A few weeks ago The Vegan Vine sent me a few bottles of their wine to try! I had hoped to throw a little wine tasting party, but with so much on my calendar, I just wasn’t sure I could fit a party into my schedule, or my budget! But, I certainly wanted to try their wine & share it with others! So, on Monday evening, my Mom & I put together a little wine pairing dinner at her home…
One of the wines I received from The Vegan Vine was their Red Blend, which they describe as having “aromas of dark red cherries, raspberries & blackberries. A hint of cedar & vanilla. Bright fruit flavors on the entry with a solid dose of acidity. Medium tannins round out this interesting blend of grapes.” I typically shy away from wines titled “red blends,” either going for a Sangiovese or Pinot Noir, but this was surprisingly a very lovely wine & it paired very nicely with our summer meal!
Red Blend from The Vegan Vine
For our appetizer course, we picked some fresh cherry tomatoes from the plants my Mom has been growing on her patio & made a “Fresh Tomato Bruschetta.” We followed this recipe, but substituted red & yellow cherry tomatoes. We also spread about 1/2 of the crostini with Trader Joe’s amazing “Edamame Hummus” (which is highly addicting) before topping with the tomato mixture! It added a nice creaminess & flavor to the bruschetta!
Fresh Tomato Bruschetta
We both love a simple arugula salad & thought this would be a nice way to add some ruff age to our plate! We topped the greens with a “Lemon Vinaigrette” from Giada’s Family Dinners. It’s a bright & zesty blend of fresh lemon juice & zest, olive oil, garlic, fresh parsley, salt & pepper – one of my favorite ways to dress a salad
Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
The main course was a “Portobello Mushroom Risotto,” which was The Vegan Vine’s suggested pairing with their Red Blend. After finding mostly non-vegan recipes, we came up with our own vegan version…
- 6 cups organic mushroom broth
- 4 tablespoons vegan “butter”
- ½ cup minced onion
- 1 large portobello mushroom cap, quartered & thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh basil, minced
- 2 cups arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- Heat the broth & keep it warm. Reserve a half cup to reconstitute the saffron.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in the skillet & add onion, stirring until soft, 4-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms & cook on low heat, until soft. Add the rice & stir quickly for a minute or two until translucent & well coated with butter. Stir in the wine & keep stirring until it is almost absorbed. Add the saffron broth & stir.
- Continue stirring & add warm broth ½ cup at a time for about 20 minutes.
- After adding the last of the broth, add the other tablespoon of butter, the nutritional yeast, & fresh basil & whip it through.Taste, adjust the seasoning & sprinkle with vegan parmesan if desired.
For dessert, my Mom attempted the “Fudgy Chocolate Brownies” from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, My Father’s Daughter (we love GP!). As with first attempts, things don’t always go as planned, & with baking it is always necessary to follow the recipe to the letter. Needless to say, a few substitutions/adjustment were made & these did not turn out perfectly. Aw shucks, now we have to try again! However, a little imperfection didn’t stop us from devouring these, as they were still rich & scrumptious! Mmmmmm…next time – vegan brownie sundaes!!!
Fudgy Chocolate Brownies
By the time we finished prepping & cooking the weather had cooled down, so we enjoyed our dinner outdoors in the backyard at dusk. It was perfect! Great food, great wine, & great company!
This was so much fun & I was so excited to finally get into that tasty Vegan Vine Wine! I’m looking forward to taking a bottle of their Sauvignon Blanc to share a the “Vegan Garden Dinner” I am attending this weekend! I bet it will be fabulous! Stay tuned!