Welcome back, readers.
Today I have a special treat for you all. Fellow Evernight Publishing author, Eileen Griffin has agreed to stop in and share her wine knowledge with us. I can tell you all quite honestly, despite years as a bartender, I am completely hopeless when it comes to wine and wine pairings, so I am quite chuffed to have Eileen over today.
Here she is….
A huge thanks to Rebecca for hosting me on her blog today
Although Tony and Sonia only get to enjoy a little bit of their wine and dinner in my newest release, Dinner For Two, it would have been a travesty for me not to include them sharing a glass of a good red wine after a frantic day in Tony’s kitchen. A glass of wine at night is integral to helping me unwind after a particularly stressful day.
I’m not an oenophile, just a lover of wines. I have to admit that when I was younger and in college, the extent of my wine knowledge basically began and ended with White Zinfandel. I cannot tell you how much that makes me shudder thinking back on it today. Not because I’m a wine snob (really, I’m not!) but because I’ve discovered that there are so many other amazing wines out there that have so much more to offer than just a simple wine that’s easy to drink. I was introduced to “real” wine during my first backpacking trip across Europe in a small café in Avignon, France. Avignon is a region known for their Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, which are WAY out of my price range but Oh-So-Delicious! The wine I had that day was local (to this day I have no idea what it was) and it was delicious. This one meal started me on my journey of seeking out new wines and trying to discover what I could about the different varietals.
So even though I’m not a certified oenophile, here are some suggestions I have to make a newbie’s introduction into the world of wine (past White Zinfandel) with some of the recipes I’ve blogged about this week for an easier transition:
Wine and Food Pairings:
Puttanesca or any spicy dish: To hold up against the spiciness, you need a wine that’s not going to overpower the flavor of the spices. I highly recommend either a Pinor Noir (which is only lightly fruity and usually allows the spices of a dish to come through) or a Sangiovese blend (I recommend a blend because for me, a true Sangiovese is too harsh and dry).
Italian Wedding Soup: Because this is made with white meat (chicken or turkey), I’d suggest a lighter, crisper white wine. My personal favorite is Sauvignon Blanc rather than a Chardonnay, only because a Chardonnay tends to be more “buttery” and heavy and can easily overpower the subtle flavors of the soup. This soup can also be served with a Pinot Noir since it’s one of the lighter, fruitier red wines.
Pasta Salad: This salad screams for Sauvignon Blanc but can also easily be served with a Chardonnay.
Cheeses or my Baked Brie: For me, fancy cheese is a personal preference and should be served with whatever the person’s personal choice of wine is. I love drinking a heavier red wine like Zinfandel with cheeses because I feel like the cheese helps bring out the smokiness and berry undertones of the wine.
However, the bottom line for any wine lover is this: Drink what you love whenever you enjoy good food. It’s your palate and your dining experience. No one has a better idea what you’ll enjoy than you do! Salute
Now that we all know a bit more about wines (or at least I do, which is really what matters :P), let’s have a closer look at Eileen’s latest release:
Genre: Erotic Romance
Length: Romance On The Go – Short Story
Published: December 17, 2013
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
BLURB: Sonia Davenport has dreams of coordinating and planning special events. When she’s given the opportunity to plan a dinner for her boss and his shareholders, she jumps at the chance to make everything perfect. Helping her plan the special night is the head chef of the restaurant, Tony Mancinni, who is not only charming but goes out of his way to make Sonia feel special during the entire planning process.
The dinner party almost turns disastrous when an employee mixes up the orders and sets out the wrong food. In a mad rush to save the dinner, Sonia and Tony realize their attraction to each other when things heat up in the kitchen. However, Tony has to convince Sonia that he wants more than just an extra set of hands in his restaurant – he wants her to stay the night so he can convince her to stay for good.
* * * *
Tony gently rubbed his finger along her bottom lip. “I had hoped everything would be perfect tonight because I wanted to impress you. When you came in for brunch that first Sunday and laid out your plans, not only were you beautiful, but you had a detailed description of what you wanted. On the catering side of things, you have no idea how attractive that is. Then, when you came in for your tasting, I didn’t think I was going to make it through the afternoon without asking you out. But I have a strict rule: Don’t date the clients until after the function is over. So I waited. Do you have any idea how hard it was to wait?”
Sonia shook her head slightly, then let her lips part. Instead of replying to him, she slid her tongue out to meet his finger, gently caressing the tip. He hissed in a breath, his eyes fixated on her tongue and lips. Feeling emboldened by his words, she leaned closer and drew his finger deeper inside her mouth, wrapping her lips around it as she laved it with her tongue.
“Sonia,” he whispered. “You’re so beautiful. But I didn’t ask you up here for this.”
She leaned back, his finger sliding out of her mouth. All the nerves and doubts she’d felt earlier were replaced by a heat that was coursing through her. She’d felt it all night in the kitchen with him and it was stronger now that she knew he wanted her as badly as she wanted him.
“I’m glad you asked me up here, Tony. But if we’re being honest with each other, I think dinner can wait. You see, I’ve lost my appetite. For food, that is.”
EILEEN GRIFFIN BIO:
Eileen Griffin lives in the Southwest but loves to travel and has spent many summers crossing Europe with nothing but a backpack on her back. She enjoys TexMex, lives for good wine, and has a certain penchant for purple unicorns. She loves reading all genres of books, but her current obsession is writing M/M with lots of boykissing.
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/eileengriffin77 @eileengriffin77