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Posts Tagged ‘Risotto’

Rating: 5/5

Brined cornish game hens, rubbed with clove and paprika and put on the grill. Risotto made from arborio, onions, broth, white wine, golden beets, and spiced with thyme, paprika, and clove. Ligonberries deglazed in white wine, spiced with clove, cinnamon, and thyme; spiked with some honey. Also with green beans sauteed in some olive oil.

Wine: Camino de Navaherreros 2010

IMG_1239Notes: I take delight in exploring the extreme perimeters of what my 4-year-old nephew will even consider eating. Apparently this risotto “Tastes like potatoes,” so I’ll go ahead and consider this to be a win for me on this one given my high number of failures in this game.

Anyway…

Lately I’ve been devouring François Chartier’s Taste Buds and Molecules which highlights his research in matching the volatile compounds (aromas/tastes) of wines to those found in food. While limited to flavor matching, it’s an interesting approach because wine science is just getting to the point where enough information has been cataloged to start doing this. I’ll probably post on topics around this at a later point, but for this experience, just know that the components of clove are chemically the same as those found in a number of red wines and grilled meats always have an affinity for wines put into some oak.

The results were of course spectacular. The theme of clove in varying potency levels in each of the parts of the meal were all brought out by the wine and vice-versa. The red fruit in the wine also made good friends with the ligonberries. Retronasally-speaking (breathing out through your nose after you swallow) all this flavor matching creates this heightened immersion into the food and wine which if done in overabundance could be overwhelming.

By the way, yes that is a guy riding a bear on the label which I think is now one of my favorite wine labels. “Herreros” translated means blacksmiths I believe or a skilled tradesmen, but I have no idea what the “Nava” part would be. So it’s the Path of the something-something blacksmiths that carry spears and ride on bears. I definitely want to take that journey.

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Rating: 5/5

Cornish Hen marinated in olive oil, garlic and onion then put on the grill with a risotto full of tenderly cooked onions using a dash of the red wine instead of the traditional white.

Bonus gratuitous food shot

Wine: Domaine Diochon Cuvée Vielles Vignes 2009

Notes:

This was superb.  The gamay had a surprising amount of punch and had to be left out for an hour before I started in on it.  Lots of dark berries and fig components that went nicely with the creamy risotto and the grilled hen.  The tannins, although softly apparent on their own, seemed to melt away with the extra bit of finishing salt I dashed on at the end.  For those with concern about gamay, this is a serious one.  As a bonus, the dish turned out to be pretty good looking so I’ve included the gratuitous food shot above.  As a bonus to the bonus, I’ve even included a nice infographic of this label for those of you who want to figure out what exactly the items on a typical French label mean.

Bon appétit!

Interpreting a French Wine Label

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Rating: 4/5

Slow cooked chicken in a solid blend of herbs and spices, along with Risotto made from Arborio, milk, butter, olive oil with a dash of white truffle, cardamom, honey, pepper and white wine.  Side salad included.

Wine: King Estate’s Acrobat Pinot Gris 2009

Notes:

I’m somewhat convinced that this wine could go with just about anything reasonable. It is true to any decent Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris in that respects.  The thing that made this pairing a little above average was the touch of honey and cardamom in the Risotto and the bit of sweetness it brought out in the finish of the wine.   Great meal for the start of Spring!

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Rating: 2/5

Baked rainbow trout with fresh ginger, garlic and cayenne.

Sautéed Chard.

Risotto with dried Porcini mushrooms hydrated in white port and water.

Wine: E. Guigal Cotes du Rhône 2006

Notes:

Talk about a heavy dish!  Although the Syrah is wonderfully earthy and definitely took on this meal.  It was just too heavy overall to have more than a few bites.  Next time, the mushrooms should be left to soak in water or perhaps use some bellas.

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