A Sense of Wine

A Sense of Wine is Wine Sense's journal of new products, techniques and behind the scenes info for those who love to make wine. The authors are the Wine Sense staff. You will be familiar with them as the friendly faces that serve you whenever you stop by one of the stores. Join us as we share our insights on new procucts, advice and our experiences. Please feel free to comment on any posts- we look forward to your input!

January 2010


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A Sense of Food

January 4, 2010

Craig1Since the first cork was pulled some 8000 years ago wine and food fell in love with each other and that relationship has lasted and grown ever since.

Whether it’s cooked into the meal or enjoyed with it- wine will always make a good meal even better. And it doesn’t take a lot of experience to take advantage of the the special relationship between wine and food.

A good recipe will do the work for you- and that’s what you’ll find on the Recipes page of A Sense of Wine. These recipes are tried and true and often designed specifically for wines that we carry at Wine Sense. We’ll also make sure to give you a few wine options- just in case you need to adjust the recipe to the contents of your wine rack.

We’ll be starting with the Limited Edition recipes from past and present. The first two recipes are for this year’s January releases- South African Shiraz and California Lake County Trio Blanc. Both are very easy recipes that will make your friends think you are a kitchen pro. Look for more recipes to be posted every week or so.

When it comes to serving wine with food it’s good to think of wine as a ‘condiment’ to what you are eating. As ketchup is to your hot dog there is always a wine for what you are eating. Yes, the fall-back is ‘drink what you like’ but the following guidelines are a good rule of thumb- especially when you are entertaining:

Wine and Food Matching Principles

Match your wine to the strongest flavour on the plate.

Balance the weight of the wine to the weight of the food.

A full flavoured meal needs a full-bodied wine; a lighter dish requires a lighter wine.

Fatty, greasy or rich dishes need a dry wine with good acidity to clean the palate.

Salty dishes need a slightly sweet wine with full fruit flavours, moderate acidity, lower alcohol and no tannins.

Hot, spicy dishes require refreshing acidity, lower alcohol and fruity wines with a touch of sweetness.

Cream sauces and butter require wines of good fruit and matching creamy style or contrasting acidity to cleanse the palate.

The dessert wine should be sweeter than the dessert.

Rare meats need young tannic reds and well-done meats need older or fruity reds with little to no tannins.

Foods high in acidity are complemented by wines high in acidity.

 Whatever the meal there is always a wine for it!

Bon Appetit!


Wine Sense

Filed under: General by Craig

Pork Tenderloin Baked in White Wine Cream Sauce

January 4, 2010

winesense_iconPork Tenderloin Baked in White Wine Cream Sauce featuring Winexpert Limited Edition California Lake County Trio Blanca. This is one of those ‘easy to make’ recipes which will make people think you’re a pro in the kitchen!

2 pound pork tenderloin

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tsp dried thyme 1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup real whipping cream (35%)

2 tbsp parsley, fresh, chopped

1 cup Winexpert Selection Limited Edition California Lake County Trio Blanca


Pat pork tenderloin dry. Combine mustard, thyme, salt and pepper and then rub into the pork. Heat oil in a roasting pan or skillet that can be used on direct heat and in the oven. Brown meat on all sides.

Add California Lake County Trio Blanca to the pan and roast in preheated 350° F/180° C oven 45-50 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 160° F/70° C.

Remove meat from pan and set aside. Add cream to juices remaining in pan and scrape up any bits of meat stuck to the bottom of the pan into the sauce. Bring sauce to a boil and simmer gently until slightly thickened. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Meanwhile, slice pork and return it to the sauce. Heat gently before serving.

Sprinkle with parsley or garnish to your choice. This meal will go well with noodles or potatoes and vegetables.

This recipe will also work with Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc or Pinot Blanc.

Filed under: Recipes by Craig

Filet Mignon with Red Wine Sauce

January 4, 2010

winesense_iconFilet Mignon with Red Wine Sauce featuring Winexpert Limited Edition South African Shiraz. This recipe works whether you grill the steaks on the barbeque or pan fry them in a hot skillet- making it a great steak recipe when the barbecue is covered with snow.

3 cups Winexpert Selection Limited Edition South African Shiraz

3 tbsp cognac

3 shallots, chopped

1 tsp thyme

6 filet mignon steaks

4 cups beef stock


Allow the steaks to set to approximately room temperature. Rinse the steaks under cool water, and pat dry with towels. Lightly coat the beef with olive oil and paprika. Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk Selection Limited Edition South African Shiraz, cognac, shallots and thyme in a large bowl. Marinate steaks overnight in glass pans.

Remove steaks from marinade and pat dry. Cook steaks in pan or barbeque. For a medium rare steak cook for about 4 minutes on each side.

Transfer marinade to saucepan. Boil about 20 minutes to reduce to 1 cup. Add stock and boil about 20 more minutes to reduce to 1¼ cups. Add 5 tablespoons of chilled butter to sauce and spoon over steaks. Serves 6.

This recipe will also work with Australian Shiraz or California Syrah.

Filed under: Recipes by Craig


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