Weekly Pairing Note

Peachy keen and bubbly!

"Come the day you're mine
I'm gonna teach you to fly
We've only tasted the wine
We're gonna drain the cup dry."

from "The best is yet to come"

If, like me, you're starting to feel the end-of-summer blues, let this week's pairing be a reminder that things are still peachy keen and that "The best is yet to come! Though written for and introduced to the world by Tony Bennett, it was Frank Sinatra who popularized this song (the linked version is from his final performance in 1995). As we begin to wave buh-bye to summer, let us remember that the best days are still ahead.


This week we sample one of those "Crémant de Somewheres" you keep hearing about (Crémant de Bourgogne and Crémant de Limoux are the two you've likely seen popping up on shelves recently). The Perle Noire by Louis Bouillot is absolutely one of my favorites! In our extremely humble opinion, these Crémants can be even more delicious than their typically much more expensive cousins over in Champagne (don't tell them I said that). Taste the delicate, silky robe of bubbles and make sure to hold a sip in your mouth before swallowing to let the bubbles dance all over your tongue! Why not make the Frenchies squirm and add a small pour of peach nectar for a Bellini!


Sweet Treat
Because California stays warm into much of the fall, peach season can last through the end of September. There are endless things we can do with peaches: can them, make pies out of them, slurp them fresh from the farmer's market stand... but consider baking them! Instead of vanilla ice cream, try serving them over fresh ricotta cheese with a drizzle of honey and a sprig of mint... perfect for pairing with the Perle Noire Crémant de Bourgogne. YUM!

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Staying true to our Red, White, and Blue

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant." - Martin Luther King, Jr.


Our "Red, White, and Blue" Pairing of the Week this week is the smallest possible attempt to bring some light to a week full of darkness. We sample delicious things from coast to coast this week while we remember all the goodness, diversity, and beauty that surround and unite us.


Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" was written in 1942 in response to America's entry into WWII and Vice-President Henry Wallace's comment that we were entering the "Century of the Common Man." The short piece for brass and percussion is touching and approachable yet the open, almost hollow-sounding intervals have a hint of the mysterious about them. There is plenty of air in between musical entrances and in those open chords allowing plenty of time to take in the rich aromas and flavors of our wine and cheese choices. 

American composer Carlisle Floyd composed his opera Susanna in the mid-1950s, some speculate as a response to the paranoia of McCarthyism. It tells the story of 18-year old Susanna from New Hope Valley, Tennessee who is shunned by her community initially only because of her innocence and beauty. The beginning of her aria, "Aint it a pretty night?" is soft gentle opening but rises in intensity as she dreams of bigger things away from her hometown. Think of those big dreams as you sip your wine! As an aside, this version was recorded a few years ago at Ash Lawn Opera in Charlottesville, Virginia by my friend, Leah Partridge.


Turiya: a state of consciousness wherein reality and truth are harmonious.
Turiya WInes is run by our friend, Angela Soleno, up in Lompoc, CA. I had the chance to meet her and taste her truly magnificent wines a few weeks ago. This 2009 Petite Verdot particularly blew my mind. The price tag on this bottle calls for a special occasion, but the message behind its name hits so close to home as to merit being included in this week's pairing.


White Chocolate
As we all know, white chocolate isn't really chocolate but rather a mixture of cocoa butter, sugar, and milk solids. Some love it, others hate it, but it's worth a try if you're still a skeptic.

Try this delicious truffle, humorously named Passion Aggressive from our friends over at Bitchfix

Jasper_Hill_Bayley_Hazen_Blue _ Murray's_Cheese.jpg



Bayley Hazen Blue
From the beautiful state of Vermont, the Bayley Hazen Blue is my go-to blue cheese on any day. Named for an old military road commissioned by George Washington, Bayley has a fudge-like texture, toasted-nut sweetness, and anise spice character. The paste is dense and creamy, with well-distributed blue veins. Why not try it with a bite of white and bite of dark chocolate and taste the difference!
(notes borrowed from Jasper Hill Farm's website).

Still in conference recovery mode?

Sharing a booth with our friends at  Bitchfix  at the BizBash LA Expo.

Sharing a booth with our friends at Bitchfix at the BizBash LA Expo.


As a thank you to all those who stopped by our booth at BizBash, we created a special Music and Wine Pairing for the Recovering Conference Goer. Your ears are probably still ringing from all that talking, so we've curated some lovely (wordless) musical selections as well as a yummy food and wine pairing!

Songs without words, you say? Hallelujah! For a mixture of genres – because that's what we're all about at Five Senses Tastings, first try Rachmaninoff's "Vocalise," either the vocal or the cello version then finish off and indulge yourself in some "Summer Madness" by Kool & the Gang.

For our tasting treats today, we have a Super Tuscan, the Bran Caia 2013 "Tre" (80% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon) paired with spicy hummus wrapped in phyllo dough with cherry tomatoes and rosemary garnish. 


A Super Tuscan calls for a big and hearty meat dish, right? Not in the heat of summer it doesn't! You can absolutely find red wines that are perfect for warm summer nights, and here's a great example. This lovely wine from Tuscany is dense and powerful in flavor yet still soft with an elegant finish. Chill it slightly before opening and serve it with with some homemade spicy hummus wrapped in phyllo dough. A generous sprig of rosemary is not only a lovely garnish but adds a perfect aromatic pairing.