Nostalgia is a powerful thing, especially when it comes to food.  Having grown up only blocks away from some of the best German restaurants in New York City, many of my nostalgic memories from childhood are of German cuisine and one in particular, Goulash.  To this day, a rainy autumn afternoon or snowy winter night will always stir in me the desire for a warm bowl of goulash.  Its moderate heat is perfectly tempered by the rich sauce and natural sweetness of the onions.  When perfectly cooked the meat nearly melts in your mouth and becomes part of the sauce.  This is the ultimate comfort food.

 The recipe included below may be very different from what a chef would learn in school, or what the typical cookbook may provide, but I assure you that it will create a Goulash of incredible depth and richness.  The ingredients are simple, but it requires a certain amount of patience from the cook, and passion for the food.  This preparation wasn’t taught to me by one person; instead it was constructed from an old traditional recipe and then fortified by the knowledge of a number of people that credit themselves as Goulash aficionados.  One may have wanted nutmeg, another to brown the meat, but in the end I took the knowledge of all of them and, through experimentation, constructed what you see below.

What to expect: Zinfandel

Zinfandel is considered America's own great indigenous grape, even though its origins lie on the Adriatic coast. Planted throughout California and the Pacific Northwest, Zinfandel is at its best in warm regions with cooler temperatures during harvest. The wines can range from off-dry Rosés (aka White Zinfandel) and light bistro styled wines, to big, rich powerful wines - and even luscious dessert wines. The flavors range from plummy to raspberry, although deep blackberry fruit and brambly spice tones are most common.