Recipe: Creamy Winter Stew (Vegan)
Bottle: 2018 Bonny Doon Vineyards Cinsaut (Vegan Friendly!)
I have been making this AMAZING recipe every winter for nearly four years now. Crafted by Maria from My Northern Heart, her personal blog that focuses on all aspects of life in the Swedish countryside from folklore to recipes, this delicious stew will warm every part of you. Maria, a former corporate ladder climber in Stockholm, suffered from a stroke at a young age, which encouraged her to re-evaluate her priorities in life and to move to the countryside where she could lead the life that she truly wanted to live. Not only is her story inspiring, her articles and recipes are very well done and enjoyable. I highly recommend checking it out!
Maria's warming stew features a hearty array of fats and starch that will leave you wonderfully full, while the healthy helping of rosemary brings herbal depth to the dish. I really just cannot get enough of this dish. My wife, half-jokingly, says that this is the dish that made her fall in love with me. It honestly is that good.
Now, seeing as this recipe includes wine in the stew itself, I wanted to use a bottle that I knew would impart complementary flavors, without detracting or (in all honesty) being overly expensive. As it happened, I had two bottles of Bonny Doon's new Cinsaut release in my cellar, and realized that they would make an ideal pairing giving its flavor profile and price point.
My Recommendation - Cinsaut/Cinsault
Cinsaut (aka Cinsault) is a grape varietal typically including in Rhone blends, and not frequently bottle by itself. It is popular in blends for the added softness and perfume that it contributes to the final result, and is accordingly rather fragrant. Wines made with this varietal are typically characterized by aromas of strawberry, red currants, pepper, violets, and other floral notes. They are usually lighter red wines, with low amounts of tannin and only moderate acidity, which makes them very food-friendly.
Why this bottle in particular?
The Cinsaut grapes that Bonny Doon utilizes are from the famous Bechtold vineyard in Lodi, California. Bechtold is commonly thought to contain the oldest Cinsaut vines in the United States, with the vineyard being planted in 1885. In the hands of Randall Grahm and the team at Bonny Doon, these grapes produce a wine that is delightful in its aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel. The perfect balance between redfruits and pepper, with luscious tannin and body, this wine is just so enjoyable to drink.
This is a wine that delights from the second you pour it into the glass. Aromas of strawberries, red currants, and various other red fruits jump out of the glass, alongside helping earth and floral notes. When paired with this creamy stew, the red fruit aromas and flavors highlight both the wine in the stew and the caramelized mushrooms. The notes of pepper and violets enhance the herbs in the dish, while the rosemary remains ideally prominant and center-stage.
Other Great Choices
Red: Poulsard, Trousseau, Burgundy Pinot Noir, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Saperavi, Mourvèdre, Syrah (Rhone preferred)
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