Wine with Cake
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Wine with Cake
Wine, food, and fun for the casual enthusiast.
Curated by Meredith P.
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Welcome to Wine with Cake!

Welcome to Wine with Cake! | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it

Welcome to Wine with Cake, where we don't take our love of wine too seriously. This is a page for people with day jobs, that love to drink wine, with sometimes limited wine budgets, but hearty appetites!

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Did You Know? Interesting Malbec Facts

Did You Know? Interesting Malbec Facts | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it

I read a very interesting article the other day in Wine Spectator on Argentina and the success of Malbecs. I couldn't locate the article on their site - I suppose because it was the in the latest edition.

 

I had a very intense love affair with Argentinian Malbecs about 2 years ago. I probably burned myself out on them a little bit, but this article renewed my interest. I also think the tannins of the Malbecs make it a great cold-weather wine - it almost warms you up!

 

So since I can't link to the article (and also because I think it was about 7 pages)...Here's a quick summary of some things I learned:

 

1. Malbecs can be grown anywhere, but they do very well in Argentina

Some people commonly misunderstand that Malbecs are only from Argentina. People can try to grow Malbec anywhere they want - I know of and have tried several Malbecs from Virginia. Need a good bet on a good Malbec, go for Argentina. The altitude and soil help the Malbec grape to develop very well.

 

2. Malbecs didn't take well to grafting on American vines

Familiar with phylloxera? That nasty pest that decimated the French wine industy way back when. Well, as part of the recovery effort, all vines in France were grafted on American rootstock. But Argentina is able to have "pure" French roots, due to the Argentinian soil's resistance to phylloxera. And Malbec is difficult to get to "take" to American rootstock, so Argentinian Malbec is possibly some of the purest and best growing Malbec in the world.

 

3. Malbec is a DRINK NOW wine

The berry-forward structure and tannins of the Malbec are actually better earlier. The author of the Wine Spectator article runs down a year-by-year tasting breakdown and essentially concludes that most Malbecs from Argentina are probably going to taste their freshest now-not too long from now.

 

 

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4 Simple & Inexpensive Wine & Cheese Pairings To Impress Your Guests This Holiday Season |

4 Simple & Inexpensive Wine & Cheese Pairings To Impress Your Guests This Holiday Season | | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it
Cheese and wine are a marriage made in heaven. Impressing guests on a budget is even sweeter!
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Get Ready....Thanksgiving Wine Pairings! Is your wine bar well stocked?

Get Ready....Thanksgiving Wine Pairings! Is your wine bar well stocked? | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it
Thanksgiving Wine Pairings - Blog - food52 - food community, recipe search and cookbook contests http://t.co/l4iXb6k9...
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I want my...Baby Back Pork Ribs and Zinfandel!

I want my...Baby Back Pork Ribs and Zinfandel! | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it

Yesterday the hubby challenged his culinary skills with some baby back pork ribs that he smoked and then slow cooked. They were divine! I promised not to divulge his secrets though.

 

He challenged me to figure out what wine we should pair with them. So I first turned to my handy-dandy wine pairing wheel (that I posted about on Nov 1) and I just love that app! It had pork ribs and suggested Zinfandel, Syrah/Shiraz and Merlot. You don't have to twist my arm to get me to drink a Zinfandel. I love love love a good Zin.

 

We picked up a respectable bottle from Napa, a Titus 2009 (approximately $25) and it went beautifully with the meal. It had strong alcohol on the nose, so we had to decant it for longer than we really wanted to wait. And it had some legs on it, too (the alcohol content was 15.9%!) It had a strong blackberry flavor and a smoky, almost vanilla-esque finish. It stood up great to the smoky flavor of the ribs and our spicy coleslaw and baked beans.

 

Check out the link to learn about Zinfandel and recipes for pairing it.

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Pop a Cork! It's National Champagne Day - Celebrating in DC or at Home

Pop a Cork! It's National Champagne Day - Celebrating in DC or at Home | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it

Today, October 28, it is not just Friday, it's National Champagne Day!!! I'm always looking for an excuse to pop-open some bubbly and now there's a day in it's honor.

 

I plan to rise to the occasion and will be hitting one of my favorite wine stores to pick up something for dinner at home tonight. While my bubbly of choice lately has been a Prosecco, I think I'll stay true to the day and grab a tried and true Champagne.

 

Whatever do I mean? Isn't all bubbly really Champagne? Answer: No. Only sparkling wines from the Champagne region of France may be called "Champagne." This practically international law has come about throughout Europe through the Treaty of Madrid in 1891 and agreements established with numerous other countries worldwide. The United States bans the use of the term from all U.S. produced wine.

 

To learn more about the big day, where you can celebrate in DC, or how to celebrate at home, check out Kelly Magyarics' fabulous article for Washington Life Magazine...

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The Four Chefs Match Food and Wine: 2011 New York Wine Experience | Features | News & Features | Wine Spectator

The Four Chefs Match Food and Wine: 2011 New York Wine Experience | Features | News & Features | Wine Spectator | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it
Wine Spectator executive editor Thomas Matthews takes on four celebrity chefs in a battle for supremacy in food-and-wine pairing. And DC's popular Jose Andres is one of them!
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Monday Night Treat: Hogue 2008 Merlot (Columbia Valley)

Monday Night Treat: Hogue 2008 Merlot (Columbia Valley) | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it

I am out of town on a work trip and my first night on the road was kind of rough. The occupants of the room next door apparently decided to have a loud music, door slamming, yelling party in a very nice hotel at 1am on a Monday morning. My hotel was gracious and did what they could to help, but the best part was...they know exactly how to win me back over and...sent me a complimentary bottle of wine and a fruit and cheese plate to my room tonight! Yay!

 

The wine - Hogue Cellars, Columbia Valley, 2008 Merlot. I'm not a huge Merlot drinker, but this wine is quite delicious...it is smooth and not as fruit-forward as other Merlots I've had lately. A tart dark-fruit flavor like blackberry or cranberry, is very quickly followed by a light spice finish. It is a very balanced Merlot and would go well with a variety of red-wine friendly dishes, particuarly pizza. Upon perusing the Hogue website, I learned that it was one of Wine Enthusiast's top 100 buys of 2009 and I agree completely!

 

I will absolutely be heading to Total Wine when I return to town to pick up a bottle or two. Then I will see if the hubby has been reading my blog and makes me homemade pizza this weekend ;-)....to be continued....

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60 Second Crash Course: Classic Wine Pairings

60 Second Crash Course: Classic Wine Pairings | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it
These are the foods and their wine pals that are often seen together on the town. They’re getting the good press and attracting the paparazzi. Why? Because they play so well together.
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30 Second Review: Relativity Vineyards Quantum Reserve 2007

30 Second Review: Relativity Vineyards Quantum Reserve 2007 | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it

Tried this wine for the first time last night at Veritas Wine Bar in DC. I normally set my "blend limit" to about 3-4 wines, as I think that if not done well, it can really muddy the palate.

 

This wine was a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Charbono, and Grenache...and...I really liked it. It was a bit jammy on the start, but not sweet. Black raspberry and some spice came to mind. I thought it was very smooth (light tannins) and had a great finish.

 

While I was only enjoying it with a little cheese, I believe this might pair well with a heartier pork dish or possibly a lamb dish. If I am able to locate a bottle soon, I might consider making a lamb ragu to pair with the wine.

 

And time's up! Cheers, everyone!

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Gas + Subs + FINE WINE + NoVA? Are you serious?!

Gas + Subs + FINE WINE + NoVA? Are you serious?! | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it
This makes me want to return to my motherland, Reston, Virginia...There is a Sunoco-Subway with a serious wine selection. I most definitely plan on making the trek to this fine establishment next weekend. Reston Sunoco-Subway. From their site: "We stock a large selection of wines including wines from local Virginia vineyards. We also carry domestic, imported and micro brew beers."

Look out Sunoco-Subway of Reston, here I come!
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A Beautiful Day Calls for a Fabulous Winery Visit: Fabbioli Cellars

A Beautiful Day Calls for a Fabulous Winery Visit: Fabbioli Cellars | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it
Yesterday was an amazing day. After going apple picking with a few of our good friends in the morning, we rode a ferry from Poolesville, Maryland to Leesburg, Virginia. Right near the ferry drop off is Fabbioli Cellars, a blossoming winery that is definitely worth a trek out there.

The hubby and I visited there a few years ago when the tasting room was basically a basement/garage in the basement of the owner's home. The wines were young, but you could tell there was potential in this place.

What a change from the last visit! The tasting room is still in the basement of the lovely home, but it's been remodeled and they have an impressive tasting system. For only $10 each, you and your fellow winos are sat at a personal wine bar with your own staff member who guides you through an in-depth tasting with carefully selected food pairings (small bites). Wonderful experience!

So on to the wines (in order of tasting):
*Rosa Luna (2010) - a very different rose with mild flavors of blood orange. It's 85% Sangiovese 15% Cabernet Franc. Paired with a mild, creamy goat cheese on toast.
*Chambourcin (2009) - a light and smooth red that was paired with olives. This would be grouped in the same category as a Pinot Noir. It was smooth, light, but didn't wuss out on the finish. We bought 2 bottles of it (the price is a steal right now!)
*Cabernet Franc (2009) - another fairly mild and smooth red with more earth tones, typical of a Virginia Cab Franc. This was paired with a spicy sausage and was more berry forward than I'm used to in a Cab Franc, possibly due to the 4% Petit Verdot. I did really enjoy this and so did our friends, they bought a bottle.
*Tre Sorelle (2009) - This Bordeaux blend wine (Merlot, Cab Sauv, Petit Verdot) was dry with quite a bite. It was a bold wine.
*Tannat (2009) - I've never had Tannat and it was very, very earthy, rich and rustic. This wine would stand up to a lot of bold dishes, possibly game.
*Raspberry Merlot - While we are not sweet wine people, I would say that their dessert wines are some of our favorite around. This wine is 70% Merlot, 30% Raspberry. My husband insisted we get a small bottle - we are going to make brownies with it!
*Royalty - This was a great smooky port-style wine. I really liked it and could imagine drinking it in front of the fireplace this winter (if we had one!)
*Aperitif Pear Wine - This wine is sweet and paired great with the spiced gingerbread cookies. Some special bottles have a pair grown in the bottle - it would make and awesome gift!

They had a few others, including the Rosa Nera (Black Raspberry Port) that we couldn't try. However, 2 years ago I gave my mom a Rosa Nera and it sounds like it's time to open it (Mom - we'll bring the chocolate brownies, you pop the cork!)

This place is absolutely worth a visit and I wish we lingered here longer. They have a good selection of wine, cheeses, meats, crackers, and I think they'll bake you up a baguette. They even have a fire pit outside, so don't shy away from them in the cold weather.
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Marianne Riddile's comment, October 9, 2011 11:50 AM
Too late! I drank it...bring more wine!
Marianne Riddile's comment, October 9, 2011 11:52 AM
Anyway, you told me you were going apple picking!!!
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Chill Wine in 8 Minutes!!!

Chill Wine in 8 Minutes!!! | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it

Today I DVR'd "The Chew" on ABC to see what it was all about (I love Carla Hall, Michael Symon and Clinton Kelly especially). Clinton gave a quick tip on today's episode that I didn't know and I just had to share.

 

Here's the "recipe" to cold wine in 8 minutes:

*Get an ice bucket and fill it with ice and the wine bottle submerged in the ice

*Take a pitcher of cold water and pour it into the bucket

*Take 1/3 cup of SALT and add it to the water

 

The salt makes the ice melt at a lower temperature, which means you get cold wine in 8 MINUTES!

 

Now, after you finish doing laps around your neighborhood, shouting the praises of 8 minutes to cold Sauv Blanc, get yourself a good bottle, bucket, ice , water, salt and chill out!

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Joe Bastianich on Buying Wine Gifts for the Holidays

Joe Bastianich on Buying Wine Gifts for the Holidays | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it

I caught this Today Show clip on Friday featuring Joe Bastianich (love his stone-cold stares on Master Chef!) and thought he did a great job helping you form a strategy for your purchase. He also made some great suggestions that happen to be some of my faves.

 

This is definitely worth 5 minutes of your time!

 

PS: I heart Prosecco :)

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4 Surprising Wine Pairings...for Parents and Kids at Heart!!!

4 Surprising Wine Pairings...for Parents and Kids at Heart!!! | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it
This post is for all my mommy daddy friends out there and people like me that love to enjoy goldfish/cheerios/pb&j whenever possible! The genius people at Real Simple figured out how to pair these things with wine and other adult beverages! They should win a medal! I have one more to add to the list...cab sauv, zin, or just a really good red and chocolate chips - it's the best dessert ever! So all you parents out there (and those of you that sometimes make a bowl of goldish crackers your dinner), you can now eat what your kids are eating and be totally chic at the same time.
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If you haven't maxed out your cards yet...12 Perfect Gifts for Wine Lovers

If you haven't maxed out your cards yet...12 Perfect Gifts for Wine Lovers | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it

I'm back! After a few crazy weeks of work and a wicked cold that put my wine drinking on full stop. Since it's now high-shipping season and your credit card number is probably already seared into your palm...let's talk gifts for wine lovers. Perhaps you'll find something to ask Santa for yourself!

 

I love this selection pulled together by the Huffington Post. My faves from the post:

 

1. Aerator - If you have a wine lover if your life and they don't own an aerator yet, then I say that's your first must-purchase. I love my Vinturi. I have the original sans-stand. Tip: Bed Bath and Beyond typically sells them and you can use a handy coupon that they send you every day that ends in "y."

 

2. Wine Opener - I love to use my traditional waiter opener, but I also love to use my mom's hefty opener when I'm over at my parent's. She has the same/similar rabbit model featured here and it's so easy to use - it's a dream for anyone that loves to entertain.

 

3. Champagne Resealer - I don't know why you would ever have leftover champagne, but if I had the champagne cork closer, I'd probably drink more champagne! My hubby doesn't love the bubbly as much as I do, so I'd love to pop open a bottle of prosecco and keep the bubbles lasting for a few more days.

 

Happy shopping, winos!

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Saturday Night Red: Kent Rasmussen Cab Sauv (2007)

Saturday Night Red: Kent Rasmussen Cab Sauv (2007) | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it

Last night, we hit the town on an impromptu date and ended our night at Veritas Wine Bar in DC. I enjoyed the "Guns of Napa" flight and my favorite pick from the lineup with the Kent Rasmussen Cabernet Sauvignon (2007). It was a great wine for a chilly Fall night, with a deep flavor of blackberries, spice and a little smoke. It was very smooth and dry, but not overly dry. If you happen upon it somewhere, pick up a bottle or order a glass. Cheers!

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Food and Wine Pairing Wheel App - California Wine Club

Food and Wine Pairing Wheel App - California Wine Club | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it
There is a great new app out by the California Wine Club- a wine pairing wheel and it is FREE. It's really fun too! The pairings range from hamburgers to linguine with clams and are organized by common course types. It is an ideal tool to have on your iPhone for dinners out - it wouldn't take you but 30 seconds to figure out wine to pair with your fried chicken! Download it off iTunes today!
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Lindsey's comment, November 7, 2011 9:56 AM
Nice!!! Good find--I'll have to download this :)
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Spooky Thirsty Thursday Pick - PoiZin - The wine to die for

Spooky Thirsty Thursday Pick - PoiZin - The wine to die for | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it
Perfect for a halloween party! I always love a deadly good zin from Cali. Word on the street is Wolrd Market is carrying it- go scare some up!
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Red Wine Caramel Apples: Perfect Addition to Your Halloween Party

Red Wine Caramel Apples: Perfect Addition to Your Halloween Party | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it

Getting spooky-with-it this weekend? Think about adding these red wine caramel apples to your Halloween party menu. It's a great way to incorporate wine into a fall favorite. Pairing ideas: cab sauv, syrah, and port.

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This takes retail therapy to a new level...Banana Republic and Clos du Bois Winery

I try hard not to be a sucker for pretty, girlie, cutesy wine bottles, but when one of my favorite stores teams up with a winery, I am immediately torn: "This holiday season, Banana Republic and Clos du Bois Winery will bring cheer to parties, stockings and fireside evenings with the introduction of limited-edition wine bottles adorned with festive labels designed by Banana Republic Creative Director Simon Kneen. Retailing for under $20, Kneen's hand-sketched labels embellish Clos du Bois' two most popular wines—the North Coast Chardonnay and North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon."

 

Verdict - This would certainly make a fun hostess gift at your friends holiday cookie party and begs for a spot on our favorite shopaholic's wine rack. Hopefully, the wine tastes pretty good too!

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Ghirardelli Brownie Mix + Fabbioli Raspberry Merlot = HEAVEN

Ghirardelli Brownie Mix + Fabbioli Raspberry Merlot = HEAVEN | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it

I mentioned about a week ago that while we were visiting Fabbioli Cellars in Leesburg, VA that we were tipped off to someone putting their Raspberry Merlot instead of water in their brownies. We were sold on the idea and bought a bottle...purely for research purposes for my new blog, of course.

 

So the hubby being the Master Brownie Maker (MBM) that he is (seriously, I have no idea how he does it, but his brownies are always drool-worthy), whipped up a batch of Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix (it's our fave), used the Fabbioli Raspberry Merlot in lieu of water, and added a few semi-sweet chocolate chips for maximum awesomeness. My role as sous-baker was to extract the chocolate chips from the cupboard, gently place them on the counter, and eat from the bag until he was done with them.

 

It's hard to put into words how delicious the brownies were, but I'm compelled to reserrect a word from my collegian days in order to more accurately describe it... redonkulous. These brownies  (with some of the leftover Raspberry Merlot on the side for sipping) were truly redonkulous.

 

*If you are not familiar with the term, "redonkulous," feel free to look it up in the urban dictionary, then immediately buy/order this wine and make these brownies!

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We Were Living La Vina Loca

We Were Living La Vina Loca | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it

On a Saturday afternoon date, the hubby and I headed to our favorite lunch spot, Cheesetique in Del Ray (Alexandria, VA) for a bunch of cheese, bread and some wine on the side. They always have these great wine flights of the day, we tried the "Living la Vina Loca" - a Spanish and Argentinian white wine flight.

 

Spain has a very special place in my heart. I studied abroad in Valencia, Spain one summer and took a wine and food appreciation class through Florida State University's program that is the reason I'm blogging here today! BUT on eof the best parts about Spain was the wine!

 

Our flight:

#1 - Pazo de Monterrey, Godello (Spain, Galicia)- A light wine, much like a Pinot Gris, but with a surprising creamy texture from some obvious use of Oak? (I'm still learning to taste my different types of woods). I liked it and linked to their webpage. Isn't is a beautiful winery? Let's all by tickets out there now and go!

 

#2- Penalosa Verdejo, Verdejo (Spain, Rueda) - Verdejo is a very popular grape from Spain. Most of the times that I have had a Verdejo, I recognized strong green apple flavors and a crisp, sometimes tart finish. I thought this wine had those features, but also had a floral nose.

 

#3 - Carinae Torrontes, Torrontes (Argentina, Salta) - Speaking of floral noses, this one had an even stronger floral nose. I felt like I was smelling a bouqet. In the mouth, the tasted almost exotic, like it was grown in a jungle along with pretty flowers. I definitely would try another bottle again...but what to pair it with? It tasted pretty good with the gourmet grilled cheese we were eating, so I'll go with that!

 

I would definitely pick up a bottle of all of these. I didn't get down the prices per bottle, but typically wines from these region tend to be reasonable, if not a bargain. Salud, mis amigos!

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DC Wine Week is Happening Now

DC Wine Week is Happening Now | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it

Did you know that it is DC Wine Week? I'm getting together with my wine group tomorrow, so I suppose that's my own wine week event, but checkout this main page to take advantage of some of the wine week events!

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I made it and paired it very well with Rancho Zabaco 2007 Zinfandel

I made it and paired it very well with Rancho Zabaco 2007 Zinfandel | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it

As I posted earlier this week, this is from one of my absolute favorite bloggers, authors, and female idols, Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman). I thought that this pizza was originally screaming for a Cab Sauv, but I ended up pairing it with a Zinfandel from Sonoma.

First review, the pizza: I used a pre-made store bought crust (because I just haven't mastered dough rising yet) and a thin one at that (like my crust thin). I bought a thin steak and marinated it with some soy sauce and some spicy Montreal steak seasoning. I did the onions in balsamic and butter as Ree instructs and added balsamic and Worcestershire sauce to the marinara. Since the hubby prefers his mozz. shredded and fully melty, I shredded instead of sliced and added some fresh green peppers that we bought when we were apple picking. After cooking the steak on the grill pan (truly it was too much to manage both) and baking the pizza on our pizza stone. I put the two together, sprinkled parm everywhere, and drizzled with some leftover sauce, as we aren't big into steak sauce. It was HEAVY, but delicious. If you like balsamic and red meat, this is a pizza for you. If you aren't big on one, the pizza would probably still taste great sans balsamic. Definitely a hearty pizza recipe to bust out on a cold night this winter!

Second, the wine: I picked up a bottle from Rancho Zabaco after trying a Zin from there at my wine group potluck. This bottle was not exactly the same, but I hoped would come close. This wine was delish, but definitely needed some decanting. I was so busy prepping my pizza, that I forgot to open it up. I used the Vinturi to pour our first tastes and it still tasted a tad too alcohol-forward; however, putting it in the good old fashioned glass decanter and letting it sit a while really worked wonders on the wine. It was bold and stood up well to the heavy steak/pizza/red sauce dish. I will definitely try another Zin from this label again!

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Great wines to scoop up in the $10-20 range

Great wines to scoop up in the $10-20 range | Wine with Cake | Scoop.it
Food & Wine magazine. Recipes, menus, chefs, wine, cooking, holidays, entertaining, restaurants, experts, wine reviews and recommendations, wine matching, food and wine pairings, easy-to-find wines, cocktails, home.
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