Brian Wing on June 27th, 2014

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Supple, silky, smooth three great attributes any beauty should have!

Little Vineyards, 2011 Sonoma Valley Syrah

Brian Wing on June 25th, 2014

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Earthy notes of dilithium.  Mild mid-palate tannins are not overbearing like Klingon blood wine.  Ruby red in the glass, not unlike the hydrogen collectors on the Enterprise’s nacelles.

Brian Wing on June 22nd, 2014

A doggone good spaghetti red!

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Brian Wing on June 17th, 2014

I’ve heard BBQ and Pinot go together…

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Brian Wing on June 15th, 2014

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Brian Wing on December 22nd, 2013

After a successful attempt was completed at making pumpkin pie from scratch, I felt the need to improve the end results.

The first pies were great tasting but from a purely aesthetic perspective left much to be desired.  I reviewed the recipes I had used to make the original batch and found what I think will be the biggest potential for improvement.  The pre-making of the pie crusts was not done very well my first go-round. See here: http://norcalwingman.com/2013/11/24/yeah-i-want-pie/

Here are the two sources I have been using for my pies:  These can be found on my (ahem, hate to say I even have one, pinterest pages http://www.pinterest.com/norcalwingman/food-for-thought/)

http://www.momswhothink.com/pie-recipes/homemade-fresh-pumpkin-pie-recipe.html (this is the base pumpkin pie recipe, but I’ve modified it to suite my tastes, see below for mods)

and the crust http://www.momswhothink.com/pie-recipes/pie-crust-recipe.html I’ve used the non-shortening “butter” recipe.  I prepared two crusts following very closely the recipe here.

Looking better this time:

Pie Crusts

I used fresh pureed pumpkin from a cinderella pumpkin we got around Halloween, you can follow the directions for preparation on the pumpkin pie recipe page I mentioned above.

Anyhow, let’s get to the details.  After receiving shining praise from the normally non-pumpkin-pie-eating members of the family and others, I decided to remake the pie as I did the first time, here’s the recipe (based on recipe above, I’ve doubled it for 2 pies):

The makings of pie

Ingredients:

2 pastry crusts
4 large eggs
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup of Clover Stornetta Egg Nog
2 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin puree (instructions below)
4 Tablespoons melted butter, unsalted
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoon dark molasses
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch salt

1 cup heavy cream, cold (for whip cream topping
1/2 fl oz of your favorite bourbon
or
1 Tsp. Vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Heat milk, cream and egg nog in saucepan over medium heat until it just starts to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat.

3. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl until frothy. Add scalded milk, cream and egg nog, stirring constantly.

4. Stir in pumpkin, butter, sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Whisk until thoroughly blended.

5. Pour filling into prepared crust, bake until center is firm, about 45 minutes.  (After 45 minutes I’ve found that at least with my oven I need to keep cooking another 10 minutes, so my recommendation is to go the 45 minutes then keep a close eye on your pies for proper firmness, these went about 52 minutes)

Pies into the oven

6. Cool completely on wire rack.

Cooling rack

7.  Whip cream and bourbon/vanilla extract until firm peaks form, use generously on large slice of pie

8. Eat, enjoy

 

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Brian Wing on December 21st, 2013

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If you’re lucky enough to find it, this Russian River Valley pinot should please even the most discerning palate.

Leather, clove and vanilla accentuate the bright red berry fruit. A velvety mouth feel leaves you craving another sip.

As I understand it this wine is limited in production so you may have troubles Finding it.  The winemaker Bobby Donnell is a Texas native and has hooked up his kin back home sip it may be tough to come by around here.

I know Bobby used to run a Texas style BBC, so it’s no surprise this wine pairs perfectly with the baby back ribs I did up tonight.

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Brian Wing on November 24th, 2013

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Brian Wing on October 23rd, 2012

A picture should be worth a thousand words…

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Tonight I had visions of a great bottle of red wine with dinner, and it took (unfortunately) three bottles to reach that goal.

 

I picked up a couple of fantastic New York steaks at the market with some fresh green beans, I had the purple and red potatoes, with some fresh shallot at home already.  I knew a great meat and potatoes dinner was in my future so diligently scoured the wine cellar for a worthy Cabernet to pair with my dinner.

First up:  2006 TR Pasalaqua Block 18 & 19 Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek AVA, this beautiful wine we (the wife and I) found a few years back on a great wine tasting trip to Dry Creek, unfortunately this bottle (pictured in the way back) was corked, damn my eyes!  I’ve been saving that bottle for some time!

 

Second:  A gift from some friends, a Napa Valley Cab, 2007 Soquel, this and a bottle of nail polish remover would be likely misconstrued for each other…

 

And finally:  And most importantly, refreshingly, an amazing recent production 2008 Darioush, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  This is a big wine, definitely one of the Napa Cabs you read about in the rags, it’s big, bold, fruity and forward.  It unabashedly pronounces itself to your palate and kicks your molars around.  Huge mid-palate tannins assert control of your mouth and remind you of what a big bold Napa Cab is all about!

 

Anyhow, I seriously took pause at opening a 3rd bottle of wine tonight, but I’m very glad I made the final move that I did.  This is  a fantastic wine that can easily stand on its own, but has the stuff to pair up with a great steak, potatoes and green bean dinner.

 

That is all for now,

Wingman out.

 

By the by, I really tried hard to give the Soquel a chance, the aldehyde was potent and I thought the magical powers of the Soiree might be able to blow out the funk, but alas, it can only work so much magic.   It’s done a fine job with the big Napa Cab though!

Brian Wing on October 9th, 2012

We had the good fortune to finally get down to the California Central Coast wine grape growing region this year and spent an awesome day in Los Olivos, tasting through some of the area’s best.  While we were visiting all of the local spots, we asked around with some of the locals as to where were the “must visit” tasting rooms.  Note:  Los Olivos is a quaint little town with what is basically a cross-roads, down each leg of these roads is a multitude of winery tasting rooms (it’s insane how many there are in such a small town).  Anyhow, Byron came up in many of our conversations so we stopped in.  The tasting room staff were great and we took home a few of their offerings.  This one is a great example of the Central Coast Pinot Noirs produced in the area.

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Tonight’s dinner consisted of some grilled pork loin with a Pinot Noir & Cherry reduction/glaze.  Obviously the wine complimented the dish famously.  A supple Pinot with a great ripe red berry fruit character, would have been great on its own but married to pork and blended with cherries made it all the better.

I would suggest that you stop by the Byron Tasting room next time you’re in town, in the meanwhile, here’s a link to their website: http://www.byronwines.com/

Cheers
Norcalwingman