Magret aux Pommeau (Duck Breast with Apple Glaze) … Extraordinary with Cote Rotie

Pairing:  Magret de Canard au Pommeau (Breast of Duck with an Apple Glaze) Paired with a 2011 Saint Cosme Cote-Rotie

Food: Turkey, ham, prime rib … they get all the attention during the holiday season. In our opinion, duck is an under-appreciated, phenomenally tasty meat that can be prepared in many delicious ways. How about just a simple roast duck? That’s what we’ve made for years. Lately, we’ve doing duck confit, my wife’s favorite that we frequently have on her birthday. A recent purchase of a hefty duck we cut up into pieces, the full leg sections were turned into confit (currently sleeping peacefully in their jars of duck fat).

The breasts got the royal treatment in Magret de Canard au Pommeau. Susan Hermann Loomis, in her cookbook, Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin, has a very nice recipe for Duck Breast with Apple Sherry. She describes Pommeau to be like a sherry, but Pommeau is a regional speciality in Normandy made from two parts fresh apple cider to one part Calvados (apple brandy) then aged in barrels for a year or more. Besides cooking with it, we also enjoy it as an aperitif or a beverage to accompany the meal. For this dish, the pommeau is combined with a little apple cider vinegar then reduced to a glaze consistency.

Magret au Pommeau with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus

Wine: Cote Rotie is the northern most appellation of the Rhone Valley wine region of southern France. The Syrah wine produced in this region is world class … muscular yet elegant. You can sense the restrained power of the wine (whoa … watch out … getting a little fancy-speak there!). Although this red wine is primarily made from red Syrah grapes, the wine frequently contains up to 20 percent of the white variety, Viognier. Chateau de Saint Cosme is a wine estate steeped in history, dating all the way back to 1416. The winery’s extensive portfolio of offerings includes wines from both the northern and southern sections of the Rhone Valley. A very impressive list featuring some of the most fabled wines in France.

Tasting Notes: A pretty garnet red. The nose evokes luxurious leather with touches of bramble fruit. The taste … amazing … earthy with a lovely combination of blackberry, black raspberry, cloves, cinnamon, and cedar. Perhaps even some unami flavor, too. The duck’s deep rich flavor is moderated just a bit by the mild apple of the glaze. That richness could overwhelm a lesser wine. The power of the Cote-Rotie matches well the rich flavor of the duck. This is what pairing food and wine is all about. Perfect.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Breast of Duck: Gewürztraminer (Alsace), Zinfandel (California), Pinot Noir (New Zealand), Chateauneuf-du-Pape (France)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Cote-Rotie: Roast Lamb, Mushrooms, Ham, Venison, Rabbit

View the Cote-Rotie Vineyards: Cote-Rotie

A Source:  www.

Grilled Vegetable & Sausage Pasta … Served with a French Syrah

Pairing: Grilled Vegetables and Sausage Paired with a 2012 Cornas “Les Chailles”

Food:  This is wonderful summertime fare. We make ours with dark green zucchini, yellow summer squash, yellow bell pepper, and red onion. Using multi-colored pasta adds even more color and fun. Season with salt and pepper and toss the vegetables with some olive oil before placing the mix into a grill pan over a hot fire. Keep an eye on it and stir or toss the vegetables frequently so you don’t accidentally blacken them (though we like a little woodsmoke and charcoal flavor … the operative words being “a little”).

Before hand you’ve grilled up some favorite sausage. We like the flavor of bratwurst sausage. After grilling them, slice them up and combine with the finished vegetables, the cooked pasta, some béchamel sauce, and grated parmesan cheese. What a treat to enjoy outdoors on a warm summer evening! And you can make as much as you want for friends, family … or leftovers.

Grilled Veg & Sausage

Wine:  When grilling is a focal point of a meal, we frequently reach for a Syrah, whether from Australia, California, France, or elsewhere. Cornas is an appellation and a village located in the northern Rhone Valley region in southern France. Les Chailles is the name given to the rich, flavorful Syrah grapes from combined named locales in Cornas.

Cornas Rhone Red

Tasting Notes: The nose: Imagine … walking into a leather shop in Florence, inhale deeply … catch that wonderful aroma of leather. Ahh … Then … sneak out the back door (no, you haven’t done anything illegal) and run into a bramble tangle of black fruits and blueberry. Inhale deeply … mmmm. The palate:  A positively beautiful integration of black fruit flavors and soft tannins. Interesting to note that one of us (my wife) tasted fresh fruit, while I tasted cooked fruit (like jam). The background hints of charcoal and parmesan cheese in the pasta play very well with this Syrah.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Grilled Vegetables and Sausage: GSM (Australia or California), Gigondas (France), Pinot Noir (New Zealand), Syrah (Washington)

Other Food That Pairs Well with French Syrah (Cornas): Roasted or Grilled Chicken, Duck, Beef, Lamb or Pork, Mushrooms, Grilled Tuna

View the Beautiful Cornas Wine Region:  Cornas Wine Region

A Source:  www.