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Bird Big Barrel Pinot Noir Tasting Notes:  There is not much one can say about this wine without gushing.  It is delicious. From the remarkable color to the nose full of delicately scented cherries and roses and baking spice and the taste of a very carefully and lovingly vinified Pinot Noir, it is to be savored. If handled improperly, Pinot Noir grapes will still yield a juicy wine, but it will lose all the uplifting aromatics.  Therefore, this wine is made in the eponymous big barrels to keep the oak from overpowering the essence of the grape.  The winemaker also uses an unusual “Vernou roll” technique that allows the wine to come into contact with the skins very gently and with limited exposure to oxygen, thereby preserving much of the flavor and intensity without extracting harsh tannins.

 

Pork or Veal Loin Glazed with Pomegranate and Oranges

  • One 3-pound roast of pork or veal, or two 1 1/2 pound tenderloins
  • Marinade
    • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
    • Grated zest of one orange
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
    • 2 tbsp pomegranate syrup or pomegranate molasses
    • 2 tbsp hot mustard
    • 2 tsp freshly minced garlic
  • Basting sauce
    • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
    • 3 tbsp honey
    • 3 tbsp pomegranate syrup or pomegranate molasses
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp reserved marinade
  • To Make:
    • In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the marinade. Reserve 2 tablespoons. Then marinade the roast in a dish, covered by plastic wrap or a lid. Marinade for at least 6 hours, overnight if possible.
    • Combine the ingredients for the basting sauce. Reserve 1/4 cup for spoon on at the very end.
    • Broil or grill the roast or tenderloins not too close to the heat source, turning the meat and basting with the sauce at least 4 times. Cook until a meat thermometer registers 140 degrees Fahrenheit, 20 to 30 minutes for a large loin, 5 to 7 minutes per side for tenderloins.
    • Or, in an oven, place in a roasting pan at 400 degrees.  Baste every 5 minutes, until meat thermometer reads 140 degrees, about 40 minutes.
    • Transfer meats to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice thinly. Simmer reserved basting sauce until slightly thickened. Spoon over meat to glaze.
The warmer weather is slowly arriving and the Sophora NV Cuvee Sparkling Wine and crab salad (see below for recipe) combo is the perfect combo to welcome spring!
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Sophora NV Cuvee Sparkling Wine Tasting Notes: Don’t confuse NV – non-vintage – with lower quality.  Non-vintage just means that the wine in the bottle has been blended with a “reserve wine” during the second fermentation to create a house style.  This wine is scrumptious.  When the distributor came by with it for a tasting, I was blown away and asked to take it home that evening to share with my true love.  And even my beloved, who for the past 23 years has professed indifference to sparkling wines, loved it.  It is rich and full-bodied, being a combination of 52% Chardonnay and 48% Pinot Noir, with the best of both grapes.  Crisp acidity, fruit forward off-dry taste and a round, soft mouthfeel aided by the very fine bubbles.  Had I not known better, I might have guessed it was a champagne and twice the price.  This wine will pair perfectly with an endive and crab salad.

Crab Salad in Endive Leaves

  • 1/2 lb. crab meat, all cartilage removed
  • Dressing: 
    • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
    • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/3 finely diced celery
    • Grated zest of 1 lemon plus 1 or 2 tbsp lemon juice
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
    • 1 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
    • Salt, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 12 to 18 Belgian endive leaves
  • To Make:
    • In a large bowl, combine the mustard, mayonnaise, celery, lemon juice, chives and parsley. Add the crab meat and mix in gently. Season to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready, scoop some crab salad into individual endive leaves and arrange on a platter.
Having company over this weekend?  Want to try a new wine and recipe?  No matter what your situation may be the Wither Hills Taylor River Pinot Noir paired with Moroccan Lamb Chops is a go-to combo that we love! Give it a try.

 

WitherHills_SingleVineyard_PinotNoir_NV
Wine Tasting Notes: In contrast to the light, almost elusive qualities of the Big Barrel Pinot Noir, this wine is more one for contemplation, for sitting in front of a warm fire while a storm rages outside.  For coming to important conclusions then looking into the glass and seeing what is good in life.  Its initial impression on the nose is of dark, wild berries with some earthy, spicy notes.  On the palate, it comes on with soft, round flavors of toasty baking spices, a basket full of red, juicy fruits and a lovely balance of acids, ripe tannins and satisfying finish.  It brings out the best in Moroccan Lamb Chops.

 

 

Moroccan Lamb Chops

Marinade:
1 onion grated
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper or other hot pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
2 pounds lamb chops. Loin or rib chops are the most tender, but shoulder and sirloin are also good
Roasting vegetables:
1 red onion, cut in large pieces
2 bell peppers, any color, seeded and cut into large pieces
4 small tomatoes, seeded and halved
Olive oil for brushing veggies
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl. Reserve 2 tbsp for basting.
Toss the chops with the marinade and allow to tenderize overnight.  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a roasting pan, arrange the chops in the center and allow to cook for 20 minutes, basting occasionally.  After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, add the oiled vegetables, turn down the temperature to 350 degrees and cook for another 20 minutes, again, basting both the meat and the vegetables regularly.  When the meat reaches 140 degrees, remove and allow to rest  for 5 minutes before serving.