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CategoryWine & Food Pairings Archives - Wine Cellar Innovations Blog

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Diet-Friendly Wines To Try Out

September 16th, 2020

Can you have your usual glass of wine even when you’re trying to cut down on the calories? Fear not, because you certainly can! There are actually diet-friendly wines out there for us calorie-conscious wine lovers. So you don’t need to sacrifice that happiness in a bottle:

Diet-friendly wines for you!

Credits by: Sarah Stierch


Calorie-friendly reds…

You don’t need to sit back and state enviously at family or friends boozing it out with their favorite reds. There are calorie-friendly red wines that will satisfy your palate without busting your waistline. We recommend sticking to merlot, pinot noir, or rosé. Tanya Zuckerbrot, R.D., creator of the F-Factor Diet, broke down the calorie count on these reds. She said they each contain about 88 calories, 3 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of sugar per glass. That being said, avoid marsala and sherry if you are looking to lose weight. Those glasses are loaded with 164 calories, 14 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of sugar.

Diet-friendly whites

Credits by: Anna & Michal

Choosing your whites well…

Now let’s move on to the whites. You’d want to get acquainted with the lighter white wines to work with your weight loss program. Diet-friendly ones include chardonnay, white zinfandel, or sauvignon blanc. Expert studies show that these are all under 85 calories, with 2.6 grams carbs and 1 gram of sugar per glass. Stay clear of sweet dessert wines like riesling or moscato. These are the real killers because of their calorie, sugar and carb contents. Each glass contains about 160 calories or more, 12 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of sugar.

Sugar-free sparkling, proseco & champagne…

Ever heard of sugar-free sparkling wines? There’s also the sugar-free champagnes, prosecco, and cavas. But not everyone is well-informed about them. A little digging around helps a lot! You’ll be able to unearth a niche collection of bone-dry vinos that go by a few different names. “Zero dosage”, “brut nature” and “pas dose” will all contain less than 3g of residual sugar per litre. Note that some can be particularly great as an aperitif or with seafood. You get that crisp, refreshing taste with just the right level of mouth-watering acidity. Others might be a bit harsh on the palate, so choose carefully. Check out those that are labeled extra brut. They usually contain a maximum of 6g of sugar. While still a very dry style, you’ll often find a bit more complexity in these. Plus compared with the sugar in a regular brut which is around 9-12g, they’re obviously more diet-friendly. ^_^

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Happy International Cabernet Day!

September 2nd, 2020

Happy International Cabernet Day, wine lovers! What are you planning to pour to celebrate this happy occasion? As a toast to all Cabernet fans out there, we’ve compiled a list of our top faves, along with some food pairings. You might want to try these over the holiday weekend:

Celebrate International Cabernet Day!

Credits by: Brett Jordan

Skip the filet mignon…

When we talk about Cabernet Sauvignon food pairing, steak is usually the first that comes to mind. Filet mignon is a top choice, although admittedly a bit pricey. But lamb is also another food pairing to explore. It’s also a popular dish to serve alongside Cab Sauv. We recommend spicing things up a little with an exotic blend of Mediterranean meets middle eastern flavors with a Moroccan tagine. Try the traditional lamb roast with a sprinkle of rosemary.

Braised beef anyone…

When we talk about celebrating International Cabernet Day with food pairings, it’s not exclusive to drinking from the glass. You can also include the wine in the dish itself. Your palate will thank you for adding a splash of Cab Sauv into your slow-braised beef. Just imagine the richness of the sauce! It’s going to be a taste sensation worthy of the celebration.

Gotta have some veggies…

Make sure you balance out your menu with some veggies on the side. Vegetables can also bring out the best flavors in Cab Sauv. Try serving up some thyme roasted mushrooms with polenta. This is one of our absolute favorites! The earthiness of mushrooms and herbs come together for a total palate pleaser with the wine. We suggest using a variety of mushrooms for a real gastronomic experience. Pile it on your soft, steaming polenta and top up that wine glass!

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Wine Cellar Inspirations: Game Day Wine Pairings!

August 5th, 2020

Excited for game day? Like they say, what can be better than enjoying a good game of football? How about enjoying a good game of football with your favorite bottle of wine! We guarantee double the fun and it’s a win-win situation to boot. Here are some game day wine pairings you guys have to try out:

Game day wine pairings

credits by: Joseph O’Connell

Spice it up with Riesling and wings

What’s a football game without some spicy chicken wings? It’s certainly high on our list of finger food faves. The question is what wine can you pair it up with to soothe the spiciness. Our suggestion? A bottle of good old Riesling! Riesling can mellow the spicy sting with some juicy sweetness. The refreshing sweet tones will make you want to come back to the heat. The big problem is this: how to stop wanting more wings and topping up your glass!

Grilling with Cabernet Sauvignon

credits by: brett jordan

Grilling with Cabernet Sauvignon

Now if you’re thinking of firing up the grill and grilling up some ground chuck, you’ll need something “big” to wash that down as well. For burgers and steaks, full-bodied reds are the best companions. There are lots to choose from, obviously, so make sure you choose well. Black cherry, tobacco leaf, pepper and spice are some of the flavors you’d want to taste in your reds for game day. We assure you, you won’t be asking for beer the next grill and game day comes along.

Grazing boards and Labrusso for game day

credits by: DocteurCosmos

Grazing board and Lambrusco
Grazing boards are all the rage – but play it safe, of course. A small group with your family and close friends to cheer on (or fight over) your favorite teams is the way to go. Prep your grazing board with all the good stuff – cold cuts, cheeses, fruit, chocolate, cookies, and more. Worried if you can find the right wine to pair with the various taste teasers? Don’t fret because you can count on a bottle of Lambrusco to do the job. This sparkling red wine with its crisp, fruity flavors goes with just about any food choice you will put out.

Do you have more game day wine pairings to share? We’d love to hear them in the comments section below! ^_^




Wine Cellar Inspirations: Super Summer Wine & Food Pairings

June 24th, 2020

Summer has officially kicked in and we all know what that means! It’s time to plan for those fun in the sun summer parties. Things may be a bit different this year owing to the “new normal,” but we can definitely still have fun. Intimate wine tasting gatherings bring wonderful memories, so let’s start making them! Here are some super summer wine and food pairings to try out:

Super summer wine & food pairings

Pinot Grigio and seafood fare

Pinot Grigio is actually a bit tricky since flavor profiles can fluctuate significantly depending on the region. Do some good research before buying for your party. If you’re planning on a seafood menu,  pinot grigio is always a stable and delicious option. Some of the top food pairings include grilled or boiled lobster. Make sure it’s fresh and slather on the butter! Creole shrimp heavy with garlic is another pairing favorite. You can also throw in some lemon grilled chicken and vegetables.

Chardonnay and Italian dishes

What’s a summer wine tasting party without the whites? Bring on the Chardonnay! Now this white wine can be a bit of a challenge to pair with food, so plan your menu carefully. Chardonnay has round and harmonious flavors that can be easily overwhelmed by rich tasting food. Your best bet would be Italian dishes but mix it up with mild food selections as well. We recommend serving some roast chicken or pork, with creamy pasta dishes like farfalle alfredo. Prepare a cheese and cracker-filled charcuterie board to balance the flavors out.

Sauvignon Blanc with almost anything

Now if you’re planning for that traditional summer barbecue, then the food spread will definitely be plentiful. You will need a versatile wine to match the variety of dishes you’ll be serving. Our pick is none other than Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is one hundred percent food friendly – you can hardly go wrong with it.  Sauvignon Blanc is a hearty mix  of creamy, spicy, acidic, and soft flavors. So our advice would be to pay extra attention to the flavor profiles for extra delicious pairings. Some of our favorites include sushi, grilled or roasted vegetables, and more Asian dishes teeming with spice or citrus essences. ^_^

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Summer Drinks To Beat The Heat

May 13th, 2020

While it may be a bit of a different summer compared to what we’re used to, we can still have tons of fun. One of the things that can make it better is concocting some awesome summer drinks!  White, blush and red wines can have a variety of complex flavor profiles, each of which complements different flavors in food.

Summer drinks to beat the heat!

Bubbly Basil Lemonade

With the barbecue season in full swing, this will be the perfect drink to wash down those hot dogs and burgers with. This vodka + lemonade cocktail will give you that needed kick of booze with the tangy taste of lemonade. Those that don’t hold their alcohol well will appreciate this refreshing summer drink. It’s just enough to give you a bit of buzz to relax and enjoy the day. Let’s start with the lemonade. Place sugar and 1 cup of water into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat and stir until all the sugar is dissolved. In a large pitcher, stir together the sugar syrup, lemon juice, and 7 cups of water. Tear basil leaves in 2 or 3 pieces and add to the lemonade. Then, make your cocktail. In a cocktail shaker with ice, add vodka and the lemonade. Shake and pour into a glass over ice. Top with lemon seltzer or club soda for some bubbles. Garnish with lemon slices and fresh basil leaves!

Sweet tea Sangria summer drinks

Sweet Tea Sangria Mix

Here’s one for the ladies! This sweet tea Sangria mix will be the perfect drink to sip while sitting out on your front porch. The recipe is super easy! Put 6 cups of sweet tea in a pitcher. Add a bottle of white wine of your choice. Throw in some berries, also of your choice, and sliced peaches. Chill for a few hours or overnight. Serve in Mason jars and garnish with fresh mint for a summer touch!

Summer drinks call for island punch!

Maui Island Breeze Punch

For those of us who are longing for some beach action, don’t fret. A little patience goes a long way. The beaches will be there for us to enjoy soon enough. Meanwhile, we can have some delightful Maui Island Breeze Punch to give us the taste of the island life. It’s a no-brainer to prepare summer drinks like this one. You’ll need36 ounces pineapple juice. Next, prepare 10 ounces vodka or add more if you want it stronger. You’ll also need 1/2 cup cranberry juice. Lastly, have 1L Sparkling water or diet lemon-lime soda as a filler. Mix all ingredients over ice, stir & voila! ^_^



Easy Spring & Summer Cocktail Recipes You Can Recreate @Home

April 8th, 2020

Staying at home when you have to can sure be a real downer. You want to go back outside and enjoy the warm sunshine. But in the era of COVID-19, we all have to do our part and practice social distancing as much as possible. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up the things we love doing! We can still enjoy the thought of sunnier days ahead in the comfort of our back-yards, decks, patios, or balconies. It doesn’t matter if you have a large outdoor space or just an apartment-sized balcony. You can still enjoy the Spring and Summer seasons with these easy thirst-quenching cocktail recipes:

Easy Spring/Summer drink recipes

The Easter Bunny Cocktail

The Spruce Eats has put together delectable recipes that will surely liven up celebrations on Easter weekend. Even if we can’t have the usual large gatherings, we can still have lots of fun by making this cocktail and doing virtual toasts. That’s why we think pairing chocolate with the Easter Bunny cocktail is a very good idea. The recipe includes both a chocolate liqueur and syrup. Then all you need to do is pair that with the vodka of your choice to give it a little kick. It’s accented by a touch of cherry brandy to make it a memorable experience.

Cucumber mint gimlet

Cucumber Mint Gimlet

Next up is a most refreshing concoction by Cookie and Kate that will wipe away those lockdown blues. This cucumber mint gimlet mix is definitely a mood changer. The best part is that it’s so easy to make. Grab and peel some cucumbers and slice them into quarters. Using a cocktail shaker, muddle the cucumber, some mint leaves (about ten of them) and agave nectar until the cucumber offers no more resistance. Fill the shaker with ice. Then pour in some lime juice and your choice of gin. Transfer everything into a shaker and shake until thoroughly chilled. Lastly, strain the mixture into a martini glass!

Recipes for spiked ombre lemondae

Spiked Ombre Lemonade

Delish delivers recipes like this baby that packs quite a punch! The Spiked Ombre Lemonade will be just what you need to liven it up this season. First up is to fill your blender with mango slices, 2 ounces vodka, 1 cup lemonade, and 1 cup ice. Blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a separate container and freeze for 30 minutes. Fill blender again with strawberries, 2 ounces vodka, 1 cup lemonade, and 1 cup ice. Blend until smooth and transfer mixture to a separate container. Freeze until ready to serve. Lastly, fill the blender with remaining vodka, lemonade, and ice, blend, transfer to another container and freeze until ready to serve. Now pour each mixture into serving glasses in layers starting with the mango mix, then the strawberry lemonade mix, and top it off with the lemonade mix. You can garnish with lemon slices and strawberries for added fun! ^_^

Please drink responsibly.