Summer Food & Wine Pairings with Michel Schlumberger

Michel Schlumberger Wine and Food Pairing | Sonoma Wine Country

I recently spent a GLORIOUS long weekend in Sonoma County, California. What was I doing there? WINE TASTING, obviously! I guess some people go to Sonoma to ride bikes or shop or something, but for me it’s 100% wine, 100% of the time. One of the many highlights I enjoyed on this Sonoma wine weekend was an afternoon at Michel-Schlumberger winery, where we toured the grounds and cellars before settling into the best part of the winery: a five-course food and wine pairing in their beautiful back garden.

Michel Schlumberger Wine and Food Pairing | Sonoma Wine Country

Before each course, the chef came out and introduced his course, which wine was paired with it, and why. Educational and delicious! I loved every bite and sip. Let’s recap together! You just might find some inspiration for your upcoming summer cookout… there’s so much more to backyard BBQ boozin’ than just beer.

Michel Schlumberger Wine and Food Pairing | Sonoma Wine Country

Course 1: Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp Lettuce Cup with Toasted Peanuts paired with NV Brut
Michel Schlumberger Wine and Food Pairing | Sonoma Wine Country

Why a sparkling wine with this shrimp course? The crisp brightness of the brut pairs well with the delicate flavors found in both shrimp and Vietnamese seasonings. Sparkling whites can also stand up nicely to spicy food, and this shrimp definitely had a kick to it!

Course 2: Bruschetta with Grilled Peaches, Ricotta, Toasted Pecans, and Estate Olive Oil paired with 2013 Gold Collection Chardonnay
Michel Schlumberger Wine and Food Pairing | Sonoma Wine Country


So this might not look like much from the photo, but this bruschetta was phenomenal. Peaches and soft cheese are always a great combo, but the toasted pecans and the kiss of olive oil really added a roundness to the dish. This particular chardonnay boasts a smooth, full, creamy body that can stand up to the richness of the olive oil. The fruity notes of the chardonnay ties in with the light, sweet peaches as well.

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Cocktail O’Clock: Olives + Tequila?


We’re big fans of dirty martinis here at Endless Simmer, not to mention pickle-tinis, and pretty much any other way to salty up a cocktail. What we’d never heard of before was an olive-and-tequila concoction.

With National Tequila Day just around the corner (July 24, as you surely know), it’s about time to take a look at the Mexican martini.

This Austin, Texas speciality comes to us by way of Tex-Mex cantina El Original in New York City and we have to say this one looks worth trying.

Mexican Martini 

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Cocktail O’Clock: Sparkling Summer Sangria

Sparkling Sangria 2

I don’t know what it’s like where you guys are, but here in NYC it’s about ninety-way-too-freaking-sticky degrees, which IMHO means that Cocktail O’Clock is allowed to start before noon on this particular Friday.

Here’s a refreshing drink that’s tailor-made for these hot summer days. A spin on classic sangria, this recipe subs in Cava for white wine — a neat trick that adds a little fizz, without requiring too much of a spend, as the light Spanish bubbles are an excellent and affordable sub-in for Champagne.

Sparkling Summer Sangria

· 1/2 oz. simple syrup
· 1 orange quarter
· 1 lime quarter
· 1/2 oz. orange liqueur
· 1/2 oz. Spanish brandy
· 3-4 oz. Freixenet Carta Nevada Cava (chilled)
· 2 oz. lemon-lime soda (chilled)
· 1 maraschino cherry

Muddle fruit slices in a shaker cup with simple syrup.

Add liqueur and brandy with ice.

Shake, then strain into a cocktail glass.

Add soda and top off with Cava.

Drop in cherry or secure to an orange wedge using a toothpick, to decorate the rim of each glass.

Alternatively, multiply everything by 5 (our favorite rule!) and put it all together in a pitcher.

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Endless Roadtrip USVI: Bones Rum Shop

Bones Rum Shop USVI

When in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, one of my personal highlights is Bones Rum Shop on the waterfront. Bones is super smooth, produced right on St. Thomas using their centuries-old recipe, small batch distilling, and oak barrel aging.

But like I mentioned in my last USVI post, the islands are full of rum. So what’s so special about Bones? It’s SERVE YOURSELF, YO. You pick out your flavor of virgin frozen daiquiri, then they HAND YOU A BOTTLE OF RUM and then you POUR YOUR OWN RUM INTO YOUR DRINK. When Bones made their business plan, they clearly never realized I was coming to town. You do NOT give me that kind of power if you know what’s good for you.

FYI, travelers – Bones is somewhat hard to find online and I don’t know their exact address, but if you’re on the main waterfront, just look for their pirate sign. You can’t miss it.

More Endless Roadtrip USVI:
1. Caribbean Comfort at Gladys Cafe

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Cinco De Mayo Necessity: Ultimate Beergaritas!

emily's cinco de mayo beergaritas

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!!! Probably my favorite day of the year. For those of you who aren’t familiar with my proclivity for drinking mass amounts of tequila on Cinco, well, buckle up.

One of my essentials for any Cinco de Mayo is a good beergarita. You can drink a lot without realizing how much you’re actually imbibing, and it actually tastes delightful! (PSA: I don’t care what holiday you’re celebrating, never drive drunk yo. Call yourself an Uber, Lyft, taxi, sober friend, or unfortunate booty call and make them deal with your drunk ass.)

Anyway, make these. Tonight. Or today. Or right now.

Dayna y Emily’s Classic Cinco Beergaritas

4 12oz cans of your favorite Mexican beer (or, if you really want to get “authentic Emily” just load up an unused coffee pot with keg beer)
1 can frozen limeade concentrate
Enough silver tequila to fill up 2/3 of the empty limeade can (or 1/2 can’s worth of tequila if you aren’t trynna get crazy)
2 limes, sliced

Combine the first three ingredients into your drink dispenser. (What do you mean, you don’t have a professional-grade drink dispenser?! Get one immediately, what is the point of your life right now?!) Squeeze the juice from the limes into the mixture then drop the rinds in. Fill a Ziploc bag with ice and seal it tightly, then drop it into the jug as well. (This way the ice doesn’t water down your drink… smart, eh?) Get a keg cup – because beergaritas are always best consumed out of a keg cup, and you know it – write your name on the cup so you can keep track of it, cause it’s gonna be a long night. Pour a hearty serving of beergarita in, and get this party started!


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Cocktail O’Clock: Happy Snowy Spring

Honeydew Cucumber Sour - Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

OK SERIOUSLY?!? Four to six inches of snowfall in New York today…on the first day of spring?

I don’t care what the weather says, we are ready for some springtime drinks.

Here’s an enticing recipe that comes to us all the way from elements restaurant at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona, a place where I would really like to be right now, because I am pretty sure that it is not freaking snowing there.

Honeydew Cucumber Sour

· 1oz Martin Miller’s Reformed Dry Gin

· .5oz fresh lemon Juice

· 1.5oz fresh honeydew juice

· ¼oz  Clover Honey Syrup (here’s a recipe)

· 1 dash Regan’s No. 6 Orange Bitters

·Shake, pour and add sliced cucumber as garnish. Eff the snow.

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A Little Mustard in Your Cocoa?

Colman's Mustard Spicy Hot Chocolate

These days, it’s pretty hard to get me to bat an eye at the craziness of any particular recipe, but I have to say this press-y email caught my eye when it made the suggestion that when it comes to your hot cocoa, “chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla combined with mustard creates a perfect combination for spicing up this simple yet decadent treat.

Really? Mustard in your chocolate? That just doesn’t sound right to me, but I’m willing to try anything once…Has anyone made this before?

Mustard-Spiced Hot Chocolate

2 cups milk
2 ounces (half a bar) of bittersweet chocolate, broken into chunks or grated
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick of cinnamon or 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cocoa extra
A sprinkle of Colman’s Powdered Mustard
A pinch of salt
Optional (lez be real, not optional): A dollop of brandy and a little whipped cream.

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