Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tasting #6. Warehouse Winery 2009 Marquette

I'm a big fan of the Marquette grape. In my experience it produces more balanced and consistent wines of all the red cold climate grapes I've tasted to date. Warehouse Winery's 2009 Marquette is an exceptional example. It is medium bodied and rolls out a distinct richness supported by flavors of cherry, vanilla and tobacco. (winemaker Billy Smith describes the tobacco note more poetically as "sweet cigar box." Nice.) There's an distant earthiness to this wine as well, and well-balanced tannin and acid. Very drinkable, and for pairing with food, there is a lot to work with.

So for dinner we had pork loin with a Marquette reduction, roasted fingerling potatoes and green beans. I've had Marquette with pork a few times. The fruit and the body of the wine well with this meat.

The recipe

Dry Rub for the pork loin (I threw this together on the fly looking for flavors that would play well with fruit and smoke. The measurements are estimated, but you get the idea.):

Cumin (2 tsp)
Salt (1 tsp)
Black Pepper (1 tsp)
Garlic powder (1/2 tsp)
Cinnamon, Paprika and Nutmeg (a dash each)

Marquette reduction:

1.5 cups Marquette wine
3 rings of peeled grilled apple, cubed (I used Fuji)
1 T adobo sauce
2 T butter

Simmer til reduced to 1/2 cup. Add butter to finish and spoon over pork loin medallions.

I cooked the loin over lump charcoal with some applewood for smoke. I roasted the potatoes in my gas grill and did the sauce on the side burner. Dual fuel outdoor cooking! Next time I'll go lower and slower with the pork loin for more applewood flavor.

Naturally, I had a glass while I was on the patio. It tastes great on its own, and as the applewood smoke filled the air, the tobacco note popped out. Really cool experience. With dinner, the wine had great interplay with the pork, the sauce and seemed to make the cumin flavor jump out. My wife, who is not a fan of meat and fruit together, thought it was a good meal and my kids asked for more pork (they skipped the sauce). A successful meal all around.

Visit http://www.warehousewinery.com/ for more information about Marquette and all their wines. Cheers!