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Archive for the ‘Rhône’ Category

Harvey Nichols, Plan de Dieu, Cotes du Rhone Villages, 2008 €14.95

We had actually tried another Cotes du Rhone Villages from a different wine shop (which will remain nameless as we’re in the business of recommending not slating wines) and it wasn’t good enough to have as our wine of week. To be fair though it too was a 2008, which wasn’t a great vintage in the Rhone, with poor weather (rain and hail storms) in July and August.

This wine was a bit lighter in colour than you would expect for a southern Rhone red which probably also reflects the difficult vintage. More importantly though there was plenty of red berry and black pepper aromas with a slight herbal note.  A perfect wine for uncomplicated food; try it with steak, sausages or stew.

Well done Kelly in Harvey Nichols wine shop in Dundrum who suggested we try it.

Julie

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I’ve had Georgio Locatelli’s Made in Italy for yonks now but had yet to try any of the recipes until tonight. We had some duck breasts and were looking for a tasty recipe without too many ingredients. This fitted the bill perfectly except one of the ingredients proved very difficult to find – if you live in Dublin you can get farro or spelt in Fallon & Byrne but we had to go twice to find it!

After all this faffing about looking for farro you can’t even see it in our picture. I promise that is there though (under the duck breast).

This was absolutely fabulous and quite straight forward though I recommend you get organised with all the pans and stuff before you start.

Duck breast with brocoli (for 4 people)

4 duck breasts

4 tablespoons farro (spelt)

145ml extra-virgin olive oil

2 heads of broccoli, separated into florets

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced

salt and pepper

  • Take the duck breasts out of the fridge about an hour before you start.
  • Soak the farro in cold water for 20 minutes, then drain.
  • Preheat oven to 220C (gas 7).
  • Bring a pan of unsalted water to the boil and cook the farro for 15 minutes (salted water will make it go hard). Drain and tip onto a tray or big plate. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over and toss to coat the grains and keep them separate. Give them a jiggle every few minutes so they don’t stick together.
  • Blanch the broccoli in boiling salted water for a minute or two to just soften it. Drain and set aside.
  • Score the skin and season the duck; this helps the fat to render. Heat an oven-proof saute pan to medium-hot, then put in the duck, skin-side down, and cook until it turns golden (about 6 minutes). Turn over and cook for 1 minute, then turn down the heat. Take the duck out and keep warm.
  • Drain the fat off the pan, add the Worcestershire sauce and 3 tablespoons of the remaining oil. Stir to emulsify and turn off the heat.
  • Heat a saute pan, add the remaining oil, followed by the garlic and chilli, and cook without colouring for a few minutes.Add the broccoli and saute without allowing to colour, until just soft. Season.
  • In a separate pan, fry the farro without any extra oil until slightly crisp (drain off excess oil as you go). Season.
  • Put the duck into a roasting tray and put in the oven for 2-3 minutes (or more if you like it more done).
  • Spoon the farro into the middle of the plates, and arrange the broccoli around it with the oil.
  • Slice the duck and put on top of the farro and finish with the sauce.

This was so tasty Jono wanted a second helping even though he was stuffed!

We served this with a glass of red 2005 Saint Joseph ‘Les Pierres Leches’ from Yves Cuilleron. Nice medium weight so it doesn’t overwhelm the food but a really tasty and flavoursome Syrah at the same time. Highly recommended.

Julie

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Kindly shared by Julie’s Dad, who had been kindly donated this bottle by our friend David 🙂

2007 Bernard Gripa, Saint -Péray “les Figuiers”

This is incredibly rare, from a shrinking appellation in the northern Rhône and made from 60% Roussanne and 40% marsanne. Quite full-bodied this wine plays a slightly lower acidity against full fruit and a savoury texture that gives a minerality and freshness that begs for food. It’s beauty lies in the wonderful aromas of yellow plums, wax and camomile. These aromas are really haunting and seem to capture the late summer sun.

It is these aromas that really make this something special; it lifts the wine out of the humdrum that the fruit weight gives it. These aromas developed the more we tasted the wine and made this really interesting.

Well worth looking out for.

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