Now before you start to think me an expert in all things vine-related, let me assure you that I’m a rookie at worst and a wine-lover at best. Years of sampling at our unofficial wine club has taught me that nothing is better than a fantastically expensive bottle of French Bordeaux, but in a pinch, when friends, laughter, and good food abound, a supermarket special is nothing to scoff at. Unless you are a sommelier, in which case, send me a bottle of the fancy stuff and we’ll talk.
The Moment Between is rich with imagery and symbols relating to wine and viticulture, and I’ve often thought that it should come with a tasting guide and a collection of recipes. So, with summer in the air and a grill close at hand, I’m going to take this opportunity to introduce you to a few of my favorite affordable wines and the foods that love them. Cheers! Salud! A votre sante…
Called Syrah in France and Shiraz in Australia (with the rest of the world seemingly flip-flopping between), this full-bodied, powerful wine is spicy and bold. Its notes can range from earthy to peppery or smoky. Syrah is one of the only wines that can hold it’s own with an American staple: pizza. I like the Australian McWilliams Hanwood Estate Shiraz. Chill it for about ten minutes in the refrigerator before serving, and fire up the grill for homemade pizzas. I’m partial to Hawaiian with green peppers and pineapple seared on the grill before the pizza is assembled. End with homemade ice cream sandwiches. A nice, dark chocolate ice cream (or espresso!) goes great with a moody Shiraz.
This summery blend plays a memorable role in a scene from The Moment Between. It’s one of my favorite warm-weather wines because it’s smooth and clean, but not too sweet. The Chardonnay gives hints of butter and oak while the Viognier adds fruit and floral notes. I like the French Le Grand Noir Chardonnay-Viognier. It’s fruity but light and has a smooth, easy finish. Our go-to meal with this wine is shrimp alfredo on cappellini. Grilled asparagus with olive oil and sea salt adds a nice contrast, and strawberry pie is the perfect dessert.
Some wine connoisseurs consider Riesling a lesser wine because it’s so very drinkable. It’s usually quite sweet and may be sparkling–the bubbles only make its flowery bouquet more fragrant. Riesling is a great place to start if you are uninitiated in wide world of wine. Serve it nice and cold. I like the German Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Drachenstein “Dragonstone” Riesling. It has hints of honey and grapefruit and is perfect with a light, summer meal like grilled chicken kabobs with a plate of fresh crudités and cheese. No dessert needed! The wine is more than enough. But if you must, top some berries with chocolate and whipped cream. You’ll be a wine-lover for life.
She is the mother of two young sons and the wife of a pastor. After the adoption of their infant son, Nicole discovered a deep passion for global issues and is a founding member of a non-profit organization that works with a church and orphanage in Liberia. After the Leaves Fall and the sequel, Summer Snow, were Nicole’s first books. Summer Snow is a 2009 Christy Award finalist for excellence in fiction. The Moment Between is her third book. The inspiration for Nicole’s next novel was an unsolved murder near her hometown. Her fourth book is set for release in 2010.
Nicole and her family live in Iowa.
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- For two entries tell me what your favorite wine is or if you’ve ever visited a vineyard.
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