"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pannini w/Tomato and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup

It's Friday night, you are tired from a long week, and it's cold outside.  What's for dinner?  Here is a feel-good, easy-to-make, and delicious comfort meal for the whole family.

Friday nights are "Movie Nights" at our house.  For our "movie night" dinner tonight, I heated up on the stove top one carton of Organic Tomato and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup from Trader Joe's.  This soup is delicious.  The tomatoes give the soup a nice tangy taste, while the red bell peppers give it a semi-sweet taste.  Even the most picky eater in my family -- my 3-year-old son -- had a few spoonfuls.  Of course, it was after he asked me why he had to eat tomato soup.  My response?  It is good for you and you will like it.  He agreed after he tried it.

With the soup, I made some "Panninis."  For the Panninis, I put slices of Havarti and Fontina Cheeses and Rosemary Ham in between two slices of Sweet French Bread.  I sprayed a counter-top griddle with cooking spray, placed the sandwiches on the griddle and pressed them until the cheeses melt and the bread is slightly crispy.  That's it!  We had a whole meal.

Patrick and I paired our Pannini-soup combo with a glass of a wonderful Cabernet that I bought at BevMo during its 5-cents sale.  It is from Argentina, and it is by a winery called Finca Lalande.  This Cabernet is similar to a Bordeaux varietal.  The wine is elegant in style, rich in flavor and very aromatic.  When you drink this wine, your palate is loaded with concentrated flavors of cherry and currant fruits, with a hint of black pepper in the aftertaste.  The tannins leave a nice long finish in your mouth.  The wine is regularly $16.99, but when you buy one bottle, you get the second one for $.05.

Although it is a Cabernet, this wine served very well with the tomato and red bell pepper soup, and the Panninis allow you to enjoy all the flavors of the wine.

If you don't want to go out to dinner, and you're tired of take-out for your family's movie or game night, try this simple, but delicious meal and a glass of this fantastic Cabernet.  And, enjoy your movie with the family!

Until next time . . . Cheers!


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