A few days after the equinox in 2019, Sue and I few from LAX to CdG to compete for Team USA in the World Wine Tasting Competition. In Champagne and the Loire, the weather was already turning from warm harvest days to drizzly ones as picking came to a close.
Quite a contrast to the previous year when I was in Champagne for the beginning of harvest when the days and nights were blazing hot unless interrupted by a torrential rainstorm that washed the heat away at least briefly; the summer of 2018 was unusually hot in much of Europe.
The rain made the landscape glisten, the air fresh and damp and tinged with smoke from fires heating now chilly homes.
This month the #Winophiles celebrate Fall in France, and when Sue found a recipe for a Beef Bourguignonne Pot Pie, I was all in: bacon, mushrooms, and chunks of beef paired with wines from the Rhone sounded perfect for our drizzly days on the coast of California; lively Chenin Blanc from the Loire and a Rose from Provence ideal to round out the pairings and the meal.
- Beef Bourguignonne Pot Pie adapted to the instant pot from this recipe
- Green salad with fresh picked garden cherry tomatoes, organic Modena balsamic and Grimm’s Bluff biodynamic olive oil
- 2021 Pascal Biott “Mary Taylor” Anjou Blanc
- Fete Des Fleurs Rose – Cotes de Provence
- 2019 Domaine Galuval Le Coq Volant Cotes Du Rhone
- 2018 Chateau De Rouanne Vinsobres
2021 Mary Taylor Pascal Biott Anjou Blanc
Varietals 100% Chenin Blanc
Importer Nashawtuc LLC, Sandy Hook, CT
As of press time no additional info available; will add as possible.
Appearance: Yellow, lemon yellow, catches the light nicely
Aroma: Pear, jackfruit, grass, subdued minerals, flintiness is subdued, star anise, carrot tops, spiced pear
Palate: Ripe pear and jackfruit come across the palate as well, spiced pear, this is not as tart or acidic as some of the French Chenin Blanc wines we have tasted in the past. This is a very pleasing easy to drink Chenin Blancs, well crafted, the fruit is ripe making the wine a bit rounder and easier to access, green almond.
Pairing: The wine is perfect with the salad. It loves the rich umami of the tomato. A triple cream brie becomes just as rich and wonderful as butter, the pine nuts in the salad compliments the fruit in the wine and elevates the flavor of both.
Varietals: 40% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, 10% Carignan, 10% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre, 2% Rolle
Importer Mack & Schuhle Inc.
Made from organically grown grapes, the wine is also vegan.
Appearance: Salmon orange, pale, almost rose gold
Aroma: Distinctive French funk, a bit of flint and sulphur, sea grass, watermelon,
Palate: Very dry, watermelon, a hint of strawberry, sour grass, oxcolis, chlorophyll, simple yet satisfying, and easy to drink, watermelon rind on the finish.
Pairing The wine cuts through the richness of the brie on a baguette highlighting the fruit in the wine. Sue loved the Rose with the vine ripened tomatoes in the salad bringing out the savory richness in the wine. While this was not my favorite pairing of the evening, Sue found it to be quite satisfying.
2019 Domaine Galuval Le Coq Volant Cotes Du Rhone
Varietals 50% Syrah, 50% Grenache
The label depicts two iconic aspects of fall in France, and especially the Rhone: the rooster which the wind spins atop a weathervane. Known as The Mistral, the breeze batters the region but also brings benefits by ventilating the vines keeping grapes healthy and by chasing away the clouds.
Grapes are mechanically picked, destemmed, vinified in stainless, then briefly in oak.
Appearance: Ruby, medium minus density, very pretty, pale pink rim,
Aroma: Bright fresh fruit, cherry, raspberry, baking spices, rhubarb,
Palate: Very tart strawberry fruit with nice earthiness, raspberry, calcium carbonate minerality, fun and fresh, strong tannins, oak has not been integrated as well as it should be.
After opening up for a while violets and cranberry poke their nose through, carnation, blue fruit and barely a hint of pepper. The wine is much more expressive in a rhone syrah glass than a cabernet glass.
Pairing: The beef in the pot pie is beautiful with the wine. There are so many layers of flavor in the meal that enhanced and perked up the wine. The wine when introduced to the meal became alive and a part of the dance. The wine also worked really well with the salad loving the tomato umami. They were so perfecto together. The tomatoes (which were already sweet) became so much sweeter and richer with the wine.
2018 Chateau De Rouanne Vinsobres
Varietals 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre
As of press time no additional info available; will add as possible.
Appearance: Rich in color and quite dense, garnet, plum mulberry rim
Aroma: Plum, ripe plum, carnation, rose potpourri, sandalwood, amber, myth, church incense, sniffing this wine is like a religious moment. (with food the aroma has more rosemary and lavendar)
Palate: There is a depth and richness to this wine, very clean, bright minerals, there is a savoriness and meatiness to the wine, rhurbarb, tart earthy quality, there is acidity and tannins and a savory husky musky finish,
Pairing: While the other wines were quite nice with the salad, the wine fought tooth and nail with the salad. It did not like the pine nuts, it became very dry and bitter with the vine ripened tomatoes, it did not like the salad at all. So much better with the pie. So much different with the pie. The savory richness of the pie was a perfect companion with the wine. The cranberry tart fruit in the wine cuts through all of the richness in the meal.
The earthen qualities in the wine work so well with all of the savory herbs in the dish. With food this wine becomes much more lively and fruit forward
While the instant pot has its limitations. (and Sue was fully expecting to make this meal on a previous day) Sue found a way to make the instant pot work perfectly with this recipe so that it was completely possible to do on a school night!
With this wine there was a dance between the food and the wine that worked so well between this wine and the menu.
Instant Pot Beef Bourguignonne Pot Pie
6 Servings plus leftovers for another meal over pasta for 4
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 slices bacon cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 2 garlic clove, finely chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Cognac (can substitute with French brandy)
- 4 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 star anise pod
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 cup red wine
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
- 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry (two 14-oz. packages or one 17.3-ounce package), thawed
- 1 egg, beaten to blend
- Heat oil on saute in instant pot. Season ½ cup flour with salt and pepper. Add beef chunks and toss to coat; shake off excess. Working in batches as needed to avoid steaming meat, cook beef, turning often, until browned all over, 8–10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.
- Melt remaining 4 Tbsp. butter in instant pot on saute. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until browned, 8–10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Add mushrooms to meat.
- Cook bacon on saute, stirring often, until brown and crisp. Add ¼ cup water and cook, scraping up browned bits, then add leek, shallot, and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and return beef to pot. Add Cognac and simmer until liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute.
- Add thyme leaves, bay leaf, star anise, broth, and wine and season with salt and pepper; bring to a simmer.
- Mix 1 Tbsp. flour and 1 Tbsp. butter in a small bowl until smooth; stir into meat mixture.
- Cook in instant pot at meat stew setting.
- Roll out pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface until about 4” larger than baking dish (use a 2-qt. oval or an 8” square). Place 1 sheet on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill. Transfer remaining sheet to baking dish. Lift up edge and let dough slump down into dish.
- Optional: Trim, leaving about 1” overhang.
- Transfer cooked stew from instant pot to pie pan.
- Brush edge of pastry with egg.
- Using a cutter, punch out a circle in the center of chilled pastry. Drape pastry over filling and trim to a 1” overhang. Baste edges with egg, then press edges of dough together to seal and fold overhang under. Crimp edge, then brush top of pastry with egg.
- Bake until crust is deep golden brown, 30–35 minutes. Let pie cool slightly.
- Stew can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Leftovers are fabulous with a wide pasta or egg noodles.
For more Fall French Food and Wine Inspiration, check out these other articles:
- Jeff of Food Wine Click! takes us to “Backroads Bourgogne in Autumn: Bistro des Falaises”
- Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm is Celebrating Fall French Style
- Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares Europe by Milk Run, Coquilles Saint-Jacques, and L’un Des Sens Orange Wine
- Gwendolyn of Wine Predator is Falling for Fall with Four French Wines plus Instant Pot Beef Bourguignonne Pot Pie #Winophiles
- Susannah of Avvinare shares “Cru Bourgeois, perfect for Fall Fare”
Host Wendy Klik cancelled the chat today.