Wine and Food Pairing
12:09 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

Vichyssoise, Stuffed Quail and Pumpkin Flan, served with “Carbonic" Carignan

Quail stuffed with Chinese sausage
Quail stuffed with Chinese sausage

From Parallel 17
Vichyssoise

(12 servings)

  • 2oz chopped garlic
  • 4oz butter (unsalted)
  • 8oz leeks (washed well and sliced thinly)
  • 24oz russet potatoes (peeled, and cut into quarters)
  • 96oz chicken stock
  • 6oz white wine
  • salt to taste
  • white pepper to taste

Sautee garlic and leeks in 4oz of butter over medium heat until aromatic and translucent.  Add white wine. allow alcohol to cook off. Add remaining ingredients.

Allow to simmer until potatoes are falling apart.  blend all ingredients in your blender until smooth.  If your soup is too thick add a little water, or milk to thin to the right consistency. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

Chill and enjoy!

Quail Stuffed with Chinese Sausage
(4 servings)

  • 4 boneless quail
  • 8oz Chinese sausage
  • 8oz cooled, cooked rice
  • 1tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1tsp fresh grated ginger

Grind all ingredients together in a food processor or meat grinder. Careful to not turn into a paste, some larger chunks will provide nice texture to the dish.

Stuff quail. bake at 400* for 22 minutes, or until you reach an internal temperature of 135*F

Serve with your favorite gravy or our favorite, a red wine demi glace!

Pumpkin Flan
(6-8 servings)

For the caramel:

  • 6oz sugar
  • 4oz water

Combine water and sugar in a sauce pot. On high heat, bring the sugar to an amber colored caramel (about 8 minutes). DO NOT TOUCH CARAMEL, VERY HOT.  Once you have achieved a nice amber color caramel, lightly drizzle caramel into greased ramekins ( I like to use 4-5oz in size)  Allow caramel to cool before pouring custard on top. 

For the custard:

  • 13.25 oz (weight) pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 6oz sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 12oz evaporated milk

Blend all ingredients. Strain to get rid of pumpkin pulp. Bake in a water bath at 375 for about 1 hour. Let cool for 2 hours before serving.

To serve, run a knife around the outside of the ramekin. gently flip flan onto a plate, allowing the ramekin to sit upside down for about 20 seconds to let the caramel drizzle out on top of the flan.

Broc Cellars “Carbonic” Carignan from Joy Wine and Spirits

It is with great relief that I’ve discovered that I am not the only one who has grown tired of high alcohol fruit bomb wines.  Some attribute these juicy, jammy wines to global warming.  Hot growing conditions produce increasingly ripe grapes with higher sugar and hence more alcohol.  In the last decade, I’ve seen the alcohol content in wine jump up from 13 percent to 15 or even 16 percent.  Many in the industry claim that they don’t receive favorable press unless their wine is fruitier, jammier or more intense than the other hundreds of wines critics may review in a single sitting.  Higher scores often reflect opulence over finesse.  The lush, plush, powerful profile is achieved by over oaking, or chemically and mechanically manipulating wines.  Consumers are looking for consistency - one-note wines that sometimes can only be delivered through technology driven practices.

But there is a growing number of consumers looking for food friendly wines with more finesse than power and more flavor without more alcohol  And there are also winemakers out there that are hedging their bets that a movement will return to more natural wines.  (However, I must say, that these independent winemakers are doing this, not to sell wines to the masses, but to sell wines, that they, themselves like to drink.) Just like fashions make a comeback, so may lower alcohol, higher acid, food-friendly wines.  Over the years we have featured many of these winemakers – often focusing on estate grown and bottled wines, family-produced wines, biodynamic or organic wines and small production wines like Tyee, Jack Rabbit Hill, Qupe, Bonny Doon and Robert Sinskey.

Since we are featuring a Thanksgiving theme, I wanted to find something that would compliment and not overpower this meal.  Often we leave the table, feeling more stuffed than the bird and tired from eating and drinking too much.  To not suffer from taste-bud overload, or any inkling of a headache, a well-structured wine with palate cleansing acid and lower alcohol makes logical sense.  Chris Brockway’s Broc Cellars “Carbonic” Carignan fills the bill and Chris walks the walk when it comes to making this more natural wine to which I refer.

After growing up in Omaha and earning a degree in Philosophy in Nebraska, Chris wound up earning a second degree in Enology at Fresno State where he studied both winemaking and viticulture.   Brockway moved to the Bay Area in 2002, and started his career at a large East Bay winery. “I’m an expert in yeast, bacteria, oak, enzymes, tannins–the kitchen sink approach. But that’s how people learn in every trade–by learning what not to do–so I don’t consider it a negative but a positive. "It's funny," he says. "I am an expert in all the things I don't use."

Brockway doesn’t follow a recipe – he uses indigenious yeast and mostly old, inert fermentation vessels.  He adds nothing in the cellar except for minimal amounts of sulfur to ensure stability.

Like many of this new breed of winemaker, Brockway doesn’t actually own land.  But he does have contracts with growers – mostly with organic vineyards.  He claims he saved the 120 year old Carignan vines from “Cabernetification” by buying the entire harvest.  These vines are planted on their original rootstock – a true rarity in the wine world.

The Broc Carignan is made with a process called carbonic maceration.  The grapes are not pressed.  Instead, they are placed in a sealed vessel, which is filled with carbon dioxide.  The grapes begin to “ferment” while inside the skins – from the inside out before crushing them.   The result is a fresh, full berry explosion, bright red fruit with hints of black pepper and herbs, and with a crisp, lingering finish.

Thanksgiving really can’t be narrowed down to just one dish, so it is best to either open several different types of bottles to pair with the various courses, or to find a wine that is so versatile it will pair well with most of the meal.  Broc Cellars Carignan deserves a place on your table – natural, low alcohol, bright and tasty.  There are only about 25 cases sent to Colorado.  One can be found at Joy Wine and Spirits, 1302 E. 6th Avenue at Marion.  303-744-6219.