Domaine Carobelle Grenache Blend
“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.
Domaine Carobelle Grenache Blend 2014
Variety: Syrah, Alicante, Merlot, Grenache, Carignan
We need a good red to get us through to the holidays, don’t you think? Something that will go with all sorts of fares, and something that lots will enjoy. This, my friends, is a wine that fits the bill.
There are two really important things for a Thanksgiving wine—it has to be able to taste good with mountains of food, and everyone has to like it. This red blend is dry, but not too dry; fruity, but not too fruity, a full flavor, but not overpowering. Basically, call me goldilocks because this wine is just right. Looking for a Thanksgiving wine for the table? This is it! Having a girl’s night in? Yep, you’ve got it! This wine is your answer.
Aka all of those fun holiday-related parties where you need to contribute something? Or you need a gift for your host? This wine! Is that a big enough blinking arrow for you to come and get this wine?
In general, blends often work best for gatherings and large meals because they have lots of different flavors. Also the winemaker has more ability to make-up for any defects in a wine variety by adding various amounts of different wines. That makes them more versatile and more appealing to everyone!
I’ve paired the Grenache Blend from Domaine Carobelle with some fun appetizer-type foods that you’re likely to encounter in the next couple of months. A kick-ass cheese plate: baked brie with a sweet jam, various nuts, grapes, crusty French bread—where can you go wrong? All of these things will also bring out different flavors in the wine.
Aged cheeses always go well with wines as they’re both fermented products. Often fermented products create similar notes through similar processes—production of acids, alcohols, etc. As for the pastry and jam wrapped and baked around that cheese, I used my garlic jelly to bring out some savory and sweet notes in the wine. If you use a fruity jam, that will make the wine a bit fruitier. That would be a perfect dessert option perhaps? Apricot and raspberry are great alternative options.
The almonds and pistachios are sweet, so they lend a sweeter, nuttier flavor to the wine. The cheese will also bring out these nutty flavors, depending on your cheese of choice. The French bread creates a larger body for the wine—a trick often used in the wine world to help grasp what character the wine takes on. And finally, grapes are a standard on the cheese plate, but they’ll add some tart sweetness to the wine flavor train as well.
Now hurry along! Call up your local wine shop and request this wine ASAP. And when you get back, this simple baked brie will be perfect if you just can’t think of anything to chow down while you sip (or gulp).
Baked Brie with Garlic Jelly
1 frozen sheet of puff pastry, defrosted (half of a package)
3 tablespoons garlic jelly (or fruit jam/jelly of choice)
8 ounce brie round, rind on
1 egg for egg wash
1. Preheat oven to 425⁰F. Unfold your defrosted sheet of puff pastry, and roll out just a bit into a square, using flour as necessary.
2. Place the preserves on top of the cheese and fold the puff pastry on top of the preserves into the middle of the circle. Move your brie bundle to a parchment-covered sheet tray.
3. Whisk one egg with a splash of water and brush it on top of the puff pastry—all over the top and sides to help it brown.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until browned and warmed through. Let cool briefly (3 minutes) and move to your serving platter. Eat while warm!