Once a month my ‘wine friends’ and I gather for Wine Club. It’s kind of like Fight Club, but we fight over favorite vintages and none of us make soap.
Here is one of my favorite club recipes from Food & Wine Magazine. Even better, our sommelier Christopher Wisner weighs in on the perfect wine pairing.
Christopher Wisner, “Camembert is a more elegant cheese so I think it demands a less rustic wine. Pinot Noir. I had a wine teacher say to me once that if you drink wine long enough you eventually end up at Pinot Noir. You can find amazing examples of it all over the world (Burgundy, Oregon, Sonoma/Carneros, Anderson Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Otago) and they are all different from the next and show a TRUE sense of place when they’re made well. I’m going to offer two pairings here, one Old World and one New World.
Old World: Louis Latour “Domaine de Valmoissine” Pinot Noir from Provence. Louis Latour is one of the greatest producers in Burgundy and this little workhorse from the South of France is the perfect introduction to their house style.
New World: Steelhead Pinot Noir, Sonoma County. This is a relatively unknown wine made by Hugh Chappelle and the proceeds are given to a lot of great causes. This is an opportunity to drink a favorably priced Pinot Noir from the former winemaker of Flowers and Lynmar, two of the best California Pinot Noir producers.
WARMED CAMEMBERT WITH MUSHROOM FRICASSE
1/2 cup walnut pieces
One 8-ounce wheel of ripe Camembert in its wooden box, at room temperature
1 tablespoon walnut oil
3/4 pound wild mushrooms, trimmed, caps thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 large sage leaves, minced
Sourdough toasts (gluten free substitute), for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the walnut pieces on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 7 minutes, until lightly browned. Lower the oven temperature to 300°.
- Remove the Camembert from the box and unwrap it. Put the cheese back in the bottom half of the box and set it on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until soft.
- In a large skillet, heat the walnut oil. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 3 minutes longer. Add the shallot and cook until softened, 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley and sage; season with salt and pepper.
- Turn over the Camembert onto a platter. Stir the walnuts into the mushrooms and spoon over the cheese. Serve with the toasts (or gluten free subtitute).