Wine/Food pairing rules of thumb:
1. Almost all local dishes go best with wines of their regions.
2. Avoid dissonance between food and wine by not pairing an exceptional wine with a dish of equal
stature; rather, pair an exceptional wine with a less sophisticated dish, allowing the wine's superb
qualities to shine.
3. Balance the weight: Pair ";heavy"meals with wines with a "strong taste". In that vein you may
want to pair red meat or game with equally "heavy" wines, such as red wines, but some full-bodied
white wines could also be used.
4. Desserts ought to be paired with equally sweet or even sweeter wines. Dry wines with desserts
might taste sour or even bitter in that combination.
5. Heavy, rich in fat dishes pair best with wines of high acidity.
6. Dishes rich in protein pair well with tannic wines. The proteins and tannins combine, thus
reducing the tannin taste. Were you to pair these wines with seafood dishes, you might be
surprised by an unpleasant metallic taste; with salty dishes the wine might taste very bitter.
NOTES ON OUR WINES:
Alex's "Old Vine" Johannisberg Riesling, a semi-dry Riesling with only 1.2% sugar
residue, is the perfect wine to pair with so many of our holiday meals, i.e. roasted
turkey and baked ham as well as delicate fish dishes (salmon, trout,
etc.),sauerkraut and spicy foods. It is light, fruity, clean and crisp tasting and is one
of our most popular wines. It has only 11% alcohol.
Alex's new release Viognier is a wonderfully spicy and aromatic semi-dry white
wine which we just bottled in March of 2006. It has a sugar residue of only 1/2 of
one percent. The floral bouquet and its crisp citrus make it the perfect aperitif or
dinner wine to pair with fruit and nut tarts, cheese, poultry, fish and shellfish dishes
for those who find the Riesling, even at only 1.2% sugar, too sweet to
please their palate. Our Viognier is relatively high in alcohol at 13.5% and therefore
has "long legs".
Alex's "old vine" Sauvignon Blanc's is an herbaceous dry white and outstanding
wine with its big finish derived from the palate (olfactory epithelium) perhaps the
best in its class. It is a very big and bold dry wine with hints of gooseberry, citrus
and green fruit and has a rich golden color that you will want to pair with all of
your creamy and buttery sauces, shellfish, duck and fettuccine Alfredo as well as
Swiss cheese fondue.
Sauvignon Blanc aged in oak is called Fume Blanc, a term Robert Mondavi coined.
But because our white wines do not go into oak barrels, ours is a crisp, clean, pure
fruit Sauvignon Blanc. There is no residual sugar in this great wine and only 12%
Alex's "old vine" Cabernet Sauvignon is a mellow dry wine meant to be paired with
red meats and some Italian foods (Marinara sauces). It is velvety smooth on your
palate. It is a very fruity and well balanced wine that is also easily approachable. Its
alcohol content is 13%.
Alex's Syrah, our newest wine, bottled the end of March 2006, is bold, intense and
very full-bodied. It is fruity, tannic and chewy and is wonderful when tasted by
itself, or when paired with dark meat poultry, venison, highly fragrant cheeses as
well as red meats. This is a very virile, rustic, yet refined wine with aromas of black
pepper and plums. In New Zealand and Australia this wine is known as Shiraz.
Alex's Cream Sherry. Derived from Palomino grapes, the original grapes used in
Jerez, Spain, this golden amber fortified dessert wine is sweet but without being
cloying. It combines its 10% residual sugar with a proportionate acidity making this
a very well balanced wine. Its alcohol content is 18%, making it easy for
you to preserve the very exquisite taste quality by simply re-corking the bottle after
serving yourself between 1 oz. and 1-1/2oz. as an indulgence. Since the high
alcohol content preserves the quality of the wine, no refrigeration is necessary. Our
cream sherry is smooth and delectable, to be enjoyed by itself or with a square of
bitter chocolate, some roasted almonds, or a slice of a sharp cheddar cheese.
SALMON FILLET POACHED IN RIESLING
2 Boneless,skinless farm-raised salmon fillets.
1 Pinch of salt
2 Tsp Extra virgin olive oil
1 Oz Alex's Red Barn Riesling
2-3 Slices of finely chopped onion
1 Clove garlic, minced
1-2 Tsp Mediterranean herb mix.
1. Heat oil in heavy iron skillet (cast iron skillet )
2. Over low heat, cook onion and garlic until soft but not brown
3. Place salmon fillets over soft onion and garlic
4. Liberally sprinkle fillets with herb mixture
5. Pour Alex's Red Barn Riesling into hot skillet
6. Immediately cover skillet with tight fitting lid thus containing steam.
7. Allow to simmer over lowest heat for 8-10 minutes, or until fish flakes easily.
Turkey and Pasta
With Johannisberg Riesling
4Tbs. Olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1 bunch (6) fresh green onions, chopped
1 bunch broccoli, cut into flowerettes
2 medium zucchini, sliced
1/4 lb. Snow peas
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 cup Alex’s Red Barn Johannisberg semi-dry Riesling
2 cups cubed cooked turkey
2 Tbs. fresh parsley (flat, Italian) chopped
2 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped
10 oz. hot, cooked fusilli (corkscrew pasta)
1 cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven until a haze forms. Add garlic, onions,
broccoli, zucchini, snow peas and carrots and sauté 3 to 4 minutes. Add
Riesling, turkey, parsley and basil. Cover and simmer an additional 3
minutes. Add hot cooked pasta and toss. Add cream and season with salt
and pepper to taste. Add cheese and give a final toss. Serve with
sourdough bread or French baguette .
Drink the rest of the Riesling with your dinner
|ALEX'S RED BARN
Phone 951- 693 3201
|ROASTED BOSC PEARS WITH SYRAH
3/4 cup Alex's Red Barn Syrah
3/4 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
Vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir wine, pomegranate juice, sugar, cinnamon
stick, and orange peel in medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar
dissolves, about 3 minutes.
Using small melon baller, core pears from bottom of wide end. Trim
bottoms flat and stand upright in 8x8x2-inch baking dish. Pour
pomegranate-wine sauce over pears. Roast pears until tender when
pierced with knife, basting pears with sauce every 20 minutes, about 1
hour. Using spatula, transfer roasted pears to serving platter. Transfer
pan juices to small saucepan. Simmer until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 5
minutes. Spoon glaze over pears.
Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream and biscotti.
(Adapted from Epicurus magazine
PORK ROAST WITH SHERRY
Place your pork roast in a crock-pot or slow cooker. Add all your favorite spices, i.e. salt, pepper
etc., then add between 2 and 3oz of our sherry in addition to some dried prunes, raisins and a sliced
Granny Smith or other apple. Cover and set on "low" in the morning. In the afternoon all the juices
will have combined as a baste for your roast. Your house will be sooo aromatic and dinner will be
Wine Cake with Cream Sherry
Here is a simple wine cake with Cream Sherry graciously supplied by an Alex Red
Barn client Michael Fike, using our Cream Sherry.
(1) yellow cake mix (not white)
(1) 4.5 oz (or so) package vanilla instant pudding mix
(3/4) cup light vegetable oil
(3/4) cup of Cream Sherry
(1) tsp fresh grated nutmeg
Pre-heat oven to 350, set up over for using middle level rack.
Grease (butter or Pam) bundt cake or angel food cake pan.
Combine all ingredients and mix with electric mixed about 5 minutes.
Pour batter into pan.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes (use wood toothpick to check if cake is
Allow to cool for 5 minutes then turn onto serving platter.
Dust with powdered sugar (or powdered sugar with cinnamon and/or nutmeg).
NOTE: I adjust the amount of oil I put in based on the flavor of the wine to be
added. If it's a really solid taste then I keep the mix as it is. If it's a lighter taste
then I will reduce the amount of oil used and increase the amount of wine -- just
so long as I end up with 1-1/2 cups of fluid.
2 egg whites
1/2 cup white sugar
Beat together till stiff peaks form.
Warm 1/2 cup of Cream Sherry and dissolve one envelope of gelatin
into it, set aside. Take care in not bringing the Sherry to a boil.
1 large bar of favorite milk chocolate, chopped into smallish pieces.
1/8 cup slivered almonds.
Once the Cream Sherry mix has cooled, add all of the above PLUS 1 and
1/2 cups of already whipped cream (No Cool Whip please ! ) and set fold
gently. Refrigerate till set (approx. 2 hours).
Beautiful when presented in chocolate rimmed wine/ champagne or
martini glasses. "Magic Shell" in the ice cream aisle works really well as
it "sets" immediately on a chilled glass. Garnish with a few seasonal
berries and a sprig of mint for just a "kiss" of color.
This recipe serves about four.
Sherried Chicken Breasts
2 chicken breasts. boned, split and skinned
1 cup Alex's Red Barn sherry
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. sage
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 cup sour cream
fresh chopped parsley.
Marinate chicken breasts in sherry for 15 minutes. Drain, discarding sherry. Blend flour and
seasonings; coat chicken.
In shallow microwave baking dish melt butter on HIGH for 30-45 seconds. Add chicken,
coating both sides with butter. Arrange with thick side of the breast to the outer edge of the
casserole. Cover with waxed paper. Cook on MEDIUM for 6 minutes. Turn chicken over;
re-cover with waxed paper and cook on MEDIUM until firm to the touch, about 4-6 minutes.
Remove chicken to serving platter. Add 1 cup sour cream to pan drippings. Cook, uncovered
on LOW for 2-3 minutes until heated through.
To serve: Spoon sour cream sauce over chicken. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Yield: 2-3 servings.
* This recipe was kindly provided by wine club member Jeanne Kataoka.