Archive for the 'Recipes: Add Wine and Chocolate to Your Favorite Dishes' Category

My Trip to Italy and New Italian Wines!

The ancient Greeks called Italy Oenotria, the land of wine.

This past May I did something a little different and traveled solo to Italy for a friend’s birthday. After a long trip I was happy to find a cool cafe just a couple blocks away from the train station in Rome and treated myself to a great arugula, speck, and cheese pizza along with some espresso! I read, recharged my electronics and took in the sights.   After a couple of days of sightseeing locally in Pisa and Lucca the wine travels began in the beautiful Tuscan countryside.   First stop was Felsina.  Maybe two hours away.  I did miss much of the landscape as I had no coffee and took my catnaps every time we ugly Americans were on tbe bus.  I told everyone I am spoiled as Tuscany and Columbus look exactly alike.  I carry Felsina wines  and love them.  The  winery is really magnificent and  state of the art.  Closest with such sleek modern architecture to Quintessa.  The wines are very elegant and a great representation of the land.  Of course the reds are stellar and the Chardonnay is one of my favorites ever.  The main house has been undergoing a redo to keep it authentic, this is what the owners use, all else is new.  There is a still a consecrated church where weddings, owners niece, etc occur.  Great spot for a destination wedding!

The tour guide and I, Elena, talked about combining our resources and doing something tour-related.   She is a bit younger, has an art history degree and used to own an art gallery in Florence but with two young girls said the travel was too much.   Always thinking…
We then went to Montepulciano, had a tour and lunch, lovely but bigger production than I carry.  I had the pasta with  hare as I figured I should.   Bit gamey, but when in Rome…
I would really like to return there and to Montalcino, an hour away, with my family.  First stop in Montalcino was amazing, Il Palazzone.  The  Ex CEO of Time Warner owns it .  A Scottish woman, Laura Gray, is the winemaker.  She hired an agriculture expert to run the property and married him!  She has been there sixteen years, and has three red haired, Italian children!    Her wines were incredible and I can get them in Ohio without preordering!   Her olive oil too, awesome.  Gorgeous infinity pool by owners little place, he has no wifi in his!
Mostly sends his most inner helpers, driver, assistant, etc to use it!
Last place in Brunello was huge production.  Again state of the art and Grandma gave the tour. Her kids are younger and there were very little ones running around.  Saw a lot of that in Italy, young working Moms and Grandma as the daily caretaker.  She made a cookie type biscuit only mildly sweet which I am working on figuring amounts for each ingredient.  Red wine, sugar, flour and olive oil.  Stracchettelli maybe? I remember a store made version by stella doro, no comparison,  but similar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A  highlight of my trip was going to Greve in Chianti to Villa Calcinaia.  I have been carrying their wines since their first days in Ohio. Before I went on the trip my distributor contacted Sebastiono, whom I had met here in the states and knew as “The Count”.  After some interesting travels to get to  Greve in Chianti, I met Melanie who runs the wine tasting room and sampled their lovely wines, both those I carry, some new to the states and sadly, some we cannot get here.  Then, I was taken to see the estate and meet up with the Count.  The property is breathtaking with 22 acres planted with more than 50 year old vines.  I think there are thirty other acres planted.  I still do not know what this flower is the Count called it fake Verbena.

I stayed in the cutest hotel, had a phenomenol meal, the pasta was called Pici? Clean plate for me!  The next day, I purchased several different salamis and cheeses before setting out for Florence.  That night, back at Casa Bini we chilled the wine from Villa Calcinaia, both a rose and a red done in an open fermentor and unfiltered.  I never had anything like it! We enjoyed them with the salami and cheese from the heart of Tuscany.  Others made the rest and one of the best dinners of the trip, crespelles with spinach and prosciutto and a big pasta with meatballs and…Tiramisu.   It was a great way to end my memorable trip in Italy. I cannot wait to go back!
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#Rockmill Brewery Tasting at Sher Bliss Wine & Chocolate

Matt Barbee of Rockmill BreweryRockmill Brewery tasting with Matt Barbee

Sher-Bliss Wine & Chocolates was so happy to welcome Matthew Barbee of Rockmill Brewery for a sampling of his Belgian-style, Organic ales produced in nearby Lancaster, Ohio.  Guests were charmed by Matt’s undeniable pride and expertise in what he has

accomplished.  Everyone greatly enjoyed the chocolate and cheese paired to each of the four beers.  The combinations were all great, but the standouts were the Italian glaceed lemon peel dipped in white chocolate and a liberal smattering of Himalayan sea salt with the Witbier, the Dubbel paired to white cheddar with milk chocolate shavings and dark almond bark were not surprisingly delicious, and the Tripel with a triple crème bleu was one of those “what’s not to like dah-ling?”

We will do this again, but the suitcase box from Rockmill beautifully displays all four beers and the chocolates can be made and packaged

Chocolate and cheese pairings

Chocolate and cheese pairings

for your at-home pleasure, or gift-giving.

Private events at Sher-Bliss Wine & Chocolates are….sher bliss!

Wine-tasting

What happens at Sher-Bliss stays at Sher-Bliss…unless you tell us otherwise.  This group provided pics so others can learn what fun abounds here!  These ladies had a blast at a winetasting, chocolate-making birthday celebration.  Guests chose four wines paired with chocolates, enjoyed appetizers of chocolate black bean burger sliders, blueberry-sea-salted watermelon and chocolate-dipped fruits.  We then turned them loose with a melter full of tempered dark, Belgian chocolate, dippables, enrobeables and candy molds.  I have been doing this for a long time and this was a talented bunch of chocolatiers.

The most delicious Valentine’s Day ever!

I am very excited to share the Valentine happenings at

Sher-Bliss Wine & Chocolates with you!

We have many tips and products to make your Valentine’s weekend a sweet, exciting and romantic one!  Whether we are shipping your gift, or you are coming in to select, and/or you join in an in-store event; we know we have what it takes to delight your Valentine. 

The phone number is 614-428-WINE (9463), email address is cheryl@sherbliss.com and the location is Morse & Cherry Bottom inGahanna,Ohio.  Less than 2 miles east ofEaston and the intersection of I-270 & Morse Road.  You have no excuses!  This Valentine’s Day will be your best ever!

 

Dipped Strawberries

Ohhh do we dip strawberries and are they ever divine!

  • There      are regularCalifornia     berries dipped in our own blend of Belgian milk or dark  chocolate, or the highest quality white      chocolate.  Drizzled and decorated      and $30 per pound.  As a guideline,      our current berries are coming out approximately to $2-3 each.  Just a guideline and we can try to find      bigger, or smaller. Purchase singly or by the pound.  There is a wide variety of packaging      from which to choose.
  • Utterly      decadent and new this year.  (Sigh)      A creamy cheesecake layer goes on the berry and then we cover it in your      choice of chocolate.  A picture is      worth a thousand words, but tasting is believing.  $35 per pound and a stenciled heart is      included with every pound purchased.
  • Colossal      long-stem strawberries-presented in the same choices above, but maybe,      there are 4 to the pound.  SPECIAL      ORDER only, call by 5PM on Friday February 10th.

Bliss In a Bottle

Chocolate and wine unite in one great item.  Select one of our 500 labels of small production beer, wine andChampagne, flavor of chocolate and we really have you and this covered with a one-of-a-kind gift.  Visit us in-store, or call for expanded selection or at http://www.blissinabottle.com process through the secure, google checkout, selecting a message card and telling us what to write on an enclosure card.  We ship UPS ground unless heat, or time requires expedited shipping and can tell you your rates.  Someone at least 21 years of age must sign for it and we are unfortunately unable to ship to certain states. 

Chocolate & Wine Flights

For many years I have been pairing chocolate and wine and NOT just for dessert.  There are savory combinations we have perfected as well.  For this Valentine’s Day and weekend prior, 25 wines will be available in a “pick your flight” line-up to sample, savor, enjoy and later dream about.  There are reds, whites and pinks, still and sparkling, sweet and dry, AND cookie dough and cauliflower.  The entire menu will be revealed on Friday, February 10th beginning at 7PM.  To whet your appetite for this incredible line-up I will share two pairings, but, please, don’t tell anyone!

Conundrum 2009 Red, silky, rich and velvety offset with cayenne-spiked milk and dark chocolates.

Spann Vineyards 2008 Classic Four Bordeaux-style blend with a medium-sharp white cheddar blended with dark chocolate shavings.

Sher Bliss Valentine’s Events
 

Sunday Febuary 7                    

3:00-4:30 PM

Produce hand made treats for your chocolate-loving Valentine. 

Make truffles, enrobe fruits, fill Valentine’s-themed candy molds-gift boxed. 

 Price-$35.00 per person

Wednesday Febuary 10

6:00-7:30 PM

Produce hand made treats for your chocolate-loving Valentine. 

Make truffles, enrobe fruits, fill Valentine’s-themed candy molds-gift boxed.

Price-$35.00 per person

Saturday Febuary 13            

7:00-9:00 PM

Our third annual Chocolate Lovers Dinner:

4 courses with chocolate starring as the main ingredient, paired with the perfect wine to compliment. 

Chilled Strawberry Soup with white chocolate shavings   

*paired with Il Follo Rose Prosecco

Pear and Spinach Salad topped with Roquefort Cheese and Chocolate Vinaigrette 

*paired with the First Love White Blend with Indian Spiced

Chocolate BBQ Cauliflower and Rice 

*paired with Masserie Pisari 2007 Primitivo

Chocolate-Rubbed Chicken Breast with Peanut Sate served

Wine-Filled Truffles & Chocolate Covered Grapes and Strawberries

*paired  with choice of  Choco-Vine Dutch Chocolate Cabernet or Port

 

Price-$39.50 per person

Sunday Febuary 14                 

10:30-12:00

Chocolate Lovers Brunch:

Braised Fruit with Chocolate and Brandy.

Angel Biscuits studded with Moscato soaked Raspberries and White Chocolate.

For the entrée choose from: 

Mascarpone Soufflé with Trentadue Chocolate Port Mascerated Figs

or

Portobello Panini with: Turkey Sausage, Feta, Milk Chocolate, & Glazed Sundried Tomatoes

Dessert:

Heart-Shaped Chocolate Cups with Riesling White Chocolate Mousse.

Price-$24.00 per person

Sher-Bliss pre-order dipped bottles-see blissinabottle.com.

We will be dipping bunches of bliss:

 our signature chocolate covered grapes and strawberries

Thursday 2/11-Sun 2/14

An evening of Sher-Bliss at the Kathryn Gallery

Sher-Bliss Wine & Chocolates co-hosted the Red Cross Tiffany Circle gathering recently held at the Kathryn Gallery in Columbus’ Short North.  The participants enjoyed a sampling of wines produced by some of my favorite female winemakers from around the world. 

Whenever Sher-Bliss serves wine the chocolate and chocolate-infused food pairings abound.  The wines were

  • Elena Walch 2007 Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige, Italy
  • Carol Shelton 2008 Rendezvous Rose, Mendocino, California
  • Crios de Susana Balbo 2008 Cabernet, Mendoza, Argentina
  • Tres Sabores, 2007 Porque No?, Napa Valley, California

I chose these wines because I know and like them and the women who create them, with the exception of Susana whom I have not met.  Like me they love what they do and put forth a phenomenal product.  Keeping with my chocolate roots-we paired each wine with milk, dark and white chocolate, there was chocolate fondue for dessert and the savory food was spiked with chocolatey goodness.  Two of my favorite recipes worked particularly well with Carol’s Zin and Julie’s Porque No?.  These were the black bean burgers drizzled with a dark chocolate glaze served on cornbread pudding triangles and the the Indian-spiced roasted cauliflower with a milk chocolate BBQ sauce.   I enjoyed being a part of this successful event and meeting the women who support it.

That’s my pairing, please share yours…

A new pairing for dessert wine

As it usually happens, I taste a wine and if I love it,  I cannot stop thinking about the food that could go with it.  Sometimes it causes an entire dinner party!  This was the case with a wonderful Moscato d’asti I sampled with the winery owner and winemaker, Giulio Morando  from Bricco del Sole, Piedmont.  This was one of the best Moscatos I have had, so light and invigorating, nothing syrupy, or cloying about it.   A great wine to simply sip, or enjoy with many foods.  I made a salad with spinach, chopped dried apricots, roquefort cheese in a raspberry vinaigrette with white chocolate shavings.  Delicious together!

That’s my pairing;  I’d love for you to share yours…


Bliss in a Bottle


Bliss in a Bottle offers the wine bottle of your choice dipped in the finest Belgian Chocolate.

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