French wine and food… a match made in heaven!

Often times the dinner I make is based SOLEY on the bottle of wine I want to drink… Last nights dinner was exactly that.  Here was the wine…Domaine Coste-CaumartinDomaine Coste-Caumartin 2009 Pommard 1er Cru Le Clos des Boucherottes

This is a wine that my husband and I bought about 2 years ago and you can see that since being in our cave, the ticket has started to mold off.  Fortunately, however, the wine had not spoiled at all!  It smelled like a barnyard in my glass- and I LOVE THAT (like really love that)!  The nose was dirty, dirty, dirty!  After about 5 minutes with my nose in dirt- I moved past that dirt- hints of violet, cherry, black cherry, even blueberry.  Again I have to mention my nose is being worked on.  Like everything else, if you don’t practice it fades.   My apologies- I’ll keep on practicing!  On palate it was round, light tannins, tickled my throat, but finished a little short :(.  Unfortunately… we drank it too soon.  It needed another year in the cellar before really being amazing.  But its okay- we have another bottle for next year.

So, what did we eat with it?  Well, I wanted something basic, easy to make, and wintery.  It is currently SNOWING in Lyon, so warm plates are a MUST these days.  I decided to go with my favorite food of the moment- butternut squash.  I know what you are thinking… NO!  not with a Pinot, but let me finish…Butternut Squash PastaButternut squash and sage pasta with grilled chicken.  Now, with the Pommard- you all are right… not the match made in heaven as I had expected, but there was a little something that made it quite interesting.  With the acidity level in the wine and the sage in the pasta the match was in competition, yet brought out the flavors of each.  I actually really enjoyed the pairing.  It was untraditional and you had to give it a sip or two to confirm it worked, but it worked!  I was very happy :).

Sometimes we focus to much on the HAVE TO and SHOULD DO and loose the ideas of just TRYING.  I live of life where I try and I fail, I get back up, I try again and succeed, then try something new.  IF you can’t branch out and try something new or risk something… You’re never really going to GAIN anything.  Am I right?

Also.. I bought a fish to keep me company during the day.  Meet Maximus.  He is named by my husband after the film Gladiator because he is a warrior and will fight for what he wants- and wins! Maximus Welcome to the family Maximus!

Domaine de la Mugnière 2008 Santenay

Santenay 2008

So, I have to say right away, that Burgundy makessome amazing wine, however they might be the most complicated region in France for me.  I will not lie to you- my confidence when it comes to writing about Burgundy plummets.   But I will try!

My husband and I were having dinner at a lovely little restaurant in Lyon, called Ponts et Passerelles and we were introduced to Domiane de la Mugnière.  We tried their Maranges (another hidden treasure) and were so impressed my husband ventured out to the their domaine and surprised me with a case of the Maranges and Santenay!  Lots of brownie points for him!

Santenay is one of those hidden areas in the southern most part of the Côte de Beaune. Usually, when we think of great Pinot Noirs we think of the Côte d’Or- and with reason!  However, for those us not yet able to afford Côte d’Or wines on a regular basis we need to find other options- either a low cut dress and a creepy or man or (and this is more my style) try smaller regions that focus more on the history rather than the marketing.  Santenay (and Maranges) are, in my humble opinion, two regions where you can find affordable pinot noir with a great elegance!

The Santenay I had last night was wonderful!  When drinking Burgundy reds, it is hard to find the maturity we desire in their younger wines, they almost all require a minimum of 7-10 years in the bottle before drinking.  I was most pleasantly surprised to open this 2008 and find a roundness and fruit-forwardness that I would normally only find in older wines.  It was great!  The tannins smooth and soft, yet there was still a complexity to the wine that gives me the impression it will be drinkable for another 10 years.

I think I will have to try the Maranges tonight….