Weekly Food for Thought with a list of low-cost wines, an easy recipe for baked brie, a new Samuel Adams beer release and more.

This time of year, entertaining may be at the top of your to-do list, but costs can stack up quickly. Here are some top wine choices from Aldi, all for under $10.


* Sovinello Private Collection, Pinot Noir (Italy) - Consists of cherry and strawberry flavors with a hint of chocolate. The unique flavor combined with juicy plum works well with pork, turkey, grilled salmon and firm cheeses.


* Landshut Riesling (Germany) - Aromas of mild lemon butter cream, pistachio nougat and peach jam. Tangy orange zest with a slight mineral finish. This versatile wine compliments a variety of foods, including ham or chicken, and, of course, German-style dishes.


* Walker Napa Valley Red Wine (California) - Flavors of dark cherry, blackberry, raspberry, black pepper and vanilla enhance this blend of Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, providing the perfect companion for pasta dishes.


* Chaza Moscato (South Africa) - Light body with a sweet taste thanks to its pear, apricot and sweet peach flavors. Its crisp, refreshing finish balances well with spicy dishes, salads and desserts, or just enjoy it on its own.


* Gonfalone Chianti (Italy) - Brilliant ruby color, distinctive bouquet and dry, yet rounded flavor.  Compliments roast meats and ripe cheeses.


* Landshut Sweet Red (Germany) - Aromas of spiced cherries and strawberry compote with a fruity, sweet medium body and a light tangy watermelon finish. Pairs especially well with rich desserts.


-- Family Features


Tip of the Week: Eat before my workout?


Studies have shown that eating a small snack before a workout, as opposed to working out on an empty stomach, may improve performance by providing energy for your body. Choose low-fat snacks with carbohydrates and some protein, like low-fat yogurt with fruit, crackers and low-fat cheese or a granola bar. Eat a snack about two hours before your workout.


-- EatRight.org


Easy recipe: Baked Brie with Cranberry Sauce


1 wheel brie vheese


1/2 cup dried cranberries


1 cup chardonnay


1/2 cup blackberry fruit spread


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place unwrapped brie on a foil-lined baking sheet. Heat for 12 to 15 minutes or until brie is warmed through and soft to the touch. Meanwhile, bring dried cranberries and wine to a boil in a small saucepan.


Add fruit spread, reduce heat to medium high and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often. Sauce is ready when liquid has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Serves 10.


To serve, pour over warm brie. Can be eaten alone or spread on crackers.


-- Aldi


Did You Know?


One tablespoon of whole flaxseed has 3 grams of fiber while the same amount of ground flaxseed has 2 grams of fiber. -- EatRight.org


Food Quiz


What is the name of one of the first ice cream companies in Philadelphia?


A. Brontes


B. Bassets


C. Bransons


D. Bushes


-- funtrivia.com


Answer is at bottom of column


Wise to the Word: aspartame


[ah-SPAHR-taym, AS-pahr-taym] An artificial sweetener that's 180 to 200 times sweeter than sugar. It's synthesized from two amino acids (aspartic acid and phenylalanine), the building blocks of protein, and contains about 4 calories per gram. Regular aspartame breaks down and loses its sweetness when heated but is excellent for sweetening cold dishes.


-- epicurious.com


Number to Know


480: A Big Bite Hog Dog, without bun, from 7-Eleven is 480 calories.


 -- calorieking.com


The Dish On …


"Baking with the Cake Boss: 100 of Buddy's Best Recipes and Decorating Secrets" by Buddy Valastro


This book is an education in the art of baking and decorating, from kneading and rolling to fondant and flowers, taught by Buddy Valastro himself, the star of TLC’s "Cake Boss." With more than 100 of his most sought-after recipes, including birthday and holiday cakes and other special theme designs, this book is a master course that culminates in the showstopping cakes for which Carlo’s Bake Shop is famous.


-- Free Press


From the Beer Nut’s Blog: Sam Adams’ Vixen


Samuel Adams has been on a new beer spree lately, releasing five new beers recently. One is the Vixen, which may be the best of the Single Batch beers. This is the popular Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock, with something a little extra added – chili peppers.


I hate peppers of all kinds, so I was a little worried, but this worked. The Chocolate Bock is a good beer, but it tends to be on the sweet side. The chili peppers actually mellows out that sweetness. You won’t taste chili, but that balance is nice. I enjoyed this one a lot.


To read more from the Beer Nut, visit http://blogs.townonline.com/beernut/.


Food Quiz Answer


B. Bassets


GateHouse News Service