Wine Pairing Series: Part 2 of 3

Matching Power with Power

Match equivalent levels of flavor intensity in both the food and the wine. The goal is not to overpower – you don't want to mask the flavors of good ingredients on either the plate or in the glass. The use of a sauce can also help with pairing a wine. If the sauce is rich like Hollandaise, the wine power can increase. The accompanying starch or vegetable also plays a role. A lighter wine would pair with our Lemon Scented Jasmine Rice or Green Beans Amandine, while a heavier wine brings out the flavor of Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes or Hatch Green Chile Stew. 

  1. Flavor intensity of food provided by the preparation (in rough order of intensity): Poached, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, pan-fried, deep-fried, braised, roasted, broiled, grilled, blackened.
  2. Flavor intensity of White Wine (in rough order of intensity) Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürtraminer, Chardonnay, Viognier
  3. Flavor intensity of Red Wine (in rough order of intensity) Gamay, Barbera, Pinot Noir, Dolcetto, Sangiovise, Merlot, Zinfandel, Nebbiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah

Complementing and Contrasting Flavors

  1. Complementary Pairing: Echo the same flavors and textures of the food and the wine, matching intensity with intensity, richness with richness, and power with power.
  2. Contrasting Pairing:  Contrast the flavors and textures of the food with the wine, playing off tannin against fat, fruit against spice, complex against simple, while being careful to maintain equivalence in the intensity of flavors in the wine and the food.

    1.  Off set a salty, smoked or spicy dish by pairing with a wine that has good fruit or is semi-dry.
    2. Cleanse the palate with acidity or bubbles (Champagne).  Great for richer or higher fat foods.
    3. A chilled wine can serve as a contrast to heat.  As an example, serve a chilled white wine with hot fried chicken or spicy chili. 
    4. Contrast flavors, never intensity.

Check back soon for the next installment of Darrell's Wine Pairing Series.

Cheers!

Know Your Joe

How Does Your Coffee Grow?

Coffee does actually grow on trees, typically in countries along the equator. The climate in the Bean Belt holds steady at hot, but the altitude varies, and that can impact the flavor profile of your coffee. 
 
The ideal altitude for growing coffee is between 3,000 to 6,000 feet, above sea level. At that range, the climate is free of frost and stays between 60-70° Fahrenheit year-round, with little rain and lots of sun. When it comes to coffee beans and elevation, a good rule of thumb is: The higher the elevation, the stronger the natural flavors in the coffee beans.
 
The fruit from coffee trees, called cherries, turn a deep, rich red when they’re ready to harvest. In general, most coffee countries have one harvest each year where beans are picked by hand, while a few countries might have two harvests per year.

The Process of Processing Coffee 
 
After it’s grown and harvested, coffee must be processed in one of three ways:  
  • Dry-processing: This is sun-dried coffee. Farmers spread the whole, harvested coffee cherries on patios or matting for up to three weeks, turning them with rakes daily at least every two hours for even drying.
  • Wet-processing: Also called “washed.”Coffee cherries are softened in large tanks filled with fresh water so the skin and sticky fruit pulp can be removed using a de-pulping machine to uncover the bean. After sorting for quality and size, the remaining beans go back into the tanks for up to two days for natural fermentation. Finally, the washed beans are dried using dry-processing. Coffees that are wet-processed typically have a cleaner, brighter flavor profile. 
  • Pulp-natural processing: In countries where humidity is low, coffee cherries are stripped of their skins and the sticky fruit pulp is still attached. Pulp-natural coffees allow the coffee bean to absorb more of its natural sugars, giving a sweet coffee with strong caramel notes. 
Processed coffee beans are known as “green coffee,” and ready for Roasting.

Bring the Heat 
 
Technically, roasting coffee involves applying heat to break down chemical and physical properties, and changing the color, taste, and smell of green coffee. Non-technically? It’s taking green coffee and turning it brown.  Commercially roasted coffee is usually roasted in machines heated to between 465-525° Fahrenheit for anywhere from 3 to 30 minutes. Variations in time and temperature account for different roast types that affect the coffee’s flavor profile. 
 
The coffee world is full of roasting profiles. Here’s a way to find your favorite. In general, in lighter roasts, more of the coffee’s natural flavor notes are present.  The roasts profiles below are listed from light to dark. 
  • Cinnamon: Very light brown; Acidic; Light tea flavor 
  • American: Medium light brown; Acidic; Light bread-like flavor 
  • City: Medium brown; Acidic; Brown-sugary flavor 
  • Full City: Medium dark brown; Faintly acidic; Bittersweet sugary flavor
  • Vienna: Moderate dark brown; Faintly acidic; Roasted caramel flavor 
  • Velvet: Dark brown; Very low acidity; Strong caramel and bittersweet flavors 
  • French: Very dark brown; Low acidity; Bittersweet; Heavy burnt undertones 
  • Italian: Nearly black; Non-acidic; Strong smoky flavor; notes of charcoal 

You may remember we created our own coffee-roasting enterprise in the heart of Central Market Westgate, which is now roasting exclusive microlots of green coffee daily for not only Westgate, but our other eight stores as well. Come in and really get to Know Your Joe, one cup at a time.

Know Your Joe

How Does Your Coffee Grow?

Coffee does actually grow on trees, typically in countries along the equator. The climate in the Bean Belt holds steady at hot, but the altitude varies, and that can impact the flavor profile of your coffee. 
 
The ideal altitude for growing coffee is between 3,000 to 6,000 feet, above sea level. At that range, the climate is free of frost and stays between 60-70° Fahrenheit year-round, with little rain and lots of sun. When it comes to coffee beans and elevation, a good rule of thumb is: The higher the elevation, the stronger the natural flavors in the coffee beans.
 
The fruit from coffee trees, called cherries, turn a deep, rich red when they’re ready to harvest. In general, most coffee countries have one harvest each year where beans are picked by hand, while a few countries might have two harvests per year.

The Process of Processing Coffee 
 
After it’s grown and harvested, coffee must be processed in one of three ways:  
  • Dry-processing: This is sun-dried coffee. Farmers spread the whole, harvested coffee cherries on patios or matting for up to three weeks, turning them with rakes daily at least every two hours for even drying.
  • Wet-processing: Also called “washed.”Coffee cherries are softened in large tanks filled with fresh water so the skin and sticky fruit pulp can be removed using a de-pulping machine to uncover the bean. After sorting for quality and size, the remaining beans go back into the tanks for up to two days for natural fermentation. Finally, the washed beans are dried using dry-processing. Coffees that are wet-processed typically have a cleaner, brighter flavor profile. 
  • Pulp-natural processing: In countries where humidity is low, coffee cherries are stripped of their skins and the sticky fruit pulp is still attached. Pulp-natural coffees allow the coffee bean to absorb more of its natural sugars, giving a sweet coffee with strong caramel notes. 
Processed coffee beans are known as “green coffee,” and ready for Roasting.

Bring the Heat 
 
Technically, roasting coffee involves applying heat to break down chemical and physical properties, and changing the color, taste, and smell of green coffee. Non-technically? It’s taking green coffee and turning it brown.  Commercially roasted coffee is usually roasted in machines heated to between 465-525° Fahrenheit for anywhere from 3 to 30 minutes. Variations in time and temperature account for different roast types that affect the coffee’s flavor profile. 
 
The coffee world is full of roasting profiles. Here’s a way to find your favorite. In general, in lighter roasts, more of the coffee’s natural flavor notes are present.  The roasts profiles below are listed from light to dark. 
  • Cinnamon: Very light brown; Acidic; Light tea flavor 
  • American: Medium light brown; Acidic; Light bread-like flavor 
  • City: Medium brown; Acidic; Brown-sugary flavor 
  • Full City: Medium dark brown; Faintly acidic; Bittersweet sugary flavor
  • Vienna: Moderate dark brown; Faintly acidic; Roasted caramel flavor 
  • Velvet: Dark brown; Very low acidity; Strong caramel and bittersweet flavors 
  • French: Very dark brown; Low acidity; Bittersweet; Heavy burnt undertones 
  • Italian: Nearly black; Non-acidic; Strong smoky flavor; notes of charcoal 

You may remember we created our own coffee-roasting enterprise in the heart of Central Market Westgate, which is now roasting exclusive microlots of green coffee daily for not only Westgate, but our other eight stores as well. Come in and really get to Know Your Joe, one cup at a time.

Are You Obsessed with Your Daily Grind?

We’ve invited some of the best roasters of specialty coffee the world has to offer. Join them for Cooking School cupping sessions where in one hour, they will teach you how beans are selected, guide you through a professional tasting of beans, and answer your questions about coffee and the various ways that it can be made. Among the coffee roasters hosting cupping sessions during the event are:
Addison Coffee Roasters: The longest operating micro-roasterie in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 
   – Plano, Friday, March 7. Register >
   – Southlake, Friday, March 7. Register

Casa Brasil Coffees: The Austin-based coffee company sources, imports, and roasts beans exclusively from artisanal growers in Brazil.
   – Fort Worth, Friday, March 7. Register >

Cuvée Coffee: A craft coffee company in Austin that began in 1998 in a Dallas warehouse.
   – Austin North Lamar, Friday, March 7. Register >

Addison Coffee Roasters: The longest operating micro-roasterie in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 
   – Plano, Friday, March 7. Register >
   – Southlake, Friday, March 7. Register

Katz Coffee: Owner Avi Katz started Houston's Katz Coffee with a mission to help customers find the perfect cup of coffee. 
   – Houston, Monday, March 3. Register >
   – Plano, Monday, March 3. Register >

What's Brewing: What's Brewing is one of San Antonio's premier gourmet coffee roasters and retailers. <!–  
   – Fort Worth, Monday, March 3. Register –>
   – San Antonio, Firday, March 7. Register >

While you're in store with coffee on the brain already, don't miss in-store demos by some of favorite specialty coffee roasters, including:

Casa Brasil: The Austin-based coffee company sources, imports, and roasts beans exclusively from artisanal growers in Brazil. 

Lola Savannah: Lola Savannah opened its doors in 1995 in Austin as one of the first micro-roasters in Texas. 

Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters: Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters now supplies coffee to Dallas area coffeehouses, restaurants, and retailers.

Check your store's Events Calendar for specific dates and times. 

Whether you’re a mornings-only or an all-day java drinker, a coffee guru or a fresh-brewed newbie, you're guaranteed to learn something during Know Your Joe! 

Haulin&#2013266066; Oats

Modern Oats Oatmeal has created a grab-and-go oatmeal that is no longer a steaming bowlful of old-fashioned mush thanks to minimally processed, whole oats raised at the foot of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Get a burst of flavor from chunks of health-conscious ingredients like fully-ripened, fresh-frozen apples, walnuts, raspberries, flax seed, semi-sweet chocolate, and mangoes.

The best part? Only three minutes stand between you and a cup of warm, filling, nutritious oatmeal! 

Find your favorite among all six varieties:

  • Apple Walnut – rolled oates blended with Washington State apples and California walnuts
  • 5 Berry – Rich in antioxidants from bushels of blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, and raspberries with chunks of pecans and California almonds 
  • Goji Berry – Blend of Himalayan Goji berries, wild blueberries, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and California almonds  
  • Mango Blackberry – Gluten-free rolled oats mixed with chunks of Philippine mangos, sunflower seeds, and Washington State blackberries
  • Chocolate Cherry – Whole oats flavored with flakes of Hawaiian coconut, whole bits of chocolate, flax seeds and Oregon cherries 
  • Nuts & Seeds – Whole grain oats, Oregon hazelnuts, flax seeds, almonds and hemp seeds blended for flavor-filled crunch 

Haulin&#2013266066; Oats

Modern Oats Oatmeal has created a grab-and-go oatmeal that is no longer a steaming bowlful of old-fashioned mush thanks to minimally processed, whole oats raised at the foot of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Get a burst of flavor from chunks of health-conscious ingredients like fully-ripened, fresh-frozen apples, walnuts, raspberries, flax seed, semi-sweet chocolate, and mangoes.

The best part? Only three minutes stand between you and a cup of warm, filling, nutritious oatmeal! 

Find your favorite among all six varieties:

  • Apple Walnut – rolled oates blended with Washington State apples and California walnuts
  • 5 Berry – Rich in antioxidants from bushels of blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, and raspberries with chunks of pecans and California almonds 
  • Goji Berry – Blend of Himalayan Goji berries, wild blueberries, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and California almonds  
  • Mango Blackberry – Gluten-free rolled oats mixed with chunks of Philippine mangos, sunflower seeds, and Washington State blackberries
  • Chocolate Cherry – Whole oats flavored with flakes of Hawaiian coconut, whole bits of chocolate, flax seeds and Oregon cherries 
  • Nuts & Seeds – Whole grain oats, Oregon hazelnuts, flax seeds, almonds and hemp seeds blended for flavor-filled crunch 

Get Your Crunch On

All stories have a hero. In this case, it was Dave’s dad. He spent 7 years tinkering with and perfecting his granola recipe. It transformed him, which inspired these two childhood friends to build a brand that brings a healthy crunch to snacking. They developed a top-secret roasting technique to create big, delicious clusters and the perfect crunch, perfectly sweetened with a hint of molasses.

Mixed with all-natural almonds, cinnamon, and oats creates a snack that pleases your inner health-fanatic and your outer taste-fanatic with flavors like Lemon Zest, Toasted Chia, Ginger Snap, and California Raisin. Go ahead – get your crunch on!

Get Your Crunch On

All stories have a hero. In this case, it was Dave’s dad. He spent 7 years tinkering with and perfecting his granola recipe. It transformed him, which inspired these two childhood friends to build a brand that brings a healthy crunch to snacking. They developed a top-secret roasting technique to create big, delicious clusters and the perfect crunch, perfectly sweetened with a hint of molasses.

Mixed with all-natural almonds, cinnamon, and oats creates a snack that pleases your inner health-fanatic and your outer taste-fanatic with flavors like Lemon Zest, Toasted Chia, Ginger Snap, and California Raisin. Go ahead – get your crunch on!

Ros&#2013265929;s and Reds

Patrick has unparalleled experience in making among the great wines of the world. A Bordeaux native with an extensive education in wine making, Patrick began the study of this subject in his home town and has continued his education over the past 40+ years. Currently he is consulting oenologist and working with Sacha Lichine making all the Chateau D’Esclans wines as great as they are, and also the owner of for Château Les Trois Croix in Bordeaux. Come meet, greet, chat, taste and then taste another with this master on the following dates.

Patrick will be sampling three roses and one Bordeaux during each of his visits, below are a few tasting notes on each:
Chateau D’Esclans "Whispering Angel" Rosé – A lovely bright color with notes of berry and cherry, followed by plenty of mineral and spice notes. 90 points from Wine Spectator.
Chateau D’Esclans 2012 – Wine Spectator describes the wine as "flavors of dried cherry, currant, and ripe pear flanked by concentrated notes of allspice and dark chocolate. Ready to drink now. 90 points.
Chateau D’Esclans Les Clans 2011 – Pretty salmon pink with a savoury red fruits and lots of oak. This can easily be a main course wine, due to its true tannins. 93 points from Wine Spectator.
Chateau Les Trois Croix, 2009 – This Bordeaux has a core of dark currant, plum, and blackberry fruit with a tobacco and toasty finish. 90 points from Wine Spectator and will soften nicely in the cellar.

Que-So, Why Will You Love This Cheese?

Current cheesemaker, and grandson of the count, Juan Figueroa, sums up Finca Pascualete as “the magic of a spreadable cheese in a small format.”

We sum it up as positively swoon-worthy: A creamy, custardy texture that practically liquefies in the mouth and blooms into a complex flavor that’s pithy, mildly bitter, with hints of citrus, mushroom, minerals, and wild grasses. To enjoy, simply slice off the top and scoop, pair with a light red wine, or spread on crusty breads. 

Or read more about the history behind this cheese, did we mention there is a CIA agent, a European Count, true love, and a deep affection for the estate where this cheese is made.