During this crazy time, I have been trying to support my favorite small businesses when I can. One thing I have definitely been stocking up on is..... wine! I've been using this time to try some new wines and stock up on my favorites. There are lots of wonderful small businesses that can help you do just that, and I wanted to introduce you to VineDication!
VineDication is an online wine shop where you can find many of your favorite Virginia wines. What drew me to this company was that they are a wine startup company owned by women aiming to highlight the wonderful wines in this state. Many people laugh when you say that there are good wines in Virginia but there most definitely are! VineDication's goal is to provide you with the opportunity to experience unique wines as many wines in their online shop are only available at the winery. Currently this business focuses on providing customers with Virginian wines, but they are aiming to include some Californian and Italian wines as they expand.
My favorite part about their wine shop is how user friendly it is. There are a lot of wineries I have visited that are featured on there, but I don't always remember if I liked that specific varietal or vintage. VineDication provides details about each wine and many wine food pairings. It is so helpful when trying to choose the wines you want to try! In addition to their wine shop, you can find recipes on their blog, learn more about wine, or join their wine club.
One of the things I'm most excited about for VineDication is their wine club. When speaking with the founder of VineDication, Nicole, she mentioned that she came up with the idea to start this company by being a part of many different wine clubs over the years. Some things she enjoyed about the wine clubs and some things she didn't, so she created her own to give you the best of the best. The wine club will provide different options of the number of bottles to receive, how often, and the type of wines you prefer. Every month there will be a "Winery of the Month" where you can expect to receive at least one bottle in your shipment. This will be a great way to learn about wineries you have not yet visited as well as try wines from a variety of local wineries.
Check out VineDication online and through social media to find your favorite Virginia wines and stay up to date with the release of their wine club.
Recently, I have been more interested in finding the perfect wine and food pairings. I lived in Thailand for a year and consider myself very picky when it comes to Thai food since I've had the real thing. In the past, I regularly order Thai curry at restaurants because it's one of my favorite dishes, but I have FINALLY recreated the real thing!
After lots of experimenting with the recipe below, I have learned a few key things to making the taste authentic.
1. The coconut milk matters! I know it's not the best for you but the regular coconut milk has a different taste than the less fattening versions. I always use the regular coconut milk and the brand Chaokoh, which I pick up from my local Asian grocery store.
2. Curry paste also makes a difference. I use the brand Maesri and highly recommend it! Depending on the day, I switch up the type of curry. I especially love green, red and panang.
3. Refrain from letting curry sit with the burner on for excess time. Keeping the curry on high heat for a long time with make it really oily, and is very noticeable.
4. I cook all my veggies and tofu separately before adding them to the curry. I cook each separately so that they can cook properly. For the tofu, I fry it in a pan or bake it in the oven. The mushrooms and eggplants I cook prior as well. Bell peppers I put raw into curry as they can get mushy if overcooked.
Let me know what you think about how this turns out! My favorite wine to pair it with is an off-dry Reisling like the one you see here!
Thai Curry Recipe
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 can of Maesri curry paste
2 cans coconut milk
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp lime juice
1 block of extra firm tofu
1 cup chopped bell peppers
1-2 cups chopped mushrooms
1-2 cups chopped Thai/Chinese eggplants
1. In a wok, heat oil on medium heat.
2. Once hot, add ginger and garlic.
3. Stir in curry paste.
4. Whisk in coconut milk, brown sugar, lime juice, and .soy sauce.
5. Add veggies, cooked tofu, and whatever you like in your curry to the sauce.
6. Once everything is heated, it is ready to serve.
*This recipe is completely vegan as is. The best part is you can change out the veggies or tofu to put whenever you want in your curry!
Bon appetit! Cheers!
Hello wine friends!
Last year, we hosted a blind wine tasting featuring "Wines from Around the World." I wrote all about it on the blog so definitely check out this post here. It features all the things you need to plan your own party so if you're looking for tips on how to host a blind wine tasting. As a follow-up I wanted to share my experience hosting a tasting, Virginia Wine Edition.
We sent an invite to all our friends indicating that they should bring any single varietal Virginia Wine. With lots of great options, we were excited to see what they would bring. After much deliberation, I chose a Cabernet Franc from Gabriel Rausse. If you've been following along for a while you know that this is one of my favorite varietals AND wineries! So I was excited to see what other people thought!
Well we started the night with our friends arriving who had brought the most liked bottle of wine from last year, Cabernet Sauvignon from Barboursville. Of course they had to bring it again to see if it could continue to stand its ground being the most popular. Well the next couple of people arrived and what did they bring? The SAME wine! And same with the next couple after that! All in all we ended up with FOUR bottles of Cab Sauv. I was definitely starting to freak out a little because my VA wine stash isn't that big right now as we have been going through them. Luckily a couple of people had brought 2 wines and enough did not bring B'ville so it was all okay!
I decided to trick everyone by placing two of the Barboursville Cab Sauv's in the mix and snuck a couple of my own wines into the mix. About half of the people figured it out, and the others couldn't remember since it was the at the very end, and after lots of wine that they tasted the double!
All in all it ended up being a blast per usual! If you haven't tried doing a blind wine tasting before, I highly recommend it and you don't have to be a wine expert in any respect. My favorite thing is being able to compare the different wines side by side to see what I liked. The biggest surprise ended up being the Petit Manseng from Bluemont Vineyard. I had this leftover from a past visit in which we didn't hit our group minimum so I took home a few extra bottles and had not yet opened them. I would say this wine was one of the favorites! I also LOVED the Barboursville Viognier. This is typically another of my favorite varietals and it did not disappoint. And then of course my Gabriele Rausse Cabernet Franc was my favorite red!
The biggest lesson learned for next time is to maybe assign varietals, or if you are doing the Around the World Edition assign a country, That way you get more variety in the mix which is always a good thing!
If you have any thoughts or questions about this, please comment below! I would love to hear what you think.
Looking for the perfect gift for those wine lovers you know? Look no further because this gift guide has everything covered from stocking stuffers to wine gadgets to books! Happy Shopping!
Have a wonderful Holiday Season!
Sarah, wine enthusiastic and globetrotter, currently exploring Virginia one winery at a time.