Ready to wine down and chill? Today is Friday after all. You’ve had a long week. And so have I. But the weekend is here! Insert muppet-like jazz hands …
Each week, we feature a themed wine-food-movie pairing that’s designed to keep things laid back to wine down and chill. The wine suggestions are affordable and widely available for purchase. The dinner suggestions are so easy to make at home that they don’t even require a recipe. And the movie suggestion? Totally perfect to Netflix and chill.
Intelligence Quotient + Besties = Wine
As a science nerd, that’s never a bad combination. Yes, I left the lab bench eons ago and went to the dark side of sales and marketing, but, at my core, I’ll always think of myself as a geek. I still get really excited when I read articles about CRISPR, precision medicine and the terrific new advances in hyper combinatorial analytics and machine learning.
But then there’s that other side of me. The one that loves to eat and drink wine! Just like the besties on Big Bang Theory, it’s not only possible to have an intelligent conversation with geek-speak while drinking wine, some people have actually elevated it to an art form. You guessed it, this week’s theme is all about geeking out on wine. Plus it’s Friday, and all the Big Bang besties eat Chinese Food on Friday nights so that’s our suggestion for tonight.
“That’s no reason to cry. One cries because one is sad. For example, I cry because others are stupid, and that makes me sad.” ~Sheldon Cooper
Lactose-intolerant? Then drink this
As a lactose intolerant person, myself, who happens to (sadly) love cheese but it doesn’t love me, there are times when I wish that I could have milk. The characters of Big Bang Theory have pretty broad tastes when it comes to alcoholic beverages, but who can pass up a good glass of wine?! Penny, clearly, could not. And would not.
There is a red wine from Okanagan Valley, Canada, called Blasted Church Big Bang Theory, which is perfect in name but not available so I scrapped it. Instead, I dug through my sampling notes and found a wine that makes for a better suggestion, on all counts. Except for maybe the name.
The organically farmed 2017 Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect wine with anything. The grapes, as you know from some of my earlier columns, are my favorite. Since they are grown in the California appellation, this makes them even yummier. And yes, that’s an ultra-nerdy term that can be used as a tasting note when you’re enjoying your wine down and chill tonight with your besties.
Other notes include fruit-forward berry aromas of Bing cherries, raspberries and currants. But they’re nicely countered with whiffs of vanilla and some spice. Can you smell cedar sauna? It’s weird, but sniff again, you probably can!
Priced at $16-18 a bottle and widely available at Total Wine retail locations, you won’t have trouble finding it. If you do, go to the winery’s website and purchase a case: shipping is only one cent, that’s just one penny! Speaking of which, I bet that Penny would really like this wine. Guaranteed, it would be a generous pour. And then she’d likely pour another one. Sidebar: do you think we’ll finally learn if Penny (Kaley Cuoco) has a last name during tonight’s series finale?
Bonterra Winery scores with every metric. They focus on organic, sustainable growth and have immense respect for the land. They plant local flowers to attract bugs and songbirds, plus they have sheep that mow between the vines! Not to overlook one huge metric: Wine Enthusiast named them American Winery of the Year 2016.
This is Friday night the way it was meant to be
Call it obsessive-compulsive disorder, or whatever label you want to put on it, but the chicken and broccoli must be diced, not shredded. Brown rice, not white. Fork, not chopsticks. And the soy sauce absolutely has to be low sodium, right Sheldon?
“Today, it’s a Chinese-food-retrieval robot. Tomorrow, it travels back in time and kills Sarah Connor.” ~Sheldon Cooper (with a reference to one of my other all-time favorite movie heroines)
Five ingredients and five steps
One, dice up your protein and quickly stir-fry it in some oil. Select chicken or Sweet Earth traditional seitan strips. Because, of course, it tastes like chicken!
Two, chop up some broccoli and throw it in when the protein is almost done.
Three, boil a bag of Success pre-cooked brown rice.
Four, heat some fresh garlic, ginger, a glass of orange juice, brown sugar and Kikkoman’s less sodium soy sauce.
Five, mix everything together. Sprinkle some fresh sesame seeds if you want to get fancy.
Pour yourself a glass. Relax. Get comfortable to wine down and chill.