I’ve been excited to write this post since I originally had the idea! Most of my posts so far have been about food but why stop there? I thought I could write about wine…delicious wine 🙂

For the winos and fitness enthusiasts out there, this is something you’ll want to try! It’s called FitVine and is considered “clean wine”. Don’t worry; I’ll explain what I mean by “clean wine” later. It started with 3 friends that wanted to create a wine that fit their very athletic and constant moving lifestyles…so they created FitVine.

There are 5 kinds of FitVine available, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc. These wines are very clean tasting and have a lot of flavor but still have the alcohol content you would expect from a glass of wine. They are low in sugar and low in carbs so you don’t feel as bad drinking a glass…or 2…or let’s be honest, the whole bottle! The white wines are about 90 calories per glass and the red wines are about 95 calories per glass so these are a great way to be conscious about what you are putting in your body but also help you watch your calorie intake (what I mean by “clean wine”).

I had never heard of FitVine before this post but when I saw it at the liquor store I knew I had to try it. And seriously, who would turn down the option to try a new wine? I bought 3 bottles, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc, at the On the Rocks liquor store by Festival Foods in Hugo, MN but you should also be able to find the wine at your local liquor store.

Andrew and I recently took a trip to Napa Valley, CA so we were missing the scenery and wineries, and thought why not bring a little bit of Napa to us by having a tasting at home! We obviously didn’t stop with just the wine (does that surprise you?) and made sure to have plenty of food to pair with our tasting but more on that later.

The first wine we tried was the Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a red wine. I believe Andrew referred to this as a “solid Cab” which must mean he liked it. I typically prefer white wine to red wine but I did enjoy this wine. It was not as dry to me as other red wines and had a smooth finish. We could taste black licorice and a bit of oak but didn’t pick up on a lot of the other flavors. All in all, it was a good wine.

The second wine we tried was the Pinot Grigio, which is a white wine. I thought this wine was delicious! It was light and crisp, and I found it to be quite refreshing. The wine itself was a bit lighter in color than a typical Pinot Grigio but that doesn’t mean the flavor was lacking. We could taste apple and citrus flavors. This was also a good wine.

The third and last wine we tried was the Sauvignon Blanc, which is a white wine. This is supposed to be a lighter wine but we both found it to be heavier than the Pinot Grigio. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just our opinion, but it could have something to do with the food we paired with the wine. A different menu might have made this wine higher on our favorite list so make sure you give it a chance! We could taste a hint of fruit so it was still an enjoyable wine.

This is how we ranked the wines:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon: Andrew – 1st / Laura – 3rd
  • Pinot Grigio: Andrew – 2nd / Laura – 1st
  • Sauvignon Blanc: Andrew – 3rd / Laura – 2nd

 

I’m glad the wine tasting was successful and we were able to find wines that not only taste great but also are health conscious. Next time we’ll have to try the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay!

Now for the food! Like I previously said we recently got back from Napa Valley, CA so we wanted “typical wine food”. What I mean by that is cheese and crackers, olive oil, grapes, etc. so we could really feel like we were back in Wine Country.

To prepare for the wine tasting I sliced 2 different kinds of cheese and paired them with crackers. The crackers not only complement the cheese but are also a great palate cleanser between wines. I chose Carr’s Table Water Cracked Pepper Crackers to pair with Red Apple Smoked Gouda Cheese and Sartori MontAmore Cheese.

Next I sliced a loaf of Focaccia Bread by Taste of Scandinavia found in the Festival Foods bakery. This was paired with olive oil for dipping. I also washed some red grapes.

The main entrée was a strawberry salad with pecans and a poppy seed dressing. This salad is super easy to make! I used Spring Mix lettuce but you could use spinach or a 50/50 blend. Then I chopped fresh strawberries to put on top and added a handful of pecans. You could use walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, etc. but I opted for pecans. You could also add fresh blueberries or mandarin oranges in addition to the strawberries or any combination of the 3. You can be as simple or creative as you want with this salad.

I made a homemade Poppy Seed Dressing but you could also make Balsamic Vinaigrette. The Poppy Seed Dressing is acidic and really ties the flavors in the salad together.

Here is how you make the Poppy Seed Dressing, whisk together:

  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil or Light Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Poppy Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt

 

We thought the Pinot Grigio really paired well with the salad and the pecans brought out the flavor of the Cabernet Sauvignon, but wine tasting aside, the food was wonderful and quick to put together. We’re really glad we decided to buy the FitVine and have our own wine tasting at home! It was a fun evening full of food and beverage while we reminisced about our trip!

Happy Cooking (and wine drinking)!

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