Dare to Pair Contest Winner – Oscar A Montes Iga

Through the month of May, we ran our first ever Pairing Contest.  Fans of this blog were encouraged to choose any of our recipes, and suggest a wine or spirit that would make an appetizing pairing.  Here’s the winning entry!  Continue reading

Moscato “Misu”

As summer approaches I like to begin thinking about lighter styles of desserts to serve as the temperatures begin to get warmer.

My husband, Claude, loves Tiramisu. It just seems a little too heavy for the summer to me so I started playing around with the traditional Tiramisu recipe and came up with this version which does not use raw eggs or Mascarpone cheese in the filling.  It also does not use Espresso! I know, I am messing with all “purist” who love Tiramisu as we all know it.  But this experiment worked and I wanted to share it with you! Continue reading

Eggplant & Zucchini Napoleons

This dish is a my take on a Gluten-free Vegetarian version of lasagna.  It is much lighter, has fewer calories because there are no lasagna noodles, and it has a lot less ricotta than a normal lasagna dish.

I used to love traditional lasagna but to be honest it always left me feeling a little “off”.  It’s a heavy dish laden with calories.  For this months 4-course dinner I wanted to try to do something that tasted like lasagna but did not take as long to prepare. Continue reading


Salmon is one of my favorite fish especially smoked salmon.  It is a great ingredient to start a meal, and equally as great as an entreé.  There are so many ways to prepare it from poaching, smoking, grilling, baking, to eating it raw!

For this month’s 4-course paired wine dinner I decided to make a smoked salmon amuse-bouche.  This little amuse-bouche is light, yet has a fantastic taste to tantalize your palate. Continue reading

Grilled Radicchio Salad


I love bitter green salads of all kinds.  One of my favorite greens is Frissee but in Denver it is difficult to find. I also find grilling salads in the summer to be a real treat.  I love the slightly charred flavors of the lettuce edges that happens when you grill lettuces like Romaine and Radicchio.

The trick with grilling Radicchio is to not over-do it.  Radicchio can be quite bitter without adding any “char” flavor and this level of bitterness is not something that most Americans are used to in our everyday flavor profile.

Continue reading

Juniper Brined Pork Chops with Creamed Wild Mushroom Demi-Glace


This brine works well for most pork cuts from tenderloins to ribs and chops.  Brining helps retain the juiciness of the meat and seasons the meat through the entire meat cut.  I brined the pork chops for this recipe for four hours and they were moist and delicious!

The sauce for these pork chops is super scrumptious and will be come a family favorite. It is rich, flavorful and a bit decadent.  Your friends and family will think you spent hours making this dish because it tastes so darn good! Continue reading

May Contest – Dare to Pair

At the International Wine and Spirits Guild, we love teaching interested enthusiasts about the finer points of wine appreciation, especially pairing wines with delicious meals.  Here on our blog we love to share recipes for such meals, and we notably have a series of Paired Wine Dinners where we suggest wines to go with each course of a delightful dinner that you can make at home. Now it’s your opportunity to chip in! Continue reading