red wine

Hot Chocolate. With Red Wine?

by Anne Maxfield on January 9, 2017

Accidental Locavore Hot ChocolateThe Accidental Locavore was moved to make myself a mug of hot chocolate and write this piece after an article in the NY Times* about this new “thing.”

Dubbed red wine hot chocolate, it was the mash-up of 2016.

Or mess-up, depending on your point of view.

There are certain foods you just don’t fiddle with.

Call me a purist if you’d like, but when an ingredient is perfectly delicious why can’t it be left alone?

Chocolate (and its drinkable buddy, hot chocolate) are some of those ingredients.

And the better the chocolate…

So why is everyone inclined to flavor it?

Accidental Locavore Mug of Hot Chocolate

Here’s my opinion on hot chocolate (with apologies to Green Eggs and Ham):

I do not like it with chipotle, coffee or cumin.

Tahini or Nutella.

I do not like it with red wine—Burgundy or Beaujolais.

No $95 Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Or for that matter, white wine, rosé or champagne.

I do not need it with marshmallows—mini, midi or maxi. Handmade or from a bag.

And no ménage à trois with red wine and marshmallows (courtesy of the NY Times). No, no, no!

I do like it in a mug.

I do like it in a jug (to pour in to my waiting mug).

I do like it dark and hot.

And maybe even with a heart.

I do not need it with whipped cream. Unless it’s Angelina’s– my Paris dream.

I do not need it 28 ways, as in the number of February days.

I do not like it from a bag, and made with water makes me gag.

It’s hot and nostalgic but not much more.

And my NYC fave? City Bakery’s makes me rave!Accidental Locavore City Bakery Hot Chocolate


What about you? Have you had or will you try red wine hot chocolate? With or without marshmallow?


*From the same publication that gave the world pea guacamole



Accidental Locavore Wine GlassesOne of the highlights of the Accidental Locavore’s recent trip to Croatia was the chance to learn about a whole new (to me) country’s wines. In just the section we were in, Istria, there are over 130 wineries. Most of them produce a version of Malvazija , the local white wine, but some of them are branching out and planting all sorts of grape varieties.

Accidental Locavore San Tommaso WinesOn a typical day we would have at least one tasting, usually of four or five wines, lunch with at least three wines, dinner with three or four, not to mention welcome toasts, aperitifs or after dinner drinks of grappa, slivovitz, hugos, etc, etc. It’s not a hard-drinking country, just a culture that’s welcoming and proud of its viniculture. Sadly, most of it isn’t imported to the US yet, so we had to drink it there.

But, if I stop to add up all the glasses, and not even individually, but as types, the numbers are a bit staggering (even though none of us were).

Day 1: Welcome toast at La Puntulina for dinner, Malvazija with dinner. Total 2-just a warm up.

Accidental Locavore Spanish FlyDay 2: Tasting after foraging for wild asparagus at San Tommaso of their Malvazija/Chardonnay blend, a Merlot, and with the asparagus risotto, a Teran. Accidental Locavore Bruno and GrappaBrandy or slivovitz with Boris after touring the Aromatica (and seeing his large apothecary jar of Spanish fly). Accidental Locavore Trappan BarrelTasting at Trapan of sparkling rosé, followed by a rosé, two Malvazijas, and two reds (one of them named Nigra Virgo-black virgin). Dinner at Milan with a sparkling white, another Malvazija. Total 12.

Accidental Locavore Grappa BreakfastDay 3: Welcome grappa toast (your choice from three) and Malvazija for breakfast before the truffle hunt, Sparkling rosé, Malvazija and Porco Rossa at Toklarija for lunch. Olive oil tasting at Ipša that turned into a chance to try their new Malvazija. Accidental Locavore the View From KoslovicTasting at Kozlovic of two whites, a rosé and their Teran . Another grappa toast at Stari Podrum at dinner and your choice of red or white (or both). Total 12-13.

Accidental Locavore HugosDay 4: A couple of Hugos (going to be my go-to summer drink!) at Vitriol cafe on the beach. Grappa toast and a lot of Malvazija at lunch at Čok. Accidental Locavore Tasting at DeGrassiEight (4 white 4 red) at Degrassi tasting and finally five more; sparkling, two whites, a red and a dessert wine at dinner. After dinner drinks were turned down–no idea why. Total 16–finish strong!

Accidental Locavore Grappa at LunchRough count of 42-OMG! Stay tuned for a report on what I liked and loved, and what I wish were available in the US.




What to do With London Broil?

by Anne Maxfield on May 8, 2014

Accidental Locavore London BroilLooking for any excuse to grill last weekend, the Accidental Locavore found a pile of London broil in the freezer from our beef share from Brykill Farms. I found this recipe on the Food Republic site and went to work. Having some red wine left over from dinner was helpful-otherwise just open what you’ll drink with the steak. This is pretty easy; just leave time for the meat to marinate.


For the London Broil:

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced, or run through a garlic press
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds London Broil or flank steak

For the Horseradish Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup prepared, horseradish
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives

For the London Broil:

Mix together all the ingredients except the meat. Place the meat and the marinade in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but no more than 24 hours.
Remove the meat from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature before cooking.
Preheat a grill to high, oil the grate, and set it 5 to 6 inches above the coals.
Remove the meat from the marinade (discard the marinade) and pat it dry with paper towels.
Grill on each side for 6 minutes for rare or 7 to 9 minutes for medium-rare.
Transfer to a carving board and let stand for 8 to 10 minutes. Slice the meat across the grain and serve with the horseradish sauce.

To make the horseradish sauce:

Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy and put in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to meld. Serve in a ramekin beside the meat.

My verdict: This was really good. Although I often reach for some leftover wine to deglaze a pan, I never usually think to use wine when throwing a marinade together. The wine and the balsamic vinegar help to tenderize the meat. The taste of the garlic really comes through, so if you’re not a big fan, you might want to keep it to a couple of small cloves. We had a really big piece of steak, so Frank went to work the next day, making his version of Philly cheese steaks, with pepper jack, caramelized onions and some of the horseradish sauce. They were also great and would be a good excuse to break out another hunk of meat! When I make horseradish sauce, it’s usually just sour cream, mustard and horseradish. I liked the addition of the wine and cider vinegar, but I cheated and used Greek yogurt instead of the sour cream (and saved myself a trip to the market).




Accidental Locavore Calcu

Towards the end of last year, the Accidental Locavore was sent a bottle of Chilean wine to taste and review from the Thomas Collective. I met one of their people on the Brooklyn Pizza Tour. When they sent it, they had no way of knowing my affinity for things Chilean. A good friend of mine is a diplomat from “that string bean of a country” as he would call it and it’s through him that I first learned to appreciate their world-class wines.

This bottle was a Calcu 2008 Carménère Reserva which the tasting notes describe as: “On the nose, this wine displays dark fruit, spices and bitter chocolate. The finish is intense and juicy.” I would tend to agree with most of that. It was a pretty big wine, but not overpowering. The Locavore served it with some homemade charcuterie: duck rillettes, chorizo and a hunk of Cabot’s Clothbound Cheddar, all of which it complimented nicely.

The carménère grape was originally a French grape and possibly a clone to Cabernet Sauvignon, which is now almost exclusive to Chile. In other words, what you’re getting for a suggested retail of $15, is Bordeaux’s Chilean cousin…a bargain! Since I only had one bottle and three friends, we didn’t have a chance to pair it with dinner. It would probably work well with anything you would pair a Merlot or Cab with. The usual suspects being steaks, roasts and lamb, although I might like it better with beef than lamb. And don’t forget it was great with the duck rillettes so duck confit (maybe over lentils de Puy) or slow roast duck would be a great combo.

Give it a try.  In New York you can find it at 67 Wine & Spirits, 179 Columbus Avenue (local, a mere three blocks from my apartment), or on the Internet.