There is hardly a pinot noir I've tasted that I haven't liked. More accurately, there's hardly a pinot noir I haven't liked at least a little bit when served with food. I may never buy a bottle of that particular one again, or order a glass of it in a restaurant, but I can usually find something "good" about it.
Now, before you start to think that a pinot noir from North America is all I drink, let me assure you that I am quite in L-O-V-E with many varietals (types of grapes) and many of the grape-growing regions throughout the world. I tend to be more partial to the cooler-climate and food-friendlier wines, but that's just a generalization because there are certainly several warm-climate wines I would walk a mile to drink. But, I digress.
I had picked up the bottle of Robin Ridge Pinot Noir at Denman Place Wines while I was in Vancouver earlier this week and decided I'd try it out with my world-famous (okay, make that family-and-friends famous) hamburger soup--an oh-so-easy, very tasty, and teenager-filling meal when accompanied with some crusty bread and a freshly tossed salad.
The wine surprised me with first its aromas and then its velvety balance. I found red cherries and berries, a light reference to carnations, and some smoky tobacco on the nose. When I sipped it, I was blessed with a whole mouthful of ripe strawberries, a little vanilla, a rich earthiness, and a really decent finish. This is a full-bodied pinot noir that keeps its elegance.
The wine was perfect with my soup! And even better--the soup was perfect with my wine. It's an absolutely glorious thing when your food and wine bring out the best in each other.
Next time, I may try a little Robin Ridge Pinot Noir in the soup.
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I'm not a chef, but I am a pretty good cook, at least I am according to those who keep returning for dinner. So, here's how I make the soup--in under an hour:
- I simply brown about 500g (that's just over a pound for my friends from the U.S.) of extra lean ground beef, a chopped-up cooking onion, a couple of finely chopped cloves of garlic, and two or three stalks of celery, diced and with the leaves if you have them.
- Then I add two or three 900ml (just less than a quart each) Tetra Paks of good-quality, low-sodium beef bouillon, some freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste, about a tablespoon of dried thyme, a bay leaf, and about half a cup (sometimes more) of real wild rice--not the instant stuff.
- I bring it all to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes.
- Five minutes before the end, I add two cups of frozen peas, or broccoli, or both.
- Just before I serve it, I add about a tablespoon of lemon juice.
Copyright (c) 2008 Kathleen Rake. All rights reserved.