No-Guilt Wednesday Wine: Maculan Brentino 2008   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.  

Last night I had a good friend and colleague over for dinner.  He does not make it over to the states often, so I wanted to make sure that it would be memorable.  Being English, he is a lover of fine clarets.  And we had that, indeed– a 2000 Chateau Duhart-Milon from Pauillac– a Grand Cru Classé from Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite).  Now that’s not our usual mid-week fare, I grant you, but when moments with good mates are rare, you have to take advantage.  The conversation shifted from our work to talk of family, kitchen renovations (his house, wife and children are currently smothered in dust), rugby and cricket.  Half-way through, Ms. R joined us for a glass or two.  The Duhart-Milon was a beautiful pairing with our gorgeous medium rare filet mignon and two side dishes.   One of those sides is was brussels sprouts– which can be challenging to cook in a way that brings out the flavorful nuttiness that it harbors without the heaviness of flavor that dark green vegetables can sometimes have.  I decided a two-step cooking process was called for– steaming to provide moisture and ensure they are fully cooked followed by a saute over medium heat for carmelization and finished with a little bit of Dijon mustard added at the end of the cooking to enhance and bring out the natural flavor of this magnificent vegetable.  Ms. R, not normally a fan of Brussels sprouts, loved these. 

This worked so well, that I offer this simple preparation for the next time Bordeaux or Bordeaux-style blends are on the menu.  And speaking of Bordeaux blends…

Maculan Brentino 2008

Maculan Brentino 2008 ($11.50).   Today’s wine is a far more affordable Bordeaux style blend from Veneto, in Northern Italy.  55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, this little wine surprised with its finesse.  Fruit, yes, but not so much to overwhelm.  But let’s start at the beginning.  Medium bodied and with a hint of sweet spice on the nose that the belies bright cherry and pomegranate flavors.  It seemed more Cab than Merlot.  The tannins, while soft, still lent support to the overall experience of the wine, though it was the acid that brought the right amount of balance.  The finish, though medium in length, was still satisfying.  Rated ** 1/2

 

Brussels Sprouts Dijonnaise

Ingredients

  • 10 Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and cut lengthwise in half
  • 2 Tbsps EVOO
  • 2 Tbsps Unsweetened Butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsps. Dijon Mustard

Procedures

  1. Steam Brussels sprouts until cooked through, but not mushy.  They should still retain their bright green coloration.
  2. Place the sprouts in a bath of ice water to stop the cooking process and set the green color and strain
  3. Warm up the oil and butter in a large saute pan and once melted add the sprouts cut side down.  Cook over medium heat for a few moments until carmelization occurs.
  4. Stir in the Dijon Mustard and remove from heat to avoid burning the mustard.
  5. Serve alongside any meat or fowl.

Serves 4

© Sybarite Sauvage 

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Posted October 12, 2011 by Sybarite Sauvage in No-Guilt Wednesday

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