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Weekend Wine Pairing: Treat Yourself to Brownies & Port

Spring is here, and summer will soon be approaching fast. It’s almost time to start our diets to get into “bathing suit shape”, but until then, let’s live a little.


Bring On the Brownies

This classic brownie recipe (from TasteBook.com) is super simple - it takes about 30-40 minutes total from preparation to baking, and you may have these common ingredients in your cupboard:

  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square pan. In mixing bowl, stir butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat in cocoa, flour, salt and baking powder. Spread batter into pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Get Playful with Port

Port and chocolate pair together like Forrest and Jenny, who pair together like peas and carrots. But enough about veggies, it’s time for dessert! With this chocolatey deliciousness, you could go with either a Ruby Port or Tawny Port.

In some cases, Tawny Port has actually been worked into the brownies recipe for its nutty flavor characteristics. However, some Tawny Ports can be a bit expensive, so it’s best to stick with the younger, sweeter Ruby Port with your brownies. You also don’t have to be formal and grab a Port (or Porto) from Portugal – there are some excellent Ports being made from U.S. producers, including the Port pictured above (a blend of Tempranillo, Petite Sirah, and Cabernet Sauvignon) from d’Art Winery in Lodi, CA.

If you try out the pairing this weekend, please drop a comment on this blog.

Cheers!

The Hello Vino Team

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Tasting Wine with the Winemaker - d’Art Winery, Lodi, CA

This post is our contribution to Wine Blogging Wednesday, where bloggers in the wine industry post about a single subject or theme.

On this Wine Blogging Wednesday #61, Lenn Thompson had a great idea:

Rather than walking into your local wine shop to pick up a wine for WBW, I want you to actually visit a winery and taste a wine there. Bonus points if you can taste it with the winemaker or the vineyard manager.

So on Wednesday, September 16, Hello Vino went for the bonus points and took to the road up to Lodi, California to taste a few wines with Dave Dart, owner and winemaker at d’Art Winery.  I tweeted a couple videos while I was at the tasting room, but here’s a video of Dave introducing the three wines we tasted:

The Wine Tasting

2007 d'Art Tempranillo

2007 d’Art Tempranillo

A very approachable red wine with touches of spice, nice fruit with a full mouthfeel, and a lingering finish that is quite enjoyable. Also food-friendly, this Tempranillo would pair well with sharp cheddar, roasted chicken with pepper & herbs, and spicy sausage.

More on dArtWines.com »

2006 d’Art Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

2006 d'Art Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

The “King of the Reds” - the grapes for the d’Art Cab are grown on the estate. Fittingly, the label on the bottle is a graphically-enhanced photo of the entry gate (in fact, all the wine labels are photographed and designed by Dave Dart). This is a big wine (15.5% ABV), with the distinct d’Art style of bold fruit and flavor, with softer tannins than other California Cabs. For a food pairing, you could pair this Cabernet Sauvignon with a roasted rack of lamb for dinner, then some dark, bittersweet chocolate for dessert.

More on dArtWines.com »

d'Art Lodi Port

d’Art Lodi Port

This “California style” Port is a tasty dessert wine with big fruit and nice oak, with subtle caramel and vanilla flavors. Made up of 50% Tempranillo, 35% Petite Sirah, and 15% Cab, this Port would pair well with blue cheese, chocolate with almonds or hazelnuts, and even a nice cigar.

More on dArtWines.com »

The Winery

Map & Directions to d'Art Winery

If you find yourself in the central valley of California, I highly recommend stopping into the d’Art Winery tasting room. Open Thursday through Sunday, 12-5pm, you’ll most likely be greeted by owners Dave and Helen Dart.  In addition to the tasty reds and inviting atmosphere, you can take in the creative aspects of the winery with poster art of the wine labels designed by Dave, and even a drum made from a wine barrel and deer hide. If you’re lucky, you may even find yourself tasting wines from inside the barrel room!

Cheers!
Rick from Hello Vino