Having just returned from Manhattan, I am still feeling its cultural intrigue and intensified energy from millions of enthusiastic fans celebrating a tremendous Super Bowl victory. As overnight, New York donned celebratory Giant’s colors and logos, I found myself most enjoying the dramatic night scene of the Empire State Building lit in spectacular blue. And of course, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, its cinematic significance was not lost as the setting for Valentine’s movie favorites such as An Affair To Remember and Sleepless In Seattle … which got me to thinking about Valentine’s Day and great pairings. Certainly there are Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, but don’t we all have pairings which mean the most to us?
My first favorite Valentine’s pairing began with the heart shapes of my Mother’s fabulous sugar cookies which were covered in the best frosting ever and decorated with those little spicy cinnamon heart candies–as a boy, there was nothing better!!! Paired with grape juice, my perfect Valentine’s snack was created and my grape juice destiny determined!
This year, however, my family and I are looking forward to savoring my newest adult grape juice, Crimson & Clover, with many wonderful foods in our Valentine’s celebrations with loved ones. Crimson & Clover is a silky red blend, full of the romance of the vine, with luscious flavors of blackberry, black cherry, chocolate, mocha, vanilla, spice, cloves and hints of tobacco and leather.
For “A Pair To Remember,” and from our table to yours, here are a few suggestions for delicious pairings with Crimson & Clover:
Cheeses: Rosenborg Danish Blue Cheese; swiss gruyere; italian gorgonzola; aged cheddar and gouda; soumaintrain; chimay.
Fruit: Fresh berries; poached pears.
Meats: Black pepper-crusted filet mignon with goat or blue cheese; grilled steak; roasted venison with blackberry compote; beef tenderloin atop onions; Beef Stroganoff; roasted lamb and wild game; grilled pork tenderloin with spice rub of black pepper, sea salt and sage; barbeque chicken; cured duck; blackened salmon; brioche and mustard crusted halibut with porcini broth.
Vegetables: Eggplant Parmigiana; grilled artichoke with tarragon aioli.
Chocolate: Dark and rich milk chocolate with fresh berries; Dark Chocolate Macadamia Torte.
Desserts: Cheesecake; Strawberry Shortcake.
Now, where are those sugar cookies???!!!