• contact@pyrennesvinyard.com

Archives for Blog

Best Wine for Sous Vide Cooking

Best Wine for Sous Vide Cooking

If you’ve already read our posts on How to Make Sous Vide Mulled Wine and Tips for Buying a Sous Vide Machine for Wine, then you’re ready for our latest article: the Best Wine for Sous Vide Cooking.

As you’re well aware, not all wines are created equal. While we love the wines that Pyrenees Vineyard makes, there are some wines that are even better for cooking sous vide.

Cooking with Merlot

Cooking with Merlot is one of the oldest cooking wines out there. Even back in the days of Ancient Greece, people were cooking with merlot. Why? Because it has the sweet, bold characteristics that just seep into the meat that you’re cooking with.

Notice how I said meat. You’re going to want to use Merlot if you’re cooking with meat. If you’re solely cooking with vegetables, then you’re going to want to use our next wine:

Cooking with Chardonnay

Cooking wtih chardonnay is ideal if you’re working with vegetables. The dry, bold flavor of chardonnay is the perfect compliment to vegetables – especially green ones. The flavor really gets cooked into the heavier parts of the vegetable, giving it more flavor and more life. When the wine and vegetables are in the vacuum sealed sous vide bag, they’re going to infuse and become one.

Remember, when you’re cooking sous vide, you’re cooking food in a water oven. You’re going to need to use more wine than you normally would if you were using a skillet. Also, you’re going to need to cook the food a tad bit longer. Sous vide is all about timing and precision. Make sure you look at time and temperature charts before you get started on your sous vide wine cooking adventure.

Read more

Guide to Organic Wines

It is no surprise that organic wines are growing in popularity today. Take one of the world’s most popular beverages and combine it with a leading global green imperative and what do you get? That’s right; massive, growing demand for organic wine. Organic wine means that the wine (French wines honor organic in a huge way too) is made from grapes that are grown organically. Often, there is more to it however.

Vineyards can be cared for and harvested in sync with the earth (and moon). This is referred to as the biodynamic practice of growing wine grapes. And little, if any sulfates, can be used during the wine making process. Finally, how does an organic wine hold up during a wine review? Think of a grape that is not chemically dependent; cultivated without use of synthetic fungicides, herbicides or fertilizers, from vines that grow in living soil, full of worms and grape-loving bacteria. You get an absolutely delicious wine, naturally!

So, what should you look for when you buy organic wine?

1) Wine made from organic grapes – The grapes are grown in the same manner as other types of organic produce – natural fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides – under practices adopted by the US Department of Agriculture. The packaging will reflect this. You may want to do some reading on the vineyard itself for additional background on their organic, eco-friendly wine making processes.

Where to buy? Try the Organic Wine Company (they have a huge and impressive selection of organic wines). You can buy wine online or place orders by phone.

Read up on this “green blogger’s” favorite eco-friendly wine makers for additional options.

2) Biodynamic wine – Grapes grown through biodynamic practices are ultra-organic; the goal is to not only use natural materials, but to synchronize the growing process with nature’s rhythms. Biodynamic growers will, for instance, plant and harvest based on the phases of the moon while also following traditional organic practices. Some go so far as to plow vineyards by horse (picture of horse taken by Domain Leflaive of Burgundy).

Read more

A Wine Connoisseur’s Guide to Inexpensive Wines

There is an urban legend in wine-tasting and wine appreciation that ‘you get what you pay for’. In other words, if you want a good wine, you must be willing to pay a higher price. This is simply not true, unilaterally at least. Obviously some lower priced wines lack the bouquet and depth of a Clois du Bois. But it is very easy to purchase a respectable wine for a very reasonable price. Here’s how.

Let’s look at a wine that is fast becoming America’s favorite: Shiraz, or Syrah as it has been called in times past. Perhaps the epiphany of Shiraz is due to good years for the grape. Or it may be that wine connoisseurs are developing a taste for heavier-bodied wines. In the days when dinner in wealthy homes consisted of five to seven courses, each with its accompanying wine, diners needed wines that paired well with each course. Can you imagine the indigestion from consuming five to seven different wines, on top of soup, fish, fowl, joint followed by rich dessert liqueurs and heavy Stilton cheese?

For wine connoisseurs want to enjoy a good vintage without paying top dollar, there are several really nice reasonably priced wines at your local grocery store. These red wines are rich and dark with a heavy body that clings to the glass.

Oak Leaf from Ripon, California is quite good and retails for $2.97 a bottle at Walmart stores. They don’t carry a Shiraz, but their Merlot is similar in taste.

Crane Lake: a modest-priced 3 bottles for $10 might cause the less discerning to shy away, under the mistaken assumption that Crane Lake couldn’t be good wine with such a low price. Such shallow thinking will mean that the wine-lover misses a very respectable wine. I’ve not tried the other varieties, but Crane Lake Shiraz is very tasty. This is one of the smokiest of Shiraz that I have ever consumed. I happen to like my Shiraz very oakey and this wine was a nice treat.

Gato Negro: $4 to $6 a bottle has a Merlot and a Cabernet Merlot variety that have a nice bouquet and rich, rewarding taste.

Redwood Creek is slightly higher in price but absolutely worth it. A rich dark red that rivals Woodbridge and Robert Mondavi.

Bon Appetit and may you enjoy your wine in bliss!

Read more

Hearty Red Wine Roast Beef with Winter Vegetables

Hearty Red Wine Roast Beef with Winter Vegetables – For those who like to put a variety ingredients together and have fun: a preparation for a satisfying, mouth-watering roast with a high-class taste!

What Goes In:

  • ½ bottle good quality red wine. Never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink! Shiraz and Pinot Noirs are great for this – Merlots can be a bit too soft.
  • 1 red onion, minced up fine
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • Beef broth
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (3- to 4-lb.) boneless chuck roast (trimming is a good idea)
  • 2 yellow squash, cut into thick slices
  • 1 lb carrots sliced
  • 7 Red potatoes, cut into quarters
  • 2 large onions, cut into sixths or eighths
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2-3 tbsp cornstarch
  • Coarse ground pepper

Now What Do I Do Then, Huh?

  1. Slice up the garlic cloves and sautee them over medium heat in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until you get that nice, garlicky smell and they go a little brown
  2. Combine wine, onion, sautéed garlic, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add a cup of beef broth if you need some more liquid volume. Place roast in a large pan or ziplock bag and marinate in the fridge for at least 10 hours – more like 16 or so is great.
  3. Remove the roast and place in a pan with a thin pan of vegetable oil. Not too much or you’ll have greasy meat! Honestly, you don’t have to brown the thing. It’s a pain in the rear and doesn’t “seal in juices” or any of those myths.
  4. Cover the roast in heavy aluminum foil and bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours. At this point, take the roast out and turn it over, making sure to evenly coat it with the juices at the bottom. After turning, add the potatoes, carrots, potatoes, and onions. Bake 1 hour, then add the squash and celery. Bake one more hour or until roast is done.

Wait, that’s it? Come on.

  1. Nope, now the sauce! Remove the roast and vegetables Skim fat from juices in roasting pan and use something to scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. You can also add a little more of the leftover wine (just a few tablespoons) – unless you’ve swigged the rest of it already in your holiday cheer.
  2. Whisk together cornstarch and about a half to 2/3 cup of very cold water in a small bowl until smooth. Then, mix the cornstarch slurry into the into juices in pan. Cook over medium heat until it starts to thicken.
  3. Brush the roast with the sauce and save the rest of dipping. Put a little coarse pepper on the top and voila! You’re golden!
  4. Arrange the roast in the middle of a serving platter with the vegetable around it for a great presentation. A sprig of holly on top always looks festive as well
Read more
Sous Vide Mulled Wine

Making Sous Vide Mulled Wine

Making mulled wine has never been so easy thanks to sous vide. Mulled wine making used to be an incredibly tedious process, that would sometimes take days depending on what kind of base wine you were working with. Well, thank to sous vide, that process that used to take days now only takes a little over an hour!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Bottle of Red Wine
  • Juices of 3 Oranges, 2 Peels
  • Juices of 1 Grapefruit, 1/2 Peel
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 75g Stevia
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • 4 tbsp Vanilla Extract

Instructions:

Plug in your sous vide machine and set the temperature to 140 degrees F. Note: If you don’t already have a sous vide cooker, then I suggest you pick one up based on the best sous vide machine reviews at Sous Vide Wizard. Once the sous vide water bath is heated to 140F, you’re going to combine all of the aforementioned ingredients into a bowl and mix lightly. Pour the mixture into 3 sous vide bags and vacuum seal them shut. Place the bags in your sous vide water bath for 60 minutes.

After 60 minutes, take the mulled wine out. Let it sit for a few minutes. Serve chilled.

Read more