Turns out it is.
After reading a bunch of recipes online (I've never cooked duck myself before!), I settled on one involving roasted grapes and creme fraiche. But once at the grocery store, I discovered the gorgeously ripe and sweet cherries they had on sale. Cherries and duck, that's classic, right? So I swapped the grapes for cherries and headed home. Now what to do with the creme fraiche...
|This is the part where we reflect on our wines.|
In The Kitchen: I scored the skin of the breast, then seasoned it with juniper and thyme. I seared it, fatty side down, in my cast iron skillet for a few minutes then flipped it and finished it off in the oven. This was my first time cooking duck, so I relied heavily on recipe times for each step of the duck. We served it on a bed of arugula and Israeli cous-cous alongside some simple steamed green beans from Jean's garden. Topping off the dish was a beautiful savory cherry sauce - fresh cherries that were chopped in the food processor and cooked down with a touch of red wine, onion, garlic, and homemade chicken stock, then finished with a healthy swirl of creme fraiche. All in all, the cherry sauce was the only triumph. Word to the wise: Don't buy duck breast from Greenlife's freezer. It was really just a poor quality product. I overcooked the duck a little, but, even recognizing that, I think, in the future, I'd be happier to shell out a little more money for something good and fresh. Oh well, live and learn.
In the glass: Immediately upon pouring, Bigsy and I were both struck by the color: Dark, almost black. The black theme continued in an array of lush black fruit: plum, blackberry, boysenberry, and black cherry. Also immediate was the firm acidity of the wine, a good backdrop for the fatty duck. Alas, I really should have decanted this. Some very interesting notes emerged with exposure to air: the trademark sanguine iron minerality and tobacco leaf, but also black olive, truffle, and after even more time in the glass, an herbal chord, almost minty. In retrospect, I think lamb shoulder rubbed with anchovy and rosemary would've been a better choice. Although the wine was not particularly tannic by Bordeaux or Napa standards, it was still awfully big. That being said, it possessed no hard edges and definitely caressed the palate with a lovely, softly velvety mouthfeel. Getting to the bottom of the bottle as I write this, there is a good bit of sediment in my glass. If I had to sum up this wine succinctly, I would say: Obviously Loire Cab Franc but burlier. Also, not a wine for beginners.
That being said, I loved it.
|Vines trained through walls. Ain't that some shit?|