Monthly Archives: June 2014

Ten Tips for Pairing Wine with Barbecued Food

IMG_1377By: Dori Corr

Ask a thousand backyard grill-jockeys what the ultimate way to barbecue is, and chances are you’ll get a thousand different answers. Just as there are no hard-and-fast rules regarding the single best way to barbecue food, there are no absolutes when it comes to the best wine to pair with barbecue.

When it comes to pairing wine with grilled foods (or any food for that matter), ultimately it is your palate that should dictate what to choose. That being said, New Hope Winery can offer some basic guidelines to help you when selecting the wine that best enhances the flavor and enjoyment of your barbecued foods.

Barbecuing food brings out a plethora of different flavors – sweet, spicy, smoky, acidic, savory –requiring an equally diverse selection of wines. The basic theory of wine and food pairing is to match the intensity of flavor of the wine and the intensity of the flavor of the food.

In the most general of terms: If your food has subtler flavors (chicken, fish, shellfish) consider pairing it with a more delicate wine. “Heavier” grilled foods (burgers, steaks, ribs) typically require the bolder, earthier red wines that can stand up to hearty flavors.

For example, a light Pinot Grigio may wilt when up against a heavily smoked rack of ribs with a spicy sauce, but it would be excellent with grilled fish or vegetables. On the other end of the scale, a Cabernet Sauvignon complements a nice thick grilled steak or smoked brisket, but would surely overpower a lightly seasoned chicken breast.

Now let’s “dig-in” and consider these ten tips for pairing wine with grilled foods:

1. When pairing wine with smoky foods, choose a wine with low alcohol and no oak. High alcohol provides too much “heat”, and oak flavor overpowers smoke flavor and deadens the full flavors of the food.

2. Save your “fine wines” for more refined foods. The heavy flavors of barbecue are well matched by less expensive wines.

3. Sweet wines are particularly good at taking the heat out of spicy foods. Think “sweet wine for spicy foods and tart wine for sweet foods.”

4. Choose “younger wines” – the fruitier the better. The “earthiness” of older wines will compete with savory and earthy flavors in the barbecue.

5. Avoid wine selections high in tannins. Tannins provide too much body (also known as “mouth feel”) to already full-bodied, highly textured food. For example, old vine Zinfandel may be highly spicy and too tannic for barbecue, but youthful Zinfandel, with cleaner mouthful and silky tannins and complement barbecue.

6. Cabernet Sauvignon is great for steaks and burgers with a higher fat. The tighter tannins are significantly mellowed by the meat’s fat. Top your burgers with bold cheeses, like blue or sharp cheddar and this varietal gets even better!

7. Riesling pairs well with grilled brats, shrimp, barbecue chicken, grilled pineapple, and a variety of grilled veggies.

8. Chardonnay will work wonderfully with grilled fish (including shellfish), chicken with creamy sauces, and grilled corn on the cob with butter.

9. Merlot, with its fruit-forward flavor, will support spicy food and not aggravate it. Grilled pork chops and garden-variety salads with lighter dressings are also enhanced with Merlot.

10. Keep notes on what wines paired well with your favorite foods (you’ll forget, I promise) and most of all − drink wines you enjoy and don’t get too hung-up on “the rules” of wine and food pairing.

Use this season of abundance as an excuse to experiment with wine and food pairings! Shake up your wine picks to enhance the easy-going styles and over-the-top delicious flavors that that come off the grill this time of year.

New Hope Winery is here to help you make the most of your wine and food pairing choices. Feel free to call us at 215-794-2331, or stop by, and our wine educators will gladly offer guidance on which wine will go best with your grilled fare.

James Maddock Captivates New Hope Winery


Editor’s Note: This is a review of the James Maddock performance at New Hope Winery on July 22, 2013.

Call it melodic, or folksy, or even Americana.

However one classifies the style of the acoustic-based music sung by the raspy-voiced singer/songwriter and Leicester, England native, one thing is for sure − James Maddock wowed the New Hope Winery on Saturday night, June 22, 2013.

Maddock, a New Yorker (with just a hint of a British accent) captivated his audiences, not only with his entertaining Dylan/Springsteen-esque musical styling, but also with the engaging ease with which he related to his thoroughly supportive audience.

The audience had come to have fun, and they clearly found it in James Maddock’s performance. Backed by a solid band, the nearly two-hour show featured Maddock’s cleaver lyrics set to music that alternates from rocking to dreamy and included: Wake Up And Dream, Mr. Universe, Chance, Another Life and seeming fan favorite, Sunrise On Avenue C.

Returning the good-will and appreciation showered upon him, Maddock lingered late after the show, mingling, autographing CD’s and taking pictures with fans who had clearly got the entertainment they came for – and maybe a little extra that they hadn’t expected.

Music to Move You: Duncan Sheik at the New Hope Winery on June 14, 2014

By: Dori Corr

Finding commercial success as a singer, most notably for his 1996 debut single “Barely Breathing”, Duncan Sheik is also an accomplished composer for motion pictures, television and the Broadway stage. He has received accolades from Rolling Stone Magazine and was named “the most important new singer-songwriter of the decade.”

Alternative singer/songwriter Duncan Sheik will be captivating the audience at the New Hope Winery on Saturday, June 14, 2014.

When I’m on stage I’m not a big entertainer, and I’m the first one to admit that. For me I don’t want to be the entertainer. I’m not there to entertain you; I’m there to hopefully make music that will move you. ~ Duncan Sheik

Duncan has been immersed in music practically his entire life, playing the piano at age five, then mastering the guitar and joining a cover band by the age of twelve. Attending board school during his formative years, Duncan frequently had his musical instruments confiscated for playing too loud. He later attended Brown University where he majored in Semiotics (the study of signs and symbols), deliberately avoiding the academic pursuit of music as a way of keeping his musical style intact.

While studying at Brown University, Duncan played lead guitar in a band with Lisa Loeb. He began shopping his own demo tape around soon after graduation. He appeared with another band on a 1993 album for Epic, and spent several years writing songs before he signed a solo deal with Atlantic.

Barely Breathing

In 1996, Sheik released his self-titled debut album, which was certified Gold and contained the hit single, “Barely Breathing.” This mega-hit remained on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a record-setting 55 straight weeks, enjoying Top 20 success on Adult Contemporary radio and topping the Adult Top 40 charts. The song also reaped a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

Duncan’s second album, “Humming,” was released in October 1998. The first single from it, “Bite Your Tongue,” quickly became the most requested track in the country.

Spring Awakening

In 2006, Sheik wrote the music for Spring Awakening in collaboration with poet and writer Steven Sater. The musical, based on the controversial German expressionist play, “The Awakening of Spring” by Frank Wedekind, premiered off-Broadway in New York during the summer, and opened on Broadway to critical acclaim later that fall. The musical went on to win Tony Awards for “Best Orchestration” and “Best Original Score” (Music), as well as “Best Musical”. The original cast recording album received the Grammy Award in 2008 for “Best Musical Show Album.”

The guitar used by Sheik to compose music for the Spring Awakening is currently on display at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

In 2009, Sheik released “Whisper House,” an album that offered his own version of highlights from Spring Awakening. This reached 181 on the Billboard Top 200.

In 2011 Sheik then released a collection of covers called “Covers 80’s.” He released “Covers 80s Remixed” in the fall of 2012 on his own Sneaky Records/MRI. For this album, Sheik created a remixed edition of “Covers 80’s” in which he reinterpreted the stand-alone pop songs from his teen years along with the synth-pop era’s classic and obscure songs. The album includes tracks by Dépêche Mode, Thompson Twins, New Order, The Cure, Love and Rockets, The Smiths, Tears for Fears, and more.

To see Duncan Sheik at the New Hope Winery on June 14, 2014

All tickets are $50 (plus a $5 service fee, regardless of purchase method). Tickets can be purchased online, or by calling 215-794-2331. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Showtime is at 8:00 p.m.