spreadable goat cheese and the harder and more pungent aged crottin style. Pair young and fresh cheeses with rosés, sparkling wines, dry white wines, and low-tannin reds like Pinot Noir.

Soft, Medium-Aged – this includes cheeses that are still soft but are aged for a few months like Brie and Camembert. These cheeses are some of the most versatile on a cheese plate, pairing well with both white and red wines and with a variety of fruits as well. Not too soft and not too strong, these cheeses still have enough flavor to stand up to a wide range of wines.

Semi-Hard, Medium-Aged – Emmental, Gruyere, Jarlsburg, Monterey Jack and young Cheddar make up this category. Medium-bodied whites like Pinot Blanc, Viognier, and white Rhone Blends and fruit-forward, lighter-bodied reds like Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Zinfandel pair well with these cheeses.

Hard, Aged – Aged Cheddar, Gouda, Parmesan, Asiago. Pair these cheeses with bold reds and full-bodied white wines. The aging process concentrates the flavors of the cheese meaning they can hold their own against bold red wines. Look for cheeses aged longer than six months.

Classic Pairings

Try pairing our Chardonnay with brie - the creaminess of the brie works perfectly with our medium-bodied Chardonnay. Experiment with different toppings including salami, fresh pear slices, almonds, and honey. For our Sauvignon Blanc, try pairing with blue cheese on water crackers and topping with proscuitto or salami. With our Cabernet Sauvignon, choose an aged cheddar, smoked gouda, or a wedge of asiago.

Finishing Touches

Assemble your cheese board by first placing the cheese, then adding crackers, toasts, and cured meats. Fill in the gaps with nuts, fruits, and fresh herbs for an effortlessly elegant look. Your guests will love discovering the diversity of flavors! Be sure to show us your creativity by tagging us in your photos with #district7wines!

Time Posted: Nov 18, 2016 at 4:21 PM
Tara Reprogle
 
October 10, 2016 | Tara Reprogle

District 7 Chardonnay with Fig & Pistachio Baked Brie

INGREDIENTS
5 tbsp apricot preserves
1/2 cup dried mission figs, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup shelled pistachios
1/3 cup walnut hearts, roughly chopped
3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 round of French brie

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Thoroughly mix the apricot preserves, chopped figs, cranberries, pistachios, and chopped walnuts in a small bowl until well coated.
Place the round of brie in a small cast iron skillet or oven-safe dish. 
Top the brie with the apricot mixture.
Bake at 400F for 10 minutes or until brie is warm and softened.
Once the brie is softened, turn the oven to broil and broil the brie for 30 seconds or until the nuts begin to brown (be careful not to burn the top).
Remove from the oven and decorate with fresh rosemary sprigs.
Serve immediately with sliced baguette or crostini. 

 

Time Posted: Oct 10, 2016 at 12:47 PM
Tara Reprogle
 
August 11, 2016 | Tara Reprogle

Food & Wine Pairing 2014 Sauvignon Blanc with Watermelon Prosciutto Wedges

2014 Sauvignon Blanc with Watermelon Prosciutto Wedges

Total Time: 15 mins

Serves 2

Ingredients
Mini, seedless watermelon (choose one under 5 lbs. as it will have more intense flavor)
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
4 ounces blue cheese crumbles
½ cup aged balsamic vinegar
¾ cup arugula

Preparation
Slice watermelon in half, place cut side down and slice off rind, moving around to preserve shape then slice into thick wedges. Place balsamic vinegar in a thick-bottomed sauce pan and slowly bring to a gentle simmer, stirring to avoid scorching, until balsamic vinegar is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Tear prosciutto into thin strips and crumble blue cheese. Place watermelon wedges on serving plate; top with prosciutto strips, arugula, and blue cheese, then drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.

If you loved this recipe, we'd love to see your photos! Find us on Facebook and show us your culinary prowess!

Time Posted: Aug 11, 2016 at 10:13 AM
Tara Reprogle
 
June 3, 2016 | Tara Reprogle

Food & Wine Pairing: 2013 Pinot Noir with Baked Salmon

Serves 6

This recipe is one of those dress-me-up-or-dress-me-down types of meals. Need to impress the in-laws? Serve alongside pasta! Want a quick and wholesome dinner after work? Make a salad with a light vinaigrette while the salmon bakes and in a few minutes you'll have a tasty, healthy dish the whole family will enjoy.

Paired perfectly with our 2013 Pinot Noir, this bright and aromatic style of Pinot Noir perfectly matches fish dishes such as salmon.

Ingredients

1 large salmon filet, 2 lbs. (skin on)

1 large shallot, finely chopped

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

5 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1 lemon, cut in half

3 tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt (or Kosher salt)

Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400° and generously grease a glass baking dish with olive oil. Place salmon filets skin-side down on the foil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix the shallot, herbs, olive oil and juice from half the lemon. Thinly slice the other half of the lemon into rounds. Place on salmon in a row across the top. Gently spoon the herb mixture on top of lemon and pat to cover filet evenly. Bake for 10 - 11 min or just until the salmon is cooked (you can check by inserting the tip of a small knife into the center). Serve and watch the compliments roll in.

If you loved this recipe, we'd love to see your photos! Find us on Facebook and show us your culinary prowess!

Time Posted: Jun 3, 2016 at 8:43 AM