This week we step back and welcome Angie Taylor to take over our blog.
Date night in just got a lot more interesting! As lovers of date night, my partner and I can’t get enough of appetizers, good music and perfectly paired wine. As big time foodies, we knew we had to add in a little extra special culinary twist to celebrate our engagement — eek! The menu of course had to compliment the wine and vice versa. The food has to balance with the wine for the real all-inclusive experience!
Cabernet. More Like, Caber-yay!
One of our favourite varietals of red is a Cabernet Sauvignon. You cannot go wrong with the Pelee Island Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve VQA . And a “never-fail” vino deserves a fan favourite dish to go with it! My classic Mushroom’s Neptune Bake is a rustic take on the fancier appetizer. Instead of perfectly stuffed little mushrooms, I go for the larger woodier cremini’s. A quick poach in some Cab Sauv, and then into a bakeware. Generously topped with a mix of crabmeat, minced mushrooms, cream cheese, and herbs, and a sprinkling of a sharp cheddar. You’ll never look back at the posh version again!
We’re All Here for the Right Rieslings
Now, not only am I a HUGE foodie, but I honestly cannot cook anything less than enough to feed an 8-person family. Resulting in leftovers on a regular basis! Our Valentine’s dinner left us with some homemade lobster and ricotta ravioli stuffing. I froze it down, then thawed for these epic puff pastries! Pro tip – buy pre-made puff pastry and stuff with your favourite fillings for gourmet level hors d’oeuvres. We made some with the lobster filling, and some with gruyere and apple that we already had prepped for our charcuterie board! The subtle sweetness pairs beautifully with the Lighthouse Riesling VQA , which just so happens to be my personal favourite easy white. More of a red fan? These little bites of bliss pair beautifully with the ever gorgeous Pelee Island Winery Pinot Noir VQA.
It Isn’t Good to Keep Things Bottled Up
Here’s a little last minute trick to upping the ante on your standard olives. Chili, Honey, Garlic, and Balsamic. It’s truly that simple! Drain your favourite jar of olives and toss them into a small cast iron skillet with some olive oil to get them blistered. Add in the garlic, chili flakes and a generous drizzle of honey. Let the flavours marry and top it off with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Voila! A few slices of crusty bread and a stunning bottle of Blanc de Blanc VQA balances the honey to perfection.
Partners in Wine
Being the charcuterie queen that I am, I literally could not put out at a “small” platter (aka enough for leftovers x2). Oftentimes, it can be overwhelming to know which wine to pair with each cheese on your board so I love going for one wine that is more all encompassing!
My newest obsession is the Lola Nero Sparkling Red VQA, an absolute knockout of a wine. It’s so incredibly versatile with all those salty meats and creamy cheeses. So be sure to include a creamy boursin, or goat cheese and some quality prosciutto.
Wine isn’t Our Only Forte!
We are big music fans too and cannot get through a meal without a record or a playlist in the background. With that in mind, I put together a few of our favourite songs for such a special celebration and honestly, we just had the best time relaxing in each other’s company, eating, sipping, and listening. If you’re feeling anything like us, we suggest ending the night with a little scrabble or jenga!
We promise, date night in never looked so good!
Pssttt… Don’t forget while you’re here to sign up for our Birthday Club and receive a $20 Gift Voucher for your birthday!
About Angie Taylor
Angie Taylor is the CEO & Founder of HFS Co., a digital marketing, branding, and design company that specializes in helping small & local businesses achieve success. A lover of good wine and food, her first introduction to Pelee Island came from her parents who always had a bottle of Peelee Island wine on the table for all family gatherings, a memory she still cherishes to this day. Her passion for photography and writing led her to the island itself where she has explored and captured the essence of Pelee time and again. Angie now lives in Barrie, ON with her partner Patrick where they enjoy all of life’s natural beauty and adventures as often as possible.
For more information on Angie or HFS Co., please visit her website www.hfsco.ca