Pork Chops, Pommard and a Surprise
Our third stop on our virtual tour of Burgundy is Pommard (confession: can’t seem to find the photos for the Santenay or the Monthelie, oops!). Menu: Pork chops, mushrooms, mashed potatoes and carrots for color. We’ll pair the meal with the Pommard, but there is a surprise! We pulled out a white wine we had open to taste with the meal, read on.
All the earthy textures and flavors of the meal did pair nicely with the earthy side of the Pommard. The meat was rich but not too dark or intense; the earthy mushrooms were great. There was something about this wine; I’m not sure if it was this particular wine or the fact that it was the oldest of the wines I had acquired for the tour. However, it sticks in my mind. I’ll be purchasing more to try again, perhaps with even a few more years of age.
Fernand & Laurent Pillot Pommard (2005)
Note: if you decide to look for this wine, be sure to note the first names. Due to the crazy inheritance laws in Burgundy, vineyards are divided equally in an estate. This means there are many very small vineyards and winery owners sharing the same last name. There’s Paul Pillot, not to be confused with Fernand & Laurent Pillot. There may be others as well. Are we having fun with Burgundy yet?
I was taken with this wine. This isn’t a cocktail or “fireplace wine”, it is very much a wine for food.
Eye: Relatively dark for Pinot Noir, but still translucent. Warm red in color, not really brown at the edges.
Nose: Pretty strong barny aroma on opening. Better after even 10 minutes of air. Cherries starting to emerge, and lots of herbs.
Mouth: Tart acidity and strong tannins (for Pinot Noir).
More tannic than the Bouchard Monthelie we just had.
Day 3 – this wine is shining. Still tart, acidic and tannic. Beautiful herbs on the nose. It’s still fresh, and wants food!
Cheeses, speck ham, all play well and balance the wine nicely.
I didn’t plan it this way. I had wanted to explore proper French white Rhone wines, since I have had a number of California and Washington State versions. Mike at Sunfish Cellars recommended this nice Pierre Gaillard St. Joseph white Rhone, so I picked one up. It was open at home, and I decided to give it a try with this meal, alongside the Burgundy. Oops! While the red Burgundy was very nice, I felt the St. Joseph paired even better with the meal. With a rich mouthfeel, it seemed to go perfectly with the pork and all the other accompaniments in the meal. I took this as a good reminder to keep an open mind and always keep exploring!
Eye: Beautiful golden color, very clear.
Nose: Lanolin rich floral, nutty.
Mouth: Rich, smooth. Definitely has been through Malolactic fermentation; waxy somehow. Does not seem overtly acidic, but still lively.
This wine really shone at the table with pork chops. It came alive in a way that wasn’t obvious just tasting it by itself.
The pork chops came from my favorite local farm: Braucher’s Sunshine Harvest Farm. I have been happy to discover that it’s possible to meet and get to know a local family farmer, even in the 21st century. Thanks to farmers markets such as Mill City Farmers Market, I have the chance to meet the people who are providing our food!
I love shiitake mushrooms, so I almost always include them when mushrooms are called for. For this meal I wanted to highlight the earthy flavors, so I went big and added crimini and oyster mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms are new for me, so I was interested to experience their texture and taste. They are very different from the other two, almost an entirely different animal.
Even in the winter, I enjoy the flavor of food cooked on the grill. The mushrooms had a bit of sunflower oil and pepper, then to the grill basket.
The pork chops were so nice, I just trimmed excess fat and gave them a bit of salt and pepper, then onto the grill.
Mashed potatoes are comfort food, pure and simple. I just slice them into small pieces, boil, then add milk, salt, pepper, and a little butter. I like my mashed potatoes with the skins on. How about you? Oh, and of course, you mash them by hand.
The carrots were sauteed quickly in a pan on the stovetop, and the meal was ready. A final touch was the addition parsley for garnish and a few slices of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.