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Wine Pairing

Brasato al Barbera (Beef Braised in Barbera) Recipe

Brasato al Barbera (Beef Braised in Barbera)

A Piedmont style braised beef recipe cooked in red wine.

Brasato al Barbera (Beef Braised in Barbera)

Known as “the people’s wine”, Barbera is an everyday drinking wine from the Piedmont region.

Barbera is a palate pleaser because it is easy to drink, well balanced and affordable.

Our 2017 Barbera has flavors of cherries, strawberries and raspberries, and intense aromas of blackberries. This Barbera is very low in mouth-drying tannins and high in acidity, which makes it the perfect wine to pair with rich foods like cheeses, meats and earthy mushrooms.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 (3-pound) boneless beef chuck roast, patted dry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 bottles (4 1/2 cups) Barbera
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

 

What to do:

  • Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper.
  • Add the beef to the pot and cook, turning every 2-3 minutes, to brown on all sides.
  • Once browned, remove the beef from the pan, add the pancetta to the fat in the pan and cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the onions, carrots, celery and a pinch of salt; cook until caramelized, about 15 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return the beef to the pan and add the wine, 2 cups of the stock, rosemary, bay leaves and cinnamon stick.
  • Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat, then cover tightly and transfer the pot to oven.
  • As it’s cooking, turn the roast every 30 minutes until fully tender and a meat is starting to fall apart when poked with a fork (3 1/2-4 hours). Remove the meat from the pan and tent with foil to keep warm.
  • Remove the rosemary, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick, and place the pot over high heat. Cook about 10 minutes.
  • Ladle about 1/2 cup of the hot sauce into a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the hot sauce then add slurry back into the sauce in the pan and cook another 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened a bit.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste and turn the heat off. Place meat onto a platter. If it has not completely fallen apart, thinly slice the beef across the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices. Serve the beef ladled with the sauce. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Want to make your own Barbera? Musto Wine Grape Company is New England’s largest supplier for winemaking products and services. From home winemakers to wineries, we’ve got you covered! Give us a call at 877 – 812 – 1137 to speak with someone to get you started.

National Donut Day Donut & Wine Pairings

Happy National Donut Day! What better way to celebrate than pairing those tasty round treats with some wines that allow you to unlock a whole new world of flavors?! Let’s get to it.

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First we’ll start with a classic, the chocolate frosted donut with sprinkles!

Prosseco is the perfect pairing for this donut. The airiness of the donut lounging underneath the decadent frosting is a match made in heaven with this bubble-filled wine. The sugary frosting brings out the sweetness of the Prosecco. For Connecticut residents, try Donut Crazy’s Chocolate Frosted Sprinkle Donut! They have multiple locations in CT ranging from West Hartford to Branford.

Next, how about a jelly donut? Yes please.

Rosé and a jelly donut, specifically one with raspberry jelly filling, compliment each other extremely well. The bitterness of Rosé softens when you pair these two together, giving the raspberry flavors the center stage. At the same time, the wine mutes the sugary sweetness of the donut’s sugar coating, making it one elegant bite! We recommend once again Donut Crazy’s Powdered Jelly Donut, because they’re just that good!

Now the plain jane glazed donut, an underdog in the donut world. Simple yet total donut perfection.

Grab some Chardonnay for this one – the underlying hints of vanilla and toffee in the donut go perfectly with the same flavors in the wine. Chardonnay manages to bring out these flavors in this donut rather than mask them. Despite the sweetness of the donut the Chardonnay remains smooth! Grab your glazed donut from Neil’s Donuts in Wallingford, a donut goldmine in CT!

Last but certainly not least, the double chocolate glazed donut. A chocolate lover’s saving grace.

Finding the right wine to go with Chocolate can have you standing in the wine isles for a while pondering of which one will go best, but we’ll make it easy for you: Syrah. The bold double chocolate between the cake and the frosting of this donut pairs perfectly with the dark, jammy, fruit-forward flavors of Syrah. This pairing will give you a boozy chocolate covered strawberry vibe, how can you resist?! Pick up some Krispy Kreme Glazed Chocolate Cake Donuts for this pairing, yes we said donuts as in multiple donuts, get a whole dozen because one will not be enough. We speak from experience.

We wish everyone a happy and yummy national donut day!

Red Hot Chicken Mini Pizzas & Riesling

Red Hot Chicken Mini Pizzas & Riesling

Red hot chicken mini pizzas  recipe and Riesling pairing

Heat things up with these Red Hot Chicken Mini Pizzas!

Whether you’re munching on it while binge watching your favorite TV show, or serving at your next party – it’s perfect for virtually any time and place!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons Frank’s original red hot sauce

2 8” pre-made pizza crusts

¼ lb Colby jack cheese (shredded or sliced)

2 tomatoes, diced

½ red onion, diced

¼ lb rotisserie chicken (pulled apart and marinated in Frank’s hot sauce)

Blue cheese salad dressing

Celery and carrot sticks

Instructions:

  • Heat oven to 425 degrees
  • Spread 1 table spoon of Frank’s hot sauce over each crust, leaving ½ for the edge.
  • Top with chicken, tomatoes, onion and cheese.
  • Place pizzas directly on an oven rack. Bake 8-10 minutes.
  • Cheese should be melted and crust should be golden brown.
  • Slice and serve, alongside blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.

Don’t forget the Riesling! The combination of sweet and acidic is what makes Riesling a great match for spicier foods, taming the intense heat with a honeyed splash.

Musto Crush Crew’s Sweet Autumn Butternut Squash Soup

During harvest we need some tasty fuel to keep us going. This sweet autumn butternut squash soup is nourishing and fulfilling, sure to satisfy the whole family. As the temperatures drop, we wanted to share this recipe to help keep you warm!

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups of diced butternut squash
  • 1 unpeeled, diced apple
  • 1 unpeeled, diced pear
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, ½” diced
  • ½ teaspoon of curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • Salt & black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts (toasted), 2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds, chives and plain greek yogurt as optional toppings.

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Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the onion. Stir frequently until tender (for about 5 minutes) then stir in the garlic and continue to stir for another minute.
  • Add the squash, apple, pear, curry powder, cinnamon and ginger. Stir.
  • Stir in the broth, increase heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat and maintain at a low boil, covered for 30 minutes.
  • Let cool for about 15 minutes and transfer to a blender (if you do not have an immersion blender). Puree until very smooth. Transfer back into the pot, reheat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with optional toppings.

Pair with  a bottle of Gewurztraminer. This semi-sweet aromatic wine has notes of cinnamon, ginger and honey that compliment the silky and spicy characteristic of this soup.

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Gewurztraminer Recipe + Instructions

  1. First choose if you want to make a sweet wine or a dry wine, as this will dictate a lot of your decisions when making your wine.
  2. Secondly, feel confident in your pronunciation of this delicious variety, as you’ll be telling all of your friends about the great wine you’ve made to be paired with the butternut squash soup. Let’s say it together. Guh-VERTZ-truh-meen-er. That’s right!
  3. Decide if you are going to make wine from fruit, juice, or concentrate. This time of year you’ll need to be making wine from juice or concentrate.
  4. Add pectic enzyme to your juice. This will help with settling and clarifying down the road to ensure a clear and beautiful finished wine.
  5. Pick the yeast of your choosing. Some great options for retaining the fruity, aromatic, perfume-like traits of Gewurztraminer include Alchemy I, Vin 13, QA23, and D47. Rehydrate your yeast using Go-Ferm for best results.
  6. Time to ferment your wine! If you’re using a kit, follow the directions they give you.
  7. If fermenting fresh juice, add Booster Blanc and Opti-White to increase mouth feel and mid-palate intensity.
  8. When you see the Brix drop by 2-3, add Fermaid O to your juice.
  9. Continue checking the Brix each day. When you see a 1/3 drop in the starting number, add Fermaid K to ensure the fermentation remains strong and the yeast have the energy they need.
  10. When alcoholic fermentation is over, rack off the gross lees. Add potassium metabisulfite. This is important, as this is a variety that stylistically does not benefit from malolactic fermentation.
  11. If you want to back sweeten, you can do so. Gewurztraminer can make fantastic dry, semi-sweet, and sweet wines, so you can’t go wrong with whatever you decide!
  12.  For more information about making wine from juice click HERE!

Want to make your own wine for your next pairing? Musto Wine Grape Company is New England’s largest supplier for home winemaking products and services. We’ll get you set up with all of your juice, grape and equipment needs and have you on track to making your own perfect pairing. Visit juicegrape.com or give us a call at (877) 812 – 1137 to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!

Pairing your Homemade Wines for Thanksgiving

Pairing your homemade wines with your Thanksgiving meal can be tricky. Check out some of our wine and food pairing suggestions to help you show off your delicious wine! 

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Turkey:

Light Reds, Medium Reds, and Rich White Wines pair well with Chicken and other White Meats like Thanksgiving Turkey. Your Pinot Noir, Gamay, Grenache, Chardonnay, or GSM Blend would be a great compliment to the meal.

Beef:

Beef, Cured Meats, and Smoked Meats pair best with Medium or Full Bodied Reds. Try your Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Castel del Papa, or Italian Blend.

Fish:

Yes, red wine CAN be paired with fish! Try a Light Red or a Light Dry White such as your Gamay or Pinot Grigio.

Carbs:

Most Carbohydrates can pair with most wines. It really depends on the sauce. Try your Cabernet-Merlot Blend or Il Toscano to balance and enhance the flavors of a tomato sauce.

Vegetables:

A Light White or Med-Light Red will compliment most vegetables – whether they are roasted or dressed. Try your Viognier or Grenache.

We want to wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving. We hope it is a wonderful day filled with family, friends, and great homemade wine!

Cheers Winemakers!