Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Another Simple Solution--and It Involves Pinot Noir

I've found another simple solution to the "what's for dinner?" crisis many of us face at the end of a busy day.

I was intrigued by Mark Bittman's recent recipe in the New York Times for "risotto-style" chicken pasta. What I most liked about it was that it involved one pan, one cutting board, one knife, and a lot of things we always have in the house (chicken in the freezer, mushrooms in the fridge, pasta and chicken broth in the cupboard). Who has time to wash dishes this time of year? And it seemed as though it would be finished--from prep to plate--in around 30 minutes. What's not to like?

As I threw this recipe together, I scanned the wine racks looking for a good bottle of wine to go with it. Rather than recommend a hard-to-find wine, I drew out the 2007 Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast. Regular readers know this is my favorite appellation for US Pinot Noir. Sometimes the wine can be a bit pricey, however. I'm delighted to report that this wine is both affordable ($18!) and easy to find in most markets for $12-$24. This excellent QPR Pinot Noir delivers characteristic Sonoma Coast aromas of cherry, chalk, and a lick of smoke. These lead into a juicy, well-integrated palate of berries, cherries, and chalky minerality and that nice smokiness turns spicy in the aftertaste. This is another excellent food wine, that's versatile and affordable enough to feature on your holiday table, as well as satisfying your everyday wine needs.

(And yes, the risotto-style pasta was excellent--and a perfect partner for this wine, with the earthy mushrooms.)

Full Disclosure: I received this wine as a sample.

24 comments:

pink said...
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Kimberly said...

Oh my goodness, I feel like I've hit the jackpot! I saw Mark Bittman's recipe from last Weds.'s NY Times Dining and Wine section and was completely intrigued by it, and really, really wanted to try it. I haven't had time yet, but I think I may do it this weekend. I'm so glad someone else attempted this and had good results-- I pleaded with some of my cooking friends to try it and let me know how it went, but no one else has had time recently either. You've inspired me to make this my weekend project, so, thanks! (On another note, I've gotten lots of good wine suggestions from your site, and love that I can find good wines in my price range, thanks in part to your wonderful insights. : )

David said...

Both the recipe and pinot recommendations sounds great. I was looking to pick up a pinot in this price range today for a gift, too, so will look for it. Thanks.

Chef E said...

Glad I found you, I am doing a Wine-down Wednesday post on my blog, and was looking for Shiraz ideas, and ideas for next week...look forward to following you!

I saw that article and find your one cutting board solution a refreshing post!

cheeseblab said...

Have I ever told you about the first risotto I ever made, the one whose liquid was . . . a bottle of cabernet? Then you top a little molded serving of risotto w/ pan-seared scallops w/ lemon and roasted . . . poppy seeds? sesame seeds? some kinda seeds. Anyway, the color of the rice is as gorgeous as you're imagining, and the flavor of the dish . . . I'll see whether I can find the recipe online, and if not, I'll copy my copy for you.

Get Info Here said...

This wines are very affordable and likewise delicious. I am longed to drink this again as my Uncle sent us again.

Anonymous said...

I went out and bought this wine after reading your review and just wanted to let you know that it was fantastic for the price. Very nice finish and mouth feel.

Ethan Prater said...

The Sonoma Coast AVA is huge and disparate. Have you found similarities among Pinots from all parts of the area, or do you stick to wines from what Pinotphiles tend to call "The True Sonoma Coast"?

In my experience, the latter seem to be pricier (almost always >$20), but also better. So I've stopped trusting "Sonoma Coast" as a quality or even QPR indicator for Pinot Noir.

Here's hoping that I'm just imagining that, though, and that "Sonoma Coast" itself might indeed be a good QPR indicator in Pinot Noir. Is that what you meant?

yasmin mitchell said...
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yasmin mitchell said...
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dvestv said...

They are expert about it. but for me it's not advisable. The best position is normal standing position of a bottle.

Diu said...

I keep want to start this comment with ‘good’ or ‘nice’ or ‘great’ but none of these seems strong enough, or appropriate enough for what you just posted.Just fantastic and mindblowing blog keep it up..!!!

John Cesano said...

Great blog! Good focus meets solid prose. Thanks, and keep tasting. Cheers.

Frankie H. Gutierrez said...

Thanks for the Sebastiani Pinot Noir recommend. You're absolutely right. It paired well with chicken over rice w/ mushroom sauce.

Morten Pedersen said...

I see that there is much good stuff to readabout wine here. I found you on google and will keep on reading your blog.

Wine of the month club said...

Try the Castle Rock Monterey Peninsula pinot noir. Best bet for the money I have found in an everyday drinkable pinot.

all2010videos said...

@ Wine

Yeah, you are right. This pinot is the best among the rest as you have it. You will surely have it all the time.

Godar said...
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baobao said...
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免費成人色情卡通漫畫 said...
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Purg said...

I recently purchased this wine after reading this post....what a gooddecision it was!

gih said...

Yeah.. That's I like them when they perform.

Walt said...

Is this blog still active? I haven't seen a new post in almost two months now. I've enjoyed reading it and would hate to think it has come to a screeching halt.