I had a bottle of 2012 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon on the wine rack, awaiting the right dish to open it with. Beef seemed like a natural, and I figured mushrooms would make the pairing even better. The tasty result was this Sirloin Steak with Chanterelle Mushrooms and a Cabernet recipe I posted over on Cooking Chat recently.
This wine is definitely steak-worthy! The Halter Ranch Cab is deep red in the glass. I got eucalyptus on the nose. I tasted blackberry and cherry fruit, along with notes of charcoal. Tannins are well-integrated. It’s approachable now, but I suspected decanting or aging would really make this shine. So I decanted after the first small tasting pour. Just 15 minutes or so in the decanter really help show a nice long finish on the wine.
No surprise that this robust Cab paired nicely with the steak. In addition to standing up to the beef, there was enough nuance to the wine to play well with the subtle flavors of the chanterelle mushrooms. A winning match for sure!
One more note on the wine: this Cab is comprised of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot. I’d say the grapes blended in with the Cab add to the depth and complexity. Halter Ranch is a SIP Certified sustainable winery, too. One more reason to grab a bottle! More details on the winery can be found here on their website.
Full disclosure: I received a courtesy sample of this wine from the winery. As always, the opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
Pairing wine with soup can be tricky. I’d say it’s because you’ve got texture issues. Eating liquid broth and then sipping wine can lead to a less than harmonious mouthfeel.
One solution to the mouthfeel dilemma that comes pairing wine with soup is thickening the soup by puréeing it. The wine then has a lighter body than the soup, setting up a nice contrast. I tend to like my vegetable soups puréed anyway, and that’s the direction I went in when I came up with this recipe for Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Sautéed Mushrooms.
I have found squash soups do pretty well with Pinot Noir. There’s a enough fruitiness in the wine to match nicely with the flavors of the squash. The pinot choice was clinched for this one when I added the sautéed mushrooms to the soup. The earthy elements of Pinot Noir match perfectly with the mushroom flavors.
Soup also tends to suggest a fairly simple wine. So for this soup, I paired it with the 2012 Bouchard Aîné & Fils Pinot Noir, a great reliable value from France. I turn to this bottle often for simple weekday suppers. It’s a nice choice with this soup, but I’d love to hear what pairings you come up with for soups you make as the weather gets cooler.
Salmon and Pinot Noir is a great pairing, and would seem to be a pretty good match to mention in the first post on this site. But let’s not leave it at the basic pinot and salmon, this is a first post and all. The pairing gets even better when you make a mushroom sauce for pinto. The earthiness of the wine matches the similar characteristics of the mushroom for an awesome pairing!
My recipe for the salmon with mushroom sauce is over here on Cooking Chat. I made this version for a wine club dinner focused on Burgundy. The dish certainly was great with all the red Burgundies, but my favorite was the 2011 La Pousse d’Or Chambolle-Musigny. But you don’t have to stay in Burgundy for a good pinot for this dish, consider an Oregon pinot. I enjoyed this meal another time with the 2011 Soter North Valley Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley.