Friday, September 9, 2011

Out of Season

We have been in a very strange weather pattern lately.  Within the span of one week we went from recording record high temperatures of 100 degrees to record high temperatures at the other end of the spectrum with three days where we did not get above 62 degrees.  I found the records at the lower end much more pleasant, and the cooler temperatures meant it was time to braise something.

In the summer I miss braised food as much as I miss a fresh, ripe tomato in the winter.   Lamb shanks became the braise of choice.  Browned, they were thrown in the pot with wine, garlic, onions, carrots, leeks, tomatoes, and herbs.  At the end we added white beans.  I also made another winter dish, polenta.  The results are pictured below.

The wine was an old friend, a Foppiano Petite Sirah from Sonoma's Russian River Valley.  Year in and year out no one makes Petite Sirah better than Foppiano.  In this case it was the 2005 vintage.  Inky dark in the glass the nose was all about black fruit and black pepper.  There was a little bit of earth peeking out as well.  The taste was just as full as the color was dark.  The wine just oozed ripe fruit, spice and a hint or two of chocolate.  Good acid and loads of tannin balanced this wine out.  Despite its size it was not heavy and overburdened with anything.  It was just a delicious mouthful. 

It stood up to and really complimented the lamb, and it definitely picked up on the rosemary, thyme and sage that were in the braising liquid.  Good stuff.

#20 and 14.5% alcohol

1 comment:

Taylor from Foppiano said...

Dan - so glad you choose Foppiano Vineyards to thumb your nose at the heat of summer. A chilled Petite Sirah is never a bad thing. Cheers!