Now that the weather is turning colder and our thoughts are turning to hearty red wine, there’s nothing much better on a cold night than bean soup. Here’s a fresh take on a classic Portuguese bean soup that will pair well with any of our red wines.
1 small yellow onion, in small dice
1 small carrot, in small dice
1 stalk celery, in small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, ground
2 15.5-ounce cans white beans, drained
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 5- to 6-ounce stick linguiça, quartered and diced
1 yellow potato, in medium dice
2 collard leaves, destemmed, rolled, and finely slivered
Over high flame, heat a heavy-bottomed pan large enough to make a pot of soup. Film it with olive oil and cook the vegetables, garlic, bay leaves, and fennel seed until the onions start to go translucent, about five minutes. Add the white beans and chicken stock and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
Remove the bay leaves and smooth the soup with an immersion blender (or blend it in a blender and return it to the pot). Thin the soup as necessary with more stock or water and season to taste.
For the garnish, film a sauté pan with a little olive oil and cook the linguiça. Remove the linguiça from the pan and cook the potato in the linguiça oil, browning nicely. Pour off some of the colored oil for garnish, then add the linguica, potato, and collards to the soup and simmer until the collards are bright green and just done. Portion into soup bowls and drizzle with the reserved linguiça oil. Serves four as an appetizer or two as a main course with crusty bread.
With the imminent release of our 2016 Povo Barbera, we thought you’d enjoy a great pairing to go with it. Barbera loves slow-cooked dishes. Here’s a take on a long-cooked lamb ragù reduced to 90 minutes for your busy schedule. We realize that 90 minutes might not be all that quick, but compared with a traditional bolognese sauce that takes all day, well, you get the point. With a pound of pasta, serves 4 people.
Quick Lamb Ragù
1 pound ground lamb
2 stalks celery, in small dice
2 carrots, in small dice
1 medium onion, in small dice
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
12 basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup Coelho Pinot Gris or Chardonnay
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup milk or cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Over high flame, heat a heavy-bottomed pan large enough to make a batch of sauce. Film it with olive oil and place the lamb in the pan, stirring to break it up. For best flavor, cook until all the lamb is well browned, almost crisp, about 8-10 minutes.
Remove lamb to a bowl and return the pan to the heat. Add another film of olive oil and brown any build-up on the bottom of the pan well, just shy of burning. Add the celery, carrot, and onion.
Cook the vegetables, stirring, until the onions are translucent, about two minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, and basil. Cook another two minutes. Return the lamb to the pan along with the white wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan to dissolve any caramelization. Add the tomatoes, the heavy cream, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat until the pan is just bubbling. Stir every 15-20 minutes for an hour. As the sauce reduces, you may need to stir more frequently to keep it from sticking. When the sauce is as thick as you want it, season it to taste.
Serve with your favorite pasta and 2016 Povo Barbera.
Pro Chef Tips
- To control the fat in the ground lamb, we ground a leg ourselves.
- Traditionally, we would use heavy cream in the sauce, but to lighten the fat, we used 2%.
- This ratio of vegetables to meat is fairly high when compared to most classic recipes. Just another way of making the dish a touch more healthy.
- By all means, use fresh tomatoes if you like, but we prefer our fresh tomatoes raw, not in long-cooked sauces like this. We prefer diced tomatoes to sauce or crushed tomatoes. Your mileage may vary.
- Rinse the tomato can with a touch of water, wine, or cream/milk to get all the goodness into the sauce.
- Leave the sprig of rosemary whole: it’s much easier to fish out of the finished sauce.
Rusty Gaffney, The Prince of Pinot, had very kind words for our 2016 single-vineyard Pinots in his June 9, 2018 newsletter. Of our wines, he says “These stellar wines represent the best value in this issue.”
2016 Coehlo Coehlo Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.58, RS 0.3 g/L, 94 cases, $45. 50% 777 and 50% Pommard clones. Harvest Brix 22.5º. 100% de-stemmed, 3 to 5-day cold soak, 100% malolactic fermentation. Aged in French oak barrels, 25% new for 14 months and in stainless steel for 2 months. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Soaring aromas of black cherry infused with gentle oak-driven notes of spice and vanilla. The luscious fruit veers to the ripe side, but the flavors of black cherry, pomegranate and blackberry are captivating. Silky in the mouth, with impressive intensity and length and a giving finish. This wine was considerably more harmonious when tasted from an opened bottle later in the day. The richest of the three 2016 Pinot Noirs. Score: 94
2016 Coehlo Delfina Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
12.8% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.59, RS 0.1 g/L, 97 cases, $45. 25% 667, 50% 777 and 25% 115. Harvest Brix 22.5º. 100% de-stemmed, 3 to 5-day cold soak, full malolactic fermentation. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 25% new, and 2 months in stainless steel. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Upon opening, this wine was not particularly appealing. Subdued aromas of black cherry and oak vanillin led to a rustic palate of sweet dark red and black fruits with a noticeable backing of citrusy acidity. Quite a change when tasted later in the day from a previously opened bottle when the wine exhibited considerably more harmony, showing adept oak management and a persistent finish. Score: 92
2016 Coehlo Zeitoun Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.55, RS 0.4 g/L, 95 cases, $45. Unknown clones. Harvest Brix 23.0º. 100% de-stemmed, 3 to 5-day cold soak, full malolactic fermentation. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 50% new and 50% neutral. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Pleasant aromas of a range of dark fruits and a hint of vanilla. Clean, polished and impeccably balanced in a mid weight style featuring an array of perfectly ripened purple and black fruits blessed with adroit oak input. A flat-out gorgeous wine that slides through the mid palate and finish likes its lubricated. Score: 94
The tropical flavors in our Pinot Gris just beg to be paired with food. Here’s a simple, yet flavorful Cuban-inspired dish that pairs extremely well with our Pinot Gris. If you don’t have blood oranges, substitute regular oranges. Serves 2 people.
Juice of two blood oranges
Juice and zest of one lime
1/4 cup olive oil plus additional for sautéing
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
14 large (16-20 count) shrimp
Mix your mojo: zest the lime into a non-reactive bowl, then squeeze the lime and oranges into it. Add the olive oil, garlic, and seasonings. Stir well.
15 minutes before cooking, cover the shrimp in the mojo and mix well. Do not marinate longer than 15 minutes or the acid will “cook” the shrimp.
When you are ready to serve the dish, heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the shrimp in a single layer, leaving as much of the mojo in the bowl as possible. When you see the shrimp have cooked on one side, about 90 seconds, flip and cook until they just turn opaque all the way through, about another 60 seconds.
Remove the shrimp from the pan and keep warm. Pour the leftover mojo into the pan and cook until almost reduced, another minute or two.
Arrange the shrimp on a plate and spoon the reduced sauce over them. We served ours with rice and a mango salsa. The flavors married really well with the 2017 Coelho Vineyard Pinot Gris.
Wine pairing seems a bit mysterious at times. Let us take the guess work out of it with an elegant wine pairing for Pinot Noir. From our kitchen to yours, here is a a simple and elegant dish that takes just minutes to pull off and will impress your guests. Serves 2 people.
Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Pinot Noir Sauce
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1 cup Coelho Pinot Noir
Vegetable oil for sautéing
6 pork tenderloin medallions, 1.75 to 2 ounces each
1/4 cup all purpose flour for dredging
1 large shallot, finely minced
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
The night before, cover the dried cranberries with Pinot Noir and let them plump. Just before starting to cook, cut the butter into small cubes. You want the butter to be cold so that it will thicken the sauce without breaking.
Slice a pork tenderloin on the bias into roughly 3/8-1/2” thick medallions. Over high heat, warm a skillet large enough to hold all the pork. Season the flour with a little salt and pepper. Dredge the pork in the flour.
When the pan is hot, film it with oil and add all the pork in a single layer. As the pork gets done on the bottom, the sides will turn white. Cook for about 90 seconds and then flip. Cook another minute or so, until the center of the pork just firms to the touch. You want your pork to be about medium well, just slightly pink on the inside. Remove the pork to a plate in a warm location.
Add the shallots to the hot pan, stirring until they turn translucent, about 30 seconds Add the cranberries and wine, stirring until the wine is almost totally reduced. Turn off the flame and let the pan cool for a minute or two. Whisk in the cold butter bit by bit until the sauce thickens. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Arrange the pork on a plate and spoon the sauce over.
91 Points 2014 Paciência Pinot Noir, Coelho Estate Vineyard, Willamette Valley
The 2014 Pinot Noir Paciência Estate comes from Dijon and Pommard clones, and raised in 16% new oak for ten months. It has a pure and well-defined bouquet with dark cherries and boysenberry fruit – all very focused. The palate is well defined and lithe in the mouth, the acidity is well judged, gently building with light spiced dark cherry and black currant pastille notes on the tender finish. Very fine.
Review by Neal Martin
eRobertParker.com#224 (Apr 2016)
90 Points 2014 Atração Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
The 2014 Atração Pinot Noir was aged on the lees for ten months and was matured in a judicious 6.5% new oak. It has a very commendable nose with brambly red berry fruit and blackcurrant – admirable varietal expression here. The palate is well balanced, a little “soft” in the mouth, but there is plenty of attractive, slightly meaty red berry fruit here and commendable definition on the finish. This comes recommended – especially at the suggested retail price.
Review by Neal Martin
eRobertParker.com #224 (Apr 2016)
Drink 2016 – 2021