Friends, we can officially say that we’re closer to warm weather than we have been in MONTHS! I LOVE warm weather eating and drinking, but specifically eating and drinking alfresco. I’m a sucker for rooftop’s, balcony’s, patio’s, and picnic’s! Get me outside breathing the fresh Spring or summer air, put delicious food in front of me, and a drink in my hand and you’ll see one happy gal! I love the transition to warm weather, and eating delicious salads like the one we’ll get to in a minute, but there is one part of the transition that is hard for me. I know, I know, that sounds ridiculous! But here’s the deal: I’m a red wine kinda gal. Not the fruity, light stuff that’s easy to drink in the heat. No, I’m a Malbec, Chianti, Barolo (younger so it’s not as fruity), or Cab kinda gal. Those delicious wines that are not quite as common place at, say a summer picnic! Well, there are two things that changed my life: Spain & Australia.
We took a trip to Spain two years ago, you can read the write up here, and fell in LOVE with Sangria but never really knew what wine I should use to use to make it. That’s where Australia comes into the picture. I lived there my senior year of high-school and fell in love with the country. So, once I got back to the States and started drinking wine, I was drawn to the Australian wines, specifically Shiraz! I was approached by a company to partner in posting an article featuring two of their recipes. Low and behold what recipes do they ask me to do a write-up on and feature? Sangria with Shiraz and a delicious summer salad! It was meant to be! I’ll stop the yapping and let you get to the reading and the drinking, but I had to layer in my little story for you. Below is their article and the recipe for the AMAZING Sangria! Cheers! (My own pictures of these dishes to come soon!! Stay tuned!)
Australia has become quite known for its Shiraz, a great-tasting wine with aromas that vary between fruity cherries, plums and raisins, to complex chocolates, coffee, and earth. The wine can also vary between fresh and fruity to highly concentrated and intense.
The renewed popularity of Australian Shiraz can be widely attributed to Michael Fragos, chief winemaker of Chapel Hill in McLaren Vale, which supplies wine for M&S. Fragos has been touted as one of the few winemakers who have gone to great lengths to promote his country’s wines, travelling across the globe to educate the media and wine connoisseurs about their recent developments. Thanks to winemakers like Fragos, the Australian wine market has flourished, and the land’s own wines have become well-known.
This is probably why, when people hear the word “Shiraz”, they immediately think of the deep, delicious red wine. Unbeknownst to many, Shiraz is also the name of something different entirely: a city in Iran, which has been as a regional trade center for over a thousand years. Shiraz is known as the city of poets, literature, wine, and flowers, and it’s also become famous for a deliciously refreshing summer salad that hails from the beautiful city.
Today, we feature recipes that honor Shiraz — both the deliciously deep red wine of Australia, and the city which gave birth to a light salad — right in time for the summer.
· A bottle of Australian Shiraz
· 1 lemon, sliced into wedges
· 1 orange, sliced into wedges
· 1 lime, sliced into wedges
· 2 tbsp of sugar
· A splash of lemonade or orange juice
· 1 cup of frozen strawberries
· 1 small can of diced pineapples
· 4 cups of ginger ale
Pour the Shiraz into a large pitcher, and squeeze the juice from the fruit wedges into the pitcher. Toss in the wedges as well, leaving out the seeds if you have the time. Add the pineapple cubes (with the juice!) and the sugar, gin, and lemonade. Allow the mix to chill overnight, or for 24 hours if you can. The next day, add in the ginger ale, berries, and ice just before serving.
· 1 large cucumber
· 1 large onion
· 1 large tomato
· 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
· 1/4 cup of lemon juice
· Salt, to taste
Simply chop the vegetables into evenly-sized pieces, and toss everything together with the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, and salt. This will make a great side salad that goes well with everything.