Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Salted Pumpkin Caramels and J Barrel 16 Pinot Noir (Plus, Three Other Halloween Treats for Foodies)

Have you noticed food and wine pairings are getting decidedly more playful these days? Master Sommelier Roger Dagorn recently weighed in on which varietal goes best with Goldfish crackers and The Huffington Post pontificated on which wine to drink with gas station cinnamon rolls.

We'll skip the gas station cinnamon rolls for now, but with Halloween just around the corner, a few playful food and wine pairings have occurred to us. After all, kids shouldn't have all the fun.

  • Salted Pumpkin Caramels and J Barrel 16 Pinot Noir. Salted caramel has been all the rage for awhile now, but when this recipe for salted pumpkin caramels surfaced on Food 52, it rekindled our interest anew. "Evokes the essence of fall," said one reviewer and we think these would be absolutely delicious with our Barrel 16 Pinot Noir, with its long, lingering finish of cinnamon, clove and anise. This recipe gets extra autumnal credit for its inclusion of toasted pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds).

  • Grown-Up Peanut Butter Cups and J STRATA Chardonnay. Mmmmm. Peanut butter cups go smoky and carmelized in this fantastic recipe from Gilt Taste and we highly recommend them with our J STRATA Chardonnay, which has a nice acidity to wash down the peanut butter. The finished product actually looks just like the peanut butter cups you loved as a kid, but with carmelized honey, smoked sea salt, and "heaps of vanilla bean paste," they're ready for a distinctly more cosmopolitan set of trick-or-treaters.

  • Spice-Rolled Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles and J Freestone Hill Pinot Noir. Joan Coukos of Manhattan's Chocolat Moderne came up with this deliciously bold recipe for bittersweet chocolate truffles rolled in spices like chipotle, cardamom, and cinnamon. Moderne indeed and we think these truffles would be out of this world with our Freestone Hill Pinot Noir, with its aromas of cedar and blackberry jam and vibrant cherry and plum flavors.

  • Homemade Caramel Corn and J Cuvée Brut. Whichever team you're supporting, we love the idea of serving Kitchn's homemade caramel corn with our J Cuvée Brut at a World Series party. The crisp, clean flavors of the Brut make the perfect counterpoint to the salted peanuts and sweet caramel. This is a very festive party pairing, and the highly versatile Cuvée Brut will be just as at home with the cheese plate, too. 

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