Wine Tastes Great In A Paper Bag

May 14, 2011

Gosh, that seems to be the theme of the day!!!



Tonight we had a few friends over for a blind tasting of Jefferson’s Viognier – 2008, 2009, 2010 – as part of my wine club writing for the winery. We had friends over who LOVE wine and could articulate their emotions on the flavors – to make my job easier!




All three Viogniers were incredible – one of my favorite grapes!!! I was so wrong guessing the years though.

2010 was medium bodied, fruity like a golden delicious apple with the perfect balance of sweetness and complexity, with a nose like a Sauvignon Blanc

2009 was lemony sweet with a touch of honeysuckle, a bit hot with lots of sweetness.

2008 was spicier, thinner, more alcoholic with a quick, drier finish, more like a chardonnay

So much fun!! I highly recommend blind tastings for awesome entertainment!



Seamane brought cucumbers topped with a veggie cream cheese spread – the perfect compliment to our slightly melony wine!




For dinner we had pizza – three pizzas made by Matt the expert pizza maker! He made his famous half GH flour half white rosemary crust and topped them with a medley of pesto, grilled veggies and jack cheese. Thanks to Matt for cooking while we sipped wine!


The pizzas came out of the oven one after another –


And disappeared just as quickly!


Per usual, the crust was amazing!!


On the side, I made a big salad – lots of greens with garden strawberries, slivered almonds and a light balsamic, olive oil, honey, lavender salt dressing


Our new friends Sam + Francesca came over to join us tonight. Sam is Matt’s friend from Charlottesville when he lived here at age 2 (aka “Scham”) and Karen is still very good friends with Sam’s parents (we went to their Christmas party, which was a blast!) Sam + Francesca have become fast friends, although they live in Newport, RI where Sam is in the Navy.

I showed him my grandfather’s navy correspondence for kicks – dated May 12, 1945!


Pop was the “enthusiastic communications officer,” and if you knew him, you’re probably smiling right now : )


We tasted some of Matt’s home brews with the second half of dinner and dessert


And then dug into Francesca’s Tiramisu for dessert! She is from Sicily, and boy was this authentic tiramisu!! Best I’ve ever had! I enjoyed hearing more about Sicilian ways of cooking.


There is more to have for breakfast!!

I’m going to bed now so breakfast will come fast!

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 missy May 14, 2011 at 9:41 pm

My takeout pizza looks so sad compared to what y’all had. and that dessert… oh, my!!! :)


2 Chelsea May 14, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Matt’s pizza looks so good! My husband said…”why doesn’t our pizzas ever look like that?”!! lol! Matt needs to share his tricks. That tiramisu looks awesome too, I would love to try an authentic one!


3 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) May 14, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Can’t believe you still have his Navy correspondence! GH should serve pizza!!


4 Baking 'n' Books May 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Ditto about the pizza serving!

Holy crap – that tiramisu is all layers of so much goodness – creamy, graham-y and sweet all in one!


5 lynn @ the actor's diet May 14, 2011 at 9:59 pm

i had a big bag of lavender salt that i just used up. i thought i’d get sick of it, but it really was quite a special thing!


6 kalli May 14, 2011 at 9:59 pm

wow what a great day for you! how fun and would love a taste of that tiramisu :)


7 Meaghan O'Connor (My Spoonful of Inspiration) May 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Once again, looks like glamourous dining :)
We had pizza tonight too- not as healthy or beautiful as yours, but a great Saturday night treat!


8 Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out May 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Looks like SO much fun!! I love the idea of a blind tasting. We attend tastings here in town, but never thought to have one of our own.

And Tiramisu for breakfast??? I’m on my way!


9 staceyhealthylife May 14, 2011 at 10:13 pm

The whole meal looks great. I’m always jealous of that pizza dough. A good dough makes for the perfect pizza.


10 Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing May 14, 2011 at 10:23 pm

That tiramisu looks in.sane. Good food is so much better with good company! :)


11 Olena May 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm

There’s nothing better than an authentic tiramisu without whipped cream, butter or any other nonsense. My Italian ex taught me how to make one, which was the best thing that came out of that relationship 😉 Your post reminds me to make it soooooooooooooon.


12 Holly @ The Runny Egg May 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm

I’m not a big tiramisu fan but that looks freakin amazing!


13 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) May 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Ooooh, I love tiramisu! I could go for a bit right now :)


14 Josie@ The Skinny Way Of Life May 14, 2011 at 10:42 pm

i miss wine tasting parties!! having kids has cramped my style : P The pizza looks so good! Do you think you guys will have a pizza day at the bakery? maybe sell slices/and or pies on Friday or Saturdays? growing up in Philadelphia we had a lot of local bakeries (mostly on every other corner) and I remember walking home from school on a Friday and stopping in for a slice…good memories
: )


15 KathEats May 15, 2011 at 8:33 am

We probably will in tie!


16 KathEats May 15, 2011 at 8:33 am



17 faith May 14, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Thanks again, everything was SO good!


18 Emma (Namaste Everyday) May 14, 2011 at 11:15 pm

what a fun evening! homemade pizza, wine, and tiramisu? sounds like a night of heaven! some day when I am a big girl I will host a wine tasting party 😉


19 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food May 14, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I love blind tastings and I love Viognier! :)

Kudos to you guys for being able to host a social function despite being so busy! It’s inspirational to me, I always hunker down when the going get tough! I hope you have lovely, long night’s sleep! :)


20 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) May 14, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Everything looks absolutely PERFECT! Love the cucumbers, pizza, salad, and tiramisu!! All of my favorites — YUM! 😀


21 Kat @ Cupcake Kat May 14, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Home made tiramisu, wine, and pizza. I am so envious! We can pretty much say that you lived in Italy tonight


22 'laina May 15, 2011 at 12:03 am

OMG her tiramisu.. recipe plz???


23 Laura May 15, 2011 at 12:50 am

I agree! :) Any chance of a recipe or guest post?


24 Khushboo May 15, 2011 at 12:07 am

Buy-by slice pizza at GH would be a hit & Matt clearly gas a knack at if (amongst much other!)


25 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife May 15, 2011 at 12:25 am

mmm that pizza looks absolutely delish!! What a fun evening you all had :)


26 Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet May 15, 2011 at 12:26 am

That pizza looks awesome! I could probably eat that whole thing by myself 😉

I’ve only tried tiramisu once, and it was so underwhelming. But that tiramisu makes me want to give it a second shot!

Cheers to an awesome Saturday :)


27 Molly @ RDexposed May 15, 2011 at 12:34 am

You always let the Sicilian do there thing-it never fails! Another no fail is a strawberry salad!


28 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table May 15, 2011 at 12:38 am

Your day sounds like wine-heaven! I’ve been wanted to throw a blind tasting party for a while. You’ve inspired me to make it happen!

Have you ever tried tossing strawberries in balsamic and roasting them for a few mins before tossing them in a salad? It’s really good!

Can your friend Francesca do a guest post on making good tiramisu?! That looks scrumptious! :)


29 Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] May 15, 2011 at 1:19 am

tiramisu for breakfast? on top of oats of course 😉


30 Kari @ bite-sized thoughts May 15, 2011 at 1:23 am

Those pizzas look amazing! In fact, all of your food looked amazing. A worthy end to your seriously hectic week!


31 Morgan @ moments of mmm May 15, 2011 at 1:25 am

What a fun time with friends! I love the idea of discussing wine with such casual food like pizza.


32 Heidi - apples under my bed May 15, 2011 at 4:46 am

how fun! that pizza looks incredible, as always. As does that tiramisu! I adore sicilian cooking. & actually, having tiramisu for breakfast is not uncommon, traditionally :) enjoy!
Heidi xo


33 Gina @running to the kitchen May 15, 2011 at 5:45 am

I can’t believe that pizza is homemade. It, along with all the other food looks amazing. Sounds like such a fun night with good friends!


34 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope May 15, 2011 at 6:08 am

What a fun evening for you guys! I would be totally lost on guessing the dates, but it definitely would be an entertaining way to spend the evening with friends. That salad looks so good too – love strawberries in salads!


35 Fallon May 15, 2011 at 7:14 am

Wow the tiramisu looks fabulous!I’m sure that is a secret recipe.


36 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin May 15, 2011 at 7:24 am

Matt makes the best looking pizza ever! Any chance you could talk him into a pizza tutorial guest post? 😉


37 KathEats May 15, 2011 at 8:34 am

He needs to do one – he’s pretty much mastered his crust recipe


38 Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa May 15, 2011 at 8:02 am

The pizza looks incredible! You guys should develop a pizza flavored bread!


39 Cait @ Beyond Bananas May 15, 2011 at 8:08 am

Love salads with strawberries! Those cucumbers with the spread looks really good too!


40 Krystina (Organically Me) May 15, 2011 at 8:20 am

Tiramisu for breakfast sounds like the most perfect thing on Earth. It’s my favorite dessert!


41 Laura @FoodSnobSTL May 15, 2011 at 8:26 am

Would you do a post on how you go about hosting a blind wine tasting/beer tasting party? It sounds like so much fun!


42 KathEats May 15, 2011 at 8:35 am

Well this was pretty much it!! We put the wines in bags and mixed up the bags and labeled them. Then we just tasted and wrote down notes. At the end, we unveiled the bottles to see if we were right in guessing the years.


43 Sunya May 15, 2011 at 9:41 am

What a wonderful evening! Viognier has quickly become my favorite wine. All the food looked great. Reminds me of a strawberry salad my friend Joann makes. I think I will pick up the fixings today. It has blue cheese and a poppy seed dressing. Come to think of it you might really like it.


44 Mary @ Bites and Bliss May 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Those cumcumber and cream cheese clices remind me of when I was a kid. It was the first healthy thing I actually liked. I’d always ask my mom to make sandwiches out of them too!


45 Karen May 15, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Wow! That food looks delish! I think it’s so sweet that y’all have become friends with Sham and Francesca!


46 jane May 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm

ok, Matt, what’s your pizza advice? super hot oven? pizza stone? and about that shaping/throwing of the dough…i find it difficult to handle and stretch into a round. We’d love some pizza tips here in CA!


47 KathEats May 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm

500* oven. Pizza stone preheated. A peel (or cardboard with cornmeal on top!) to slide the dough off of. Cook dough and toppings at the same time, about 10 minutes. Tis better to have a thicker crust than thinner by throwing so it will support the toppings!


48 Lisa May 15, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I love Viognier. It’s one of my favorite white wines! My favorite Oregon winery is Quenett and they have an excellent Viognier.


49 Brenda May 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm

That pizza looks incredible! Will Matt share the recipe?


50 Katrina May 15, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Oh my goodness!! Is that a Nasoya cake server i see!!?


51 michelle May 16, 2011 at 12:25 am

I love that appetizer cucumbers with cream cheese, I might steal that idea!


52 Sara P May 16, 2011 at 7:28 am

Oh man….that Tiramisu looks delicious! Can we see if we can get the recipe?? Purty please?!?


53 Charise May 17, 2011 at 7:20 am

What a fun idea with friends – most of my friends aren’t big on wine (they pretty much all drink sweeter Rieslings or stick to their light beer, ugh), so when we’ve tried to do the blind tastings, it hasn’t worked out so well. Glad you guys had a good time – the pizza and tiramisu look delicious too!


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