No-Guilt Wednesday Wine: The Labor Day Edition   Leave a comment

This little guy doesn’t have a guilty bone in his body.  Neither should you.  Every Wednesday (though it could be Tuesday or Thursday) I will write-up a wine that I feel delivers good value for drinking in the middle of the week.  Aside from quality, my only other criteria is price.  To start, less than $15, but ideally less than $10, for a 750 ml bottle. 

I will also add any recipes that I paired with the wine.  I hope to leave you with a recipe that you can use to match up with a wine of your choice if you can’t locate the one I recommend.

No-Guilt Wednesday is not about compromising on quality.  It’s all about drinking good wine that does not break the bank, eating good food and of course, it’s about sharing with the ones you love.  

Labor Day and the short week that it brought with it made this No-Guilt Wednesday a little bit more difficult for a couple of reasons.  First off, I was eating and drinking pretty much the whole weekend.  And there were leftovers from the weekend waiting to be consumed.  Second, with it being a short week, the reality of my everyday life had to be compressed into 4 days and that sadly left little time to think about menus for Wednesday. 

But that’s not to say, we did not try some interesting wines that fit within our parameters.  Herewith, a white, a red and a dessert to have after the meal.

Domaine LaFage Cote Est Blanc 2010 ($8).  From Languedoc-Roussillon, this one sports some attractive floral components finishing with brisk acidity.  Has a Sauvignon Blanc feel to it, though there is no SB in the blend Grenache Blanc, Chardonnay, Marsanne.  I can see this with a raw shellfish appetizer (oysters, clams, etc.) or perhaps a steamed lobster in these, the waning days of Summer.  Rated **
Michele Chiarlo “Le Orme” Barbera d’Asti 2008 ($12).  A touch of ferrous minerality on the nose leads to raspberry and blackberry sensations on the palate.  Balanced with the right amount of soft acidity.  Tannins to spare.  A lovely wine for the money.  Vintage in and out, this one keeps delivering great value.  I had this with a grilled duck l’Orange.  It delivered in a big way.  Rated ** 1/2
There was no dessert wine, but here is a wonderful little dessert that is as easy to prepare as it is to eat.  Last weekend, we had good friends of ours, including Tanya, over for dinner.  While I normally do not use my friends names in this blog, I named the dish after her as she inspired me to create it because of her sweet disposition.  It is a twist on the red-wine braised pears you may have had.  It is also so easy since it is made stove top and then cooled and served with an aged Manchego.  The red wine stains the fleshy part of the fig in an irresistible carmine.   It’s sweet and sensuous.  Need I say more?

Braised Figs Tanya


  • 1 Doz. Fresh Figs with stems trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 Cup of dry red wine
  • 1 Cup of Amontillado Fino (a Spanish sherry)
  • 1/2 Cup of Agave Syrup
  • Manchego cheese sliced into 1/8 inch slices just before serving so they will not dry out)


  1. Whisk together the Wine, Sherry, and Agave Syrup in a bowl until the honey and agave are absorbed
  2. Pour into a large frying pan and heat
  3. Place the fresh figs (cut side down) in the pan
  4. Bring the pan to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer
  5. While the syrup is reducing, make sure to spoon it over the figs
  6. Reduce the wine sherry mixture by half– you want a syrup which should coat a spoon, but not so thick that it become gloppy
  7. Remove the figs from the pan and turn them cut side up in a serving plate
  8. Drizzle the syrup over the figs and place manchego on the outer edges of the serving plate.

Serves 6 (4 fig halves per person)

© Sybarite Sauvage

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Posted September 10, 2011 by Sybarite Sauvage in No-Guilt Wednesday

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