Saturday, September 12, 2015

#WinePW presents Volcanic Wine and Food Pairings

This month's Wine Pairing Weekend is brought to us by Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  Those of you who are regular readers of my blog should be getting to know Cam pretty well by now.  She is a whirlwind of activity and always has a new project in which to involve us.  This month Cam asked us to showcase wines grown in volcanic soil.  Take a look at her invitation post and you will see what I mean about Cam being amazing.

I found several articles about Volcanic Wines on the internet.  Epicurious seems to think that the Wines from the Mount Etna area of Sicily are the best.  Food Republic feels that volcanic soils are best for white wines.  Other articles said the grapes from the Santorini region of Greece were the best. We also have Volcanic Wines in the USA.  California, Oregon and Hawaii all boast Volcanic Wines.
All this research left me thoroughly confused so I headed out to Nino's International Market Place hoping to find the wine there and save a trip down to the city to the large wine store.  I almost thought I was going to have to give up and make the trek.  The woman I asked for assistance knew less than I about wine.  I told her I was looking for wine from the Santorini region and she took me to the Greek wine section and said "I think all of these wines would work".  Thanks a lot lady.  So I started perusing the wine labels and got even more confused.  I went onto my phone and discovered that one of my favorite brands of wine, Bogle, made their Old Vine Zinfandel from wines grown in volcanic soil.  Excited that I hit pay dirt I went to the California wine section and while looking for the Bogle a label titled Eruption caught my eye.  Now as some of you might know, I am a retired police detective. This label is what we would call "a clue".  I grabbed the bottle from the shelf and read the back.
"From the slopes of an extinct volcano comes our intensely bold and elegant proprietary red wine.  Eruption embodies the extremes found within Brassfield Estate."
Sold!!  I was happy that I would be trying a new wine because I have had the Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel in the past and I joined this group to expand my horizons.  You can learn all about Eruption Wine on the Brassfield Estate page.

The makers of this wine suggested pairing it with Lamb, Filet Mignon or Pasta Putanesca.  This made me pretty comfortable believing it would stand up to and complement Venison sauteed with Mushrooms and Onions.

We opened the bottle and each enjoyed a glass while we prepared dinner.  Frank took care of the Garlic Mashed Potatoes while I prepared the Venison.  Sliced some garden fresh tomatoes to enjoy with our meal, poured a second glass of wine and toasted to the wonderful life we are lucky enough to share.

The wine is very earthy and paired perfectly with the venison, mushrooms and garlic mashed potatoes.  The component that did not fit in perfectly were the tomatoes.  I think the meal and wine required an earthier, heavier side, perhaps a winter squash but all in all a very successful pairing and a wine that I will serve again.  I thought it was delicious.

The secret to good venison is to make sure you clean it completely and there is no silver skin or fat left on the meat.  You also want to always serve the venison rare or it will get tough and gamy tasting.  Should you have venison reticent people at your table feel free to substitute beef tenderloin or do as I do and just don't tell them it is venison.  They will never know.  I promise.

Venison Tenderloin Tips with Mushrooms and Onions

1 lb. Venison Tenderloin, cleaned of all silver skin and fat, cut  into bite size pieces
Montreal Steak Seasoning
8 oz. Mushrooms, sliced
1 small sweet onion
4 T. butter
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large skillet over med high heat.  Add mushrooms and onions, season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender.  Season the venison tips liberally with Montreal Steak Seasoning.  Add to the pan and cook briefly, just until the outside is seared and the inside is warmed through.  This will only take 3-5 minutes.  Print Recipe

Let's take a look at some more Explosive Food and Wine Pairings

Come chat with us...
#winePW Twitter Chat September 12, 11 a.m. ET: Connect with us on twitter, using hashtag #winePW. We'll chat for an hour about volcanic wines, food pairings, and #scorchedterroir.

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  1. Another vote for Brassfield? Sold. Now I definitely need to track down a bottle. Oh, and you had me at 'venison.' That looks amazing. Thanks for joining me this month, Wendy. Cheers.

  2. Very nice article Wendy. ( all but the part about lying about the Venison ��). I too have had OldVine Zin but not the Eruption. I'll keep an eye out for it

    1. Thanks Lori. Is not mentioning that it is venison the same as lying about it? I have never had anyone ask me if the meat I am serving them is venison. I just do it and then if they are venison folks I tell them and if they are not I just don't say a word LOL

  3. Amazing meal! I under estimated the amount of regions that involved volcanic soil - so much fun to explore them. Sounds like a great wine choice too!

  4. Nice job, Wendy! I've never had venison but I sure would like to try it. I'll bet it was great with that Eruption wine!

    1. It was very good Jeff. Venison is not much different from beef, closer to elk if you have had that.

  5. Sounds like a wonderful dinner!!

  6. You had me at venison Wendy! Your wine and food pairing looks fantastic!

    1. Thanks Martin, we are venison lovers in this house but I know it is not to everyone's liking.


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