A Classic Reborn … Mom’s Meat Loaf Refined with a Chilean Red Blend

Pairing: Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes and Peas … Paired with a 2013 Clos des Fous Cauquenina (Chilean Red Blend)  

Food:  Mom’s Meat Loaf was a frequent weekday meal in our household … plain, simple comfort food. And delicious. Made with ground beef, pork and veal (sometimes lamb), breadcrumbs, onion, an egg, some milk, and varying combinations of herbs and spices (whatever was handy). Here is Fanny Farmer’s basic recipe which can be modified a gazillion different ways. And we always served it with mashed potatoes, peas, and a rich brown gravy. Of course, the best part of this meal was the leftovers served the next day.  Somehow the meatloaf was even better cold, sliced on some sandwich bread, maybe with smear of ketchup or mustard. And with a big glass of milk. Today, we dress up this classic food with an exceptional red wine from Chile.

Meat Loaf w: Chilean Blend

 

Wine:  Clos des Fous is the brain child of four highly respected winemakers – Albert Cussan, Paco Leyton, Francois Massoc, and Pedro Parra. The grapes used for their Cauquenina blend are 36% Carignan, 18% Malbec, 15% Syrah, 15% Pais, 9% Cinsault, and 7% Carmenère sourced from small vineyard growers in the Caquenes commune in the Maule Valley region of central Chile. It is historically important that Pais is one of the grapes in this amazing blend. Pais, known as Mission grapes in North America, was first brought to the New World by the Spanish in the 16th Century. Planted initially in Mexico, it was later brought to Texas, New Mexico, and California where it proliferated in those regions for centuries. Although wines made from Pais/ Mission grapes have long been considered to be fairly ordinary, they are having a renaissance in central Chile where innovative winemakers are blending Pais with several other varieties to make some very special wines. This Clos des Fous is an exemplary result of this innovation.

Clos des Fous Chilean Redjpg

 

Tasting Notes: A dark (almost black) garnet color.  Spice and leather are the first aromas one can notice followed by some wild blueberry and a hint of cigar box (really!). The palate is amazingly complex with a delicate layer of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg surfacing among the tastes of hedgerow jam and leather. Soft tannins hold it all together and help the flavors linger long on the finish. After sipping the wine for a while, a lovely, gentle sweetness emerges. The pairing with the meat loaf couldn’t be better, but this very inexpensive wine would easily hold its own partnered with a sophisticated French Roast or a Grilled Ribeye.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Meat Loaf:  Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile), Dolcetto (Italy), Zinfandel (California), Rioja (Spain)

Other Food That Pairs Well with a Malbec Blend: Roasted Beef or Lamb, Pizza with Mushrooms and Sausage, Grilled Steak, Empanadas

View the Maule Valley Wine Region:  maule valley

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oyster and Blue Cheese Pie …Amazing Paired with a Maconnais Chardonnay

Pairing:  Oyster and Blue Cheese Pie Paired with 2017 Vignerons des Terres Secretes Bourgogne Chardonnay “Les Preludes” 

Food: It is not hyperbole to say that oysters are among our very favorite shellfish. We spend part of every year on Prince Edward Island, home to arguably the very best oysters in the world.   Colville Bay, South Lake, Raspberry Point … all iconic names of these PEI treasures. Truth be told, however, we most enjoy eating oysters raw and unadorned. On occasion, we come across a delectable dish in which the oysters are cooked. We recently fell in love with a recipe (from the New York Times Cooking website) enticingly called Oyster and Blue Cheese Pie. It calls for the assembly of oysters, blue cheese, fennel bulb, fennel fronds, leeks, and apple. An utterly divine combination of flavors. And served with broccoli and brussel sprouts … too good! Mail ordered Island Creek oysters directly from the source in Duxbury, Massachusetts. When we can’t get PEI oysters, Island Creeks are the next best thing. Delicious!

 

Wine: The Maconnais is the wine region located in the southern end of the renowned Burgundy region of eastern France.  This white burgundy is made by a winemaking cooperative from Chardonnay grapes selected from a number of vineyards that are interspersed among other crops in this diverse agricultural land. Many wine lovers believe the best value in white burgundies is found in this part of Burgundy. Indeed the white burgundies from the Côte d’Or just to the north of Maconnais are some of the most expensive white wines in the world, some costing hundreds of dollar. Whereas, the particular Chardonnay here in this pairing is … $12. The low cost and excellent flavor make this wine the perfect “gateway” white burgundy.

Macon-Village

Tasting Notes:  A lovely pale gold color. An extraordinary aroma of apples stored in a root cellar combined with the grassy scent of freshly cut hay. Divine! The flavor is of a slightly tart, red heirloom apple with a little pear and melon and a bit of lemon zest on the finish. As you sip this delightful wine, one can easily conjure up the tastes and scents of an orchard at harvest time. The pairing of this exquisite wine and the complex flavors of this oyster pie couldn’t be better.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Oysters and Blue Cheese:  White Bordeaux (France), Sancerre (Loire Valley), Soave Classico (Italy), Sparkling Wine (California)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Maconnais Chardonnay:  Goat Cheese, Calamari, Charcuterie, White Fish (Poached or Sautéed)

Maps and Views of the Beautiful Maconnais:  Maconnais Wine Region

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smorrebrod, A Scandinavian Tradition … Served with a Nova Scotia Rose

Pairing: Smørrebrød Paired with a 2016 Avondale Sky ‘Lady Slipper’ Rosé 

Food: The ‘Dog Days of Summer” are upon us. And, Smørrebrød, a traditional Scandinavian, open-face sandwich is the perfect light, refreshing meal for a hot summer day. Usually constructed from a slice of dense, dark bread, spread with butter, then layered with meat or fish, garnishes, and cheese. We make ours using a dense rye bread spread with whipped cream cheese, then piled high with cold turkey, spinach leaves, ripe tomato slices, and hard-boiled egg. Add a generous shake of salt and pepper. Serve it with a cool, refreshing cucumber salad. We like the one found in Craig Claiborne’s New York Times International Cookbook, widely hailed when it came out in the 1970’s.

The salad is made with thinly sliced cucumber, white wine vinegar, salt, sugar, and dill.

Turkey Smorrebrot with Rose

 

Wine:  Nova Scotia is becoming more and more the place to enjoy fabulous wines while exploring a bucolic landscape in Atlantic Canada. Numerous wineries now dot prime agricultural land located mostly in the Annapolis Valley and Gaspereau Valley. The Avondale Sky Winery lies on the Avon Peninsula a few miles to the east. In operation since 2009 (though many of its vineyards are much older), it has quickly established itself as one of the premier wineries in all of Nova Scotia, indeed of all the Maritime Provinces.   Their ‘Lady Slipper’ Rosé is one of their most awarded wines, and made from Leon Millot and Marquette grapes, both cold climate grapes.

 

Avondale Sky Lady Slipper Rose.JPG

Tasting Notes: A pretty bluish-red color, it almost looks like a blueberry wine, but it is not. The nose provides fragrant aromas of fresh strawberry, cranberry, wild cherry, and blueberry. On the palate one can taste sweet strawberry, clean crisp wild cranberry, and lingonberry. It’s like a basket full of ripe, fresh, local (to the Maritimes) berries. A gentle, mellow hint of honey rounds it all out, but one would be incorrect in thinking this is a sweet wine. It gets even better over time as it opens up. The pairing is extremely good with the “wild fruit” complementing the layers of flavor of the Smørrebrød.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Smørrebrød: Riesling – Kabinett (Germany), Gewürztraminer (Alsace, France), Soave (Italy), Chenin Blanc (South Africa)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Rosé: Salade Niçoise, Provençal Pizza, Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Chicken Salad.

View the Beautiful Wine Country of Nova Scotia: Wine Country Nova Scotia

A Source: Avondale Sky Winery

 

 

 

Pissaladiere (Provencal “Pizza”)…Perfect with a Bandol Rouge from Provence

Pairing: Pissaladière Paired with a 2011 Château de Pibarnon Bandol

Food: Pissaladière is a classic pizza-like dish that originated in the city of Nice in the region of Provence in Southeastern France. We make ours with our normal pizza dough, though it can be made with a puff pastry as well. The topping is a generous helping of caramelized onions, anchovies, and black Niçoise olives. Sometimes we’ll add fresh rosemary or thyme to the topping. View different versions of Pissaladière here.

Pissaladiere with Bandol

Wine:  Bandol is seen by many as the premiere red wine of Provence. We count ourselves in that mindset. Bandol is a blended wine composed primarily (at least 50%) of the dark, full bodied Mourvèdre. The remaining is part Grenache and Cinsaut. This combination of grapes produces a rich, full-bodied, satisfying wine that pairs nicely with richly flavored foods. Chateau de Pibarnon is a well-regarded producer of Bandol, not only for the excellence of their reds, but also their whites and rosés.

Bandol - Chateau de Pibarnon

Tasting Notes: A deep garnet hue, almost black. A complex nose with distinguishing elements of blueberry, violet, cinnamon, and plowed earth. Delicious layers of blueberry, blackberry, wild cherry, and earth emerge on the palate, and extend into the finish. This wine is an exemplar of an earthy, old world wine with just enough fruit to keep it balanced. The wine is made mostly from Mourvèdre which can be dark, brooding wine, but this terrific Bandol has a lightness to it that makes it highly drinkable. The pairing with the Pissaladière is inspired, even brilliant (he says modestly). The sweet, caramelized onions and salty olives and anchovies really bring out the great earthiness of the wine.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Pissaladière: Chablis (France), Semillon (Australia), Super Tuscan (Italy), Tempranillo (Spain)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Bandol: Grilled Sausage, Wild Boar or Venison, Calf’s Liver, Pizza

View the Stunning Mediterranean Site of the Chateau de Pibarnon winery: https://www.pibarnon.com/en/

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

 

 

 

Cullin Skink (!?) … Absolutely Delicious with an Alsatian Riesling

Pairing: Cullin Skink Paired with 2008 Trimbach Cuvée Frédéric Emile Riesling

Food:  ‘Cullin Skink is an absolutely fabulous tasting thick Scottish soup traditionally made with finnan haddie (smoked haddock), potatoes, onion, bay leaf, and milk or cream. “Cullen” is a fishing village located on the Moray Firth, a popular hangout for haddock. “Skink” comes from the German word for shin. Go figure.  Anyway … we are fortunate that we can make fairly regular runs to the NH seacoast (yes, we have a seacoast … all 18 miles of it) to our favorite fish market, Sanders, where we can buy frozen finnan haddie. An excellent online source is www.stonintonseafood.com. Our dish is served with green asparagus and parsley. Pretty and delicious.

Cullin Skink with RieslingJPG

 

Wine:  Alsatian Riesling is a sometimes overlooked wine, playing second fiddle to the more widely known German Rieslings. Alsace is located in the breathtakingly beautiful northeast corner of France, just across the border with Germany, not too far from the region where the great German Rieslings originate. Riesling has been grown in this area at least since the 9th Century, and the Trimbach family has been producing fine wine there since 1626. Almost 400 years … Remarkable!

Trimbach Riesling

Tasting Notes:  A deep golden color. Lovely aromas of ripe peach and melon. The smoked haddock really seems to bring out the delicious melon flavors in the wine. One could make the case that the flavor is akin to the taste of a French Charentais Melon. And lest we forget, the peach flavor is also there. The Alsatian Riesling is a lot like its German cousin, but a bit drier and with a hint of acidity. The smoked fish and the clean, slightly sweet wine are a perfect match (IMHO).

Other Wines That Pair Well with Cullin Skink:  Gewürztraminer (France), Vouvray (Loire Valley), Chenin Blanc (South Africa)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Alsatian Riesling: Choucroute, Crab, Scallops, Salads or Other Dishes Made with Peaches or Melon

View the Striking Landscapes and Architecture of Alsace:  Alsace

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Springtime Salad … Paired Beautifully with a Vin de Savoie

Pairing: Springtime Salad Paired with 2013 Veronique Anne Perret Vin de Savoie Apremont

Food:  Maybe it’s just me, but the tug of war between winter and spring seems to be lasting far longer than normal here in New Hampshire. But now at the end of April, spring seems to be gaining a foothold despite winter’s soldiers making a last stand in small bunkers of snow north of the barn and hidden among the hemlocks deep in the woods.  The calendar proclaimed spring six weeks ago, so by golly we’re going to call it spring and celebrate! Here’s a wonderful springtime salad, invented by my wife, composed of a medley of flavors that herald the beginning of warmer days to come.

Start with a base of mixed spring greens. Toss with a dressing made with mayonnaise, hot chili sauce, a bit of granulated garlic and some lemon juice. Play around with your own proportions. Compose the salad with cooked asparagus cut into one-inch pieces, some cooked cold water shrimp, cubed mangos, clementine sections, and sliced hard-boiled eggs. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle additional dressing over the top. This will help you forget that winter ever happened!

Springtime Salad with Vin de Savoie

Wine:  The Savoie wine region lies in the far eastern part of France in the French Alps south of Switzerland’s Lake Geneva. Apremont, just north of the skiing paradise of Grenoble, is regarded as among the finest cru in the Savoie region. The white grape, Jacquere, dominates the wine production in this region and is rarely found outside of this tucked-away corner of France. Veronique Anne Perret’s Apremont wine is 100% Jacquere, an excellent example of this delightfully refreshing, clean-tasting wine, and an absolute steal at $8.

Vin de Savoie Apremont

Tasting Notes:  A pretty pale gold color (12 Karat says my geologist wife!). You can just smell the fresh, clean alpine air along with fragrant honeysuckle and maybe a hint of green melon. Just lovely. On the palate the tastes of white clover and melon persist then linger on the finish. Fairs beautifully with the myriad tastes and textures of the salad.

Other Wines That Pair Well with this Shrimp, Asparagus, Mango, and Citrus Salad:  White Bordeaux (France), Chenin Blanc (South Africa), Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), Pinot Grigio (Italy)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Vin de Savoie Apremont: Cheese Fondue, Welsh Rarebit, Oysters, White Fish (delicately prepared), Raclette

View the Beautiful Apremont Region of Savoie:  apremont savoie

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

 

 

Popovers with Ham & Asparagus … Nicely Paired with a California Red

Pairing: Popovers Stuffed with Ham and Asparagus Paired with NV Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red

Food:  There is always a bit of ham and asparagus left from our special Easter dinner. But never any leftover popovers of which every crumb and morsel is gobbled up before anyone gets up from the table. Well … guess we’re going to have make some more … what a hardship! We like to make them jumbo-sized using a larger muffin tin to bake them in. Easy to make … thoroughly beat up 3 eggs and a cup of milk until light and frothy, add a cup of sifted flour and 1/2 tsp salt, then beat them some more (vigorously!). Then let stand on the counter for at least an hour. Generously butter each cup of the muffin tin you plan to use, putting water in any cups you plan not to put any batter in. Heat up the muffin tin in a 400F oven. Remove from the oven, pour the batter into the hot tin and bake at 400F for about 25 minutes until brown and puffed up. While the popovers are baking, mix up a béchamel sauce with some cheese and add some ham and asparagus pieces. Open up the popovers, ladle some of the mixture into the popovers and dig in. We served ours with potatoes dauphinoise. Good stuff!

Popovers
Huge Popovers! Fresh Out of the Oven
Popovers with Ham & Asparagus Cream Sauce
Filled with Ham/Asparagus Cream Sauce

Wine:  One of our favorite wines to serve with ham is Zinfandel. The Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red is predominantly Zinfandel, but blended with Petite Sirah, Syrah, Barbera and Montepulciano (your classic “everything but the kitchen sink” blend). Marietta Cellars uses grapes harvested from vineyards scattered throughout Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. Multiple generations at Marietta Cellars have perfected the art of making great blended red wines. And at an amazing price … about $12.

Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red

Tasting Notes:  A beautiful shade of garnet. A nose of rich earth and black currant. A wonderful complex palate with layers of black and red raspberries, black currant, leather, black pepper and other spices. With each sip, a new flavor moves to the front. But the myriad of tastes does not overwhelm the food. The wine makes an excellent companion.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Popovers and Ham/ Asparagus Cream Sauce:  Pinot Noir (Oregon), Chardonnay (California), Syrah (Washington), White Burgundy (France)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Zinfandel-based Blends:  Grilled Chicken or Pork, Baked Ham, Hamburgers or Hot Dogs Cooked Over an Open Fire

Read About:  https://www.winemag.com/2017/06/06/how-generational-change-is-driving-marietta-cellars/

A Source:  www. klwines.com