Next Stop: Northern Rhône Wine Region

A glimpse of Eastern & Southeastern France-part 2

The northern Rhône is dominated by Syrah (red wine) and Marsanne & Roussane (white wine).

The new home of Maison Delas Frères in Tain l’ Hermitage

We visited the new home of the Domaine that is now located on Tain l’ Hermitage. Reaching a production of 2.000.000 bottles per year, it is definitely another reality of production. Dating back to 1835, it produces wines from domaine-owned vineyards in the most prestigious parts of the northern Rhone such as Hermitage, but also through partnerships from acquired grapes or wine.

After a short visit of the new building, comes the tasting: Saint-Joseph, Cornas, Cote-Rotie & Hermitage. All the wines being elegant, Hermitage is really out-performing. Such a delight!

Visiting Beaujolais, Chiroubles

A glimpse of Eastern & Southeastern France-part 1

A look over Beaujolais, from Chiroubles while visiting Domaine de la Grosse Pierre,
(Right)

Driving south from Dijon to Lyon, deciding which domaine to visit is not an easy choice. Leaving behind the classical Bourgogne the view changes and the lovely alternating hills of Beaujolais dominate.

Domaine de la Grosse Pierre is a family owned winery which since 2018 is run by Pauline Passot and was created in the 1960s by her grand-father.

Tasting various expressions of Gamay from Chiroubles to Fleurie and Morgon.

We tasted Gamay from Chiroubles, where the main parts of the vineyards are located, but also from Morgon and Fleurie. Variable terroir, mainly granitic soils, traditional semi-carbonic maceration, vinification with natural yeasts & per parcel.

Elegant wines, with very different expressions of Gamay by site and by year. Impressive how fuller is the body of the 2020s.

The visit could only end by a short visit of the top of Chirouble enjoying the view from the Terrasses de Chiroubles. Also next to the Maison du Cru, with local products & wine.

Thank you Domaine de la Grosse Pierre for this lovely intro to Beaujolais.

Freshness in Basel! Eat local!

Eat local & support small business can be so tasty. And the perfect pairing for your apero-wine. Fresh or directly from the freezer, toasted or not. And not only for brunch! And they come in so many flavors each of which can be combined with a different wine!

Pairing can go far beyond brunch possibilities. The unique consistence of hand rolled bagels make them a perfect combination with cream cheese, cheddar, hummus and beyond!

Thank you Arbuckles! https://www.arbuckles.ch/

Pepper, Wine & Time is all you need

You need a lot of pepper, a good Sangiovese-based wine and a lot of time!

Chianti Classico pairing with pepper beef stew or peposo

Recipe: Cover the meat with pepper; brown it in a pan with a little olive oil, cover it with wine, add two bay leaves. Cook until tender. For 800 gr of meat, 9 hours in the slow cooker were needed. Add salt. It’s ready to serve. You can also brine it over night with salt flakes and pepper.

This is a traditional recipe from Tuscany. The origins of the recipe of peposo all’imprunetina goes back to the construction of the dome of Brunelleschi and a strike. And the use of spices to compensate for the lack of freshness of the meat.

The red wine used here for cooking (a bit more of half the bottle in this case) and pairing was a Chianti Classico DOCG 2018 from the Castello di Fonterutoli Winery.

Grape varieties: 90% Sangiovese, 5% Malvasia Nera, 5% Colorino,

Alcohol: 13.50%, Total acidity: 5.63‰

Vineyards location: 7 different vineyard sites, altitude: 220 – 550 m.

Soil: Very rich in texture, mainly limestone, varied and complex texture made of limestone and marl

Vineyards age: 15 – 35 years, Nr. of vines per hectare: 4.500 – 7.500 plants,

Harvest: Hand picked from September 14th

Fermentation temperature: 26 – 28 °C, Period of maceration: 16 – 18 days, Ageing: 12 months in french oak barrels (225 and 500 lt)

Tasting Notes: Medium Ruby color, Medium- Intensity in the nose with aromas of balck currant, bell pepper & eucalyptus. In the palate dry, with medium+ tannins & acidity, notes of black cherry & cedar & medium body. Needs some time to open up. Young & Youthful but already a great pairing for a meat dish.

More about wine here

Cook with a wine you like to drink

Chicken cooked in Pinot Noir wine served with polenta

Someone told me once that to cook with wine you should “use a wine that you can drink” and I would add for a good dish you need cook with a wine you like to drink.

In our first attempt, we used a slightly “past its time” typical Bordeaux blend, which was far too overpowering. This time this Albert Bichot, Nuits Saint-Georges really did the trick, even if flavor profile was slightly simple it was perfectly paired.

Nuits Saint-Georges is located in the region of Côte de Nuits, Burgundy in the south of Dijon and it is known (&typically a good go-to) for high quality Pinot Noir.

Hospices de Beaune, Beaune, Burgundy, France

For me Coq au Vin feels like the version of bœuf bourguignon for wine. We do like this simple version of the recipe by A. Ragusea presented in the following link. It does need around one our of cooking. In addition, just 250 mL were use for cooking so the dish was perfectly combined with the same wine.

More similar material in : https://www.instagram.com/jojephined/?hl=en

Cooking with wine-Risotto al Amarone

Cooking with wine can be complicated, but as many say, the wine you use for cooking should be a wine you are glad to drink.

Ingredients for 4 pers.: 375 ml Amarone, 50 gr shallots, olive oil, 50 gr butter, 320 gr rice for risotto, 1L vegetable stock, 60 gr Parmigiano or Grana Padano.

For the risotto al Amarone, you should first let the wine reduce to one third.

Cook 50 gr of shallots in a bit of butter. Add the rice and stir for a few minutes till it gets some color. Add a little salt and pepper. Then add the reduction of Amarone. When the wine is integrated start adding the stock little by little. It takes 15-18 min. Then add the rest of butter and the cheese.

Served with Amarone. We enjoyed it with great company and with an Amarone di Valpolicella 2012 from Brigaldara.

Aromatic with a intense hints of spices (clove) and of cooked red/blue fruit (plum).

Amarone is a unpredicted recioto that as J. Robinson says in O.Companion of Wine, it escaped to dryness. Typical grapes used are among others Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella. The moment for selecting the grapes and the drying process are critical for the production of Amarone.

Photo credits: https://www.instagram.com/artemisafog.photography/?hl=en

Wine & Dine: all about lemon

First dish

Lemon linguine & Albariño

Recipe for 2 ppl
  • 160 to 200g of linguine (or spaghetti)
  • 40g butter
  • 10g olive oil
  • 1 medium-small lemon (bio or untreated)
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • Salt

Put the oil and butter in a pan; grate the lemon zest on it. Melt the butter on low heat. Squeeze the lemon and add the juice.

Cook the pasta in not too much water until nicely “al dente”. Add the pasta to the pan, taking it directly from the pot with a fork, in order to keep some of the cooking water. Mix well on low heat for a few minutes.

  • Region: Galicia, Rias Baixas, Val do Salnés. A location overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, where there is more rainfall than the national average.
  • Grape: Thick skin that helps withstand the damp conditions. It responds well to heat and humidity.
  • Character: youthful, high acidity, good finish
  • Vinification: Typically unoaked.
  • Fun facts: In Australia Savagnin used to be labelled as Albariño
Mar de Frades, Albariño, 2018

Second dish

Chicken fricassee & Südtirol White Wine or Spanish Rosé

  • 400g chicken breast
  • 25g butter, 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • ½ glass of white wine
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 grated lemon zest
  • 1 bunch of parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp salt

Chop the parsley finely. Prepare the sauce by whisking the yolks with the lemon zest and the parsley. Put it in the fridge.

Cut the chicken in small pieces and chop the onion. Sauté the onion in the butter, then add the chicken. Once it starts to turn golden, add the salt and the flour. Mix well to avoid lumps and add the white wine. Once the chicken is almost ready, add the sauce and let it simmer for a few minutes on very low heat.

Réserve della contessa, Manincor

Grapes: Pinot Blanc (60%), Chardonnay(30%), Sauvignon Blanc

Character: Fresh scent of apple, dill, green pear, good acidity

Vinification: After natural preliminary clarification, spontaneous fermentation of the must in a large wooden barrel. Biodynamic

Fun facts: For many years there was no distinction between Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay

Hacienda de Arínzano, rosé

Grapes: 100% Tempranillo

Region: Situated in the North-East of Spain. Significant influence of the Atlantic Ocean.

Character: Spicy, a slight sense of citurs, High alcohol

Vinification: The grapes are quickly pressed.