Everyone seems to have a resolution or two for the new year.  Visit a new city, exercise more regularly, learn a new language, and be more grateful of life’s blessings are just some of the grandiose plans I’ve heard from friends.  Good luck…you can do it!  Last year I didn’t make any resolutions for fear that I’d feel guilty if any were broken.  But now I’m making a simple resolution that I know I’ll keep.

I’ll taste more wine from lesser known varietals and pair them with easy, delicious dishes.



If you’re a regular Grape Experiences visitor, you’ve read a plethora of food pairings and wine reviews of some of my favorite wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and more. I’ll continue to review those wines because each can be unique (thanks to a variety of factors) and you seem to love them, too!

Sharing practical, interesting information about wine and its story is the foundation of this blog.  So this year, I’ll ramp it up a bit and not only write about those we prefer and are accustomed to purchasing but about wines of grapes that may be “under the radar”. Perhaps one may become a new favorite.  And in this post, I have a suggestion…

A few weeks ago, I was sent a bottle of Fontana Candida Terre dei Grifi 2012 Frascati Superiore Secco DOC as a sample. This white wine is a blend of 50% Malvasia Bianca di Candia, 30% Trebbiano Toscano, 10% Greco, and 10% Malvasia del Lazio from hillside vineyards in the province of Lazio, Rome where volcanic soil is rich in potassium.  The Malvasia Bianca di Candia is a blending grape with neutral tastes and high alcohol.  The Trebbiano Toscano, also known as Ugni blanc, produces light, fresh, tart, and neutral wines.  Aromatic and full bodied with hints of minerality are characteristics of the Greco grape and the Malvasia del Lazio exhibits notes of flowers and exotic white fruits.  After pressing, these grapes were fermented in stainless steel.  Finally, resting on the lees for more complexity and aromatics, the wine was aged further in stainless steel.

Shimmering light gold in the glass, aromas of yellow flowers, sweet spice, and citrus aromas were lovely.  Dry with high acidity, I noticed a palate profile of pears, more juicy citrus, exotic fruits, and subtle notes of apricot and almonds.  Balanced and smooth, the Frascati (only $10) paired well with my creamy, savory appetizer, Slow Cooker Spinach-Artichoke Dip.  Trust me…this recipe will create your new go-to dish for when friends drop by…and with a bottle of Fontana Candida Terre dei Grifi 2012 Frascati, they may never leave!


Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Dip


  • 28oz artichoke hearts ((2 14 ounce cans) drained and chopped)
  • 10oz package frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed dry)
  • 8oz sour cream
  • 1 Small onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 3/4 cups Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (crumbled)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8oz cream cheese (cubed)


Step 1
Place artichoke hearts, spinach, sour cream, onion, garlic, Parmesan, milk, feta, mayonnaise, vinegar and pepper into a slow cooker.
Step 2
Stir until well combined.
Step 3
Top with cream cheese.
Step 4
Cover and cook on low heat for two hours.
Step 5
Uncover and stir until cream cheese is well combined.
Step 6
Cover and cook on high heat for an additional fifteen minutes.
Step 7

Cheers to discovering new grape experiences! ~ Cindy

 For more sips and savors, check out the following sites.  The food and wine bloggers named below will be tweeting about and sharing our food and wine related new year’s resolutions on Saturday, January 10 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time.  Please join us by using #WinePW as your hashtag.  I’m looking forward to tweeting with you! 

Sue from It’s Okay to Eat the Cupcake is pairing Fiery Red & Icy White, will the wine be red or white?

Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla has Argentina on her mind and is sharing Empanadas Mendocinas + ’10 La Posta del Vi Ratero Malbec.

Shaina of Take A Bite Out of Boca is offering Herb Marinated Mushrooms with Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.

William of  Wild For Washington Wine is giving us “A Resolution for Greek Wine, A Recipe for Avogolemeno”.

Martin from Enoflyz Wine Blog is shaking things up with Querceto Chianti Classico & Skillet Kale Pasta & Seitan Pizza.

Jade from Tasting Pour is pairing Halter Ranch GSM and Duck with Cherry Sauce.

Sarah that Curious Cuisiniere  brings us Chicken Cacciatore & Washington Merlot.

Wendy from  A Day on the Life of the Farm has a New Year’s Wine Resolution of Prime Rib Roast with 2010 Cotes de Bourg.

David of Cooking Chat Food is going Greek with Greek Lamb Stew & Wine Pairing.

Jennifer from  Vino Travels  is taking us to Puglia and sharing Braciole and Primitivo Puglia Style.

Jeff from food wine click has made Wine & Food Resolution 2015: Italy Deep Dive.

Michelle from Rockin Red Blog will be tempting us “My 2015 Wine Resolution: Diversity!”

Confessions of a Culinary Diva is focusing on the Rhone Rangers & Paul Bocuse.






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  1. Reply

    Thanks for sharing this wine with us. I am always drawn to wineries and/or grapes with which I am familiar. With the help of your New Years Resolution I will have the opportunity to expand my repertoire. Oh and I love artichoke/spinach dip and yours looks delicious.

  2. Reply

    Oh I LOVE that you used feta in your dip. Spinach and Artichoke Dip is one of my favorites, I make mine in the crockpot too 🙂 This sounds like a very interesting white wine, and although I’ve never heard of any of the wines it is a blend of, I would absolutely try it. It sounds tasty!

    • Cindy Rynning


      The dip is incredibly easy and yes, the feta is a creamy, tangy ingredient. Enjoy, Shaina!!

  3. Reply

    I love your resolution Cindy, and your wine sounds great. I myself am looking forward to drinking more Italian wine in 2015, and this one sounds good. I can totally see it working with your dip! Wishing you all the best in 2015!

  4. Reply

    Ah ha! What a wonderful recipe for entertaining. Slow cooker required and only 2 hours + 15 minutes of cooking. On my list for the next party. Dip me baby. Thank you for sharing.

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