First off, let me say how thrilled I am to be a part of this. I am developing five vegetarian wine pairings for Cline Cellar's Cool Climate Pinot Noir. I will be using social media including Twitter and Facebook to pick the winning recipe that will actually be printed on the bottle's label. Yes, the actual bottle! How exciting is that?
Here are the five recipes:
- Magic Mushroom Risotto
- Burnt-Honey Ricotta Gnocchi in Gorgonzola Sauce
- Lavender Pasta Primavera
- Beet Pizza with Blue Cheese, Cilantro
- Cheese-Stuffed Polenta with Seared Asparagus
The Magic Mushroom Risotto is mind blowing. It includes mushrooms (of course) but also chocolate. Yes, I said chocolate! While cooking with lavender is nothing new, using it in a pasta primavera recipe is to die for. It is so bright that it just shines. Anything with gorgonzola is great but burn honey is even better. By caramelizing the honey, the cheese sauce becomes lighter., you know, so you can eat more (we all want that). Pizza and wine is the perfect combination and the cilantro keeps the whole dish feeling fresh. And if you like your recipes quick and simple, you must make the polenta dish.
Cline Cellars holds a special place in my heart. So working with them again is a lot of fun! They, along with their sister winery, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards, were the very first interview for my Green Wine Guide here at TreeHugger just two years ago. And the Guide has been covering sustainable wineries and veggie wine pairings ever since. I can't believe it has been that long!
I was really impressed with Cline's operation, their commitment to the environment and just how innovative they are. It was there that I learned about the Green String Farm and all of its sustainable efforts. From that moment on, I wanted to do more. I wanted to be involved more. Cline Cellars proves you can be both conscious about our planet and make great wine
Aside from their interest in the planet, Cline was the first winery to feature recipes on the back of their wine bottles and they are joining me in revolutionizing the food and wine pairings by using social media to help pick the very next featured recipe. Of course, every eco-wine lover knows that vegetarian wine pairings are kinda rare. So I am pleased to have Cline's support in debunking the idea that wine only pairs with meat (pfffft!).
As a side note, the Guide started from a simple pitch to TreeHugger's editor, Meghean O'Neill, where I asked,"If you could pay me to drink wine, that would be really awesome." Of course, that was hardly enough to get approval. But I am grateful that she trusted me to pull it off. And we did!
I must say when I started the Green Wine Guide, I never thought I would be doing recipes. Wow, and now I cook and drink wine for a living. A big thank you to TreeHugger, our readers and Cline for making my dream possible.
This is a huge honor! Thank you.