Eve Paired Barolo and Macaroni and wants you to try this at home!

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!

The Wine

2001 Icardi Parej Barolo, Italy

Red Wine

14% alcohol

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.

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