Welcome back to Drink Wine With Dinner®, my friends!
Rare steak, exotic mushrooms with butter and red wine – delicious with this elegant WALT Pinot Noir.
Hope you enjoyed yesterday’s post, featuring the amazing PBS video, “Julia Child Remixed – Keep On Cooking!“
I mentioned then that I’d be posting about my food and wine doings for Drink Wine With Dinner® Day.
Since I had a gorgeous bottle of Pinot Noir to look forward to, I opted to sauté up some good steak, and keep it really simple so I could show off the wine.
I trust Julia would have approved…
“Beef with Burgundy” is the long-standing French pairing tradition;
A pair of beef filets, sautéed with bacon fat.
and, of course, the red wines of Burgundy, France, are primarily based on the Pinot Noir varietal.
This means I’m starting with a “Geographic” pairing (the first of “Rosina’s Five Non-Rules of Pairing Wine and Food”), which I’ll build on.
Big question – Do you know about umami? It’s considered the “fifth flavor”
Shiitake and maitake mushrooms, which I’ll sauté in brown butter. Great with steak, great with Pinot!
(after sweet, salty, sour, bitter); and the flavor effect that umami creates is often called “savory” or even “delicious.”
I’ll do a full post about umami soon, and I’ll fill in a lot more details for you.
The reason I mention it here, though, is that foods high in umami partner especially well with Pinot.
In creating this simple pairing, I built in several umami elements,
Thrace Bromberger from WALT is a wonderful friend, and a savvy wine-judging colleague.
to “steer” the dish even more toward the wine.
This particular Pinot Noir, WALT’s 2013 “Clos Pepe” from the Santa Rita Hills AVA in Santa Barbara County – as well as the winery itself – rank among my very favorites.
On our recent Sonoma trip, my childhood friend Maria and I beelined to the WALT tasting room off the town square.
My wine-judging buddy at WALT, Thrace Bromberger,
My glass of WALT Pinot Noir casts its shadow onto the tasting menu at the winery. We tasted five wines total.
set us up with a private tasting on the comfy shaded porch. With generous pours of two WALT Chardonnays, then three Pinot Noirs, Thrace and her colleagues guided us through a leisurely comparative tasting.
(More details about WALT, with tasting notes, coming soon.)
The WALT 2013 “Clos Pepe” Pinot that Maria and I decided to bring home with us showed so many of the characteristics that I love about the Pinot Noir varietal.
With fresh berry and cherry, tea (Earl Grey?),
A close-up of the WALT “Clos Pepe” Pinot.
subtle vanilla, spice and toastiness from French oak, plus rich earthiness and a hint of black pepper, the wine showed a beautiful balance of good acidity, soft tannins and clean, bright fruit.
It kept evolving in the glass, with a rich, supple texture and a long finish. Though this Pinot is extremely complex, it’s restrained and elegant too – hallmarks of superior vineyards and careful winemaking.
With this in mind, I decided to keep my meal, especially my steak, really simple,
These wonderful “marble potatoes” – just a bit bigger than hazelnuts – cook up tender and buttery rich.
so that the WALT Pinot Noir could shine as the star of the meal.
I cooked my side dishes of string beans and tri-color “marble potatoes” with just butter and chicken broth, and I’ve sketched out the methods, below, for the steak and mushrooms.
Steak – Method:
Hot cast-iron pan, a little bacon fat, salt and black pepper; sear hard on both sides to get a good crust, lower heat and cook rare. Remove steak, let it rest 5 minutes, slice thin. Meanwhile, deglaze pan with red wine and stir in a pat of butter, spoon over meat.
Mushrooms – Method:
Heat clarified butter until golden brown. Stir in chopped mushrooms, cover and cook over low-medium heat. When they begin to soften, stir in 1/3 cup dry red wine. Cover and stir occasionally until mushrooms are cooked through and liquid is absorbed.
By the way, I don’t often cook with this much butte
Steak dinner, WALT Pinot Noir – Happy Birthday Julia Child!
r (since I’m Italian, olive oil is more my go-to), but it is Julia Child’s birthday, after all…
The wine pairing worked beautifully. The earthy mushrooms, black pepper and touch of smoky bacon all matched and emphasized similar flavors in the WALT Pinot.
And as for umami – The bacon, the mushrooms, the sear on the steak, and even the broth built this “fifth flavor” into the meal, and succeeded in making it even more Pinot-friendly.
It’s a great example of the way that very simple cooking
Organic string beans, cooked with butter and broth…
can be exactly what a superb wine needs.
By supporting the wine’s flavors, and not overpowering the lighter body that’s typical of Pinot Noir, this straightforward steak dinner brought out the best in the wonderful WALT “Clos Pepe” Pinot.
I hope you’ve been discovering and enjoying delicious wine-with-food pairings of your own. And I hope you continue to do so – during Drink Wine With Dinner® Month, and beyond…
Until next time, my friends –
Cheers and happy tastings,
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And as always, please be sure to grab your *free download* of “Rosina’s 5 Non-Rules of Wine and Food Pairing.”
It’s the best way I know to help you make the foods *you* love taste even better!
Email me anytime at Rosina@DrinkWineWithDinner.com with comments or questions. I look forward to hearing from you!
Cheers once again,