Tag Archives: Food Pairing

Possibly Better than Julia Child’s

IMG_1951 But then again, I wouldn’t know. I just know it was really great food with some really great people. Sunday night my father attempted (and succeeded at) Julia Child’s recipe on Coq au Vin. We didn’t have an old rooster as some of the old French recipes might call for, but it was still on point. I was a little late for dinner because of work, but don’t you know I made up for it by bringing the wine!

“Les Dames de Huguettes” Bourgogne – 2009 (Hautes Cotes de Nuits) Domaine Mongeard – Mugneret

This wine gets a little bit of shtick online, but I thought it was really nice. Red Burgundys Les Dame de Huguettesare really great and I certainly don’t drink them enough. Well, they are usually Pinot Noir, so I drink plenty of those, but not many from France. They are seen as too light, not having enough fruit, not having enough tannin or not having enough structure in general. Sometimes, if it quacks like a duck…. They aren’t trying to be anything else. I take Burgundys for what they are – elegant. I got this one at the Wine Merchant in Cary.

With this one in particular, the nose smelled like a dark red, full of dark fruits. There was no astringent smell at all, only freshness. The color was amazingly bright ruby red and on the palate bright fruit of cherry to match its color. The wine was soft, but with the exact flavor that I wanted with the meal (My dad had already told me he would be using an Oregon Pinot Noir in the Coq au vin). I knew I needed something to match. Though they are completely different styles of Pinot Noir, it worked because the sauce was light enough to hang on with the French Burgundy. The smells and tastes lingered together and didn’t overpower one another.

The Coq au vin came out beautifully, even though it had to be reheated! The chicken was tender, the onions Coq au Vinwere cooked perfectly and the mushrooms full of richness. And the sauce! Light carmel colored liquid gold – I love that the sauce wasn’t too rich or too overbearing like gravy can sometimes be. It dripped with lusciousness without causing that over-full feeling and soaked the rice under the chicken nicely. Add bread and butter and I couldn’t help but to eat as slowly as possible to savour every bite. It’s fun how some of these French recipes become an accomplishment, you have to try them out!

It’s at these times that we feel like we can really go travel anywhere. Sure, we weren’t in France, but we were acting French. French peasant food with array of fresh breads, cheese and salads, beautiful red Burgundy and a table of friends. At once, we are transported to a new culture and loving every minute of it.

A bien tôt! Salut!

Hautes Cotes de Nuits

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Tradition Domaine Riesling – Mittnacht-Klack

Mittnacht-Klack Sunday Night’s Diner: Seared Pork Chops topped with Homemade Applesauce and Roasted Potatoes

I started on a health kick when I returned from my last trip. While I was away I ate however I wanted; chips, ham, beef, bread from Ireland, fried cheese, kabobs and pastries from Turkey and giant pretzels from Germany. Sure, it was delicious, but I really needed to back off, especially because we have all of those things in America and worse – they aren’t as good so you feel like you need twice as much!

Well here I am off white breads and fries and I’m really feeling the pain. On Thursday I had made some homemade applesauce. There is hardly any added sugar in it, but it just smells and tastes sweet. I took a bunch of sliced apples, skin on and boiled them down with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. This got me thinking of pork chops. I just love the flavours of apple and pork together. Pork chops and apple is such a fall meal too; it’s warm and hearty and decadent. My idea for the potatoes spawned from my NEED for fries, but I couldn’t have them! So I chopped an onion and potatoes and threw them in a casserole dish and baked the crap out of them. I added some cheesy pull apart bread for those that could have it because I thought cheddar and apples – who can go wrong with that.

I chose a dry Alsacian … Alsation – well it was from Alsace – Riesling, from Raleigh Wine Shop. I thought a Riesling from this area would work the best because I didn’t want sweet, but I love the taste of Riesling with white meats and light tasting foods (potatoes, apples). There was barely any smell to it, but the taste was excellent. Medium-bodied for a Riesling, enough weight in the mouth and the citrus worked nicely with the meal. As my family tasted it, we agreed that the meal was making the wine taste better. The flavour of the pork and spiced apples help create the roundness of the wine – to complete it.

For those who think all whites are bad and also that they should be left to summer, I must implore you to change your Riesling Winemind. German whites aren’t harvested in the summer, they are barely grown in any heat at all – it’s cold up North. Although this is a French wine, it takes on the nature of it’s German neighbor – it is great with fall foods, it’s dry and light. It doesn’t even need to be chilled all that much, in fact ours was probably around 40° F. I fear any colder and we might have lost valuable taste. Anyways, that’s just my spiel, wines should get equal tasting!

On the back of the wine, there is a nice little anecdote. It only makes me want to visit the lands between France and Germany more where Alsace resides. It’s an area that has been fought over many times and has resulted in becoming a wonderful mix of cultures. I hope to one day visit and walk from one country to the other, I hear it’s beautiful.

Salut my friends.

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Pork, it’s what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Pork…it’s such a funny name and one, though after fervent research (perhaps 2 minutes on Wikipedia), I have not been able to find the origin. I must remember to ask my brother as he is the family encyclopedia.

(Hurray! And he came through as promised via Facebook: Jeremy The basic root ‘pork’ (meaning pig) is recognizable in human language as far back as we can find, traceable through English, Latin, and Proto-Indo-European. It possibly refers to the pig’s characteristic behavior of rooting for food. :-))

Pork, fork, torque, dork… it certainly wouldn’t make any good poetry.  Not only that, but it is forbidden for at least two different religious sects.  So why do we all LOVE the other other white meat?? Bacon, mmmm, oh and also that it is very versatile when it comes to wine pairing.

Which wine do you think would go well with pork?

  1. Riesling
  2. Zinfandel
  3. Rosé
  4. Belgian Ale
  5. Pinot Noir

The answer? F. All of these would go well with pork, even the beer I snuck in!  I would pair any of these wines with pork tenderloin, BLT, baked ham, pork chops, bacon, pulled pork etc.  The trick is to join flavors with the pork and garnishes as to highlight the wine you have chosen.

When you’re at a restaurant and you are ordering wine, do you think about what kind of food you’re hungry for and pair it with the wine you desire? Most often than not, we pick our favorite wine or one we have been hoping to try.  Do you then choose your meal based on your wine selection? Some of you can say that you do, but many of you probably just choose your wine and your food separately.  Most of us have a vague idea of our food and wine choice before we even enter the restaurant, which frankly is just how things work.  Sticking to the norms will help. So you feel like fish tonight, go white. You feel like beef, go red.

On the other hand, you feel like pork.  The reason I bring up Mr. Piggie is because a couple weeks ago I used pork tenderloin to create a dish my mother used to make with pork chops.

Pork Chops á la Momma

The recipe sears off the pork in olive oil and removes.  Slice and add 1 ringed white, yellow or Vidalia onion (your choice) till translucent (add more olive oil as needed).  Add the pork back to the pan and add approx. 1 cup of orange juice or until bottom of the pan and pork is just about covered.  Cook pork thoroughly.  Salt and pepper while pork is cooking and stir. When the orange juice begins to boil, I take a little in a cup, add a touch of flour, mix well and add back to the pan to thicken the orange juice into a sauce. Ta-da! I served the pork with sweet potato mash and sweet peas; and by serve I mean I put it on my plate to eat.

I thought about drinking it with the Chardonnay/Viognier blend… or maybe that Mulderbosch Rosé I last spoke of, or a Cabernet/Merlot blend.  My overall pondering only lasted a few seconds when I realized that I still had the nice effervescent Dr. B in the fridge.  The Auslese was a good compliment to the sweet Vidalia onion and orange juice mix.  It broke up whatever richness might have come forth through the saucy pork and sweet potatoes as well.

I know you won’t be disappointed with your pork and wine choice, whatever it may be! Enjoy and as always, drink up!

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