These GO To Wines from E&J Gallo Winery are the answer to your most frequently asked wine question: Which wine to choose?
I am often asked for wine advice. I like to think it’s the result of all the wine-tasting I’ve done professionally over the years. I suspect it’s more likely because I like wine, a lot. My approach to wine is simple: you either like it or you don’t. Pick the one you like, and enjoy it with friends. Yes, I know wine can be complicated and knowing which wine to choose can be daunting.
I hear these questions most frequently:
- ^ “The wine list is overwhelming and I don’t want to look like a fool in front of my dining companions, what should I order?”
^ “I want to keep wine on hand for last-minute entertaining at home. What should I buy?
My answer to both questions is this:
Always have a list of GO To Wines in your (figurative) back pocket.”
What are GO To Wines?
- ^ Wines you like (that’s a given, right?)
^ Wines that won’t break the bank
^ Wines consistently good from year to year, so you don’t have to worry about vintages and reviews.
^ Wines versatile to pair with a variety of foods, as well as, for simply sipping wine with a friend
^ Wines which will satisfy a variety of palates – from your friend who orders wine by color – “I’ll have the red” – to your friend who has an annual subscription to Wine Spectator (I love you both).
I recently enjoyed Mitchell’s Fish Market of Winter Park #ItalyUncorked Wine Dinner, which I reviewed for City Surfing Orlando. It was a fantastic event of great food, wine and conversation. The wines we tasted from the E&J Gallo Winery portfolio are a perfect addition to my GO To Wines list. Try them next time you see them on the menu or store shelf. You may find a spot for them on your GO To Wines list.
First Course: La Marca Prosecco, DOC Veneto, Italy
Prosecco is mostly thought of as an inexpensive, light, sparkling wine, often used to make mimosas. Yet, it can be very versatile. Not just for sipping casually, but also for food pairings. La Marca Prosecco, one of my favorites, shows more substance than many Proseccos, which I find can be simple and uninteresting. You may pay a bit more for it, but trust me, the extra few dollars are worth it. This sparkling wine from Treviso, the Veneto region in Northern Italy, has a pleasant floral aroma with fresh citrus and honey. Serve it in a regular wine glass, instead of a flute, so you can take in those beautiful scents. Crisp, clean flavors of citrus mixed with baked apples. A hint of sweetness balanced with crisp dry notes, makes it very versatile. If you forget the name, think of this elegant GO To Wine as the one with the Tiffany-blue label.
La Marca Prosecco Food Pairing ideas: Sushi, Asian dishes, shellfish, stuffed mushrooms, cheeses, and of course, brunch!
Second Course: Da Vinci Pinot Grigio, delle Venezie, Italy
Hailing from the Tuscan hillside town of Vinci – as in Leonardo’s historic hometown – this crisp Pinot Grigio is produced by Cantine Leonardo Da Vinci, a group of 200 passionate local winegrowers. Da Vinci Pinot Grigio shows delicate floral aromas and flavors of ripe tropical fruit and citrus. Not your typical inexpensive Pinot Grigio, this GO To Wine shows a creamy soft mouthfeel, lots of character and lively acidity that will stand up to a variety of foods. The pairing with the Butternut Squash Tortellaci was my favorite of the night and showed perfect balance. It is Epicurista heaven when the wine makes you want to take another bite, and the food makes you want to take another sip, and you never want it to end. I wish I had another plate of that Butternut Squash Tortellaci as I write this! I was happy to hear it will be featured on the Mitchell’s Fish Market menu this fall.
Da Vinci Pinot Grigio Food Pairing ideas: Angel hair aglio e olio, linguine & clams, roasted chicken, Panko-crusted tilapia (or any flaky white fish) & goat cheese salad.
Third Course: Brancaia “Tre” Red Blend, Tuscany, Italy
Brancaia “Tre” Red Blend is named for three Brancaia estate vineyards in Tuscany – Brancaia Estate, Poppi Vineyard and Brancaia in Maremma – and the three most acclaimed grape varieties in the region – Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, which come together in this bottle. With beautiful deep ruby color, aromas and flavors of fresh red berries, this Super-Tuscan wine was elegant and well-balanced. The wine is 80% Sangiovese, with a delicate medium body, proved you can pair white fish with a red wine. The Pan Roasted Sea Bass with cannellini beans, spinach, tomato and basil aioli was full of flavor that paired well with this GO To Wine red blend.
Brancaia “Tre” Red Blend Food Pairing ideas: Roasted chicken, pastas with fresh tomato sauce, grilled fish.
Fourth Course: Italian Espresso Martini
Not a GO To wines pairing, however, keeping a bottle of vodka on hand for Easy Entertaining cocktails is always recommended. New Amsterdam Vodka, inspired by New York City, is five times distilled making it very smooth and filtered three times for a clean, crisp finish. It was used perfectly in the Italian Espresso Martini. Paired with the Almond Cake with Mocha Anglaise sauce was the perfect way to end this delicious journey of Italy. Certainly a lot more fun than having a boring cup of coffee. The recipe is coming up next on the blog.
These GO To Wines are available in your local wine store and at many fine restaurants, like Mitchel’s Fish Market in Winter Park. Pick up a bottle of each and dream about your trip to Italy. Touring Italy is on my “Someday List” and this dinner certainly fueled my desire to #MakeSomedayHappen. Check out my “Travel Someday List: Trip to Italy”
Our Tour guides on this Italian journey:
Here’s a tip: if your favorite wine store or restaurant doesn’t carry these GO To Wines, ask them to bring them in. Chances are, they will.
What wines are on your GO To Wines list? Please share in the comments below.