Sunday, February 13, 2011

2009 Blason de Bougogne Pinot Noir

The grill is red hot and ready to sear the Marinated Tri-Tip that is on the menu this Sunday. Earlier I made some mushroom and onion Gratins to go with the meal and to snack on while grillin' (see the recipe below - used some fresh Sourdough instead of the white bread - those Brits....).

Popped open a 2009 Blason Pinot Noir for the evening. Check out the website for the wine by clicking the link right here ----> Blason de Bourgogne

A wonderful website and a great slogan "We Are From The People For The People". The packaging is great too - natural cork, great looking label and capsule. I imagine that Blason has done some research into targeting this French wine to the British and American public:

#1 - it is called Pinot Noir (most French Wines do not advertise the grape type / varietal)
#2 - it's available at Trader Joe's
#3 - the website states that Blason is a cooperative between a UK (British) wine agency and 5 Burgundy region wineries

So, you've digested the hype - now how is the wine? I wish that the taste could have matched the packaging / marketing of the wine. I love a Pinot Noir when it has a full spicy nose and rich earthy flavors. The bottle of Blason that I opened was dull and listless. Perhaps I got a bad cork, but I could not smell or taste the TCA (a cork compound that smells like wet cardboard). Sometimes the levels are low enough that it just kills the fruit and I'm thinking that this is the case. I will buy another bottle in the next few months to give it another chance, but most of this bottle is going into the red meat sauce that I have bubbling away on the stove (destined for Monday night's Spaghetti). On to some Zinfandel...


Here's the recipe for the Gratins (courtesy of London's Independent)

These tartlets are a bit of a cheat, as you won't be fussing around with a load of tiresome pastry. The bases are cut out of sandwich bread, which toasts to a tasty crisp. They're a bit like a baby croque-monsieur, and they're guaranteed to have everyone fighting their way back for more.

These are always the star canapé of every event I do, though I suppose - officially - they don't qualify as a canapé, as each one adds up to two or three tidy bites.

2tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
1tbsp sugar
250g chestnut mushrooms, hand-chopped or finely sliced (easily achieved in a food processor)
Leaves stripped from a few thyme sprigs
12 slices of medium- sliced white sandwich bread
Soft butter 250g
Gruyère or mature cheddar cheese, grated

Heat the olive oil in a wide pan over a moderate flame and fry the onions until they start to colour. Sprinkle in the sugar and seasoning. Add the mushrooms and thyme to the pan and cook until the mushrooms are soft.

Take a slice of bread and cut two 4cm circles out of it, using the top of a glass or a pastry cutter. Butter one side and press butter-side down into non-stick muffin tins or mince pie tins - you will probably need two of these. Continue until you have 24.

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Top each bread round with about a teaspoonful of mushroom mixture. Mound the grated cheese generously on top. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

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