What the Heck am I Drinking?

December 26th, 2008 by Jeff

When discussing wines like Bordeaux, Burgundy or Cahors, you must remember that these are the names of distinct wine regions whose boundaries have been delimited by French law.  There is a town called Cahors in Southwest France and the surrounding wine growing areas get to be labeled as “Cahors” on the wine label if they stick to the proper grapes and in the proper percentages, the proper minimum alcohol level, grape yields permitted by law, etc.   This applies to all French wine regions.

Outside the wines we featured in the show, there are many that have well know grapes hidden inside.  If you are enjoying a wine from the northern Spain region of Rioja you are drinking the grapes of Tempranillo, probably some Garnacha  and a couple of other varieties blended in.  Do you love white Burgundy?  Know what you’re drinking?  Chardonnay.   How about red Burgundy?  It’s Pinot Noir.   Man, I do love a glass of Chablis with my oysters.  Chablis is the region in France but the grape they use is Chardonnay (usually unoaked).   I know many of you adore a nice Chianti, especially when accompanied with a nice juicy T-bone or perhaps some fava beans.  Well, the primary grape in Chianti is Sangiovese.

Featured in today’s show:

Recommended food pairings from the Som:

  • Crack open the oysters ’cause Château de Parenchère is coming to town.  Oysters are briny, salty, viscous and the most fun thing you can put in your mouth (insert joke here.)  The acidity, slight citrus kick (like squirting lemon on your seafood) and “minerally” edge of the wine would be a nice match with your oysters on a warm afternoon on the deck with friends.  I’m jealous already.
  • A juicy steak, perfectly prepared, will rock the house when paired with the Château Eugénie from Cahors.  I will now give you my easy but preposterously nummy steak recipe:
  • Take the steak cut of your choice; be it a top sirloin, New York strip, rib-eye…doesn’t matter
  • Liberally salt and pepper the steak on both sides
  • Sprinkle both sides lightly with red pepper flakes
  • Sprinkle both sides heavier with sugar
  • Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil on both sides
  • Turn the steak over and rub one side in all the oily, sugary, peppery goodness on the plate, thenturn it over and do the same
  • Cover and let stand at room temp for half an hour
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • On the stove top, heat oil in an oven proof frying pan.  Carefully put the steak in the pan, let  it sear on one side until red juices begin to appear on the top on the steak.  Flip the steak over and let it sear for about 1 minute.  Put the pan with the steak in the oven and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let the steak rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting into it.  Serve with a juicy, earthy Malbec based wine.   Hey…how about a wine from the Cahors region of France?  Great idea!

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