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!
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!
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