The Insobrietal Stowaway: Carménère's Fabled Ascent to Fame in the New World

Carménère (pronounced "car-men-nair") carries less notoriety than its distant cousins, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, yet it shares a similarly delightful profile and is extraordinarily food friendly. As a bonus, Carménère boasts a fascinating journey from the Old World to the New, from extinction to rebirth, from unwanted to celebrated. Everyone loves an intriguing narrative, and Carménère has a story to tell.

So toss a few charcoal briquettes in the grill, break out the red wine glasses, and let us toast to Carménère as we grill a fine summer smorgasbord. A story to whet the appetite, and a tasty pairing to quell it. 

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The Vinous-Maritime Equation: Tips for Pairing Wine and Seafood

The azure blue waters of the Pacific, calming breezes and slack key music, and a sunset dinner complete with the day's fresh catch and a glass of wine to pair. But what fish? And what wine? These answers can be surprisingly elusive.

With an abundance of fresh seafood in the Pacific waters surrounding the islands, Hawaii’s culinary traditions have naturally focused on the generous assortment of the region's oceanic offerings. Quintessential Hawaiian dishes, such as grilled tako (octopus), poke, garlic or coconut shrimp, lomi Salmon, and steamed fish are common at every family potluck and beach picnic. With such a diversity of textures and flavors, wine pairings can be correspondingly diverse. Finding the right match is not always an elementary task.

This month’s Veritas Wine Club, led by Tiffany, our spirited and capable sommelier, sought to provide a few basic wine and seafood pairing tips, utilizing items easily found at any local market.  

To stay on theme, I offer a few wine and seafood pairing tips of my own before we turn to this month’s lineup and find out what the Tchin Tchin gang brought to the table. So climb aboard, we'll search for pairings on every shore.

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Veritas Wine Club: The Wine and Cheese Convergence

Wine and cheese has been a celebrated culinary coupling for centuries. Pairing the duo, however, is not always an elementary assignment. With the increasing diversity of both available at your local grocery store, selection can quickly become overwhelming.  Does this Gaglioppo pair with a block of Timberdoodle?

This month’s Veritas Wine Club at Tchin Tchin Bar, located in Honolulu’s Chinatown District, sought to provide a few basic wine and cheese pairing tips, utilizing items easily found at any local market. Learn, practice, repeat.

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BYOB and the Great Pairing Conundrum

Here in Hawaii, we love to eat. A lot, frequently, and with friends. To facilitate a modicum of fiscal responsibility in my culinary enterprises, I often search for that magical acronym jotted on Yelp pages and restaurant windows: BYOB.  Don't concern yourself with the typical 400 percent markup for alcoholic beverages. Just bring your own.

Brilliant.

One problem. With BYOB, there is no sommelier to offer recommendations; you are on your own. Most wouldn’t find tremendous difficulty pairing their bœuf bourguignon or spaghetti alla puttanesca with a tasty vinous beverage. But for the more adventurous, where do you begin when attempting to pair sashimi, papoutsakia, or Evil Jungle Prince Thai Curry?

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Birthday Musings: The Great Birthday Roast

The second part of the Great Birthday Bash was borne out of a coincidence of timing. This month’s wine club, typically convening the last weekend of each month, was bestowed a birthday theme.  Patrons were asked to select a wine (or food) that would embody the core characteristics and personality traits of this esteemed author.  Okay, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was quickly discovered that any potentially positive character trait I may possess was going to be conveniently omitted from the discussion.  Cheer up, I was told, “we simply wouldn’t bother at all if we didn’t like you.”  Sigh. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

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