Paleo & Primal Food, Wine, Travel & Living

pinot noir

Flights By Night #3: Pork Chop with Apple Gastrique and a Duo of Pinot Noir

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In this edition of Flights By Night, we bring you a classic pairing of pork and Pinot Noir. A bone-in pork chop with an apple and onion sauté and an apple gastrique. Served with roasted Brussels sprouts.

The Pinot Noirs that Andy chose are some of the most delicious Pinot Noirs I have ever tasted and they are very reasonably priced. Wine number one is Handley’s 2012 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir (their self-titled “flagship wine”) and wine number two is Talbott’s 2013 Kali Hart Pinot Noir (which is my personal favorite red wine right now, because of it’s drinkability with or without food).

As for Handley, they couldn’t make a bad wine if they tried. Case in point, their Gewürztraminer ($20), but that is another pairing for another time. 😉 Handley’s Anderson Valley Pinot retails for $32 via their website and Talbott’s Kali Hart Pinot Noir goes for ($21). However, you can find the wines at lower prices if you do a google search for them. 😉

The food pairing was a no-brainer because pork is always a perfect match for Pinot Noir. I quartered the Brussels sprouts and roasted them in olive oil. For the apple and onion sauté, I sliced the onions and cooked them in olive oil, seasoned them with salt, and then added 2 Tbs coconut sugar to help caramelize them. Then I added some chopped apples, and cooked the onions and apples down together until the mixture was browned and thickened.

Andy was busy with the pork chops on the grill and meanwhile I made the apple gastrique. It was such a simple preparation. I just used one part honey to two parts apple cider vinegar. I started with the honey in a small saucepan, and roasted over low heat until the honey turned darker. Then I added the apple cider vinegar and brought to a simmer, then turned down the heat slightly and reduced until the gastrique stuck to the back of a spoon (gastrique will thicken even more as it cools). Tip: You can serve the gastrique with pork, duck, or chicken. 😉

That’s it for today’s Flights By Night! Check back in a few days for another great food and wine pairing!


Pinotlicious Wines: Part One

I recently had the opportunity to try the 2009 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Freestone Hills Pinot Noir
I liked the wine so much that I am ready to extend my upcoming Napa trip up Highway 29 so I can visit a tasting room in Healdsburg that carries more SCV wines along with several other labels. Access to wines like these is exactly why I came to California.
The wine retails for around $40, so it’s certainly not an everyday wine, but well-suited for occasions like Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. The wine is deep garnet in color, and soft and velvety with a wonderful finish. It’s fruity enough to bring together the different flavors of the meal, but also worth drinking by itself.
The 2009 Freestone Hills is a 100% pinot noir combining grapes from three vineyards: Bella Sonoma Vineyard, (72%), Petersen Vineyard, (20%), & the Salmon Creek Block, (8%). It was aged 16-months in 60% new French oak, and has 14.3% alcohol.
You can find this wine in Chico at the Mangrove Bottle Shop, in San Francisco at Soma Wines and Spirits, and in Healdsburg at the Vintage Wine Estates tasting room. You can also buy it online from the winery’s website here.