Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sunday Dinner

Sundays, as I've said before, are my days to cook. I try to do something special, not outrageous, just full of love, flavor and care. In the process of creation, I'm always paying attention to how the meal will pair with wine. What wine will go best? What flavors should I add to the dish to mirror/contrast the wine?

Recently, I had the urge to cook some duck. There were two wines I had in mind for this dish. The first was a 2004 Savigny-Les-Beaune from Joseph Drouhin. This wine has a light ruby color, elevated (but not overpowering) acidity, a gorgeous array of earth, and soft fruit profile. The second was a 2001 Chianti Classico Riserva from Luiano. The bright acidity (typical of Sangiovese), medium-full body, and berry-fruit characteristics seemed perfect for duck.

I marinated the duck legs in a dash of soy, red wine, pepper, garlic and a dash of pomegranate molasses. After a few hours of marinating, I laid them on a baking sheet and roasted them in the oven. While they were roasting I prepared some red rice, english pea pods, and a dried cherry sauce with red wine, balsamic vinegar, shallots and a dash of pomegranate molasses to mirror the marinade.

Finally it was time to test my wine theory. The acidity of the red burgundy cut through the richness of the duck, the fruit and the acid in the wine mirrored the dried cherry sauce, and the earthiness popped out to go with the gamy quality of the duck. Delicious.

Unfortunately, I couldn't test my theory about the Chianti. It was corked. Oh well, I'll just have to try it again!

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