Saturday, February 13, 2021

A Special Dinner for my Valentine featuring L'Ecole Cabernet and the Weekly Menu

I received a sample of L'Ecole No. 41 Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley for tasting and pairing purposes.  I received no monetary compensation.  All thoughts, writings and opinions are my own.

My husband is very predictable.  Whenever I am making him a special dinner he asks for either Filet Mignon with Zip Sauce, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Glazed Carrots or Chicken Marsala, Fettuccine Alfredo and Glazed Carrots.  Every. Single. Time. for the past 30 years.


This year was the same on his end....however, on my end, I made some changes.  You see, my husband recently had a stroke so I am doing my best to feed him a little healthier. 
I didn't want him to feel deprived but I did want to limit that red meat intake so I decided instead of serving a 6-8 oz filet for each of us, I cut one filet into tips and pan sear them with Mushrooms and Onions.  I also drizzled them with a small amount of zip sauce just to make him happy.

Tenderloin Tips with Wine

I made the garlic mashed potatoes using lowfat buttermilk instead of butter and cream and I served it all up with a wonderful bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from L'Ecole #41.  He never realized that this meal that he loves so much was lightened up.


I am a big fan of L'Ecole wines and I was very excited to get an opportunity to receive free samples and share this wonderful wine with my readers.  I will be posting a new review of the wines offered by L'Ecole for the next 6 months along with seasonal, timely recipes that I will pair them with.  I hope you join me on this fun journey.

The bloggers who were chosen ambassadors for L'Ecole wines are participating in ZOOM meetings each month to learn more about these wines before we post about them.  My favorite part of the meeting held for this month's choice was when we were told that they chose the Cabernet Sauvignon for Valentines Day because they feel that it represents marriage....Marriage of clones and subappelations used for this bottling and marriage of different types of oaks used for this bottling.  I love that segue into Valentine's Day.  

I have purchased a Cabernet Sauvignon from L'Ecole in the past and enjoyed it immensely.  I didn't write up a post or tasting notes on that Cab but the label was different from this bottle so I'm assuming it was from another of their vineyards.


This bottle arrived with a fact sheet.  To be honest I rarely look at the fact sheets that come with wines as I don't want to be influenced by what I read.  So normally I will open and taste the wine, form my opinion and then read what the winery and winemaker has to say about their wine.

So my first thought when I poured a glass of this wine was that it smelled of berries and was a deep, beautiful, almost black red.  The first sip was pleasant but I noticed that as it breathed it became smoother with a little anise flavor.

dinner plate with wine

Cabernet Sauvignon is my first choice when enjoying a steak and this bottle did not disappoint.  It was the perfect partner for my meal of Tenderloin Tips with Mushrooms and Onions.  

When I was done with dinner I sat down with a second glass of this wine and read through the fact sheet.  Here are the tasting notes as listed:  
"With it's classic varietal Cabernet profile, this focused wine shows beautiful balance of bramble fruit, cocoa, mocha and herbal notes.  Layers of blackberry and cassis mingle with polished tannins through an earthy finish"

No mention of the anise that I noted but I have no idea what bramble fruit is or how it tastes so perhaps it has an anise flavor or perhaps the herbal note that I picked up was anise?  I did think it was  deep and earthy but hadn't put that into words.  Bottom line is that all palates are different and a good wine, with a nice depth of flavor has many nuances that will be picked up differently by each person who is tasting the wine.  

So here is the Weekly Menu under which you will find the recipe for the steak tips with mushroom and onions.....

Soup Saturday
Kulajda Polevka 
Dinner Rolls 

Sunday-Valentine's Day
See Above Menu 

Meatless Monday 
Buddha Bowl 
Taco Tuesday-Mardi Gras
Shrimp Po' Boy Tacos

Ash Wednesday 
Potato and Cheese Pierogi
Potato Pancakes 

Beef and Bean Sloppy Joes 
Cole Slaw 

Fish Friday 
African Fish Stew

Entrees, Beef, Filet Mignon, Steak
Entrees, Beef
Yield: 2 servings
Author: Wendy Klik
Pan Seared Tenderloin Tips with Mushrooms and Onions

Pan Seared Tenderloin Tips with Mushrooms and Onions

Tender beef filet cut into tips, seared in butter with mushrooms and onions, topped with a drizzle of zip sauce.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 20 Min


  • 1 (6-8) oz. filet mignon, cut into strips
  • Montreal seasoning to taste
  • 2 T. butter, divided
  • 1/4 vidalia onion, sliced
  • 4-6 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 T. purchased zip sauce


  1. Toss the tenderloin tips with Montreal seasoning or your seasoning of choice, set aside.
  2. Melt 1 Tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over high heat.  Add the steak and cook just until seared all over, being careful to not over cook.  Remove to a plate to rest.
  3. Add the mushrooms and onions to the same pan.  Cook stirring, until onion is tender and mushrooms are starting to brown.  Return the steak and any juices to the pan and toss to combine.  Place the mixture onto a serving platter.  
  4. Add the Zip sauce and last Tablespoon of butter to the pan.  Cook and stir, scraping up any browned bits until the butter is melted and the sauce is slightly thick.  Drizzle over the steak and serve.



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  1. Love to Frank. This meal sounds delicious. Along with the wine.


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