Monday, January 10, 2011

52 Tastings: Week 4 - Pork and Pinot Noir=Love

Pinot Noir is a lovely wine, one that conjures up images of rolling hills, cool breezes, and butterflies.  It is easy to drink and just as easy to fall in love with, however like most relationships it is often moody and will cost you a lot of money.  I think the grape is undoubtedly one of my mom’s and I favorites.  It is very difficult to find a good one at any price point below $20, therefore not any everyday wine for the cash strapped households.  Pinot however, is a wonderful wine to have around because it does pair with just about anything so it is always our quest to find a quality Pinot at an affordable price. 

So my mom went on a mission again to find a specific wine that had both great reviews, is affordable, and paired perfectly with our meal, DeLoach Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.  And once again, three stores later and numerous phone calls back and forth she found the bottle but to her exasperation not the exact vinery we were looking for.  Evidently,  (like we already did not know this) the west valley of Phoenix likes their wines cheap and sweet so to find anything worthwhile it requires either great searching or great sacrifice.   Mom did find a Pinot and we were lucky that it was nice and paired superbly with the meal.

I also learned something new with this meal and wine pairing that I was very excited about.  The entire time I was cooking I was questioning the choice of wine, because of the different flavor profile of the pork rub and the confit.   The rub had both lemon rind and parsley which I know pairs beautifully with Sauvignon Blanc so I was wondering how it goes with Pinot.  The apple confit was sweet and buttery again not something I associate with Pinot, but boy was I surprised and pleasantly pleased come meal time how it all melded together to create pure deliciousness.  I think it was the acid and berry undertones of the wine that made the match work so well.

We ate the dinner American style with the starch, veggie, and protein all on one plate this time.  So with out further ado here are the tasting notes and the recipes.  Enjoy

Cambria Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008 Santa Maria Valley, CA.   $20 found at Safeway
Nose:  leather, slight berry, strawberry, caramel, and surprisingly smoke
Taste:  a little thin, easy to drink, a wine that can be a cocktail wine, cherry flavor was the dominate profile, and not as silky as I would have liked for a Pinot.  With all that being said MAGIC PAIRING!  The wine and the pork just danced, sung, and had a party in our mouth with every bit and sip.  The apple confit was so amazing with the wine it was a perfect marriage of sweet and tangy acid.  The pork (which I must brag was cooked perfectly) with the rub brought out the earthy and smooth texture of the wine and likewise made the pork just melt in our mouths like butter.  Talking was very limited during our dinner due to the fact we were all savoring every bit and sip to its fullest.  If you do not make any meal from my blog I highly, highly recommend this meal, you will not be disappointed and your taste buds and whom ever you share this meal with will be a friend for life!

Here is the menu:

Pork Tenderloin with Garlic- Herb Rub and Apple Confit
1 Pork tenderloin about one lb
2 TB olive oil
2 TB lemon zest
4 garlic cloves minced
6 TB parsley, minced
2 TB rosemary minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 TB Parmesan cheese
4 tsp Panko breadcrumbs (do not sub for regular breadcrumbs)

Heat oven to 375 degrees
Mix all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend to a soft paste, adding the oil as it is blending.  Spray the pork with olive oil cooking spray.
Rub the pork with the herb mix on all sides, it will make a nice coat on the pork.
Heat your skillet to med-high heat, once hot add the pork and sear on all sides until golden (do not skip this step).
Remove from skillet carefully and place on a baking sheet and roast in oven for 20 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 130 degrees.  It will be pink inside.
Pull out of the oven and let the pork rest covered for 10 minutes (very important to let it rest because the meat will continue to cook and all the juices of the pork are not lost.)
Slice into 1/2 inch pieces and fan out on the plate and top with apple confit*

*Apple confit
3-6 depending on the size of your apples of Granny Smiths, peeled,cored and sliced thinly
1 TB butter
2TB brown sugar
1/4 cup of Brandy

Melt the butter in a large skillet on med heat
Add the apples to the skillet and sprinkle the peeled and sliced apples with the brown sugar
Saute apples until they begin to turn brown and caramelize about five minutes
Add the brandy and cook until tender about two minutes
Serve with pork
I added fresh rosemary and thyme to bridge with the wine

Petite Peas with button mushrooms
8 oz button mushrooms (any will work but button absorb more flavors)
1 small shallot
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp butter
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 bag Bird's Eye petite frozen peas

Slice mushroom, shallots, and mince garlic
Heat medium size non stick skittle to medium heat, add butter
Once butter is melted add shallot saute until golden, add garlic saute for 1 minute
Add mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes or until mushroom are soft and golden
Add wine and turn down heat and let simmer until all the wine is gone
Remove from heat and salt and pepper to taste
Add heated peas to mushrooms


  1. sounds delicious:) Love that pork tenderloin, can never go wrong with it, unless like most other people you overcook it, but we know better huh!?!

  2. Yes we do! This would be a meal right up your alley! Thanks for reading the blog:)