"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to 2011!  We celebrated the New Year with some of our favorite people at a New Years Eve Party we hosted at our house.  We decided to go with a wine and cheese theme for the evening and had a fun time shopping for everything at World Market and Whole Foods. 
We separated the wines, cheeses, and sausages into geographical regions - Italy, France/California, and Spain/South America.

Wines: Chianti and Orvieto Classico
Cheese:  Asiago
Sausage: Peppered Italian Salame

Wine:  Pinot Noir*
(The grapes used to make Pinot Noir on the West Coast are the same variety used to make Burgundy in France - so we had a crossover region.)
Cheese: Brie
Sausage: French Salame

Spain/South America
Wine: Malbec
(Malbec is made in South America, the cheeses and sausage can be found in Spain and South America.)
Cheeses: Manchego** and Bleu
Sausage: Chorizo

* One of the Pinot Noirs that we served was the Gallo of Sonoma Reserve produced in California.  I've had this wine twice, and it is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  It has won several awards along with other wines from their vineyards.  It is said to have tastes of red fruits and earthy elements.  It can be purchased in most grocery stores for around $12.

** The favorite cheese of the night was the Manchego.  We had never had this cheese before, but found that it matched well with Malbecs.  We went to Whole Foods to pick cheeses and narrowed down our choices based on some research we had done.  One of the employees at Whole Foods told us that Manchego (a sheep's milk cheese) was a cheese that most people liked, so we decided to give it a try.  Since I don't normally like hard cheeses, I was surprised how much I liked it.

We also served a Cheddar, a Havarti, and olive bruschetta and finished off the night with Champagne.  I loved spending the night with our friends and hope everyone had a wonderful New Years Eve!  Happy 2011!

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