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Cooking with wine

Sample recipes from "Pocket Wine Guide" and "Coq au Vin" publications

Fillet of Zander in Pinot Noir  -  Filet de Sandre au Sancerre Rouge

Ingredients (serves 4):

4 fillets of zander fish
butter or oil for cooking
flour for thickening the sauce
slug of brandy
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, sliced
5 shallots, finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic
bottle of Pinot Noir (Rulandské modré)
salt and pepper for seasoning
bouquet garni (a bundle of herbs:  parsley, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary)


In a saucepan melt the butter or oil.  When hot, add the fillets and cook on each side for a minute or two.  Pour the brandy over them and flame.  Turn the heat down, then add the rest of the ingredients, dust with the flour, cover the saucepan with the lid and cook gently for 30 minutes.  Serve hot with garlic bread or toast.  Another bottle of the same wine used for cooking should already be breathing on the table...

Venison Stew in Port Wine  -  Ragú de Chevreuil au Porto

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 kg of venison
1/3 bottle of Port (the best is the residue including sediment of a bottle of Vintage Port after it has been decanted)
2 onions, sliced
3 carrots, sliced 
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
tsp of cloves
tsp of allspice
tsp of coriander seeds
2 bay leaves
cinnamon stick
bouquet of parsley incl. stalks and tied with a string
tbsp of thyme
1 orange and rind
salt and pepper


Cut the meat into cubes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, put into a bowl and pour over the Port.  Add all the ingredients plus enough water so that the meat is submerged in the liquid.  Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.  The next day transfer the contents into a heavy saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer on low heat very slowly for several hours.  Bring the pot to the table and remove the lid in front of your guests.  They will be bowled over by the aroma emanating from within.

As an accompaniment to this dish, a regional wine from the Douro Valley in Portugal should ideally be served.  This is where the same vines from which Port is made are grown.  On the other hand, a good meaty, full-bodied red of a good vintage makes a good alternative.

Poached Pears with Roquefort in Riesling - Poires Roquefort Pochées au Riesling 

Ingredients (serves 4):

4 pears, peeled, cored and cut in halves
1/2 bottle of Riesling (Prädikat, e.g. Auslese categor)
2 tbsp of honey
wine jelly or a jam from yellow fruits
crumbled Roquefort cheese (or other blue-vein cheese such as Gorgonzola, Dolcelatte)
cinnamon stick
a few cloves
fresh mint leaves for decoration


Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.  Put the pear halves into an oven-proof dish and pour over the wine.  Add the spices and honey and bake for 20 minutes.  Put a teaspoonful of the jelly into the hollow, sprinkle with cheese and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.  Decorate with the mint leaves and serve with a glass of Riesling of higher residual-sugar category, such as Beerenauslese and upwards.

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