Every get together is being done virtually these days. So every Friday at 4;30 p.m., myself along with the crew I work with, get on Zoom, and do a virtual Happy Hour. In this age of self isolation and social distancing, and the fact I live alone, I really look forward to these Friday afternoon get-togethers. Here’s the group from yesterday, and the reason everyone is wearing red, was to honor and support Constable Heidi Stevens and the RCMP, who along with 21 other people lost their lives here last Sunday in Nova Scotia in Canada’ biggest mass shooting. Heartbreaking and gut-wrenching, there really are no words.
My GM at the radio station, orders from a local wine store where you can just pull up and they’ll put the wine in your truck. He was asking me about Sauvignon Blanc for his next order. Here were two of my recommendations. Sauvignon Blanc, if you’ve never tried it, is a wonderful crisp light white wine. The word Sauvignon Blanc actually means ‘wild white’. This wild wine is a great food wine, and tends to come two ways, grassy and green and those that lean towards passion fruit. I like the fruity ones. The Kim Crawford on the left has those tropical fruit aromas and flavors and hails from New Zealand. That one is about $20 a bottle. The Beringer on the right is a great value at just $12 a bottle and comes from California. It too has the tropical fruit flavors with hints of mandarin orange. I love Sauvignon Blanc.
I rarely post food pictures, but I did try a new recipe this past week, a pork tenderloin with a red wine peppercorn sauce, and I loved it, so I shared it on my Facebook page. I told people I would share the recipe on my wine blog this weekend. I had wanted a Pinot Noir wine, but I did’t have one, so I opened a Zinfandel. This Zinfandel
There are some Zinfandel wines out there that have manipulated flavors of bacon, and although it was pork tenderloin, I did not want that. This Zinfandel from McManis was a gift from my friend Maggie, and I thought it went perfectly with my dish. The sauce had lots of peppercorns in it and the wine had hints of pepper, so it was a match made in heaven. As you can see, this wine is Certified Sustainable, and a fantastic value at about $21 a bottle. McManis Wines was started in 1990 by Ron & Jamie McManis in Ripon California, known for being the almond Capital. I’ve tried all the McManis wines and I love the family vineyard. This is probably my favorite.
As you can see, my pork tenderloin and red wine peppercorn sauce was a success. So, when I cook, I don’t measure things. I realize that makes it hard to share recipes, but I’m going to give it a try.
- To start, I marinated my pork tenderloin for about 4 hours with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper. That’s it.
- Then I took out my cast iron frying pan, I have two, a big one and a small one. I love my small one for small steaks, etc. For the tenderloin I used the large one. I had taken the pork tenderloin out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature.
- Then I seared it for 1-2 minutes on each side. I like the fact the grocery store on my street sells smaller tenderloins. It’s very helpful for a person that lives alone. So I had a small tenderloin and I enjoyed two meals with it.
- Then I had the oven pre-heated to 375 and finished cooking it to a medium in my oven, which took my tenderloin about 20 minutes. A medium is 160-degrees, I took the tenderloin out of the oven at 155-degrees and wrapped it in aluminum foil for 5-10 minutes. This lets the juices settle back in and it will finish cooking to that 160-degree perfection. It took me a long time to cook pork tenderloin because I used to over cook it. Life became simpler when I got a meat thermometer.
- For the sauce, in a saucepan I sauteed onions, sliced super small and thin, for about 2 minutes, and added some garlic and sauteed another minute.
- Then I added some red wine. I opened the Zinfandel and added it, because that was the wine I was having for dinner, so that’s the wine I used in the sauce. Let it simmer for 5 minutes or so, until it reduced down a bit.
- Then I added the Peppercorns, beef stock and heavy cream, playing with the amounts a bit to get the consistency I wanted. Once it boiled, I let it simmer on low for about 10 minutes. I have a pepper grinder and I set it to a coarse grind, and put in quite a bit. Maybe 1/8th of a cup. If you are unsure, start with less, you can always add more pepper as you go.
And now for my wine of the week…. It’s a brand new Pinot Noir.
I loved this wine, because I found it full of flavor, and it’s only $20 a bottle. This wine is from Chile, which makes it a warm climate Pinot Noir. I’ll be honest, I tended to lean towards the cool climate Pinot wines – Go Canada, Burgundy France and Oregon! However, I did very much enjoy this wine. It was earthier than your cool climate Pinot, where as the cool climate ones tend to be fruitier and jammier. 100% of the wine was barrel aged for 11 months, and you can taste it. I will definitely buy it again, but I will definitely try it with food next time. I think it would have been a wonderful match with that pork tenderloin. I may have to try that again.
Stay safe everyone, and thanks for reading.
Till next week, Cheers