Super Bowl Foods & Wine

The big game is happening this Sunday. Party food is high in calories, so we will all be chucking that diet we all started at the first of the year. Oh boy, I am looking forward to eating party food and drinking my fair share of some tasty wines. Oh yeah, and watching the Broncos and Seahawks battle for the title.

Don’t just stick to one type of wine, enjoy your Super Bowl party food with a variety of wines. If your friends are like mine the wine won’t go to waste. Start with a sparkling wine, Viognier, Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc with the veggie tray or chips if you dare.

Work your way through the game with either a Merlot or Zinfandel and then a Cabernet Sauvignon while munching on the chili, burgers, meatballs and pizza.

Just because it is game day don’t forget the chocolate with a port or a sherry to complete a great party night.

Here is an infographic to help you pair up your party foods with your wines for the Big Game Day.


The Best Wines to Serve with Italian Food

Italian Food with WineWhat the best wines to serve with Italian food are all depends upon what Italian food we’re talking about.  There is no one authentic Italian cuisine, only a myriad of regional cuisines and specialty dishes that slide down easily with a seemingly endless array of local wines.  To accompany the artfully prepared risottos and complex sauces of Northern Italy’s Piedmont, the region’s “Three B’s” (Barolo, Barbaresco, and Barbera) immediately come to mind.  Producers such as Seghesio, Silvio Grasso, and Querciola provide memorable accompaniments to Piedmont’s celebrated cuisine.  And if fish or fowl make their appearance at a Piedmontese table, the region’s elegant dry white wines offer incomparable quality and value, especially Malaibale di Canale’s Roero Arneis and Massone’s crystalline Gavi.  And to accompany Florentine Steak or one of Tuscany’s signature bean dishes, there is no better wine to serve than Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

Richer than Chianti Classico and fresher and more food friendly than Brunello di Montalcino it’s hard to beat Vino Nobile at table, especially if the wine happens to be an elegant Vino Nobile from Caterina Dei.  Moving south, how could anyone pass up a bottle of Greco or Fiano di Avellino from Caggiano or Colli di Lapio while sojourning along the Amalfi Coast to enjoy with some of the world’s most spectacular seafood?  The hinterlands of this spellbinding coast also harbor the ancient Aglianico varietal that pairs perfectly with the region’s lamb and hearty stews.  Vesevo and Molettieri are two producers to count on for exceptional Aglianico.  We shouldn’t overlook Sicily and the far south as sources of affordable treasures either.  Cellaro’s Nero d’Avola pairs splendidly with pizza, pasta, and the heady tomato and garlic laden dishes of Italy’s Deep South.  And these wines just begin the conversation.


photo credit: lennox_mcdough via photopin cc

Dolores’s Brokenhearted Chicken

Dolores's Brokenhearted ChickenCaramelized garlic and dry sherry make a luscious sauce for this simple but delectable braised chicken dish.



  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 (3-lb.) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 slices bacon, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • 2 tbsp. roughly chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into ¼” cubes
  • Country bread, for serving


1. Heat oven to 350°. Place flour in a bowl; set aside. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and dredge in flour; set aside. Heat bacon in a 12″ ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring, until its fat renders, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a bowl; set aside. Add oil to skillet, and working in 2 batches, add chicken, and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

2. Add garlic to the skillet, and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add stock and sherry, and return chicken to the skillet, skin-side up; sprinkle with reserved bacon along with parsley, and then dot with butter. Transfer skillet to oven, and cook, basting twice during cooking, until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 40 minutes; serve with country bread.

Recipe and photo from:

Smoky Fish Chowder

This fish chowder features a rich tomato broth, hearty potatoes, smoky chorizo, and savory fish that is not only fast, but is sure to be a hit at your table!


  • 8 ounces Spanish chorizo (cured sausage), thinly sliced
  • 4 leeks (white and light green parts), cut into half-moons
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (about 4 medium), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 pounds skinless firm white fish (such as halibut or cod), cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


In a large pot, brown the chorizo over medium-high heat, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the potatoes, tomatoes (with their juices), 3 cups water, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cover and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the fish and simmer gently until opaque throughout, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the parsley before serving.

*Editor’s Note: Spanish chorizo is smoked pork sausage that’s loaded with seasonings like garlic and chili powder. If you can’t find it in your supermarket, use bacon instead.

Recipe and photo from

Panko-Coated Chicken Schnitzel

Thomas Keller’s Panko-Coated Chicken Schnitzel is simple yet delicious and is sure to please your family and guests alike. Try pairing it with a fresh salad and mashed potatoes.

Total Time: 15 MinutesPanko-Coated Chicken Schnitzel
Servings: 4


  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups panko
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each), butterflied and pounded 1/4-inch-thick
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


Set the flour, eggs and panko in three separate shallow bowls. Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess, then dip in the eggs and coat thoroughly with the panko, pressing lightly to adhere.

In each of 2 large skillets, heat 1/4 cup of canola oil. Add the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and cook over moderately high heat until browned and nutty, about 4 minutes. Stir in the capers, lemon juice and parsley; spoon over the chicken and serve.

Recipe and photo from