by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Sunday, August 19, 2012
A Midsummer's Picnic w/ Schlossadler Int'l Wines
And then it (the club) just sort of petered out. I don't know why, really. Maybe we all got busy. I think we meant to take a little rest and then reconnect. But we never did. Of course, all of these people are also food bloggers, so it's not like I don't see them around anymore. Even join in other events with them from time to time. But I do miss poppin' the cork and sitting down to some wine-fueled chats.
I'm pretty sure it wasn't that any of us stopped drinking (and thoroughly enjoying) wine, it was just one of those thangs. I know it wasn't that I stopped drinking wine. Maybe I don't pick up 10 bottles of the same varietal in one given month anymore, but...
Schlossadler International Wines this week in conjunction with #SundaySupper. Our mission for our weekly gathering this week is Cooking with Wine (...and maybe even putting it in the food). Sorry, couldn't resist. I still have Julia on the mind from all of the time I spent with her during the first half of the month.
So from the moment I found out which wines I'd be receiving, I started to make a menu. It was clear to me that I wanted to be outside enjoying this absolutely gorgeous weather we've been having, so I knew a picnic was in order. And I'm talking the kind of picnic I was born to have. Loaves of crusty bread...a couple of different types of cheese...some fresh fruit...some thinly sliced meat...and a few (one would have sufficed, but hey) bottles of wine. I could live on this kind of eating.
Blaufränkisch, which is a fairly dry red wine with notes of spice, cherry, and blackberry. Since we still have a lot of juicy red cherries gracing us with their presence, I knew I wanted to play them up by roasting them along with the wine and a hint of thyme and a smattering of vanilla bean flecks to make a savory preserve.
Next up was a bottle of wine...which at first glance fools you into thinking it's a rosé (because it's in a red bottle)...and my surprise favorite of the three bottles - Kerner Auslese. Now normally, I don't gravitate towards sweet wines. But this Kerner Auslese is crisp, somewhat fruity, and when you drink it, it almost tingles your tongue. That sweetness I mentioned is very light and not at all cloying. It reminded me of a Riesling, which makes sense since it is a cross of Riesling grapes and Trollinger grapes. I knew right away that I wanted to remember this wine for my Thanksgiving table this year (it just fits). I combined this with whole-grain mustard to make a glaze for a smoked ham that was baked and basted in a little bit of the wine, as well. Sliced thinly? I don't have the words - it rocked.
And then I turned to a little sweet ending. Not the wine itself...that was a dry and very drinkable Sauvignon Blanc with very heady notes of pear. It combined perfectly with some fat, juicy summer peaches to make some grown-up ice pops. Ice pops whose peach flavor was in-your-face happiness.
bâtards), a couple types of cheese and seasonal fruit, and you're pretty much good to go. Wrap your ice pops in wax paper and then put them in a baggie and then into a small cooler on ice.
Even better? A very packable sandwich made from these ingredients. Split a bâtard in half and spread a good layer of the Cherry-Blaufränkisch preserves on the bottom. Add a small handful of baby kale over the preserves. Add a layer of sliced brie and top off with a bunch of the Kerner Auslese & Mustard-glazed ham that has been thinly sliced. It takes a lot to become one of my favorite sandwiches - and this has! Plus, the whole meal pairs perfectly (seriously. per. fect. ly) with that bottle of Kerner Auslese.
- 4 c. pitted fresh sweet cherries, halved
- ½ c. Blaufränkisch
- few sprigs fresh thyme, crushed & rolled a bit between your fingers
- 2 Tbs. brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- ⅛ tsp. vanilla bean paste
- 4 lb. cured, smoked boneless ham
- ¾ c. Kerner Auslese, divided
- 1 c. water
- ½ Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped shallots
- 1 sprig thyme + ½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 2 Tbs. whole grain mustard
- 1 tsp. honey
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 oz. dark brown sugar
- ½ c. water
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
- 3-4 medium (~23 oz.) soft, ripe peaches - pitted, but NOT peeled
- 7 fl.oz. Sauvignon Blanc
Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.