Brett happens

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We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming…

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…to bring you the following public service announcement.

Normally I’d wait until all the notes from the MWG’s February tasting were up before posting this one. Why the rush? Because Domaine des Huard’s owner-winemaker, Michel Gendrier, is in town and will be pouring this and other wines at the excellent Le Comptoir charcuteries et vins tomorrow evening (Monday, March 9). And if that weren’t inducement enough, he’ll be joined by fellow Loire winemakers Étienne Courtois and Nicolas Grosbois. For details about this Romo love-in, see here.

Cour-Cheverny 2008, François 1er, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine des Huards ($24.45, 12476452)
Huard’s top-of-the-line dry Cour-Cheverny. 100% Romorantin from organically and biodynamically farmed vines averaging 75 years old. Manually harvested. Two-thirds of the grapes are immediately pressed, one-third are macerated on the skins for 15 hours before pressing. Fermented with indigenous yeasts at between 18 and 20°C. Matured on the lees for five months. Cold-stabilized before bottling in the September following the harvest. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: La QV.
Honey, straw, chalk, dried lemon, browning apple, faint white spices and an even fainter whiff of kerosene. Medium-bodied but with a dense, bordering-on-unctuous texture. Ripe-sweet on entry, the fruit is nicely soured by a surging undercurrent of acidity before slow-fading into the long finish, revealing the mineral substrate and leaving behind a very dry, light astringency and a hint of nuttiness and coriander seed. A lovely, layered, elegant wine deserving of a dry goat cheese or a fine piece of fish (you’ll find a couple of recipe ideas after the jump). Available as a private import, the 2007 was a Loire lover’s must-buy at $32. At under $25, this 2008 is a certifiable bargain. (Buy again? Absolutely.)

Both recipes are for a single serving but they scale up nicely: simply multiply the portions by the number of diners.


Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Spread 2 teaspoons of the butter on a small baking dish and on it set a 180-200 g (6.5-7 oz) piece of cod fillet or loin (substitute other flaky white fish like black cod). Place the baking dish in the oven and roast for 5 to 6 minutes.

While the fish is cooking, heat a scant 60 ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice in a small saucepan. In a small bowl, combine the remaining melted butter, 3 tablespoons panko (substitute breadcrumbs), 1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley, a generous pinch of grated lemon zest and salt and white pepper to taste.

Remove the fish from the oven. Carefully spread the panko mixture over the fish in an even layer. Pour the heated wine mixture into the dish. Return the dish to the oven and roast another 5 to 10 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and the topping nicely browned. Serve immediately, garnished, if desired, with more chopped parsley. Alternatively, carefully transfer the fish to a warmed dinner plate, spoon the pan juices around, garnish with parsley and serve.


Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

In a saucepan, melt 1 teaspoon butter over medium heat. In it, sweat 1 tablespoon chopped celery and 1 tablespoon chopped carrot. When the celery begins to turn translucent, add 125 ml (1/2 cup) chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain the broth into a bowl and set aside.

Rinse and dry the saucepan. In it, melt 1/2 teaspoon butter over medium heat. Add 1 small shallot finely chopped and cook while stirring until the shallot turns translucent. Add the chicken broth to the pan, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered until reduced by half.

Meanwhile, film the bottom of a baking dish with melted butter or oil and on it set a 180-200 g (6.5-7 oz) piece of cod fillet or loin (substitute other flaky white fish like black cod). Season the fish with salt and white pepper. Place the baking dish in the oven and roast until cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes.

While the fish is cooking, add 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 45 ml (3 tablespoons) crème fraîche or heavy cream to the chicken broth. Stir to combine and simmer gently until slightly reduced. Keep warm.

To serve, spoon the mustard-cream sauce onto a warmed dinner plate. Place the fish in the centre of the plate. Garnish with chopped chives and serve immediately.


Written by carswell

March 8, 2015 at 14:14

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