No-Guilt Wednesday Beau Pere Cellars Merlot 2008   Leave a comment

This little guy doesn’t have a guilty bone in his body.  Neither should you.  Here is this week’s $15 or less offering. 

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.  

It was a late night by the time we settled down for the evening.  Given the holiday insanity, we did not eat well during the day.  We wanted something more, something that would take us into bedtime and hold us till we dozed off.   Nothing fattening, something flavorful.  Something that would caress the Merlot, throw its soft legs over it and get caressed back.  Something that would set our tongues tingling.  Something we could make in about 35 minutes. 

Make no mistake, saffron is an expensive ingredient.  However, there is no substitute for it.  It raises the game of this simple little almost vegetarian/vegan braise.  (you could go full vegetarian and substitute vegetable stock or even slightly salted water for the chicken stock in the recipe). 

Saffron Braised Cauliflower


  • 1 Head of Cauliflower (separated from the stem and sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices)
  • 2 Tbsps. EVOO
  • Chicken stock (depending on the size of your pan, enough to almost cover the cauliflower)
  • 1 small 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 pinch of Saffron
  • 2 tsps. of Red Wine Vinegar


  1. Heat up the EVOO in a large pan and saute the cauliflower over high heat until it starts to brown at the edges.
  2. Introduce the Chicken stock to almost cover the cauliflower and add tomato sauce, paprika saffron.  Stir to incorporate the ingredients.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar and taste the broth.  (The recipe call for two teaspoons of the red wine vinegar, but this is really a matter of personal taste and can be adjusted as you like it.  But like salt, it’s easy to over do it.  You can always add more, but you can’t take it out once its in there.)
  4. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover for 10 minutes.  The cauliflower will soften and absorb the flavor and color of the broth.  Remove the cover and reduce the saffron sauce.
  5. While this is simmering, prepare cous cous  For the cous cous remember, 2 parts liquid to 1 part cous cous.
  6. Once the cauliflower is tender, serve at table alongside or on top of cous cous.

Serves 4

Beau Pere Cellars Merlot 2008Beau Pere Cellars Merlot 2008 ($12).  Back to the Napa Valley today we have a nice little wine with a fair amount of complexity for its $12 price tag– and a merlot to boot.  A perfume of sweet spice, earth and butterscotch filled our  glasses.  Drinking beautifully now, dark fruit, soft tannins and velvet-like on the palate.  Rated **1/2





Posted December 22, 2011 by Sybarite Sauvage in No-Guilt Wednesday

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