Boozy Chicken

A sip for you, a splash for the birdie, sip for you, splash for birdie … oh wait, that’s a good way to never get dinner on the table.

So you have a bunch of prunes. Now what? Simmer them in Armagnac (or Cognac if you prefer), toss them in a pot with chicken, splash with even more Armagnac and leave them to frolick.

Not only will the house smell marvelous, you will then get to tuck into a cozy meal with a sauce worthy of bread sopping or bowl-licking (I myself prefer the latter).

This dish makes a wonderful Sunday supper, but is also elegant enough for a dinner party feast. It’s delicious as leftovers too. The chicken dish is wine-friendly, so have fun with your pairings — just about any medium bodied red or white will do. We chose a Cartograph 2013 Floodgate Vineyard pinot noir from the Russian River Valley in Northern California. I dig this wine. It’s the kind that lures you in as it’s a chameleon in the glass — fruity, chocolaty, mushroomy, leafy. Delightful!




Wine & Boeuf Bourguignon

Wine? Wine with beef Bourguignon? Say it isn’t so!

We had to pair something with these hunks of beefy deliciousness. My husband went traipsing down to the wine cellar and came back with a 2006 Bordeaux. We are most definitely very much into wine, but I’ll be honest, we don’t know much about Bordeaux. We know that it tends to be pricey (particularly if it hails from the Left Bank region), that the wines usually need to age forever and ever and that I butcher the pronunciation of everything on the label, which, as an aside, I don’t understand anyway.

bordeax 1

That being said, we enlisted the help of one of our favorite wine shop managers to choose this particular Saint-Julien wine from the Left Bank of Bordeaux. We were hoping to get a bit of an introduction into decent Bordeaux wines without the hefty price tag. Perhaps that was our mistake. This was by no means a cheap bottle of wine at $50, but it sure was a big ho-hum. There was nothing about the wine that made me want to take another sip. It simply was not overly interesting or very inviting, even though we decanted the darn thing several hours before dinner. I have had many a bottle of wine in the $20 and under range that were so lovely I wanted to shove my whole head in the glass. This wine inspired no such thoughts.

Apparently, this 2006 vintage was just a “good” year not a “great” year and probably needed another two years of aging before reaching its peak, whatever that means.

Well, we tried. And we shall keep on trying, which is the fun of learning about (and drinking) wine. And let’s face it, even boring wine is still wine! So get swirling and sipping. There is a very good chance that is what I am doing right now.

Wine Time

The 2005 Balletto Pinot Noir was definitely the standout this week. I still have a lot to learn about wine, but I thought it paired beautifully with the simple omelets we enjoyed. This isn’t a wine that’s good just because it’s 10 years old, it’s just darn good. I’ll let the Balletto folks do the describing for me: Balletto 2005 Pinot Noir

We also opened a decent inexpensive wine out of france, which made for a nice, weeknight glass of vino. This was a D’autrefois pinot noir, which was a new one for us. I enjoyed the tart, cranberry-ish flavors and especially loved the low alcohol content at 12.5%. Bottoms up!