Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Holiday Synopsis and Wine Review: 2006 Ehret Family Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

The store I work for is only closed one day of the year: Christmas.  Because December is pretty much one grueling slog, and doesn't end until the clock strikes 12 on New Year's Eve, Christmas day is my respite from the Holiday Insanity, my little glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel.  I like to use Christmas day as a chance to relax, to cook some good food and enjoy some nice beverages, call (but not entertain) friends and family, and recharge my batteries for the last push through to New Year's.

This year we decided to do a simple but decadently delicious meal.   Pan seared filet mignon topped with blue cheese glacage, whipped potatoes and boiled beets.  What does one pair with steak and cheese?  Why, a rich Cab Sav from Knights Valley, Sonoma of course!

This is a bottle of wine that was given to us as a gift by my beloved Brother-and-Sister-in-law, and had been lurking in our cellar for a bit.  I figured that it was ready to go, and seeing as it was a Christmas present from a year or two ago, it would make a great wine for our Christmas dinner. 

Unlike most Cali Cabs, this one has a true 100% Cabernet Sauvignon pedigree, and was from a limited batch of 1000 cases.  Knight's Valley is located to the north of Calistoga, and is among the warmest of Sonoma County's AVA's, thanks to the mountainous protection from marine climactic influences. 

It was a perfect accompaniment for our steaks. There was a rich, dark fruit component, blackberry, cassis and all the usual suspects. It had a lovely density to it, significant tannins, and a leathery, earthy backbone that resonated with the richness of the blue cheese atop our steaks.   Definitely a masculine California Cab that gets it right on all counts: fruit, concentration, tannins.  It paired well with the meal, as long as it had some fats to cut through.  When we had finished our dinner and still had some wine to enjoy, the tannins became much more prominent.  But altogether an enjoyable wine, an excellent dinner companion, and a wonderful gift from V&K, the best in-laws a boy could wish for. 

Here's the recipe for the Blue Cheese Glacage, adapted from an Emeril recipe I found on the net:

3 egg yolks
125g or approx 4oz blue cheese, crumbled
dash of Worcestershire
spritz of lemon juice
salt and pepper
heavy cream as needed

Blend first four ingredients in food processor until smooth.  Add a splash of heavy cream if needed to thin mixture, but not too thin.  It should have a thick, ribbon like texture when spooned.  Add S&P to taste.

Season steaks well with salt and pepper, and saute until just shy of desired degree of doneness.   Transfer to baking sheet and top with Blue Cheese Glacage.  Place under broiler until glacelage begins to bubble and brown, about two minutes or so.  Serve immediately.

I used filets, but really, this could work for any nice cut of beef, or possibly even pork. 

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas, and I hope that the New Year brings you all wonderful things. 

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