Taste Seattle: Cooking Class with Hipcooks and Anew Wines
When we first moved to Seattle, I looked into taking a cooking class as a way of meeting new friends and couples. First, we were too overwhelmed with wedding planning and then with work, so our plan of taking a cooking class never came to fruition. That’s why I was so excited to be invited to taste Seattle through a cooking class at Hipcooks Seattle with a wine pairing featuring Anew Wines.

Taste Seattle: Hipcooks and Anew Wine

Hipcooks

Hipcooks, set in several cities in the US, offers hands-on cooking classes that end in a dinner party with wine (no minors allowed)! The Seattle location of Hipcooks, located in the South Lake Union neighborhood, is beautiful. The walls are lined with cooking gadgets and cookbooks and surround a gorgeously set table and cooking station.

Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings

Cooking

Our chef, Bonny, was lively, approachable, fun, and fueled my love for cooking. Those of us in attendance were put to work right away: cutting oranges, toasting pine nuts, zesting lemons, and cutting basil. Little did we know that we were making all the food on this fantastic menus:

Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (22)

Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (1)

Course 1

Food: The first course was made up of a delicious shrimp poppers.
Wine Pairing: Anew Blackberry Mule
Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (6)
Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (18)

Course 2

Food: The second course consisted of an amazing warm tri-potato salad with green beans and hand-chopped pesto.
Wine Pairing: Anew Pinot Grigio
Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (16)

Course 3

Food: Scallops skewered on rosemary with a garlic & rosemary sauce atop of lemon, fennel, and onion rice.
Wine Pairing: Anew Riesling
Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (4)

Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (5)

Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (14)

Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (2)

Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (3)

Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (15)

Dessert

Food: Walnut cake with raspberry cream
Wine: Anew Rose
Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (11)

Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (12)

Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (13)

Wine!

I was blown away by Anew Wines. Anew, a brand made by Chateau St. Michelle, specializes in white wines. In addition to the amazing taste, Anew Wines feature a screw top so it’s the perfect wine to take out on a picnic. The wines are great on their own or in one of these fabulous cocktails.
Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (7)

Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (19)

Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (20)

Taste Seattle: Cooking with Hipcooks and Anew Wine Pairings (21)

Thank you to Hipcooks Seattle and Anew Wine for an unforgettable evening!

Follow:

5 Things To Do In Sonoma, California

Last weekend I traveled up to Sonoma to visit my family and see some incredible artists perform at Outside Lands. For those of you that haven’t had the chance to visit Sonoma, here are 5 ways to treat yo’ self during your next visit.

5 Ways to Treat Yo’ Self in Sonoma

1. Visit the Wineries

Well, duh. There are literally hundreds of wineries to visit in Sonoma County and it can be difficult to pick which ones to visit. I would recommend thinking of three things when you are deciding

  1. Location: Which wineries are closest to where you are staying / sights you want to experience?
  2. Varietal: Do you prefer Pinot Noir or Chardonnay? Research which wineries specialize in your favorites. For example, Ravenwood is a must if you love Zinfandel.
  3. Old Favorites. Already love a wine from a specific Sonoma winery? Make sure that you put that winery at the top of your list so that you don’t regret trying some their wine that isn’t offered in stores.

2. Bike Around Town

Sonoma is a very bike friendly town and offers several bike rentals. One of my favorite activities to do in town is to rent a tandem bicycle and ride around to the local wineries.

3. Visit the Breweries

While most people head to Sonoma for the wineries, Sonoma County is also home to a ton of breweries, many of which offer tours. Make sure you plan a visit to Bear Republic, Lagunitas, and Russian River Brewing Companies.

4. Go For A Hike

It is probably easy to believe that the hiking in Sonoma County is beyond beautiful. While a lot of the hiking trails offer views of rolling hills covered with vineyards, west Sonoma County lines the Pacific Ocean. If you’re planning on staying in Sonoma itself, make sure to check out this list of top Sonoma hikes.

5. Farmer’s Market!

I may be biased, but Sonoma has the best farmer’s market around. Besides incredibly fresh produce, there are a ton of cheese makers in town that bring some of the most wonderful products to the market as well as amazing artists that perform weekly.

Follow:

Franschhoek Cellars Wine and Cheese Pairing

The very first trip that Matt and I took was to Franschhoek, one of the small wine-centered towns in the South African Winelands. Growing up around wine all of my life (thanks, Sonoma!) I was thrilled that we lived close to the Winelands and started to plan a trip immediately. We decided to stay in Franschhoek instead of the more popular Stellenbosch, which was a great decision. To put it in terms of California wine country, Stellenbosch = Napa (expensive, touristy, snooty) and Franschhoek = Sonoma (reasonably priced, less crowded, down to earth). But I’m not biased in the least.

When we arrived in town we realized that we had scheduled our trip during the Franschhoek Uncorked Festival: For R120 ($12USD!!), we could receive between 3-6 pours at 19 of the local wineries over the course of 2 days. So if you figure that each of the generous pours were about 1/3 a glass, that means at the very least we paid $12 for about 20 glasses of wine. I kid you not. Obviously drinking 10 glasses of wine two days in a row is a horrible, horrible idea, but I’m one of those people who can’t pass up a good deal. Since each glass was less than $1.75, I didn’t feel bad about pouring out pours after tasting a few sips (you know, how you actually go wine tasting). Although we didn’t hit all 19 wineries, we did manage to visit 14 of them. 14 out of 19 isn’t bad. I really liked 13 of those 14 but fell in love with the following 10:

Top 10 Wineries To Visit in Franschhoek, South Africa

10. Boekenhoutskloof

Porcupine Ridge at Boekenhoutskloof, Franschhoek
When I found out that Boekenhoutskloof was the creator of one of my favorite South African labels, Porcupine Ridge, I knew that I had to visit. The winery is beautiful and comfortable, and the wine is delicious. The only negative aspect (which might be considered a positive, actually) is that Boekenhoutskloof is a bit off the beatn Franschhoek path.
Wine To Try:The Chocolate Block. This wine cuts out the middle man and does the wine and chocolate pairing for you. How can you say no to a chocolate wine?

9. Lynx

Lynx, Franschhoek
My favorite thing about Lynx is drinking a selection of their incredible wines (both white and black) while sitting on the back patio staring at the mountains. Yes, life does get that good.
Wine To Try:Xanach. Probably the best Bordeaux style wine (mixes Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cab Sauv, and Cab Franc) that you can buy for R100 (roughly $10USD).

8. Allée Bleue

Allée Bleue, Franschhoek
One of the prettiest wine farms in Franschhoek! This was our first winery during the Uncorked festival, kidding things off with a bang.
Wine To Try: Chenin Blanc. I love any white wine that blends vanilla and citrus. Best served with seafood.

7. Four Paws

Who doesn’t love a dog friendly winery? The winery is tucked off the main road under the shade of gorgeous trees. I loved sipping wine outside while the (many) dogs ran around playing. The wine farm also features artwork from local artists.
Wine To Try:Calico. I normally don’t like un-wooded whites, I fell in love with this blend from Four Paws.

6. Franschhoek Cellars and Bellingham Wine Estate

Franschhoek Cellars
I loved Franschhoek Cellars so much that I ended up going at least twice. We did a wine and cheese … and chocolate tasting, which was amazing. Franschhoek Cellars doesn’t provide their own cheese or chocolate but they do offer an incredible selection from other local establishments.
Wine / Cheese Combo To Try:The Churchyard Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Dutch Farmhouse Gouda. I die. And I don’t even like Gouda.

5. Haute Cabriere

Haute Cabriere, FranschhoekHaute Cabriere, Franschhoek
This wine farm offers incredible views of the Franschhoek valley. They specialize in bubbly wine but also have a nice selection of some other unique wines.
Wine To Try: All of them! I fell in love with the Chardonnay Pinot Noir (what a blend!), Unwooded Pinot Noir (looks like a rose!), and Belle Rose.

View Post

Follow: