Hasenpfeffer … Paired with Adelsheim

Pairing: Hasenpfeffer (Rabbit) Paired with a 2012 Adelsheim Pinot Noir

Food:  “Hase” is the German word for “hare”. So, to make this recipe authentically, one might use a snowshoe hare or perhaps a jackrabbit. For those of us who don’t hunt or have access to such wild game, domestic rabbit is quite available at a local butcher shop. Recipes for Hasenpfeffer, and there are a gazillion of them, date back to the 13th century or older in the Westphalia area of Germany. Most all recipes call for a long marinating time (a few days) in some combination of red wine, vinegar, and various spices and herbs, always including black pepper (the English translation of the German word “pfeffer”). We use the recipe from the Luchow’s German Festival Cookbook. The beauty of this recipe is that it does not call for a long marinate. The rabbit pieces are stewed in liquid made with port wine, beef stock, lemon juice, onion, cloves, and peppercorns. We then take the meat off the bones, reduce and thicken the liquid. Then serve it over noodles. It can also be ladled over potatoes or, more traditionally, dumplings. Dig in!

Hassenpheffer with Pinot NoirJPG

Wine:  The Willamette Valley in Oregon produces world-class Pinot Noir, comparing favorably with the wines from Burgundy, California and New Zealand. The Adelsheim winery is located in the Chehalem Mountains in the north Willamette Valley, and the family planted their first vineyards in these mountains in 1972. Pinot Noir pairs beautifully with so many foods … roast chicken, duck, beef, lamb, mushrooms, salmon, tuna … the list goes on and on. Overlooked sometimes is its compatibility with several game animals … quail, wild turkey, venison, squirrel, pheasant … and … here we are drinking it with a well-known rabbit dish … Hasenpfeffer. Delightful!

Adelsheim Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes:  A deep garnet color. The aroma of ripe black cherries combined with the rich woodland smells one experiences while hiking through a forest. On the palate you get cherry again … maybe even cherry cola (a very pleasant taste one sometimes gets with Pinot Noir). One also gets a nice balanced acidity in the wine similar to a Burgundy wine. The light tannins in the wine bring out the pepper in the Hasenpfeffer. Very nice.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Hasenpfeffer: Riesling (Germany). Barolo (Italy), Rioja (Spain), Merlot (Italy), Côte-Rôtie (France)

Other Game That Pairs Well with Pinot Noir:  Quail, Pheasant, Venison, Wild Turkey

View Oregon’s Beautiful Willamette Valley:  Willamette Valley

A Source:  www.wine.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Pear and Blue Cheese Salad … Perfect Paired with German Riesling

Pairing: Pear, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Salad Paired with a 2014 Selbach Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Kabinett Riesling

Food:  Comice Pears are starting to appear again in the food markets in New Hampshire, a bit earlier than normal. They are, without any doubt, our very favorite pears … sweet and juicy! Their actual name is Doyenné du Comice and the variety originated in Angiers, France in the mid-19th Century. They are unparalleled in a salad of mixed greens, creamy blue cheese and walnuts, all dressed with a vinaigrette of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. An amazing flavor combination!

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Wine:  The precariously steep, slate-covered slopes of the Zeltinger Sonnenuhr are recognized as among the most prestigious wine growing sites of the Mosel River region of Germany. And the Selbach family have been making wine in this region since the mid-1600’s. But the first vineyards in this area were planted in the 2nd Century by the Romans. The unique terroir of this region combined with the vast experience of the winemakers, passed down through many generations, results in impeccable wines. This Kabinett, made from early harvested grapes, is no exception.

Selbach Oster Riesling

Tasting Notes:  Color is pale yellow with a decidedly greenish tinge. Cut open a ripe honeydew melon, put your nose down close and inhale deeply. That’s it! That’s the nose of this superb wine. Although pure and clean and fresh are not usually descriptors of flavors, they are words that immediately come to mind when tasting this riesling. Now visualize a crystal clear mountain stream rippling over some rocks … take a sip … add some gentle sweetness … aaah … perfection. A truly stunning riesling … and pairs beautifully with every element of the salad, including the balsamic vinegar in the dressing. An exemplary riesling in every way.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Pear and Blue Cheese Salad:  Champagne (France), Chardonnay (California), Chenin Blanc (South Africa), Gewürztraminer (Alsace)

Other Food That Pairs Well with a German Riesling:  Apple Dishes, Asian Cuisine, Trout, Shellfish, Hazelnuts

A Great Read on German and Austrian Wines:  http://www.vinography.com/archives/2010/09/book_review_reading_between_th.html

A Source:  www.wine.com

 

 

 

Pasta with Fresh Tomato ‘Sauce’ … Paired with a Tuscan Merlot

Pairing: Pasta with Fresh Tomato ‘Sauce’ Paired with a 2010 Castiglion del Bosco “Dainero” Toscana

Food:  With the unusually warm October weather here in New Hampshire, the tomatoes keep on ripening. It’s hard to keep up with them … oh, yeah … we can always can them. But finding ways to enjoy them fresh is always a great treat. When we are looking for inspiration for an Italian dish, our go-to cookbook is Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s The Italian Country Table: Home Cooking from Italy’s Farmhouse Kitchen. Her Tomato Sauce II recipe calls for 1/2 inch cubes of fresh tomatoes … a perfect use for our seemingly inexhaustible bounty of delicious heirloom tomatoes. It calls for making a soffritto only out of long, slowly cooked onions, with some garlic, fresh basil and red pepper flakes added at the end of the cooking. Stir in the cooked pasta and combine with the fresh tomatoes to just warm the tomatoes, not cook them. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Fabulous with the fresh, flavorful heirlooms … but you can even make this dish with canned tomatoes.

Pasta with Uncooked Tomatoes

Wine:  And now it’s time once again for … true confessions. I’m not wild about Merlot. And that’s been true since long before the movie Sideways came out. However, Merlot from Italy (from France, too, for that matter) can be sublime and divine. Dainero is a Super Tuscan wine composed mostly of Merlot. Castiglion del Bosco uses 90% Merlot and 10% Sangiovese from their vineyards in the Montalcino wine area of Tuscany. Although Sangiovese is king throughout Tuscany (indeed the Sangiovese-based Brunello di Montalcino is among the most prized wines in all of Italy), Merlot is one of the grapes that is part of the blend to makes some of the finest Super Tuscans in Tuscany. This Dainero is a delicious and inexpensive example of this Merlot-based wine. A steal at $13

Tuscan Merlot

Tasting Notes:  A deep, dark red … almost black. A delicate aroma of ripe black elderberry … one might experience such a smell while biking past a hedgerow. The palate is a BLAST of blackberry and black elderberry, combined with a lovely earthy background. There is a also a hint of overcooked jam … maybe not so good in jam … but great in this wine! The combined flavors linger long on the finish. The black fruit really plays off well against the parmesan cheese, onion and tomato.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce:  Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), Pinot Grigio (Italy), Soave (Italy), Gewürztraminer (Germany), Amarone (Italy), Barolo (Italy)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Italian Merlot:  Mushroom Risotto, Cheese (Parmesan, Gouda, Gorgonzola), Pizza, Rabbit, Tuna

Read About Italian Merlot:  https://www.winewordswisdom.com/wine_reviews/best-merlots.html

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

Tomato Tarts … Absolutely Delicious with an Italian Chardonnay

Pairing:  Tomato Tarts Paired with a 2012 D’Amico Chardonnay Calanchi di Vaiano

Food: As the autumn harvest nears it’s end here in northern New England, we cherish the last few evenings that are warm enough and light enough to enjoy dinner on the terrace. It is also the time to catch the last of the heirloom tomatoes before the frost hits. These tomato tarts capture the rich, deep flavor of the heirlooms and showcase them as the centerpiece of the meal. We use the recipe found in The French Culinary Institute’s Salute to Healthy Cooking from America’s Foremost French Chefs, a fabulous cookbook. The recipe calls for making a savory pastry from flour, egg, olive oil, canola oil, salt and water. Chill the dough, then shape it into six-inch rounds. Top the rounds with overlapping thinly sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, fresh basil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 375F for about 8 minutes. Unbelievably good!

Tomato TartsJPG

Wine:  For fun … over the next few months we are going to sample Chardonnays from several different parts of the world, exploring different expressions of the Chardonnay grape.  This Calanchi di Vaiano winery is located in the Lazio wine region of central Italy, the locale of the ancient city of Rome.  The D’Amico’s Chardonnay is unoaked allowing only the terroir created from the eroded lava hillsides where the vineyards are planted to shape the flavors of the wine.

Calanchi ChardonnayJPG

Tasting Notes:  A beautiful medium-gold color. Inhale deeply … one is almost knocked over with the delightful aromas of honey, honeysuckle and peach. On the palate, one recalls one’s youth eating a bowl of honeyed peaches. But it’s not a sweet wine … there is just enough acidity to brighten and balance the flavors. Another sip … is that apricot there in the orchestra of tastes … maybe a little bit of spice, too … nutmeg? Gosh, this is a really, really nice wine. One of the top 5 Chardonnays I’ve ever tasted! And … $14 … get more! Oh, and it’s a brilliant pairing with the tomato tarts. Just brilliant. (do I detect a little bit of head-swelling? … nay). The wine, the tomatoes, the crust, the cheese … all work together to enhance each flavor. Wonderful!

Other Wines That Pair Well with Tomato Tarts:  Soave (Italy), White Burgundy (France), Pinot Grigio (Italy), Vouvray (Loire), Albarino (Spain).

Other Food That Pairs Well with Italian Chardonnay:  Pasta with a Light Cream Sauce, Crab Cakes,  Fresh Tuna and Tomato with Pasta, Pasta Salad with Mushrooms & Tomato.

Read More About Lazio Wines:  http://winefolly.com/review/the-wines-to-know-from-lazio/

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

 

 

 

An Autumnal Delight … Roast Pheasant Paired with a Red Bordeaux

Pairing:  Roast Pheasant Paired with 2009 Chateau Lyonnat Lussac-Saint Emilion

Food:  As summer begins to fade, we begin to look forward to autumn and its associated sights, smells,  textures, and … tastes. Roast pheasant is a dish we always think of as an autumnal meal. Our recipe for roast pheasant comes from the L.L Bean Game and Fish Cookbook, a favorite of source of ours for many years. It involves finely mincing (by hand or food processor) 2 shallots, 4 mushrooms, dried basil, dried tarragon, and fresh parsley and thoroughly combining them all with a little brandy and a few Tbs of butter forming a thick paste. With your fingers, carefully tuck the mixture under the skin of the breast and thigh meat. Rub any remaining paste over the outside of the bird. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the bird in a heavy skillet at 350F. Remove the bird and deglaze the pan using some of the wine and chicken stock. Boil down until the sauce is to the desired consistency. As a final touch, swirl in a Tbs of butter and/ or veal demi-glace. Serve the sauce over the meat and mashed potatoes. Yikes … is that good! You bet.

Roast Pheasant

Wine:  The vineyards that surround the town of Saint-Emilion are among the most prestigious in all of the Bordeaux wine region. Some might say in all of France.  Lussac-Saint-Emilion is considered to be one of four “satellites” of Saint-Emilion, all four of these sub-regions lying north of Saint-Emilion. Lussac-Saint-Emilion is located in the far northeastern corner of Bordeaux. Merlot is the dominant grape variety in all of Saint-Emilion and is often combined with a little Cabernet Franc in the making of these distinguished and distinctive wines. Many of the wines from fabled Saint-Emilion wineries are in high demand throughout the world and get top dollar on the market … sometimes hundreds of dollars per bottle. The Chateau Lyonnat from Lussac is far more reasonable … $25.  Click on the link for tips on finding inexpensive Bordeaux wines.

Lussac St Emilion with Pheasant

Tasting Notes:  Ruby red color. Rich aromas of black currant and leather. Big, round flavors of both black and red currant, leather and more subtle tastes of black pepper and spice. All tied together with mellow tannins. Glad we decanted the wine two hours before eating. As we progressed through the meal, the mushroom and herb flavors of the pheasant enhanced further the elements of the wine. And the finish carried on and on. This … is Bordeaux! And this … is a great pairing! (mmmm …)

Other Food That Pairs Well with This Wine: Roast Duck and Confit, Venison, Roast Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, or Beef

Other Wines That Pair Well with This Food:  Barolo (Italy), Red Burgundy (France), Crozes-Hermitage (Northern Rhone), Pomerol (Bordeaux)

Read About:  http://winefolly.com/tutorial/superieur-cheap-bordeaux-wine/

A Source:  www.wine.com

Chardonnay … Versatility is Thy Name

Two Pairings:  Fish Timbales one night and Pizza the next night … Both Paired with a 2012 Dutcher Crossing Chardonnay Stuhlmuller Vineyard Alexander Valley

Food: We are creatures of habit. On Fridays we always seafood (perhaps a remnant of my Catholic upbringing). Saturday is always homemade pizza (the origin? … maybe because it was easy to eat on your lap while the family watched Star Trek – Next Generation … or some other long repressed memory). Anyway, we enjoy a gazillion different ways to prepare both seafood and pizza so the pattern is never boring. Back to the food …

Our fish timbales are made with mackerel and haddock, poached or sautéed or broiled first. A white sauce is made with shallots, cooked and chopped spinach cooked together in cream (and some mashed white beans). Season with salt and pepper. The cooked fish is flaked and added along with a small beaten egg to the sauce. Divide the fish mixture into two six-ounce buttered ramekins. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Unmold the ramekins onto warmed plates. We like to serve the timbales with chard that has been sliced into 1 inch pieces, cooked in a little olive oil and water, then seasoned with salt, nutmeg and garlic powder.  (Bonus:  our fish timbales are 290 calories each!).

The next night is pizza … Instead of tomato sauce, the unbaked pizza shell ( we continue to enjoy our sourdough pizza crust) is covered in pesto sauce with cooked chicken, chanterelles, red or orange bell pepper, bacon, red onion, and grated mozzarella cheese. The recipe we use is from Flavors of Prince Edward Island:  A Culinary Journey. The recipes in this cookbook were provided by the PEI Association of Chefs and Cooks. Wonderful cookbook … great pizza.

 

 

Wine:  My wife and I typically drink a bottle of wine over two meals. So … here’s the dilemma … what wine will pair nicely with a seafood dish one night and with some recipe for pizza the following night? And, of course, what do we have on hand in the larder and cellar? The fish we have in the fridge really needs a white wine. Even a lighter weight red would likely overwhelm the fish. So … what white wine will also go well with what pizza?

Well, Chardonnay is not one of most widely planted grapes and one of the world’s most widely drunk wines for nothing. Many different style, grows in many different regions. France, Italy, California, Oregon, Australia, New Zealand … to name just a few. Being a guy who ‘marches to a different drummer”, “swims against the tide” (you get the picture), I would normally not be inclined to go along with the masses, many of them who only drink Chardonnay (you … hiding there in the back … you know who I’m talking about). But, come on … the Dutcher Chardonnay is really, really good … and I think ideal for these two meals. Go for it! Perfect!

 

Dutcher Chardonnay

Tasting Notes:  Lovely yellow-golden color. The nose carries delicious scents of fresh orange slices and orange blossom. Flavors detected include honeysuckle, honeydew melon, and orange zest, with hints of spice (coriander and mace). The wine’s ability to both quietly refresh the delicate tastes of the fish timbales while at the same time assert itself to enhance the rich, complex flavors of the pizza is positively magical. An exceptional wine we have enjoyed time and time again.

Other White Wines That Pair Well with both Fish Timbales and Pizza with Pesto, Chanterelles and Chicken: Verdicchio (Italy), Soave (Italy), White Rhone-Style Blend (California), White Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Rhone Valley, France).

Other Food That Pairs Well with a New World Chardonnay:  Clam or Corn Chowder, Mushroom Risotto, Chicken in Cream and Morel Sauce, Smoked Salmon Omelette.

Read About:  http://winefolly.com/review/chardonnay-wine-guide/

A Source:  http://dutchercrossingwinery.com

 

Chili … with White Wine(?!!)

Pairing: Chili Paired with NV Otter Creek La Crescent

Food:  There are probably hundreds … or thousands … of recipes for Chili. Ours is a simple, meatless version made of tomatoes, kidney beans, chopped onions, cubed green peppers (or cucumbers), and chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Not only is this recipe yummy and easy to make, it is also ridiculously low in calories and high in protein. Would you believe that the bowl of chili shown in the photo below contains less than 300 calories, and that includes the melon cubes and grated cheddar! (but not the wine). For the recipe, you can go to my wife’s blog, fastingme.com.

Chili and Otter Creek

 

Wine:  First of all … yes, white wine is usually the best pairing for  spicy dishes.

Our quest continues for wines from lesser known, out-of-the-way wine regions and wineries. That quest has brought us to the cold northern climes of upstate New York to Otter Creek Winery in the tiny town of Philadelphia, NY up near the Canadian border. New York is rightly famous for their wines from the Finger Lakes Region (notably Riesling) and Long Island. They can now boast of some excellent wines from the cold, snowy north. The La Crescent grapes grown by Otter Creek were developed at the University of Minnesota for its cold-hardiness and good flavor. My sister, who lives in that area of the state, brought us some wines to sample … delicious! Thanks, Sis!

Otter Creek La Crescent

Tasting Notes:  A pale gold color. Melon and apricot are present on the nose. Lovely ripe cantaloupe and apricot emerge on the palate and continue on the finish, along with a little touch of peach and honey. The residual sugars present a pleasant sweetness to the wine and bring wonderful balance to the spicy Chili as well as to other such flavorful dishes. This might best be described as a semi-sweet wine similar to a Riesling.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Chili:  German Riesling (Spätlese or Auslese), Gewürztraminer (Alsace), Grüner Veltliner (Austria), Zinfandel (Mexico or California)

Other Food That Pairs Well with  Otter Creek La Crescent:  Indian Curry, Chinese Cuisine, Mexican Dishes, Thai Food.

Read About:  http://taste1000islands.com

A Source:  ottercreekwinery.com