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MWG September 13th tasting: report (3/3)

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A member of the Mo’ Wine Group has a small vineyard just west of Lake Memphremagog in the Eastern Townships. The day of the tasting, he kindly delivered a shopping bag full of wine grapes, mostly red Marquette, that gave us the basis for dessert: a Tuscan winemaker’s grape cake (recipe after the jump). With it we served a vin santo.

Vin Santo del Chianti Classico 2004, Badia a Coltibuono ($41.25/375 ml, 11544193)
A blend of organically farmed Trebbiano and Malvasia from 10- to 30-year-old vines. Once harvested, the bunches are dried for several weeks in well-ventilated rooms, then pressed, fermented with indigenous yeasts. Fermentation and aging (four years) take place in small oak casks exposed to seasonal temperature variations. 16.5% ABV.
Enchanting nose of dried spice, nut brittle, apricot and autumn air. Intensely flavoured: mostly candied orange peel with some background caramel. Bordering on rich but saved from heaviness by bright acidity and residual sugar levels that are kept in check. Quite long if not especially deep. Enjoyable though it doesn’t erase memories of Isole e Olena’s often astounding vin santo.

Winemaker’s Grape Cake

Adapted from a recipe by Capezzana’s Rolando Beramendi and published in Patricia Wells’s At Home in Provence. Best prepared with red wine grapes, whose seeds provide crunch as well as an additional layer of flavour. Red Flame, Corinth (aka champagne grapes) or Concord-type blue grapes also work. Or substitute cranberries (reducing the lemon zest and upping the orange zest) or blueberries (reducing the orange zest and upping the lemon zest).

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC (350ºF). Butter and flour a 23-cm (9-inch) springform pan. Destem, rinse and drain about 300 g (2 1/2 cups) red wine grapes.
  2. Beat 2 large eggs and 135 g (2/3 cup) sugar until thick and creamy. Add 60 g (4 tablespoons) melted unsalted butter, 60 ml (4 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil, 80 ml (1/3 cup) milk and 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) vanilla extract and mix until blended.
  3. In another bowl, combine 200 g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour, 7.5 ml (3/4 teaspoon) baking powder and a pinch of salt. Add the grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange (preferably organic) and toss to coat with flour.  Spoon into the egg mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until blended.
  4. Reserve a generous handful of the grapes and gently stir the rest into the batter. Pour the batter into the springform pan, smoothing the top.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, then scatter the remaining grapes on the top. Return the cake to the oven and bake until golden brown and springy, another 40 minutes or so. Cool on a rack.
  6. To serve, run a knife around the inside of the pan. Remove the sides. Just before serving, sprinkle with icing sugar (if you don’t have a shaker, spoon icing sugar into a small sieve and jiggle the sieve over the cake).

Eight to 12 servings

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Written by carswell

October 21, 2012 at 13:00

Posted in Recipes, Tasting notes

Tagged with ,

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