Red, White & Philly Cheesesteak

I like being a “culinary rebel” and I like to see what foods go with different wines even if it is not the norm or part of the “rules of eating & drinking”…hence the “Twisted” aspect to my blog. In other words I just like to eat & drink!

My Long Suffering Hubby was craving a Philly Cheesesteak from a little shop close to us called Fred’s Downtown Philly http://www.downtownphilly.net/

I don’t know if these are the be all and end all of Cheesesteak, but I sure do love that tender meat with melted cheese and sautéed onions stuffed in a warm, soft roll. Fred’s also has an unusual sauce that is sort of a cross between ketchup and mustard. It is tangy, spicy and a little sweet.

The two wines I chose were: 2007 Becker Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Fredericksburg, Texas. http://www.beckervineyards.com/ and 2009 Alta Maria Vineyards Chardonnay from Santa Maria, California.  http://altamaria.com/

The Cabernet smelled of licorice, plum, and toast. The taste was black cherry, smokey plum, and vanilla. The finish had a little bite to it, but it didn’t linger very long.

The Chardonnay smelled of light bright fruit like apples, pears and lemons. The taste was similar to the fruit smells. The finish started out tangy but ended smooth. This also is an unoaked Chardonnay so you would not have the added flavors of butter, toast or vanilla and it would be lighter on the palate.

At first I tried the sauce by itself with the wines and was surprised that the Chardonnay toned down the sharp vinegar tangyness of the sauce and the Cabernet didn’t do much to change the sauce.

I then ate the sandwich without the sauce and drank the Cabernet. The wine added smoke and stewed tomato flavors to the sandwich.

The Chardonnay was very good with the sandwich and sort of cleansed the my palate and was very refreshing.

When I combined the sauce and the sandwich with the Chardonnay, the wine became a little more acidic. I really can’t explain that, since the wine toned down the sharpness of the sauce when tried by itself…very strange…it was still good but it surprised me.

The Cabernet was good with the combination of sandwich and sauce. I loved the smokey and spicy element it added to the food.

So there you go…don’t be afraid to experiment with different foods and wines. It’s ok to be a little “Twisted”.

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