Wine & Food Pairings
Wild Game Meatballs with Truffle Demi and Herb Roasted New Potatoes, served with the 2010 Produtorri Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo
For the Meatballs (yields 35 1-ounce meatballs)
8 ounces Ground Veal
4 ounces Ground Venison
3 ounces Ground Buffalo
3 ounces Bacon turned to paste in food processor
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 Tablespoons Shallot
1 teaspoon minced Garlic
3 Tablespoon Red Wine
1 teaspoon fresh minced Thyme
1 teaspoon fresh minced Rosemary
5 Tablespoons Progresso Bread Crumbs
2 whole Eggs cracked
½ teaspoon black pepper.
Salt to taste
Heat small sauté pan on stove. Add olive oil and wait till wisp of white smoke appears. Add garlic and shallot and sauté until brown; then deglaze with red wine. Let Cool.
In medium bowl or small mixer, mix remaining ingredients. Do not over mix the mixture or balls will drop during baking process.
Bake at 350 or until 165 Degrees in the center.
For the Truffle Demi
2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon minced Shallot
1 teaspoon minced Garlic
1 teaspoon fresh Thyme.
1 Bay Leaf
1 cup Red Wine
1 cup Veal Demi or 2 cups Beef Broth if Demi is not available
1 teaspoon Truffle oil.
Heat small sauté pan on stove. Add olive oil and wait till wisp of white smoke appears. Add garlic and shallot and sauté until brown; then deglaze with red wine and reduce by 1/2
Add remaining ingredients, except Truffle oil, and reduce for twenty minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste
Then start with half the Truffle oil and whisk in. Let demi simmer for 5 minute to let truffle oil blossom.
Add more truffle oil, to desired personal preference.
Herb Roasted New Potatoes
2 Red potatoes quarted per expected Guests
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive oil.
1 Teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning per 3 red potatoes
Salt to personal preference
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
Toss above ingredients and roast in oven for about thirty three minutes or until browned on the outside and soft on the inside
2010 Produtorri Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo
“I hope the acid doesn’t take the enamel off your teeth,” I warned Victor Cooper as I opened a recent release of the 2010 Produtorri Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo. I wish we had the sound bite of Victor’s lip smacks and “ooh, eees” as he commented that he hoped the wine tasted better with food, followed by his head shaking back in an effort to help swig down the wine.
Victor desperately wanted to taste the food - wild game meatballs with truffle demi and herb. This dish is spectacular – so balanced with full flavor and a smooth texture of the ground meats. The game and truffle add different flavors that enhance the complexity. This was a dish to stand up to a complex wine for sure.
I encouraged Victor to give the wine another shot – but with food. After about 15 minutes, the wine came through with lovely floral aromas, cherry, licorice and a great, balanced acidity. The earthiness of the game and truffles brought out and balanced the same components in the wine.
Produttori Nebbiolo is just a few months shy in aging to be technically called a Barbaresco. Hence, the price is also significantly less. Barbaresco, like Barolo is 100 percent Nebbiolo, but is grown in a different area of northwestern Italy. The Produttori Nebbiolo is also 100 percent Nebbiolo. It could still be labeled as such with only 75 percent of that grape.
The wine and grapes are actually grown and produced from a co-op of 19 families which formed after WWII. Officially founded in 1958, the co-op was created in an effort to help struggling farmers. The wine is vinified in a traditional method (without manipulation of oak), in traditional large Slovenian oak casks known as Botti. Produttori also uses traditional methods like extended maceration and natural fermentation. This method seems to allow the wine to reflect the true terrior with a beautiful earthiness jumping out of the glass.
I love Produttori Nebbiolo because it is a food lover’s wine. It is not a wine for novices or one looking for juicy fruit. But, if you really taste the right food with wine, there is a magical pairing in which one enhances the other – a beautiful symmetry. Victor’s expression of dislike and stress changed to pure pleasure and satisfaction. The “ooh eees” transformed into “mmmmmmmm’s”.
"The 2010 Langhe Nebbiolo opens with a burst of fruit followed by
sweeter, brighter floral notes that develop in the glass. This is a
somewhat mid-weight, compact style typical of the vintage. Anticipated
maturity: 2011-2016." -87 Points The Wine Advocate
"Medium red. Light aromas of cherry, mint and flowers. Bright, clean
and juicy but on the lean side, with a medicinal aspect and slightly
drying tannins." -87 Points International Wine Cellar
Produttori Nebbiolo and several of their fabulous single vineyard Barbarescos can be purchased at Joy Wine and Spirits, 1302 E. 6th Avenue.