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8 Shades of Chardonnay

8 Shades of Chardonnay

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The fact that so many wine drinkers love some kinds of chardonnay while hating others is a great testament to the versatility of the world’s most-popular fine-wine white grape. Although there should always be some varietal similarity, chardonnays can be high or low alcohol, big and buttery or lean and minerally, still or sparkling, more fruity or more savory. It all depends on the region, the winemaker, and the clone.

Fortunately, I love all these iterations, although some more than others.

Here are notes on eight chardonnays that collectively cross styles and national borders — but, in the end, they are all chards:

2012 Franciscan Napa Valley “Equilibrium” ($20). Except this one, which I have included to illustrate that chardonnay plays well with other grapes. It’s a delicious blend of chard, sauvignon blanc, and muscat — creamy yet crisp, juicy, with flavors of white peach and peach skin with a back of green kiwi.

2009 Domaine Vocoret et Fils “Blanchot” Chablis grand cru ($46). Very floral and fruity with delicate wood notes. A little soft in body, but nevertheless a crisp finish.

2010 Château de Maligny Chablis vieilles vignes ($20). A nice everyday Chablis with good minerality, tart apples, and a crisp finish, although the weight is a tad heavy. A good food wine.

2011 Jean-Marc Brocard “Vau de Vey” Chablis premier cru ($29). Medium-bodied, well-balanced with lots of fragrance and fruit — mainly mellow apples.

2011 Biltmore Estate North Carolina reserve chardonnay ($15). Very fresh, very delicious with tangy apple flavors, a hint of creaminess and a long, minerally finish. Great food wine.

2012 Hardys “Nottage Hill” SE Australia chardonnay ($11). Lightly sweet and fairly simple with nice perfume and creamy pastel flavors.

2011 La Follette “Sangiacomo” Sonoma Coast chardonnay ($35). Gamey and green fruits, mainly lime, up front with more tropical, vanilla notes in the finish. Still a little tightly wound.

2011 Cuvaison Carneros Napa Valley chardonnay ($21). Very good. It has nice floral notes and lots of citrusy fruit — lime, ripe pineapple — with a hint of cream, then a tangy closing.

Chicken With Creamy Mushroom Sauce

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This Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce is a simple, yet elegant dish featuring boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a delicious, creamy, white wine and mushroom sauce. Made entirely in one skillet, this exquisite dinner can be on your table, ready to serve, in just 30 minutes!

I have a lot of chicken breast recipes on this blog, but this chicken with creamy mushroom sauce is one that is a staple at our house! The beauty of this dish is its simplicity. Rich, creamy, white wine infused sauce smothering perfectly tender chicken and juicy mushrooms, what could be better? Maybe the fact that it’s made entirely in one skillet, in just 30 minutes.

Best-Ever Pasta Primavera

This delicate, luscious pasta is the epitome of spring, showcasing some of the deliciously sweet and delicate produce available March through June. Thought to have been dreamed up in America sometime in the 70s, we gave this retro recipe some modern tweaks, and, TBH, we can't get enough of it. Here's what makes it so special:

Egg Noodles

Rather than the commonly used spaghetti or penne, we opted for egg-based pappardelle. Its rich flavor and fresh-pasta-like texture is the perfect canvas for sweet sautéed veggies. If you want to switch it up, tagliatelle or fettuccine would work well too.

Root-To-Greens Cooking

This dish utilizes two often discarded ingredients: radish greens, which taste slightly peppery and cook down in a flash, and the "tough" dark green tops of leeks, which take a little longer to cook than the pale and white parts, but taste just as delicious.

Super Sweet Radishes

Red radishes, or Cherry radishes, tend to be a bit spicy. But when sautéed or roasted, they become incredibly sweet and tender. Less important, but still worth noting, they also turn the most perfect shade of pink. 😍 Spring vibes only!

Meaty Mushrooms

If you've never tried maitake (AKA hen-of-the-woods) mushrooms, you're in for a treat. They provide super savory pops of flavor and a pleasant, slightly chewy texture. If you'd like to try a different fungi, oyster mushrooms, shiitakes, or creminis would all be great subs.

  1. Cook the bacon in a wide cast-iron skillet or sauté pan until crispy. Reserve.
  2. Discard all but a thin film of the bacon fat from the pan.
  3. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper.
  4. Add to the pan and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until well-browned all over. (Work in batches if you must crowding will prevent it from properly browning.)
  5. Transfer the chicken to the base of a slow cooker.
  6. Add the wine to the skillet and use a wooden spoon to scrape loose any browned bits from the bottom.
  7. Pour the wine over the chicken, then add the reserved bacon, the stock, onions, bay leaves, and garlic, along with another good pinch of salt and pepper.
  8. Cook on high for at least 2 hours (or cook on low for most of the day), until the meat is falling off the bone.
  9. In the final 30 minutes, stir in the mushrooms and allow them to just cook through.
  10. When ready to serve, cook the butter and flour in a saucepan over medium heat for 1 minute.
  11. Ladle in 11⁄2 cups of the cooking liquid and cook until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  12. Serve the chicken with the onions and mushrooms, then drizzle over the thickened sauce

Eat This Tip

Don't have a slow cooker at home? Don't fret. Any recipe in this book that calls for a slow cooker can be executed in a pot on the stovetop or in a low oven. Rather than dump all the ingredients in the base of the slow cooker, simply combine them in a pot or pan large enough to fit them comfortably, then cover and simmer over very low heat or bake in a 250°F oven. Because slow cookers braise at such a low temperature, stovetop or oven cooking will always be faster—which may be exactly what you're looking for.

Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides)

Here’s another stunner whose bright foliage steals the show. This annual's brilliantly colored leaves range in endless variety from ruby red and yellow to pink, orange, and blends in a range of psychedelic colors and patterns. The leaves also vary in shape and size, growing lance-shaped to rounded, edged in ruffles or serrated jags. For a lightly shaded patio, we love 'Stormy Weather,' 'Tammy,' and 'Copper Splash.' Each one looks refreshing in an apple green glazed pot.

Care: Pinch the tips to encourage bushy, vigorous growth the flower spikes are spindly and ruin the overall look of the plant. Coleus prefers rich, loose, well-drained soil with regular water and feeding.

Asparagus pokes through the cool dirt of early spring though it can be found in grocery stores year-round. Look for the thick stalks for this recipe, or if you are using pencil-thin asparagus decrease the cooking time by 2-3 minutes.

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Amish bush porto rico potatoes grow in bushy clusters (hence the name). They have rosy skin and orange flesh that bakes up buttery and lush. Todd Coleman

Purple sweet potatoes have firm, lightly sweet flesh and a slight, pleasant tartness that takes well to generously seasoned savory roasted dishes. Todd Coleman


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Pour wine into a wineglass filled with ice top off with club soda and bitters. Garnish with orange twist.

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3. Hoover Stew

Hoovervilles—shantytowns that sprang up during the Depression—weren't the only things named after our 31st president, who had the misfortune to be elected just before the Crash. Hoover Stew was the name given to the soup from soup kitchens or similarly thin broths. One recipe calls for cooking a 16-ounce box of noodles like macaroni or spaghetti. While that's on the stove, slice hot dogs into round shapes. Drain the pasta when it’s almost done and return to the pot drop in the sliced hot dogs. Add two cans of stewed tomatoes and one can of corn or peas (with liquid) to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer until the pasta is finished cooking. No need to use corn or peas you can substitute those veggies for anything canned and inexpensive.

20 Auburn Hair Color Ideas to Warm Up Your Look

Red hair may be bold, but auburn is its rich, super flattering cousin. Whether you prefer a shade that leans brown or embraces orange, this hair color instantly adds warmth and depth to your look.

If going red sounds too daring for you, take inspiration from Kerry Washington's sleek and simple look. Add chunky highlights to your hair for extra richness &mdash then book your next hair appointment to go all in.

Debra Messing's rich, dark hue is the color that comes to mind when most people think of auburn because it falls exactly in the middle of red and dark brown.

Darby Stanchfield's shade is proof that a color doesn't have to be on the lighter end of the spectrum to be head-turningly vivid.

Gayle King's stand-out strands of auburn are a great way to make a bold change in your hair without overhauling your entire look.

This deliciously darker shade of auburn lets Geena Davis keep her eyebrows their natural brunette shade without creating a clashing contrast.

Rachel Brosnohan's gorgeous shade looks straight-up brown in some lights, but a beautiful rusty red in others.

Julia Roberts's auburn is the perfect balance of red, brown, and honey blonde, creating a shade that looks completely natural.

Want to update your dark brown hair without going lighter? Rachel Bloom proves auburn is an easy way to update your shade while keeping things deep.

Watch the video: Lana Del Rey - Shades Of Cool


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