An Icon on, and in, a Bottle

Earlier in the summer I received two lovely bottles of wine. And I am not just referring to what was in the bottle. Biltmore Wines have created a simple, subtle bottle with an etching of an American icon, the Biltmore House. The appearance is sleek, the blends irresistible.

Biltmore Century White is a beautifully balanced blend of Gewürztraminer, Muscat Canelli, Riesling, and Symphony. Looking at that list, you would think it would be quite sweet, but with a residual sugar of 3.24%, it would be considered only “off dry.” A nice reflective wine, yellow in color, and a very inviting nose. The bright citrus and floral nose were reflected in the taste. This wine was not too sweet by itself and it would pair nicely with a variety of foods. Salty cheeses, citrus or spicy seafood, a summer dessert, or my favorite pairing Thai or Vietnamese food.

I came up with this recipe last summer when I was trying to use up what I had in the house while sneaking in some veggies. Sometimes we have to get creative with the veggies, right? Although a bit time-consuming to chop everything, it allows for flexibility with how you build each bowl. The freshness of the veggies plays well of the citrus in the wine and the spice is tempered with the sweetness of the wine. You can generally count on the sweeter grapes above playing well with any spicy Asian cuisine. The peanut sauce is a little harder, but it worked well enough.

At $15.99, this bottle is a little more than a Monday wine and a little less than most weekend wines. I just that just makes it a great anytime wine. Cheers!

Thai Meatballs with Veggie Vermicelli and Peanut Sauce

  • 1 lb. Ground Chicken
  • Vermicelli
  • 2 carrots
  • grated
  • 1 cucumber thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 sweet onion
  • thinly sliced
  • 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1/4 c peanut butter
  • 1/4 c coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. chopped mint
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 c rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine sugar, rice wine vinegar and onion in a bowl. Let that sit.

3. Mix ground chicken, egg, Panko bread crumbs, 1 grated carrot, ginger, 1 tbsp of mint, 1 tbsp cilantro, 1 tsp. salt in a bowl.

4)Form small meatballs (about 1 in. diameter) and place on baking sheet.

5) Bake in a preheated oven for 17-20 minutes or until firm and cooked through.

6) While the meatballs are baking, cook the vermicelli as directed.

7. Run the noodles under cold water to stop the cooking process.

8. In a large bowl, toss the noodles in the vinegar mixture and 1 tbsp olive oil. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime over the
noodles. Set aside.

9. Make peanut sauce by combining peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, the juice of half a lime. You may add red pepper flakes if you want heat.

10. Top the noodles with grated carrots, peanuts, cucumber, the remaining mint and cilantro.

11. The meatballs and peanut dipping sauce can be served on the noodles or on the side. Serve with mint garnish and a lime wedge.
This can easily be made gluten-free by using potato flakes instead of Panko bread crumbs and a rice pasta. Try other vegetables in the meatballs (sweet potato, kale finely chopped) or on the salad (red cabbage, tomatoes) as to meet your child’s needed nutrition and preferences.

*{Disclosure: I was provided with this wine from PR Firm, Folsom & Associates. All statements and opinions expressed in this article are my own.}

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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

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