Perfectly Paired – Exploring Vintner’s Spice Blend

Vintner’s Spice Blend is a great choice when wine is as important as the food being served! In fact, we created this blend to help food pair better with wine─ especially red wine, heartier aromatic whites (such as Gewürztraminer or Viognier), and oaky new world Chardonnays. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or you simply enjoy wine, this blend is worth a try!
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Our Vintner’s Spice Blend includes wine powder, garlic, parsley, smoked sea salt, Pinot Noir Sea Salt, black pepper, tarragon, chives, and thyme. You can see why we love to pair this with wine! Pinor Noir Sea Salt and wine powder give it the robust and savory aromas needed to complement a beautiful glass, while the herbs, salt and pepper add all-purpose flavor.

Many of our guests don’t realize just how versatile this blend can be! So, we decided to kick back with a glass of wine and give you some ideas. Read on!

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Like Salt & Pepper
At The Spice & Tea Exchange® we incorporated a lot of earthy and vegetal notes in this blend. Then we added two the key ingredients – Chardonnay Oak Smoked Sea Salt and Black Pepper – to turn this blend into what we like to call, an “all-purpose seasoning,” which means you can use it as you would salt and pepper! Steam, grill, or roast some vegetables, then toss them with a bit of the Vintner’s Spice Blend. If all you ever do is sprinkle Vintner’s Spice Blend over your food just before serving, you’ll enjoy how nicely your meal pairs with the wine you’re drinking.

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Homemade Vinaigrette
Making a homemade vinaigrette? Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of the seasoning for each ¼ cup olive oil you’re using. Let the Vintner’s Spice Blend bloom in the dressing for about 15 minutes, then taste and adjust your vinaigrette to your liking. Try also using a mild vinegar, such as a red wine, white wine, or rice wine vinegar in this preparation. If you’re a fan of sweeter balsamic vinegar, give this idea a try: Make a balsamic vinaigrette and add the Vintner’s Spice Blend. Then, use it as a finishing sauce by basting onto chicken or fish. Simply brush a little of the vinaigrette over the food just as it comes off the heat.

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Soups & Sauces
Any hearty soups or tomato based sauces will also benefit from the addition of Vintner’s Spice Blend. Add a teaspoon or two. Taste, then give it a few minutes taste again. Add more to your liking.

Quick Tip: Vintner’s Spice Blend is a terrific flavor booster to soups or sauces you buy at the grocer. Simply add to taste to improve the flavor!

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Dry Rubs
Because we have incorporated some complex tastes (smoked salt) and aromas (tarragon, chives and thyme) into this blend, you can also use it as a dry rub for beef. Sprinkle a generous amount over the surface of your meat, then place your meat on a sheet of cling film/plastic wrap and tightly wrap it. Let it marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 to 6 hours, or as long as 12 to 24 hours, depending on the thickness of your cut.

When you’re ready to cook your meat, unwrap it and dry the surface with paper towels. The surface of your meat will be infused with flavor and some of its natural juices will have penetrated the surface carrying that flavor with it.

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Cheeses
Our label suggests using our Vintner’s Spice Blend with brie. This is a must! It’s an easy way to make an impression at your next gathering.

Begin by slicing off the top rind from a piece of cold brie. Combine ¾ cup rough chopped almonds and 1 TBS of  Vintner’s Spice Blend with 3 TBS softened butter. Blend it all together, then mound it evenly onto the brie. Place it under your broiler until it is melting over the cheese. Take care to not let it all melt! Remove from the oven and enjoy.

If you don’t want the mess of blending all the ingredients together, you can mound the almonds onto your brie (room temperature cheese works best here). Pour melted butter (that has cooled a bit) over the almonds, and immediately sprinkle the Vintner’s Spice Blend onto the melted butter as it spills over the sides of the brie. The heat from the butter will release the aromatics (tarragon, chives and thyme) in the blend and help make the top layer of the brie even more gooey and delicious.

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Now you’re getting the hang of just how versatile this blend can be! How will you use it? Share your thoughts below!

Inspiration Provided By: Chef Donna Desfor

Post Author: Spice & Tea

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