Your guide to everything wine, from recommendations to perfect pairings.
In honor of pumpkin month on the blog and to prepare you for Thanksgiving next month, today we?re doing fun facts about pumpkin pie! Pumpkin pie is the quintessential pumpkin dessert and, if you?re anything like my family, you look forward to it every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas. They like it so much my mom always had to make two pumpkin pies every holiday when we were growing up so there would be enough for everyone. She uses the classic pumpkin pie recipe on the Libby pumpkin can and everyone goes crazy for it every year. People are also going nuts right now for pumpkin spice everything. Starting in September and running through the fall, you can?t turn a corner without running into a new pumpkin spice flavored food or pumpkin spice scented product. With all of this craziness over pumpkin pie, it?s only fair to share some interesting tidbits on pumpkin pie?s history.
Texas is considered a bit of an upstart in some wine circles, but the history of winemaking and grape growing goes back to 1662 when the first vineyard in North America was established by Franciscan priests. The industry developed over the centuries until today, when there are 8 AVAs in Texas with 4,000 acres of vineyards and over 400 wineries. The AVAs exist throughout Texas in various landscapes, including desert, hill country, and plains. As a result, Texas vineyards are able to support a large variety of grapes.
Just like spring, fall is a season of transition. The temperature is cooling, leaves are changing, and humans and animals alike are stocking up for winter. We?re starting to crave heavier foods and wines to keep us warm on the cooler nights, but we?re not quite ready to settle in for hibernation. So what kind of wines work well in the transitionary period?
Fall is seriously the best season! The weather is cooler, so it?s more fun to spend some time outside, and there are tons of wine festivals! This past weekend was my birthday weekend (and The Sugar Vine?s anniversary!!!), so the boyfriend and I headed north for the Montgomery Wine and Music Fest. It was fun to wander around, sip wine, and shop while listening to music. It was a warm day but the festival had a great atmosphere and we had a really nice time. To get you in on the fall spirit, I?ve compiled a list of some of the best fall wine festivals around Texas!
Okay, I know the title of this post is a little silly, but apple desserts are probably one of my favorite options to pair with wine. Why? Not only are there a number of wines with apple notes (which is a good jumping off point for pairing), but a lot of the spices in apple desserts go well with wine, too. You can pair apples with chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, cinnamon, nutmeg?the list could easily keep going. This opens up a whole slew of wine pairing options beyond what you could get with just plain apples. To help you narrow down the pairing options, I have three wines that I highly recommend you try with the desserts featured this month and with any other apple dessert you crave.
One of the things I love about Houston is that we have a huge variety of everything, including wine bars. Are you into an upscale, Euro-centric experience? There?s a wine bar for that. How about a neighborhood bar with gobs of history and great wine? We have one of those, too. Are you overwhelmed by the choices? That?s okay because I have some favorites that I am so excited to share with you! Although my favorite wine bars each have their own take on wine, they all have one thing in common: They enjoy wine, they enjoy sharing it with you, and they are all about having fun with wine.
This week?s strawberry flavored dessert is a classic: chocolate covered strawberries. These babies are sure to please any sweet tooth with the sweet berry coated in decadent chocolate. The beauty of these berries is they only require a few ingredients and you don?t even have to turn on the stove if you don?t want to. And you can change up the type of chocolate used so they?re always exciting and delicious.
I?ve got a question for you. This may seem a little odd in light of this being a wine and dessert blog, but bear with me. At what temperature do you set your thermostat? Seriously, what temperature is ?room temperature? for you? For me, if I loved alone, it would be about 78. I live with my sisters, who are apparently polar bears, so it?s at 74. They?re comfortable; I?m often in a sweatshirt and pants. The boyfriend sets his thermostat even colder, at 72. So what?s your ?room temperature??