Some things are hard to mess up. Like this easy Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry, paired with off-dry Riesling. It’s difficult to overcook, as creamy coconut milk keeps the chicken tender. And even if you’re heavy-handed on the spice, off-dry Riesling has the sweetness and acidity to refresh your palate after the myriad of spicy, salty, sweet, and sour flavors that come with Thai cuisine. Also, the one-stop Instant Pot halves the time you need to cook — and clean.
The Wine Pairing Off-dry Riesling has just enough sweetness and fruit to meld with curry’s vibrant spices. In particular, we recommend a German Riesling Spätlese for its clean acidity and crystalline minerality, which will cut through the richness of the dish. If you can’t find a Spätlese, an off-dry Californian Riesling is your second best bet. It will have less minerality, but will still have the sweetness to tame the a fiery curry (ex.: V. Sattui Off-Dry Riesling).
In this case, the wine pairing we chose was Weingut Robert Weil Tradition 2016. This particular bottle was sold at Costco for under $20, and offers incredible value. 2016 was the second warmest year in 130 years for the Rheingau, creating a fuller-bodied Riesling that still has that classic brisk minerality. The Tradition has tantalizing aromatics of white peach, golden apple, lime zest, and blossoms. On the palate, it’s a beautiful balance of fruit, crisp acidity, and zippy minerality.
The Recipe Even if you don’t have all of the ingredients, Thai curry is a wonderfully forgiving dish. As long as you have the essential soup components — curry paste, coconut milk, chicken broth, and fish sauce — the add-ins are variable. You can swap chicken for tofu, throw in a handful of kale, or even top with chopped peanuts.
To note, we’ve found most store-bought curry paste to be only mildly spicy. If you want a hotter dish, it’s worth buying a bird’s eye chili or two to amp up the spice.
Easy Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry and Riesling
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb chicken (thigh recommended, but breast works too)
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
2 tsp fish sauce, or more to taste
1 can bamboo shoots
1 red bell pepper
1 cup additional vegetables of your choice: we recommend peas, mushrooms, red cabbage, carrots, and/or canned baby corn
Optional: 1-2 additional bird’s eye chili, if you want a hot dish
Cooked white rice for serving
Add olive oil to Instant Pot and select sauté function. Once oil is heated, sauté ginger, garlic until golden, 2-3 minutes.
Add chicken, sauté 3 more minutes.
Stir in coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, and any harder vegetables like carrots or mushrooms.
Close lid and switch to high pressure mode for 7 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of natural release.
Carefully open the lid, switch to sauté mode, and add any remaining vegetables that you want to be crisp and less cooked, such as peas and bell peppers. If curry is too watery, sauté longer to your preferred consistency. If it’s not spicy enough, add additional chili.
Serve over cooked white rice, paired with off-dry Riesling.
Wine isn’t the first thing people think about when planning a trip to Disneyland. In fact, Walt Disney deliberately made Disneyland alcohol-free to ensure the experience was family-friendly.
But it wouldn’t be the happiest place on earth without a little bit of booze. Knowing this, Disney has found ways to thoughtfully include alcohol in its parks and resorts. Disney World, completed over fifteen years after Disneyland, serves wine in multiple restaurants and just opened a wine bar. And several Disney Resorts actually have acclaimed wine programs.
So, before you write Disney off as a G-rated place to stay sober, consider these surprising facts:
Disney has more sommeliers than any other company in the world. Over 1,000 of them have passed the introductory level Court of Master Sommeliers exam (note: this means they are technically not yet “certified” sommeliers. These sommeliers help guests navigate the wine lists on everything from Disney cruises to the completely South African wine list at a restaurant within Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
There’s a “Disney Family of Wines”. If you’ve ever wondered why certain wine labels appear repeatedly across Disney resorts and events, there’s a reason. Some, such as Fess Parker and MacMurray Ranch, were created by former Disney movie stars. Others, like Chappellet Vineyards and Frank Family Vineyards, were created by former members of Disney management. These wines can be found at Disney California Adventure Park. The Alfresco Tasting Terrace at Disney California Adventure Park offers wines from the “Disney Family of Wines,” a collection whose vintners have a personal connection to the Disney name. Photo credit: Disney
Some of the best wine can be found at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, which has four Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning restaurants. In fact, at Victoria & Albert’s, guests can select from a wine list of over 600 wines.
The elite have been drinking fine wine at Disneyland for decades. Hidden within the park is the secret, members-only Club 33 and the public 21 Royal which costs $15,000-per-group. Once you bypass the rumored Club 33 initiation fee of up to $50,000, or the $15,000 price tag of a 21 Royal dinner, the possibilities are endless. Opulent dishes are paired with everything from the limited-production Moone Tsai Wines to vintage Vega Sicilia. The team will even ensure that the decanter is appropriate to the wine. Check out head sommelier Matt Ellingson’s Instagram feed for a glimpse of 21 Royal’s extravagant food and wine pairings.
A post shared by Matt Ellingson (@claretslave) on Mar 11, 2018 at 8:04pm PDT
You will be able to drink at Disneyland, starting in fall of 2019. The new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge expansion will offer alcoholic drinks at Oga’s Cantina. While it’s unclear whether wine will be one of the drink offerings, we do know via the Disney blog that there will be “concoctions created with exotic ingredients using ‘otherworldly’ methods, served in unique vessels.” Star Wars-themed lands coming to Disneyland and Disney World, fall 2019. (Photo credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)
Clearly, wine plays a larger role at Disney Parks and Resorts than meets the eye. We’ll share any new developments as we hear about them.
While Carrie Bradshaw might down cosmos on Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker is actually a wine drinker. And now, the Golden Globe award-winning actress is adding wine to her empire of perfume, fashion, and footwear brands. Parker is partnering with Invivo Wines to launch a line of New Zealand wines, SJP x Invivo. Initially, this will include a Sauvignon Blanc and a Rosé.
In fact, wine is a daily occurrence for Sarah Jessica Parker. “At the end of a busy work day, I have a glass of wine. Literally, every single day,” said Parker on an interview with Invivo.
SARAH JESSICA PARKER TEAMS UP WITH INVIVO! - YouTube
Parker seeks to create a wine that tastes high-end, but is approachable and affordable. In fact, the actress confessed to preferring to drink wine out of empty jars over wine glasses. “I like it light,” says Parker referring to glassware, “But I also don’t like when it gets so thin and tiny and demure.”
Unlike celebrity-endorsed wines, Parker will be involved in all aspects of the creation of the wine. “We want this wine to be 100% Sarah Jessica Parker. So other than selecting the base wines for a Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé, I’ll be taking a back seat and letting her create the blends,” explains Invivo winemaker Rob Cameron via press release. “It comes down to SJP’s palate and preferences. We want to create wines that she truly loves and wants to drink and share with friends.”
Why Sarah Jessica Parker and Invivo Wines? The collaboration was borne out of a mutual desire to craft excellent wine. Parker loved both the taste of Invivo Wines and the opportunity to craft wines in New Zealand’s wine country. Meanwhile, Invivo co-founders Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron were looking for a partner who cared as much about the wines as they did.
Sarah Jessica Parker with Invivo Wines co-founders Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron. Photo credit: SJP x Invivo Wines
“We wanted someone who will throw themselves into the process and make wine that’s all about them and reflects their (good) taste. We can already see this happening and can’t wait to taste the end product,” said Lightbourne.
SJP x Invivo wines will be available in summer of 2019. Visit sjpinvivo.com to learn more; we’ll provide more details as they come.
It’s rare to see singers drink wine in the middle of their concert. Kelly Clarkson is the exception to this norm. The Grammy award-winning musician will soon host The Kelly Clarkson Show on NBC. To prepare for nationwide television, she’s launched a webisode series, A Minute + A Glass of Wine. These Youtube and Facebook livestreams let Clarkson broadcast the things she loves in a less scripted way than television — and of course, drink wine.
“The point is to relax and have a minute,” said Clarkson on her first webisode. “I feel like there aren’t many moments where people can just be real,” she added on her latest webisode. “You have to be on all the time.”
On A Minute + A Glass of Wine, Clarkson does everything from discuss favorite albums to interview fellow musicians. While the show isn’t trying to take on any life-changing topics, it does strive to highlight similarities amongst people. “We have far more commonalities than we do differences, and I feel like that has to be pointed out now more than ever.”
The show allows Clarkson to draw from her extensive musical network. She brings out everyone from previous American Idol and The Voice contestants to John Legend.
Of course, Clarkson also drinks wine on A Minute + A Glass of Wine. While wine is not the focus of the show, Clarkson does reveal on one episode that her favorite wine is from Belle Glos Cellars. In particular, Clarkson notes the bottle’s beautiful wax seal that “makes you want to write a letter at a desk with a quill pen.”
Kelly Clarkson - A Minute + a Glass of Wine (Live in Glendale, AZ) - YouTube
Belle Glos is certainly more than just a wine with an elegant bottle. The winery was created by Joe Wagner, son of Caymus Vineyards founder Chuck Wagner. Unlike Caymus, Belle Glos is known for its site-specific Pinot Noir, which showcases the nuances of different regions along California’s coast. Belle Glos wines retail at $55 per bottle.
Photo credit: Belle Glos
Because of Clarkson’s complete candidness — down to her lack of makeup at times — it truly does feel like you’re getting to know who she really is. Amidst the wine, frank thoughts, and sporadic outbursts of song (which, by the way, are far more beautiful than many singers’ rehearsed songs), we’re intrigued to see where A Minute + A Glass of Wine will go. Check out the episodes on Youtube.
Rule #1 of shopping for wine at Costco: when you find a wine you love, stock up. As the nation’s top wine retailer, Costco has the clout to procure quality wine at exceptional prices. Many of these wines are 90+ point-rated by authorities like Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. But the best wines sell out quickly. Here are our favorite value Costco wines in February 2019 — grab ’em before they’re gone!
Note: Costco wines vary by store, so check ahead with your local store to confirm whether they have these bottles in stock.
2016 Domaine Le Peu de la Moriette Vouvray – $12.99 at Costco
A quality, off-dry Vouvray is one of the most versatile wines you can have on hand. The Domaine Le Peu de la Moriette strikes a beautiful balance between delicate aromatics, crisp acidity, and refreshing minerality. With its hint of sweetness, it plays well with everything from teriyaki chicken to salads. At just $13, this white was a surprising favorite for us.
2014 Clos Pepe Estate Pinot Noir (Santa Rita Hills, CA) – $30 at Costco
We know $30 might be more than what you want to pay for a bottle of wine from Costco, but get this: Clos Pepe Estate Pinot Noir costs $60-$65 elsewhere, and this is literally their final vintage. The acclaimed estate’s founders are retiring, and have leased their vineyards out to owners Hall/Walt. We don’t know how Costco is offering such tremendous value on Clos Pepe Estate’s final bottles, nor are we questioning it. Wine Spectator awarded this wine 90 points for its vibrant acidity, fine-grained tannins, and mineral-laced finish.
2017 ‘Mother’s Milk’ Barossa Shiraz – $16.99 at Costco
Don’t let the eye-catching artwork fool you — ‘Mother’s Milk’ Shiraz is more than just another wine with a pretty label. As parent company First Drop Wines puts it, this wine is “dangerously gluggable”. It has all the makings of a crowd pleaser, with approachable, juicy fruit balanced by bright acidity. The fruit is underscored by more subtle aromatics of game, tar, and mocha, making it a perfect Shiraz for grilled meats.
Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay (Sonoma County) – $20 at Costco
Landmark Vineyards’ truly artisanal approach to winemaking earned the Overlook Chardonnay a spot on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list. Grapes were hand-harvested from Sonoma County, hand-sorted, and then fermented with native yeasts. This crafted approach yields a nuanced wine filled with golden apple, pineapple, savory chamomile, and textured minerality.
Steele Carneros Pinot Noir – $25 at Costco
Steele is one of the hidden gems of Northern California. Their extra-gentle approach to winemaking maximizes freshness of fruit and aromatics. This shows through in the Carneros Pinot Noir, which offers juicy black cherry mingled with earthy notes of pine resin and tree bark. It’s delectable on its own, but also has the fruit to stand up to everything from Chinese sticky rice to maple-glazed salmon. Costco is also selling Steele Cabernet Sauvignon, but their Pinot Noir is our favorite.
We’ll be sure to provide updates on this list when we see the Costco wine inventory changing.
Is that $5 Trader Joe’s Chianti too good to be true? As long-time Trader Joe’s shoppers, we’ve had plenty of wines that punched well above their price — and quite a few disappointing bottles as well. Avoid wine aisle angst with this list of the best Trader Joe’s wines, all of which we’ve confirmed to be in stores as of February 2019.
To decide which wines would make the cut, we turned to the largest wine review site, Vivino. Here, thousands of customers have posted ratings for Trader Joe’s wines.
To note: mass-market brands such as Korbel and Castle Rock are excluded from this list. If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably seen or had those brands before and don’t need us to tell you about them.
Don’t be intimidated by the name. This rare varietal hailing from the south of Italy is a steal at $9.99. Drinkers love its rich, dark fruit, vanilla, and oaky notes, which are balanced by good acidity and tannins. Many even went so far as to say this was their favorite wine from Trader Joe’s.
Schloss Biebrich might not be the most complex sparkling wine, but its price tag is hard to beat. Drinkers loved its refreshing crispness, light notes of strawberry, and dry finish. This wine appears to be created exclusively for Trader Joe’s.
Elegant aromatics, Chardonnay-like roundness, and clean minerality make the Pontificis a favorite of Trader Joe’s shoppers. Tasting notes included stone fruit, honeysuckle, and a hint of creaminess due to lees aging.
The first thing to know about this wine is that even though it’s $19.99, it’s usually $30-40 elsewhere. So the price is on the high end for Trader Joe’s, but it’s actually heavily discounted. Wine enthusiasts loved the depth of flavors, including black cherry, blackberry, raisin and vanilla, as well as its rich tannins and smooth finish.
The selection of wines at Trader Joe’s is always evolving. We’ll continue to put update this list as the wines change.
Ordering luxury Champagne can make you feel sophisticated — or embarrassed, if you can’t pronounce the name correctly. But don’t feel discouraged. It’s hard even for wine connoisseurs to correctly pronounce some of the top labels. The complexities of the French language leave some t’s and r’s pronounced, and others mysteriously silent. On top of that, the letter “g” rarely is pronounced the way it is in English.
Here are some of the most mispronounced Champagne brands. We’ve included video clips of their correct sound to help you avoid wine list embarrassment.
Moet – [Moh-ET]
Just because everyone around you is saying “Mo-ay” doesn’t mean it’s correct! The final “t” is actually not silent here; Moet rhymes with jet.
Veuve Clicquot – [Vuv Clee-KWOH]
Resist the temptation to order a flute of “voov”. The pronunciation is actually a very soft, quick sound that is closer to “vuv” (rhymes with love). The “t” in Cliquot is silent.
How to pronounce Veuve Clicquot - YouTube
Pol Roger – [Pol Roh-ZHAY]
Unlike Americans named Roger, the final “r” in French Roger is silent.
Champagne Pol Roger - YouTube
Taittinger – [Teh-tin-ZHAY]
Similar to in Pol Roger, the final “r” in Taittinger is silent. The “g” is also pronounced more like a very soft “j” (think like the soft “g” in “massage”).
How to pronounce Taittinger (French) - PronounceNames.com - YouTube
Nicholas Feuillate – [Nik-oh-la Foy-aht]
Two tripwires to watch for here: the “s” in Nicholas is silent, and the double “ll” is pronounced as “y”.
Le Club Nicolas Feuillatte - Présentation - YouTube
Bollinger – [Boll-ahn-ZHAY]
Same rule as Pol Roger and Taittinger. The “g” is a soft “g” here, similar to the way it sounds in “massage”, and the “r” is silent.
Bollinger - How To Pronounce - French Native Speaker - YouTube
Ruinart – [Rwee-nar]
Despite its appearance, Ruinart sounds nothing like the word “ruin”. And yes, the “t” at the end is silent.
How to pronounce in French # Ruinart - YouTube
Perrier Jouët – [Peh-ree-ay Zhoo-ET]
Don’t add any fancy French sounds to Jouët — it rhymes with “get”.
If wine and cheese pairings have you yawning, Google Wine Guide is here to shake up your world. This app gives wine pairings for everything from gummy bears to your Chipotle steak burrito. We asked Google Wine Guide founder Stu Carnes to share some of the most unique wine pairings people are requesting.
Carnes was inspired by Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV. This channel turned Youtube into a home for approachable wine education, with a hint of irreverence. Similarly, Carnes wanted to give Google Home an accessible library of wine knowledge. Like Wine Library TV, Google Wine Assistant takes an unpretentious outlook on wine.
“I saw an opportunity to bring real value to wine enthusiasts like myself, who love wine and want to pair it with their favorite dishes, but don’t have the time to search long articles and want an instant answer wherever they are,” says founder Stu Carnes. To find the right wine pairing, Google Wine Guide thinks about the main ingredients in the dish, consults multiple wine publications or websites, and then makes a final recommendation. It culls through authorities such as Wine Library TV, Food & Wine, Food Network, Wine Spectator, and Wine Enthusiast to identify what wine will match your dish. It can even offer example bottles to try.
Ultimately, Google Wine Guide’s goal is to make it quicker and easier to access wine pairing knowledge. Today, Google Home and other voice assistants can’t easily answer wine pairing questions. Google Wine Guide enables Google Home, your mobile phone, and even your laptop to become a personal sommelier of sorts.
Think you’ve mastered wine pairing? Here are a few unexpected, unique wine pairings that are surprisingly popular on Google Wine Guide:
Snickers with Zinfandel – Need a match for your sticky, sugary Snickers bar? Consider a California Zinfandel to wash it down. Its fruity, often chocolatey notes and sweet tannins will stand up to the candy.
Burger King Whoppers with Syrah – The smoky, peppery notes of a Whopper burger patty meld harmoniously with the aromatics of Syrah. In particular, Syrah from the Rhone region of France will have more pronounced smoky notes.
Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl with Verdejo – Burrito bowls usually come with some pretty acidic flavors, from fresh lime juice to tomato salsa. The bright, crisp Verdejo with its mouthwatering acidity makes for a refreshing match.
Powdered sugar donuts with off-dry Riesling – The straight-up sweetness of powdered sugar will overpower most wines. An off-dry Riesling will hold its own against this saccharine donut flavor.
Chicken Tikka Masala with Gruner Vetliner – The delicate sweetness of off-dry Austrian Gruner Vetliner is excellent for taming spicy foods. Its racy acidity and minerality also help cut through the richness of this dish.
In fact, some of the wine pairing requests go beyond unique into farcical territory. Even a request for “boogers” or “Donald Trump” pairings will leave Google Wine Assistant unshaken (we suggest you try the app for those answers!). No wine pairing is too lowly or weird for Google Wine Guide, which takes an unpretentious stance on wine.
Looking for more pairings? To get started, simply send Google Wine Guide to your Google Home speaker. Or, download the Google Assistant app on your iPhone or Android and ask for Google Wine Guide. As a tip, it helps to be as specific as possible in your search (ex.: “sausage pizza” instead of “pizza”).
If your motivation for working out is to earn that glass of wine afterwards, wine runs might be your ideal form of exercise. These events come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can take a booze-filled walk, run a 5K ending in wine festival, or even marathon for the chance to win a magnum of wine.
Below is our list of top wine runs and walks, based on attendance and popularity. New to the list this year are Dionysus Dash runs, added by popular request. We’ve also noted differences in wine drinking formats for each race. We recommend considering these differences when making your decision. The list is sorted by date, but it can also be searched by name or location.
Have a favorite wine run you think should make this list? Comment or send us a note!
The singer whose Instagram handle is @ChampagnePapi finally has a luxury Champagne of his own. Drake has partnered with DeLeon Tequila founder Brent Hocking to launch MOD Sélection Champagne. MOD Sélection is made by an award-winning cooperative of growers from the famed Valleé de la Marne subregion of Champagne.
MOD Sélection states that while it has produced wine for “political and industrial elite” for over five generations, it is only now releasing its first cuveé publicly. The producer takes a highly artisanal approach to its wines, only hand-selecting grapes with optimal sugar, acidity, and ripeness levels. The wines are aged for up to ten years on their lees prior to release.
MOD Sélection clearly hits at the luxury wine segment, with ornate bottles designed by artisans from Champagne. In fact, no two bottles of MOD Sélection are the same, with each bearing its own “visual cues and codes”.
A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Dec 20, 2018 at 7:34pm PST
At launch, there are two varieties available, Mod Réserve and Mod Rosé in 750ml, 1.5L Magnum and 3L Jeroboam. Eventually, the portfolio will release more varieties of MOD Sélection, including a Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, Vintage Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, Single Vineyard, and Estate-Grown Tete de Cuveé. The next vintage to be released will be the 2008 vintage.
The house style strives for a freshness of fruit and distinctly “non-autolytic” character (read: not yeasty or toasty). Tasting notes for MOD Sélection Réserve Champagne include vibrant aromatics, minerality, and fresh white fruit. The MOD Sélection Reserve Rosé Champagne bears notes of bright red fruit and a rich, succulent finish. Via The Drinks Business, the bottles retail at $300 for Mod Réserve and $400 for Mod Rosé.