Archive for Pinot Noir

Perfect Pairing: Salmon and Pinot Noir

Monday, May 4th, 2015

With a few ingredients and a good bottle of wine you’ll have dinner ready in less than 30 minutes.

This pan seared salmon recipe hits all my weeknight dinner needs: Easy, healthy, filling, delicious and pairs great with wine!

Pinot Noir is the ideal pairing with salmon. The light red fruits and earthy, savory nature of a Pinot are a perfect match to the rich and savory meat of the salmon.  Since salmon is an oily fish, a Pinot with a medium acidity helps to cut through and balance the dish’s oiliness.

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This Calera Pinot Noir Central Coast 2013 was recommended by Wine Exchange. If you’re looking for the best selection of wines with best prices, then you need to visit their showroom located in Santa Ana. or check out their website Winex.com  Here is a link to an article  I wrote about Wine Exchange

James Laube of Wine Spectator describes Calera Pinots as “among the most distinctive in California, admired far and wide for their deliberate style and authenticity.” The Wine Advocate adds, “Readers who want to experience the finest Pinot Noirs being made in California should put Calera at or near the top of their lists.”

Winemaker’s Notes:

Aromas of boysenberry, blueberry, spice and sandalwood lead you into this alluring 2013 Central Coast Pinot Noir with its graceful yet structured body. Flavors of black plum, graphite, cinnamon hearts, cherry cola, forest floor, oolong tea and a faint whisper of watermelon meander across the palate into a lively, bright and very flavorful finish. 

Pan Seared Salmon with Mushrooms and Spinach

Ingredients

  • Salmon fillets
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil or cooking spray
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or cooking spray
  • 1-2 shallots, sliced 
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • Juice of lemon

Directions

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper.

Coat the bottom of a pan with oil or add cooking spray and place on medium-high heat.  Add salmon to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove from pan, and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

In the same skillet, melt butter. Add shallots and sauté for a minute. Add mushrooms and continue to sauté for a few minutes.  Add spinach; cook 30 seconds or until spinach wilts.

To serve; Place salmon and sautéed vegetables on a plate, drizzling any pan juices on top. Squeeze lemon over salmon and vegetables and dinner is served! 

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Perfect Pairings: Coq Au Vin and Pinot Noir

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Coq Au Vin (“rooster with wine”) is a classic French dish that originally used rooster or tougher birds that needed tenderizing through slow braising. These days it’s commonly made with chicken and probably the most famous and delicious of all French chicken dishes with browned pieces of chicken, bacon and mushrooms  in a rich red wine sauce.

Pinot Noir, which is the main red grape of Burgundy, is the  perfect pairing as the lighter tannins won’t overwhelm the lighter meat and notes of smokiness, earthy undertones and spice bring out flavors of  bacon and mushrooms in the dish as well.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 4-5  bacon slices, diced
  • 3-4  pound chicken legs and thighs, skin on
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced into 1-inch chunks
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup Cognac or Brandy
  • 2 cups  red wine such as Pinot Noir
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ pound frozen pearl onions
  • 1 pound  mushrooms, sliced ( cremini, shiitaki, button, etc)

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add bacon and cook over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove bacon to a large plate.

Dry chicken with paper towels, sprinkle with salt and pepper. In batches, sear chicken for 3 to 5 minutes, until brown on all sides. Remove chicken to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the chicken pieces are browned. Set aside.

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Add shallots and carrots and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add brandy and stir to combine; scraping any remaining browned bits off the bottom of the pan.

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Add chicken and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add wine and enough chicken broth to almost cover the meat. Add thyme, bay leaves and stir. Cover pot and bring to a simmer over low heat and cook for about 30 minutes.

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Combine 1Tablespoon of butter and flour in a small bowl and mix together with a fork. Stir some of the cooking liquid from the pot and put the flour mixture back into the pot. Add the frozen pearl onions.

Sauté mushrooms in remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and add to chicken pot.

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Simmer for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with bread, potatoes or spoon over egg noodles. And of course…Pinot Noir!

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