We were fortunate to receive the Sunset Wine Club as a gift. Thank you, thank you!! You know who you are. Wink, wink! We've been getting it for a couple months already and are really enjoying the wines. One of the things that I like most about each shipment is that it comes with
recipes that are "pre-paired" to match the wines.
I'm not a sommelier or even very good at describing wine, drinking it is the part that I'm best at!
So far the matches have been good, and the recipes quite enjoyable.
Here is one of the September wines that came in our shipment...
|2007 C. G. Di Arie Primitivo, Block #4 Shenandoah Valley|
We collect antique corkscrews and I jumped at the chance to open a nice bottle with one of our favorites. It looks all lovely and fine in the photo, that is until I actually went to open the bottle and noticed it was a screw top! Oh well, it looks good in the photo, but only because I cropped off the top of the neck!
|Beautiful ruby color in a VERY spotty glass!|
So I was trying to capture a photo of the beautiful ruby color that the wine had in the glass, only to discover that someone hasn't refilled the Jet Dry in the dishwasher in a long time! Oooops!
This is not your everyday 2 buck chuck, it retails for $25, which is not an amount we spend on a bottle very often. So when the accompanying recipe was for Sweet-Hot Grilled Tenderloin we figured we'd go to Whole Foods and get a really good steak. No sense drinking an expensive bottle of wine with a cheap cut of meat. So steak in hand we also decided to go for the recommended side dishes.
The Potato and Leek side dish is so worth the effort, it was delicious and we had leftovers for the next day...yummo! I think it's also the first time I've used my mandoline and boy was I glad I had one. (It's a cheapo under $10 one from Walmart) but it made short work of slicing up the potatoes.
This is a make again side dish for sure!
Now for Pea Trio recipe...I have to say, I had really good intentions here, I wasn't planning on cutting corners, that was until I got to the market and they didn't have pearl onions or peas in the produce department. Hmmmm....what to do? Well a quick wander through the store turned up these...
Looks good, right? Hey, all I needed to do was toss them with a little butter and some fresh rosemary...so that's what I did. Well, to be honest they weren't horrible, but there's just something about frozen veggies that aren't great.
Let's just say next time, I'm not going frozen.
There was a luscious sounding dessert Peach Caramel Tart that we never got around to making but check out the recipe...it sounds divine!
Here's the sauce that accompanied the steak...
So how was the finished meal?
|Hot Sweet Grilled Tenderloin with Potato Leek Gratin, Peas & Pearl Onions|
It was very good! The steaks turned out fabulous and the sauce, though a little on the thick side, had wonderful flavors with a zesty kick. The gratin was superb and the peas...well nevermind those.
So how about the wine? Here's what the wine club says about it...
"An upfront rush of sweet fruit delivers boysenberry and raspberry in an aromatic tsunami. Rustic elements of spicy pepper and subtle mocha follow, then a bright, tart finish. While this wine is bold, its alcohol level is in check, keeping it in better balance than many other Zins and Primitivos. Drink now through 2012."
I'm not always good at following directions so we didn't wait till 2012, we drank it Saturday night. I'm not sure about the tsunami part...and frankly if my wine comes rushing at me out of the glass with that much intensity, I think I'd better step out of the way. I thought it smelled like smoky grilled meat, or actually maybe the back door was open and I just smelled the steak on the grill...just kidding...it was full of raspberry and smoke on the nose, and the spicy pepper on the tongue mellowed out quickly to a subtle finish with mocha and cherry. It has good bones and it paired well with the spicy steak sauce.
The wine club is a lot of fun and it's a great gift, both to give and receive. You can check them out here:
Look for more wine club recipes to come!