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Musings on the Vine

Wine & Food Pairings

The following are the wine-food matches with their respective recipes from our Holiday 2004 Gathering.

Click here for Printable Version of all of the recipes. For individual recipes see below each recipe.

The Gatherings
First Course:

A selection of fresh shell fish, including oysters on the half shell, shrimp and crabmeat.
Served with a 2003 Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand.


Second Course:

Sautéed Scallops with Spinach and Oysters.
Served with a 2001 Vieux Telegraphe "Le Crau" Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, France.

12 medium to large sea scallops
3 TBSP butter
12 ounces fresh spinach leaves, cleaned, with water clinging to the leaves
6 oysters with their juice, fresh or pre-shucked
3 TBSP olive oil
Salt & fresh pepper
2 ounces of white wine
1. Clean the scallops and pat them dry.
2. Melt the butter in a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat, then add the spinach and cook until wilted.
3. Add the oysters and their juice, and cook until just done, 3-4 minutes.
4. Puree the mixture in a blender to a smooth even texture (the recipe can be made ahead to this point; keep chilled. Heat gently before serving.)
5. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan until aromatic but not smoking.
6. Salt and pepper the scallops. Sauté the scallops for 3-4 minutes, until they are golden brown but still underdone in the center.
7. Take them from the pan and keep warm.
8. Turn the heat up high and deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up any brown bits and cooking until the liquid in the pan has been reduced by half.
9. Warm four shallow bowls. Place a layer of spinach puree in the bowls, arrange three scallops on top in each bowl and drizzle the pan sauce over them. Serve immediately.
Serves four.
Click here for Printable Version of Sautéed Scallops with Spinach and Oysters


Third Course:

Winter Warmer Pasta Dish.
Served with a 1997 Masi "Serégo Alighieri Vaio" Amarone della Valpolicella, Italy.

30 white cap mushrooms
1 jar of nonpariel capers (3.5 fluid oz.)
1 jar of marinated artichoke hearts (6 oz.)
1 jar of Muir Glen Organic tomato basil pasta sauce (25.5 oz.)
4 Andouille pork sausages (pre-cooked) - can substitute with turkey instead of pork
3/4 lb. of macaroni
Rustic bread
1. Slice up mushrooms
2. Strain liquid from artichoke hearts and capers
3. Slice up Andouille sausage
4. Start a pot of water boiling (add salt)
5. Add macaroni when water comes to a boil
6. Lightly grease frying pan with olive oil & sauté mushrooms. Remove from pan when done.
7. Lightly sauté artichoke hearts with capers. Remove after a few minutes and store with mushrooms.
8. Sauté Andouille sausage until lightly brown
9. Add back mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and capers to frying pan with sausage
10. Add sauce to frying pan
11. Turn down heat to low-medium, stir ingredients in sauce periodically, and allow to simmer until macaroni is ready.
12. Strain macaroni and put into a large serving bowl. Stir in ingredients from frying pan.
Serve with rustic bread on side.
Click here for Printable Version of Winter Warmer Pasta Dish


Fourth Course:

Chicken Rioja.
Served with a 1999 Coto de Imaz Reserva Rioja, Spain.

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
5 clove garlic clove(s)
1/4 cup Dole Pitted Prunes
8 Faraon Stuffed Pimento Olives
2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 leaf bay leaf
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup red wine
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup parsley
8 thigh boneless, skinless chicken thigh(s)
1. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour mixture. Place thinly sliced garlic in slow cooker. Arrange chicken over garlic; add prunes, olives, dried thyme, lemon zest and bay leaf.
2. Combine orange juice, wine, and honey; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce to low heat and cook for 7 hours. Discard bay leaf. Serve chicken with chopped fresh parsley.
Click here for Printable Version of Chicken Rioja

Spiced Cranberry and Zinfandel Sauce (Cooking Light, November 2004).
Served with a 2003 Seghesio Family Zinfandel, Sonoma County, CA.

2 c. zinfandel
3/4 c. sugar
5 x 2-inch orange rind strips
1/2 c. orange juice
6 whole cloves
4 slices peeled ginger
2 x 3-inch cinnamon sticks
12 oz. bag cranberries
1. Combine everything except the cranberries in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook 15 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken and sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, and discard the solids. Return mixture to pan.
2. Add cranberries to pan; cook over high heat 10 minutes or until berries pop. Reduce heat to low; simmer 30 minutes or until mixture is slightly thick [I simmered only for approximately 10-15 minutes].
Serves Ten.
Click here for Printable Version of Spiced Cranberry and Zinfandel Sauce


Fifth Course:

Beef Bourguignon.
Served with a 1998 Bolla Amarone della Valpolicella, Italy.

1 3-pound filet of beef
3-4 tablespoons good olive oil
1/4 pound bacon, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups good dry red wine
2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 pound pearl onions, peeled
8-10 carrots, cut into 1 inch slices
3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1. Cut the filet crosswise into 1 inch thick slices. Salt and pepper the filets on both sides. In a large, heavy bottomed pan on medium high heat, saute the slices of beef in batches with 2-3 tablespoons oil until browned on the outside - about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove the filets from the pan and set aside.
2. In the same pan, saute the bacon on medium low heat for 5 minutes, until browned and crisp. Remove the bacon and set it aside. Drain all the fat, except 2 tablespoons, from the pan. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and cook on high heat for 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the beef stock, tomato paste, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered on medium high heat for 10 minutes. Strain the sauce and return it to the pan. Add the onions and carrots and simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes, until the sauce is reduced and the begetables are cooked.
3. With a fork mash 2 tablespoon butter and the flour into a paste and whisk it into the sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes to thicken.
4. Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms separately in 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil for about 10 minutes, until browned and tender.
5. Add the filet slices, the mushrooms and the bacon to the pan with the vegetables and sauce. Cover and reheat gently for 5-10 minutes. Season to taste.
Serves 6 to 8.
Click here for Printable Version of Beef Bourguignon

Accompaniment: Ciabatta

1 teaspon active dry yeast
5 tablespoons warm milk
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon olive
2 cups Biga (recipe follows)
3 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1. Stir the yeat into the milk in a miser bowl; let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Add water, oil and starter and mix until blended. Mix the floudr and salt, add to the bowl and mix. When ready knead the bread without adding additional flour. The dough will be very soft and sticky. (You can also mix this in a mixer, using the paddle first for 2-3 minutes. Then switch to the dough hook for 2 minutes at low speed, then 2 minutes at medium speed.)
2. Dough should be velvety, supple and very springy.
3. First rise: Place in an oiled bowl, let rise until doubled. Should be full of air bubbles, very supple, and sticky.
4. Shaping & second rise: Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll up each piece into a cylinder, then stretch into a rectangle. Pleace each loaf, seam side up, on a sheet of parchment paper. Dimple the loaves vigorously with your fingertips so they won't rise too much. Let rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
5. Baking. Thirty minutes before baking, heat the oven with the baking stone to 425. Invert each loaf onto the stone. Bake for 20-25 minutes, spraying 3 times with water in the first 10 minutes.
Makes 4 loaves.
Click here for Printable Version of Ciabatta

Accompaniment: Biga

Makes 3 1/2 cups
1/2 teaspon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/1/4 cups water
3 3/4 cups flour
1. Stir the yeast into the water and let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining water and then the flour, 1 cup at a time.
2. Mix 3-4 minutes
3. Let rise at room temperature for 6-24 hours. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Click here for Printable Version of Biga

Accompaniment: Romanian Green Beans.

2 tbsp pine nuts
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 lb green beans, stem ends trimmed
3 tbsp plain yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill...
6 oz. button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/4 " thick
3 tbsp currants
1. In a skillet, toast pine nuts over low heat for 3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally until nuts are lightly golden. Remove.
2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the garlic for 2 minutes. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and when cool enough to handle, finely chop. Bring the same water to a boil; cook the green beans for 4 minutes (timing will vary depending on the age of the beans) until crisp-tender. Drain, rinse the beans under cold water and drain again.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil and salt. Stir in the garlic and dill. Add the pine nuts, green beans, mushrooms and currents and toss well. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Serves four.
Click here for Printable Version of Romanian Green Beans



Warm Individual Chocolate Cakes with Raspberry Sauce.
Served with a 1997 Barros Vintage Port, a Quinta de Monte Redondo Tawny Port, and an Alvear Gran Solera Pedro Ximenez Sherry.

Chocolate Cakes:

6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Butter six 3/4-cup soufflé dishes, custard cups, or individual cake molds.
3. Stir chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat until melted and smooth; cool to lukewarm.
4. Using electric mixer, beat eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt in large bowl at high speed until pale yellow and thick, about 5 minutes.
5. Fold cooled chocolate into egg mixture. Sift flour over; fold until well incorporated. Divide batter equally among prepared dishes. Transfer to baking sheet.
6. Bake until set at edges but still soft in center, about 18 minutes. If you are using individual bundt cake molds, you will need to reduce the time by about 3-4 minutes so as not to overbake (thereby retaining a molten center).
Serve warm with raspberry sauce and whipped cream.
Serves six.
Click here for Printable Version of Chocolate Cakes


Raspberry Sauce:

2 cups fresh raspberries
1/4 cup framboise (raspberry liqueur), Kirsch (a cherry-flavored liqueur) or eau-de-vie
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Puree all the ingredients in a food processor; strain the sauce to remove the seeds. Store the sauce in the refrigerator in a covered container.
Serves eight.
Click here for Printable Version of Raspberry Sauce
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