Another TGTaste and this time the wine was supplied courtesy of Black Box Wines. This crowd was a tough sell. Lovers of Riesling, Chardonnay and Moscato – not thrilled about being enlisted to try the samples of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, I bribed them with the menu and the promise that they only had to taste the wines.
It’s not often that my sister comes up for a visit. Last time she made the trip was the New York Wine Expo. She joined me at the Expo and became an honorary Thirsty Girl. So it was only natural for her to be a part of this TGTaste!
I thought about the menu and what might be a good pairing. I remembered that I had a recipe for Steak Tacos with Chipotle Cherry Salsa. I had been longing to make this again. I thought it would be fantastic with the Merlot.
We had a fun afternoon by the pool.
And later that day while everyone else ( except for George who took a nap ) was spending some girl time at the nail salon I prepped the dinner.
First up was the steak. The recipe calls for Flank or Flatiron steak but I had a London Broil just longing for some marinade.
Mix together the following:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
Season steak with salt and pepper and then pour marinade over steak. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
Next I made the Chipotle Cherry Salsa.
Use a food processor for this.
1/4 cup packed fresh basil
1 chipotle pepper in adobo
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon honey
2 cups of cherries, pitted and halved
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients and only 1 cup of the cherries in the food processor.
When it is almost smooth add the second cup of cherries and process until chunky.
Next- caramelize 2 large sweet onions.
Slice them thin. Use a little vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft and brown.
Grill the steak to desired doneness. Slice thin. Serve with corn tortillas, cherry chipotle salsa, caramelized onions, sliced red cabbage and shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
I also prepared black bean and corn salad and rice.
When my kids were younger we always had make your own taco night and this brought back some wonderful memories. Of course I never made them quite like this.
Everyone loved these tacos with the Black Box Merlot.
This was a great pairing. The Merlot complimented the Chipotle Cherry Salsa perfectly. This wine has notes of black cherry and spice. It is medium bodied and smooth. My tasters were surprised to find out that this was a boxed wine. Even my devoted Chardonnay drinker loved this one. All agreed that they would buy this wine on their own. Kudos to Black Box wines for converting this white wine crowd.
We had two desserts. One was apple pie with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of the remains of the Chipotle Cherry Salsa – the other was chocolate chip brownies. We paired dessert with the Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Cabernet was velvety and smooth with notes of blackberry, cinnamon and oak. This one had a wonderfully long finish. We especially loved this with the brownies. Chocolate and Cabernet is one of my favorite guilty pairing pleasures. I am not above drinking it with Dark Chocolate Peanut M & M’s. But don’t tell just anyone because those M & M’s are hard to find.
Thank you Black Box Wines for a wonderful and memorable family wine tasting. And thanks again to Thirsty Girl for inspiring us to taste outside of our comfort zone and outside the Box!!