Posts Tagged ‘MaryFrances Sommelier’

Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque…instantly a reminder of a fresh autumn day of bright fall colours, crisp air, low sun … and a full belly warmed by the perfect wine that is crisp like the air yet toasty warm.

The wine journey starts in the old world region of Burgundy, France where white wine is Chardonnay. We step into the most southern region of Burgundy, the Maconnais. Here lies the small limestone and clay plot of St Veran, near to the prestigious Pouilly-Fuisse appellation.

Chateau-Fuisse, St. Veran 2010, 13.5 abv. pours a simple pale clear yellow colour offering no hint to the lovely sensory experience that follows…

A crisp nose of apple mingling with distant notes of warm cooked applesauce, hints of mineral flint, lime blossom, honeysuckle and sweet orange tantalize a further investigation.   The palate does not disappoint bursting with the acidity of tangy granny smith apples which quickly and gently soften with hints of vanilla, honey, and touches of baked custard finishing with surprising persistence.  This white cuts through the creaminess of the soup and pairs elegantly with the spices and apple ingredients.

For the creamy buttery toast this soup beckons, we paired a classic new world Chardonnay. The tasting takes us to the Alexander Valley in northern Sonoma County, California, USA, where the valley at the foothills of the Coastal Range Mountains is a mere 30 miles from the Pacific Ocean.

Souverain Chardonnay 2009, 13.9 abv offers such style.  It pours a light golden yellow with a viscosity that says savour me slowly.  The nose offers no surprise with big vanilla bean, French vanilla ice-cream, apple- vanilla custard with hints of lemon, peach and apricot a distant breeze beneath.  The palate has a rich and creamy texture much like the nose. It mingles with stone fruits and buttered toffee rounding out the warm spices of the soup that carry us to a long satisfying finish.

Both whites, impressive for under $28 CAD or less than 20 Euro must not be over chilled for full sensory pleasure. Toss the roasted pumpkins seeds on the soup  to further develop the wine`s potential to tease.



Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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The weather has begun to turn cool here in Amsterdam, which means I can indulge in comforting bistro fare once again.   An impressive preparation for pork, but easy to prepare, is a brined crown roast.  We are fortunate here that our butcher will sell us small portioned roasts of 3 to 4 ribs which is perfect for a small dinner party.

We had guests from overseas recently whom I would send out into Amsterdam unaccompanied, as I had to work.  The forecast didn’t look promising, rain, cold and gloom, but no one visits Amsterdam for the weather.  Off they went, raincoats sweaters and umbrellas in hand to tour the 9 streets, Anne Frank Huis and my favorite pub Café Arendsnest.  The Arendsnest means eagles nest in Dutch and is a wonderful place to spend a sunny or a rainy afternoon with over 30 Dutch beers on tap.

Knowing they would face a damp and dreary day I wanted to serve them a comforting meal for the evening so I choose this cozy bistro recipe from Bouchon by Thomas Keller (my favorite go to bistro bible).  I love serving this pork roast for a dinner party as most of the work is done by the brine rather than the cook!

My guests did arrive home soaked to the skin having experienced what we like to refer to as sideways rain.  They were very ready for a warm and comforting meal and when the roasted pork rib accompanied by potato puree and wine poached prunes appeared at their place I could tell I’d hit the mark.

The recipe for this delectable dish – brined crown pork roast.

MaryFrances has created exceptional wine pairings for this brined roast pork recipe and she invites us to enjoy a red or white wine.   She is so versatile!  I hope you enjoy her selections.

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Every bite of this brined pork crown roast is a scrumptious juicy mouthful of savory flavors demanding a perfect wine to compliment it’s full and complex intensity.

Let me introduce Cuvée Arthur, Pinot Noir, 2009, 13% abv, Alsace, France which gets a standing ovation with this meal.  Arthur, a fine fellow who meets the challenge with the elegance of a true Old-World gentleman, gracefully provides harmony with the savory mouth watering white meat.  Arthur hails from Alsace, France, and is a regional misfit, as Alsace is not a usual home for a French Pinot Noir.

A clear ruby red appearance, edged with purple, color welcomes you with a refined nose of dark cherry and dusty raspberries. The palate of soft round tannins, offers a fresh finish that boasts gentle dark berries, a field of wild flowers with a touch of vanilla providing an easy, balanced compliment to this savory juicy white meat.

It was too tempting not to open a bottle of Castillo de Monseran Garanach, 2010, this years National Post Wine of the Day and one of Wine Access Magazine’s 2012 Top 25 Value Wine Awards Deal of the year.   This clear deep ruby red Grenache provides a subdued grapy, black cherry and herbal nose with a youthful combination of easy drinking black currant jam and candied red liquorice, soft round tannins and refreshing acidity.  Our curiosity about the wine provided a delightful surprise but we quickly realized not for this dish! The initial mouthful cancels the savory delight and fills the mouth with its candied  freshness.  I suggest saving this inexpensive youthful Spanish gem for casual pizza night.

No tasting is complete without a splash of white for those so inclined.  This Canadian gal turns once again to the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada for a New World version of an Old World style.  Desert Hills Estate Winery 2011 Gewürztraminer offers an elegant noseful of roses, cold cream, perfume and lanolin. The palate of fresh lime infused acidity combines honey, and tropical fruits with a hint of ginger coming forth from the background, leaves a touch of sweetness balanced by full round acidity, absolutely scrumptious but it’s regal magnificence slightly over powers the subtle savory flavors of this meal.



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