Every bottle has a story

I am not a wine expert, but with each bottle I try and share with friends, I learn more. Wine is an exceptional social drink; it is the marijuana of alcoholic beverages because it must be shared. I seek to share with you my thoughts and experiences as I drink the wine in my closet, as well as my enthusiasm for the finds that come my way and the excellent values that I find. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences too, so please share!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

One good leg deserves a stew


Needless to say, after that wonderful leg of lamb in mid-August I prepared with the Brunello di Montalcino, I had some left over. And what better meal to prepare with leftover leg of lamb than lamb stew?

Now, most lamb stew recipes, and the one I selected was no exception, call for some red wine in addition to the beef stock. When cooking with wine, I tend to take a rather extreme position. I can’t remember where I read this, but I recall reading someplace that if you wouldn’t drink a wine, why would you use it for cooking? Grocery stores have plenty of “cooking wine” on the shelves, and isn’t it curious that the “cooking wine” is generally never found in the wine aisle? That’s because these “cooking” wines are not for drinking. Well, if they’re not for drinking, why use them for cooking?

Hence, I always use a wine that I like to drink as a cooking ingredient when a recipe calls for wine.

So I was feeling a bit daring following that wonderful meal with the leg of lamb. I found a lamb stew recipe I wanted to use, and this wild hair of a notion consumed me as to what wine I should use. And what did I select? Yes my fellow oenophiles, I went all out and selected a 2004 Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape from Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils, the Girard. I poured two cups of that wine into my stew, and drank the rest while eating what was most definitely a heavenly meal.

I have no regrets over my decision. It was divine. I’ll post the recipe later, as I have another lamb stew post coming up.

I’ll rate this wine a 9.5 based on the scale at the left. The stew I rate with a 10.

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