A Lord of the Rings Celebration … with Sam’s Rabbit Stew

Pairing:  Samwise Gamgee’s Rabbit Stew paired with 2007 Barolo Rocche Costamagna Rocche dell-Annunziata

Background:  March 25 is a day of very special significance in the history of Middle Earth. It is the day the One Ring is destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom as told by J.R.R. Tolkien in his epic literary masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings (LOTR). This is a special book to our entire family … we’ve each read it multiple times, individually and together as a family.  So, we celebrate the book every year on this most important day in Middle Earth, March 25. We celebrate it by creating a meal composed of foods described in various parts of the story.

Lord of the Rings Books

Food:  This is a meal that Samwise Gamgee made for his master, Frodo Baggins, in Ithilien on the border of the Dark Lord’s fortress lands of Mordor. Their guide (and sympathetic villain), Gollum, has brought Sam a couple of freshly killed “conies” and Sam asks if he might go find him some “taters” for the stew. “What’s taters, precious?” is Gollum’s response. Sam never gets his taters, but we’ve added them to our stewing rabbit, along with some simple seasoning (salt, pepper, crushed herbs). Sam would be pleased. Sam and Frodo carried dried fruit and elvish honey cakes called “lembas” on their perilous journey to Mordor, so we’ve added them to the meal. Our version of lembas is a recipe for Lebkuchen that we make at Christmastime. We save out some of the cookies, unglazed, then freeze for eating at our LOTR meal.

LOTR Rabbit Stew

Wine:  Sam and Frodo didn’t drink any wine with this meal, but surely would have enjoyed this extraordinary Barolo to complement the rabbit and dried fruit. Barolo is a prized red wine made from the Nebbiolo grape grown in the Piedmont wine region of northwestern Italy. Some would say that this picturesque Piedmont area of Italy, surrounded on three sides by the Alps, is home to the finest wines and cuisine in all of Italy. And Barolo is the king of wines.

Barolo LOTR

Tasting Notes:  This pale ruby, almost transparent, red wine has a bouquet of red cherry, blueberry, and a hint of fig, combined with some more assertive tobacco and leather aromas. The palate wonderfully balances pleasant tannins with wild cherry, blueberry and leather. The wild cherry lingers on the long, long finish. A perfect complement to the simple flavors of the rabbit and dried fruits (apples, apricots, and cherries), and even the honey cakes. Very special.

Other Foods That Pair Well with This Barolo:  Truffles (or dishes made with truffle oil), Game (e.g., Venison), Beef (Braised or Stewed), Lamb Shanks, Mushroom Risotto.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Rabbit Stew:  Barbaresco, Bandol, Pinot Grig (Alsace) Chateauneuf-du-Pape (white or red).

Read About:  http://www.wine-searcher.com/regions-barolo

A Source:  www.wine.com