Thursday, August 30, 2018

Recipe Thursday: Goodbye Summer Grilling


As Labor Day approaches this weekend, it’s time to say farewell to lazy summer days and say hello to a new school year. It’s also considered the last “official” grilling holiday of the season, so you can bet we’ll be firing up the grill and dining alfresco by the pool, while we simultaneously contemplate the not so distant future of Holiday season travel and cozy meals by the fireplace.

Photo: Food Republic

The perfect grilling feast to close out the summer and take us into new beginnings is a boldly marinated Grilled Hanger Steak (Food Republic) with a reduced red wine sauce. This one will take a bit of time and advanced planning, but it is well-worth the effort, especially with a few nice bottles of wine and good friends to share the feast with. Make sure to set aside a bottle of red for the recipe, which calls for wine in both the marinade and the sauce. Two of Pascal Lambert’s delicious bottlings of Cabernet Franc, Les Perruches and Les Puits Danaé – full of brambly fruit and peppercorn notes – are excellent choices for drinking (and cooking) alongside grilled steak.

J.L. Chave in JamesSuckling.com

The newest vintages of J.L. Chave have recently been reviewed in JamesSuckling.com. The barrel scores for the 2017 vintage of the estate whites and for the 2016 vintage of the estate reds are in and the wines are certainly living up to the hype. Bottle scores for the J.L. Chave Selection line are also featured, and the wines continue to deliver excellent value from a world-class producer.


The Chave family is based in a small village on the northern right bank of the Rhone. There have been Chaves growing vines on the famous Hermitage hill since 1481. Gerard Chave took over from his father in 1970 and rapidly achieved megastar status due to the extraordinary quality of his wines and has since passed on the winemaking responsibilities to his son Jean-Louis. The Chave’s methods for all their winemaking are traditional farming, super low yields, full ripeness, and minimal manipulation. Their unmatched meticulousness continues through five centuries to render venerable expressions of the purest of Rhône terroir.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Wines of the Week: Lambert Chinon "Perruches" and Chinon "Danaé"

This week's two for one feature is from Pascal Lambert, an all natural biodynamic producer from Loire Valley, specializing in Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc. Béatrice and Pascal Lambert have chosen to separate and vinify each plot separately, in order to express the top features of the particular parcel of soils in which it grows. This week, two of their bottlings are highlighted, Les Perruches and Les Puits Danaé

Perruches soil is comprised of stony and flinty clays combined with silica. Wine grown in this soil tend to show stony and flinty characteristics. The wine offers a lot of freshness, with a full finish and very fine tannins. With no filtration or fining utilized, the resulting wine is smooth and harmonious with ripe autumn berries, flinty minerality and unparalleled freshness.

Les Puits Danaé is planted on clay and limestone soils, mainly from the plot called les Puys de Rochette in Chinon with a little from small plots at Cravant-les-Coteaux. Not fined or filtered and made from older vines, the Danaé possesses more concentration, a denser purple color, and more blueberry and black raspberry fruit notes intermixed with notions of flowers.

These wines are deeply colored, soft, and fruity and ideal alternative to Burgundy for food pairings!



Beatrice & Pascal Lambert believe that crafting the finest, richest Chinon possible begins with respect for the soil and the vine. Their 14 ha domaine, Les Chesnaies, sits in Cravant-les-Côteaux, just east of the center of Chinon, and is home to some of the finest terroirs for production of artisanal Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc in the region. Gravelly, alluvial soils with plentiful silica produce wines of richness, while calcareous clay (which includes deposits of chalky tuffeau) and silex impart regional distinction and finesse. Beatrice and Pascal seek to channel this ‘geological trilogy’ through their wines. Each cuvée is assembled to express the top features of the particular parcel of soils in which it grows. The end result is succulent Chinons of exceptional grace, structure and elegance. They are deeply colored, soft, and fruity – an ideal alternative to Burgundy for food pairings.

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We’re pleased to announce our participation in @LALovesAlexs to benefit @AlexsLemonade on September 8th! Join us as we pour wines from Henri Poiron, @tenuta_scuotto @montaribaldi and Laurent Martray - all to benefit the fight against #childhoodcancer LALovesAlexsLemonade.org #lalovesalexs #muscadet #tenutascuotto #campania #montaribaldi #piedmont #laurentmartray #beaujolais #blog


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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Recipe Thursday: Late Summer / Early Fall Ratatouille


While temperatures may still be heating up in your neck of the woods, it’s time to start thinking about transitional foods that will carry you into cooler temperatures. Late summer’s tomatoes, eggplant, red peppers, cauliflower and broccoli are now at their peak, while fall’s apples, pears and winter squash are starting to make their way onto produce shelves. One of our favorite recipes for making use of the season’s bounty is ratatouille, a hearty mix of caramelized veggies, garlic and olive oil. We can’t get enough of the famed Alice Waters’ version, which ties in chile flakes and basil for a modern twist.

Photo: Food52


It makes perfect sense to pair ratatouille with an equally transitional wine – one that does just as well chilled at a barbeque or served room temperature while gathered around the Thanksgiving table. Raphael Chopin's Les Charmes is bright, with red and dark berry aromas, peppery spice and floral notes. With a hint of smokiness, this wine brings out the deep flavors of the stewed vegetables in the ratatouille.