Valentine’s Day Dinner … Tournedos Rossini … Elegant, Romantic, & Delicious

Pairing: Tournedos Rossini Paired with a 2012 Robert Oatley Finisterre Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir

Food: Filet Mignon is synonymous with elegance and romance. And Tournedos Rossini is … well … a breathtaking presentation of this prime cut of beef. And it’s ridiculously simple to make once you’ve got the ingredients. But first, some brief historical notes … the dish is indeed named for the acclaimed 19th Century composer, Gioachino Rossini, who is most often credited with the creation of the dish. Given his famed love of good food, that claim is certainly believable.

Our recipe is based on the notes outlined in the cooking tome (i.e., doorstop), Larousse Gastronomique, originally published in 1938, and encyclopedic in its scope of culinary knowledge. To serve two (you and your sweetheart), sauté two 1.5 to 2 inch fillets of beef in some butter about 4-5 minutes per side for medium rare meat. Remove from the pan and keep warm in a 200° F oven. Lightly sauté in butter two slices of baguette, two thin slices of foie gras, and a handful of fancy mushrooms. Remove the bread, foie gras and mushrooms and keep warm while you deglaze the pan with Madeira wine. The original recipe calls for foie gras and sliced truffles. What? You don’t keep these staples on hand in your pantry? (Sigh) … OK … we substitute chicken liver pâté for the foie gras and morels or porcini mushrooms for the truffles. Both mushrooms are available in dried form in most supermarkets these days. When using chicken liver pâté instead of foie gras, just gently heat up the slices without melting them. Assemble the tournedos by placing each fillet on top of a toasted piece of baguette. Put the pâté atop each filet, then cover with the mushrooms and reduced deglazing liquid. This is an extraordinary meal to serve that special someone. Or, plan on making it together. Sure beats dining out!

Tournados Rossini

Wine:  Finisterre comes from the latin word meaning “end of the earth.” In Roman times, Cape Finisterre on the far western coast of Spain was considered the farthest point west of the known world, hence the “end of the earth.” But, we’re talking Australia here, mate. And that can be argued is the “end of the earth”, at least to us blokes here in northeastern U.S. Mornington Peninsula is a cool, maritime wine growing region just south of Melbourne on the southern coast of the land down under. The cool climate here is particularly well suited to making excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Not as well known as those wines of Western Australia, but well worth seeking out.

Oatley Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes:  A beautiful, light-bodied wine with a pale garnet color. A gentle fragrance of dark and red fruits, along with the very pleasant hint of red earth. These aromas carry over wonderfully to the palate with the most pronounced flavors being red currant and wild cherry. The fruit is nicely balanced with a core of acidity that adds an Old World element to this New World wine. A delicate wine that pairs surprisingly well with the more assertive flavors of the beef, pâté, and mushrooms.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Tournedos Rossini:  Red Bordeaux (France), Red Burgundy (France), Barolo (Italy), Meritage (California), Merlot (Italy)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Pinot Noir: Mushrooms, Roast Chicken, Prime Rib Roast, Roast Duck, Grilled Salmon or Tuna

Maps and Views of Mornington Peninsula:  Mornington Peninsula Wine Region

A Source:  www.wine.com

 

 

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Greek Pizza … Served with Unoaked Chardonnay

Pairing: Greek Pizza … Paired with a 2014 Chehelen Unoaked Chardonnay

Food:  We are always experimenting with different toppings for our standard pizza shell. Lately our shell is made from sourdough. If you haven’t tried a sourdough crust, you are missing something grand. For our Greek topping, we first combine 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 Tbs red wine vinegar and 3 Tbs lemon juice. Mix in a large pinch of dried oregano, then brush the mixture on top of the crust (NOTE: after brushing four pizzas you will have enough leftover for future pizzas or to make an accompanying salad). Next combine 10 oz of spinach (cooked, drained, and patted dry) with 1 and 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella (it is pizza after all!), 1 tsp of granulated garlic, and a pinch of grated nutmeg. Spread this mixture on top of the pizza shells. Finally crumble 3/4 cup  of feta cheese on top along with some seeded oil-cured black wrinkled olives. Bake in a hot 450F oven. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. This all makes enough for four 8 to 10  inch personal-size pizzas.

Greek Pizza

Wine: The temptation here is to pair the Greek pizza with a nice Greek white wine. Perhaps an Assyrtiko. But, being adventurous souls (and currently lacking said wine in our cellar), we chose an unoaked Chardonnay from Oregon. The clean, bright taste of an unoaked Chardonnay unadorned with oak that much of Chardonnay today is made, proved to be a lovely companion to the Greek pizza. Oregon has become one of the go-to places for Chardonnay. Although Chehalem Wines is best known for its extensive line of premier single vineyard pinot noirs, their Chardonnays are becoming more and more well regarded.

Chehalem Unoaked Chardonnay

Tasting Notes:  A pale gold color. The smells of  ripening cantaloupe is intoxicating on the nose, while cantaloupe and peach are both present on the palate. The salty elements of the pizza bring out the gentle sweetness of the wine. And the finish is long and very nice.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Greek Pizza::Assyrtiko (Greece), Albarino (Spain), Beaujolais (France), Sauvignon Blanc (California), Soave (Italy)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Unoaked Chardonnay: Trout, Grilled Shrimp, Pork, Grilled Salmon

Views and Maps of the Willamette Valley in Oregon:  willamette valley

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

 

 

Chicken Crepes from Brittany … Paired with a Roussanne from Savoie

Pairing: Chicken and Mediterranean Vegetable Crêpes Paired with 2012 Domaine Les Cantates Roussanne (Cru Chignin Bergeron)

Food:  Crêpes made from buckwheat flour are traditional in Brittany, France. We mix a little all-purpose flour in with the buckwheat flour so that the cooked crêpes aren’t quite so dark in color. The filling is made from bite-size pieces of chicken meat cooked in with the Mediterranean vegetables (eggplant, zuchinni, tomatoes, and garlic) with a little water, and seasoned with herbes de provence (basil, rosemary, lavender, tarragon, and thyme). It’s important to pour off most of the remaining liquid before stuffing the crêpes with the filling so as not to make the crêpes soggy.

Crepes with Roussanne

Wine:  From Brittany in the far western, coastal region of France where our buckwheat crêpes originate, we travel all the way across France to the easternmost part of the country to select a wine from the mountainous Savoie wine region. Domaine les Cantates cultivates its vineyards in the Chignin Bergeron “cru”, or village, where it grows the Roussanne grape. Roussanne originated in the Rhône region south of Savoie, where it is most commonly combined with Marsanne and Viognier to make a terrific white blend. California and Australia are increasing their acreage of Roussanne, for both the white blends and single varietals that have become more and more in demand.

Roussanne - Vin de Savoie

Tasting Notes:  Pale gold in color. Aromatics of green melon and white clover are both present on the nose. The taste is reminiscent of a very ripe, rich green melon, like a honeydew, along with peach. Those same flavors linger on the finish. That melon/ peach flavor is a lovely complement to each component of these chicken buckwheat crêpes.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Chicken Crepes:  Pinot Blanc (Alsace), Chardonnay (Italy), Champagne (France), Chassalas (Switzerland)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Roussanne:  Ham, Pork, Poultry, Smoked Seafood

View the Beautiful Savoie Region of Alpine France:  savoie

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haddock with Pesto Sauce … Paired with Greek White Wine

Pairing: Haddock with Pesto Sauce and Mediterranean Vegetables … Paired with 2012 Domaine Gerovasiliou Malagousia

Food:  First things first … It’s probably true that most times we first have a dinner in mind and then select a wine that we think will best complement the flavors in that dish. This time, however, we first had a wine in mind (actually, we had opened a bottle of it the night before). It was a delicious Greek white wine, Malagousia, that we had enjoyed last night with a Greek chicken salad (feta cheese and oil-cured olives being the key flavor elements). We based our new meal creation on familiar Mediterranean flavors … white fish (in this case haddock) with a pesto sauce, sautéed zucchini and tomatoes with oregano, and pasta (whole wheat orzo) tossed with feta cheese and a tomato relish (garlic, onion, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, and assorted herbs).  It proved to be a great dinner and a wonderful pairing for the wine.

Haddock with Pesto

Wine:  A centuries-old Greek white wine grape, Malagousia was rescued from near extinction in the late 20th century by the the winemaker, Evangelos Gerovassilou. Although Malagousia was previously grown almost exclusively as a blending grape, it has emerged today as a highly favored single varietal, grown mostly in Central Greece and Greek Macedonia. The Domaine Gerovassilou winery is located in Epanomi near the town of Thessaloniki in the coastal part of Greek Macedonia.

Malagousia (Greek White)

Tasting Notes:  A deep golden color. The scent of mock orange along with tropical fruits. A delicious medley of fresh, ripe tropical fruits carries over to the palate. There is some minerality, as well, to sharpen the flavors. This is a great sipping wine, the flavors calling out for one more taste. But it is also an excellent pairing for the lovely Mediterranean components of this dish, particularly the pesto sauce on the fish and the tomato relish mixed into the orzo. A great match!

Other Wines That Pair Well with Haddock and Pesto Sauce:  Chardonnay (Italy), Chablis (France), Sauvignon Blanc (California), Vermentino (Italy)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Malagousia: Chicken Satay, Asian Cuisine, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad, Pasta with Light Cream Sauce

Read About:  http://www.newwinesofgreece.com/lista_anerxomenon_ellinikon_poikilion/en_malagousia.html

A Source:  www.wine.com

 

 

 

 

Roast Turkey … Served with a Robust Sonoma Zinfandel Blend

Pairing: Roast Turkey Paired with 2013 Ridge Geyserville Zinfandel

Food:  Our Thanksgiving dinner has remained mostly unchanged for decades. We no longer raise our own turkeys, and we now brine the turkey with our own cider added to the water, salt, star anise, cinnamon sticks, dried apples, and juniper berries, among other spices. The turkey is served with cornbread stuffing, Berks County filling (a family recipe of mashed potatoes with an egg and some stuffing mixed into it and baked), creamed onions, pickled beets, peas and carrots. I start salivating just typing out the menu on the screen! The meal can accurately be described as a ensemble of flavors, and it requires a wine that can be the orchestral conductor that brings these elements together into a memorable symphony. Enter … Ridge Vineyards Geyserville.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Wine: Turkey, like Chicken and Pork, is what we refer to as one of those universal foods that pairs beautifully with a diversity of red or white wines. For our special Thanksgiving meal this year, we selected a favorite red wine that is a blend of 73% Zinfandel, 17% Carignane, 9% Petite Sirah, and a scant 1% Mourvedre. Ridge Vineyard’s Geyserville estate is located in the Alexander Valley wine area in the northern part of California’s Sonoma County, Some of the vines grown by Ridge to make their Geyserville wine are said to be more than 130 years old.  These old vines are at least partly responsible for the intensity of flavors in this Zinfandel blend.

Ridge Zinfandel

Tasting Notes:  A deep purplish red in color. Delightful aromas of blackberry, leather and earth. A rich full flavor that combines layers of blackberry, hedgerow fruit, earth, allspice and mace. The pleasant tannins, balanced acidity, and earthy flavor (possibly from the inclusion of a little Mourvèdre) tip it more toward the taste of an Old World wine, despite its California source. Flavors in the wine are deliciously enhanced by the cornbread stuffing, Berks County filling, gravy and creamed onions, and vice versa. Exquisite.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Roast Turkey: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Riesling, Chardonnay (California), Gerwürztraminer

Other Food That Pairs Well with Zinfandel:  Roast Lamb, Roast Beef, Barbecued Chicken or Pork, Cheese Burgers

Read About:  https://www.ridgewine.com

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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