free run juice

great chefs make great food – and wine

tyler florence wine pinot noirMaybe you know this guy – he’s a chef and has a bunch of shows on Food Network, like Tyler’s Ultimate and The Great Food Truck Race. But like any good chef, he knows what’s most important – wine!

Went to a tasting of his 5 wines last night. He makes three limited-production ones: TF Pinot Noir ($40), TF Zinfandel ($40) and TF Cabernet Sauvignon ($65). I loved the Pinot – it was super mushroomy which a) is just cool and b) is rare for a Napa wine to not be such a fruit bomb. Then there are what Tyler calls the “big tier” wines – Tyler Florence Sauvignon Blanc ($20) and Tyler Florence Cabernet Sauvignon ($25) – because they’re easier drinkers and have a larger, everyday appeal.

tyler florence wines cabernet sauvignon blancHere’s the cool thing: he’s doing a contest to find recipes that match those two big tier wines. Come up with a recipe that pairs with the Cab or Sauvignon Blanc and get people to vote for it, and you can win a trip to Napa plus a bunch of other fun stuff. I lovethat it gets people to think about the flavors of the wine first and then match food to it, rather than the opposite which is how food and wine pairing usually goes down.

My notes: The Cab has a little Merlot in it, which smooths it out. The fruit’s really mellow black cherry and blueberry with some vanilla. And I loved the Sauvignon Blanc (it was actually my favorite out of all 5 wines) – has some grapefruit that isn’t overly intense and lots of orange blossom aromas.

Try them on your own and see what you find and then what you think would pair well with them. Check out the contest details at


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