Once again, I tried a new recipe, and a never-had-before wine, in my increasing desire to learn about how wine tasting changes with food – once you spend a few nanoseconds, or more, contemplating. I’ll start with the wine tasting on its own, I’ll give you the recipe next, and then a conclusion of the pairing. I hope this challenges you to do the same!
2001 Icardi Parej Barolo, Italy
Decanted 10 minutes, deep burgundy to brown during pour.
Disclosure: purchased, Valencia Wine Co. $84.99
Appearance – Cork was in excellent condition, tight but it didn’t break! Bright ruby to tawny edge, clear on one-ounce pour and opaque with full pour. Red glass reflection.
Aroma – Dusty cherries, plum, raspberry, stems, bell pepper, oak, mint, black licorice.
Taste – Bone dry, deep robust tannins, fruit pushes into mid palate, awesome complexity, loved the drying quality and the balance of deep dark fruit.
Finish – Thank Bacchus for an incredibly long finish. 95 Eve Friggin’ Points
Mushroom-Beef Spaghetti Sauce (My notes to the recipe are in italics)
Prep: 20 min. Cook: 6-8 hours
1 pound 90% lean ground beef (We opted for sweet Italian sausage!)
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce (2 cans, 10 oz each)
1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth (Skipped this as Ed had me add one package of Schillings Italian spaghetti spices.)
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Hot cooked spaghetti
Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional
In a large nonstick skillet, cook the beef, mushrooms and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, broth, parsley, brown sugar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. (I added two shakes of garlic powder when I realized there was NO GARLIC IN THIS RECIPE) Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with spaghetti. Sprinkle with cheese if desired.
Yield: 12 servings (1-1/2 quarts).
Nutrition Facts: 1/2 cup sauce (calculated without spaghetti) equals 115 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 19 mg cholesterol, 493 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 10 g protein. http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Mushroom-Beef-Spaghetti-Sauce
Pairing Conclusion – The wine was definitely, far and above, better than this average – but yummy – recipe. I noted that the wine calmed down the fennel and black pepper in the mild Italian sausage, the fruit in the wine became more prominent and the tannins – whether due to the spaghetti sauce or the additional 30 minutes it aerated in my wine glass – had calmed. The wine was still quite pleasant with my dinner, and fine without.