I had the privilege of inviting a few people over to MissWineOH headquarters for a Beaujolais tasting on December 7. It was a collision of two worlds – a few people from #MrWineOH’s office, and a few great people I’d met through my tastings.
SEDavenport and her husband, WhyCLE and her beau, and EatDrinkClev joined us to delve into the beaujolais world and nosh on some appetizers. The entire event was a twitter tasting and broadcast under the #beaujolais hashtag. All of the Beaujolais wines were served chilled to 60°F.
We started the evening with a little palate cleansing French sparkling. Yes, there are reasonable French sparklings – we picked up ours from Wine and Design in Tremont for less than $15. The first Beaujolais poured was a 2010 Christophe Pacalet, Chiroubles. Most of our guests thought it to be a light, fruity wine. Others tasted a perfume base, followed by the fruit. This was not high on the list of favorites for the evening at $16.99. It was paired with a Pastry Wrapped Baked Brie.
Baked Brie Recipe
- 1 large sheet of puff pastry dough or 1 tube of refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
- 1 round or wedge of Brie cheese (do not remove rind)
- Raspberry Jam, or other sweet jam
- Brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2 On a non-stick cookie sheet, lay out the puff pastry or the crescent rolls flat; put brie round or wedge on top.
2 Spread jam on brie, fold dough over top, cutting off excess dough. Drizzle maple syrup and place a handful of brown sugar on top.
3 Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes, pastry should be golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with crackers and apple slices.
The 2009 Domaine de Colette, Regnie was the second wine poured. All cherry and berry on the palate, this wine opened up nicely and was enjoyed for the duration. We paired it with a soppressata, beef sausage, and smoked gouda platter – the olives were a hit or miss. Some thought they paired well, others thought the quality price ratio was not up to par. This wine retails for $18.99.
The third wine we poured was the 2009 Chateau de la Chaize, Brouilly. This Brouilly is from the among the oldest and most historic estates in the region of Beaujolais. Medium bodied, fruity, with a long finish, most of our guests picked this as the QPR winner of the evening at $13.95. It was paired with a Proscuitto wrapped camembert.
Proscuitto Wrapped Camembert
- 6 large fresh sage leaves
- 8 oz. whole round camembert
- 6 large slices prosciutto
- 12 slices French bread stick (baguette), toasted
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Arrange 3 sage leaves on top of the camembert. Place 3 slices of prosciutto over the sage. Carefully turn the camembert over and fold in the ends of the prosciutto slices to enclose. Repeat with the remaining sage and prosciutto to completely enclose the camembert.
- Place the camembert on the lined tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until the prosciutto is crisp and the camembert is soft. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with the bread.
Our last Beaujolais of the evening was the 2010 Pavillion de Chavennes, Cote de Brouilly – the most complex wine of the night, there was a floral aroma on the nose and spice on the finish. Even at the $21.99 price point, this became the crowd favorite and quickly disappeared. We paired this wine with Crunchy Apple Salsa over Chicken.
Crunchy Apple Salsa over Chicken
2 cups York or Fuji apples, halved, cored and chopped
3/4 cup (1 large) Anaheim chile pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup apple juice
1/2 tsp. grated lime peel
1/2 tsp. salt
4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Combine salsa ingredients and mix well; allow flavors to blend about 1/2 hour. Serve over or alongside grilled chicken. Makes 3 cups salsa. For grilled chicken combine marinade ingredients, pour over chicken breasts. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and cook in an oiled skillet, turning once, until done.
It wouldn’t be #MissWineOH without a cupcake pairing. I chilled and poured the 2007 Markko Select Reserve Johannesburg Riesling. If you have never experienced Ohio wines, Markko makes some of the finest in the state. This is a slightly sweet riesling with floral aromas. I’d pair this with a seafood dinner or a savory chicken dish.
The cupcake I chose for this event and pairing was the pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese icing from A Cookie and A Cupcake, on of my favorite Cleveland bakers. The savory pumpkin paired beautifully with the riesling. It balanced the sweetness of the residual sugar in the wine, while allowing the minerality to show through.
So, what was the conclusion? A rousing success of course! The wines of Beaujolais are always lovely, and you should seek them out when you find them. I’d recommend pairing a Beaujolais with food – try some of the recipes I’ve included. Many thanks to @sedavenport, @whycle and @eatdrinkclev for joining us. Follow them on twitter because they are interesting and cool ladies in Cleveland.
If you’d like to join us for a future event, stay tuned to the calendar. We’ve got #wineandcupcakes and #beerandcupcakes coming up in January. Or like MissWineOH on Facebook for wine related articles and information from around the world.
The Beaujolais wines were provided by Discover Beaujolais.