Wine Wednesday

Pinot Grigio Valdadige 2013

“This wine rains kisses in your mouth.” –Insatiable By Gael Greene

The first Wednesday of every month is Wine Wednesday! Spectacular wines under $10.00. Yep. Under $10.00. Sometimes wine is less expensive where I am, but most of the time it’s more expensive. Hopefully that means that I will pick wines that are well below the $10.00 limit for most of you.

I will post wines that I particularly like. I am no specialist by any means, but I do love wine. I know the basics of the different varietals, what regions generally produce, how wines are made, but this space is all about preference. We all like what we like, and you might like what I like too. I will post food pairings and why those pairings are suitable for the specific wine.

Barone Fini Pinot Grigio Valdadige 2013

Price: $9.96

Variety: Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is such a go-to wine variety, that I often grab it before I even think about what sort of white I’m in the mood for. It is generally an Italian variety that is light, dry, and easy to pair with foods. This particular wine is worth the extra couple of bucks (making it really close to my $10 limit) because it’s incredibly crisp. It has notes of lemon, honeydew, and mineral flavors while finishing pretty acidic. I honestly describe it as juicy. Sounds refreshing, right? Perfect for starting March off right.

Have you ever wondered what wine snobs mean with they say something has mineral flavors in it? I swear it’s not total bull crap. It’s kind of a catch-all term for a flavor similar to the background notes of oysters or the aroma of wet rocks. Sometimes it can be similar to flint. Next time you drink a moderate (not sweet) white wine, look for this flavor. You’ll understand what I mean. It often comes from characteristics imparted by the soil that the grape vine was grown in. That’s just one of the many reasons that wine experts claim that particular wines need a certain environment, or terrior, to be produced correctly.

As for the pairing, remember how I shared a tator tot hot dish last week? Well we’re going full-blown Minnesotan lately, because this Wine Wednesday features a…drumroll please…cheeseball! Basically a celebration of cream cheese and constant snacking. But really, can you think of anything better? I bet you’re wishing you grew up in Minnesota. Just wait until you learn what we consider salads.

But really, this cheeseball is amazing. It has flavors that remind you of leisurely brunch (can you say everything bagel?), and it is a tried and true family, friends, and tailgating occasion cheeseball. So what could make this triumph even better? Wine.

Did you even have to ask?

Well consider me an abnormal wine-o, because I’m pairing bacon with white wine (gasp!). But really, once you try it, you’ll understand! The bacon is so rich, that I constantly look for something to cut through the flavor. An acidic white wine is perfect for that! And the slight lemon flavor goes really nicely with the tangy sour cream, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese. Ditto for the onion and garlic rampant in this recipe (sorry, bring breath mints). I know it’s a bit contradictory, but overall the cheeseball and wine balance really nicely together because they are opposites in flavor and mouthfeel. I guess opposites attract!

Everything Bagel Cheeseball

Adapted from Rachael Ray

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup sour cream

2 teaspoons horseradish

1 cup sharp cheddar or white cheddar cheese, finely shredded

2 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)

3 slices bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped

¼ cup poppy seeds

¼ cup sesame seeds

¼ cup dehydrated onion

¼ cup garlic powder

Coarse sea salt

Black pepper

  1. Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, horseradish, cheddar, green onion, and bacon together in a large bowl. Mix well!
  2. Dump the mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form it into a ball using the plastic wrap to shape it. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  3. On a plate with a slight ridge (so that stuff doesn’t go everywhere), combine the seeds, onion, and garlic powder along with some generous pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
  4. After chilling, roll the cheeseball carefully in the seasoning mix on the plate. Try to get it as even as possible and sprinkle leftover seasoning mix on any less-covered areas.
  5. Chill and serve within 24 hours to guests (or yourself, no judging) with bagel chips or pita chips and a chilled glass of white wine! 😉




  1. Cheese ball! Yum! I appreciate your tasting notes. Whenever I taste wine and someone tells me which flavor to look for I can usually detect it. Without the education though, I am useless…Love this series!

    • Kelsey
      March 2

      Thanks Kathryn! :) xoxo

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