Friday, May 10, 2019

LIVING OFF THE LAND: KING ESTATE PINOT NOIR + MUSHROOM PÂTÉ


This month (May) the Wine Pairing Weekend group is focusing on biodynamic wines from Oregon, and more specifically, from the Willamette Valley, OR. OR has the most number of certified biodynamic wineries in the US: a hefty 30%+!

So chances of finding a biodynamic wine from there are large. Or not, depending on how closely you look. Demeter, the largest certifying organization for biodynamic products, maintains a list on their website here. But if you're expecting a comprehensive list of wineries sorted by country, region, etc. prepare to be disappointed. You can certainly take the long-hand approach and narrow it down by crop, etc. but it's as I said, long-hand. So I took the other approach: went to the store, picked up bottles, looked up the wineries to see if they're biodynamic, narrowed down options, picked one because that's all I had time for to taste, pair, and write about hours before leaving town!

Demeter was established in Europe in 1932, and Demeter USA in 1985. According to their website, "Demeter USA is the only certifier for Biodynamic farms and products in America. While all of the organic requirements for certification under the National Organic Program are required for Biodynamic certification, the Demeter standard is much more extensive, with stricter requirements around imported fertility, greater emphasis on on-farm solutions for disease, pest, and weed control, and in depth specifications around water conservation and biodiversity." It is really the only biodynamic certification I have ever heard of in the US, probably also because Demeter own the Biodynamic trademark.

I chose a 2016 King Estate Pinot Noir because of the region, the winery, the grape (they are the self-proclaimed Kings of Pinot), the size, and the fact that before they were Biodynamic, they were Organic. No cutting corners here! At 1,033 acres, King Estate is the largest Demeter-certified biodynamic winery in the US. But they make sublime wines, even the ones that are not Pinot Noir.

THE WINE: Short story because no time to decant and see how it develops!

A gorgeous deep ruby with a pretty pink rim, notes of ripe red fruit - strawberries, raspberries, red currants, cherries - plus sweet vanilla, black tea and a faint hint of wet forest leaves on the nose and palate. The acid and tannins work in unison on the palate with just enough of both to keep you coming back for a sip. The finish is medium+ but really you're not waiting too long between sips with this wine anyway!

Overall this wine is an utter delight, especially at 13.5% abv and $26.

THE FOOD: We paired the wine with one of my favourite Pinot pairings: pâté. But I wanted a vegetarian mushroom pâté and our local Whole Foods - my go-to spot for all kinds of pâtés - was out of their mushroom version. Since it was a last minute decision to participate this month, I was at a construction site the whole day, and had to battle traffic both ways, I was really looking for a quick pairing with no cooking. But no mushroom pâté to be bought and I wasn't in the mood for meat so I had to make it myself. It was actually not that hard or time consuming and except the mushrooms I had everything in the pantry already so I ultimately ran out of excuses for me and just made it. I also added to the mix a truffle Gouda and a Talleggio. We loved all of it with the wine!

The Wine Pairing Weekend group has a whole slew of terrific pairings to inspire us all! Check them out here:

15 comments:

  1. Sometimes you just need a quick, easy, relaxed and delicious dinner. I was very pleased with the King Estate wines and I'm sure the pairing was great.

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  2. This is a wonderful pairing - 2016 King Estate Pinot Noir and the mushroom pâté and cheese. I would love to make mushroom pâté myself as I love all kinds of pâté.

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    1. Thank you! I love pâté too... so easy to pair with so many things!

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  3. I am weird about pate. We used to raise rabbits and when I made it myself it was wonderful. I also had a fantastic venison pate once with hazelnuts. Would love your recipe for vegetarian mushroom pate.

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  4. Sounds like a great go-to recipe to have on hand for those crazy days! And I'm sure the Pinot Noir was a treat as well.

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    1. Thanks Lauren, yes it's a good one, especially with a nice cool-climate Pinot Noir.

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  6. Short on time and then no mushroom pate at the store��I too would love your mushroom pate recipe to try alone side a bottle of King Estate Pinot Noir. Looks like a nice weekday/or weekend relaxed dinner.

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  7. I'm with you -- while I'm fully in favor of earth-friendly wines, it can be hard to source. I had to jump through a few hoops to get a bottle this month as well. That said, I love the idea of this wine with a mushroom pate!

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  8. Quick side note -- it looks like my post didn't make it to the list here. (I was a late entry as well)

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  9. Necessity is the mother of invention or in this case DIY Pate. Looks and sounds like a great pairing Payal

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  10. Mushroom pate is one of my favorites. I can see it matching the wine very nicely.

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  11. Play Bazaar mina jio hanji gona hio ping go chin, Dino kala rusro paki jama hino fari. Dara gun a tita kuna hali tula pula je mau. Kunalu po. Satta King hoi mono jaki tuma.

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