Wine Review: Etude Rose Pinot Noir (Carneros) 2005

Regular readers of my blog know that wine reviews long were a featured part of the blog, so much so that I eventually carved out a separate blog just to chat about wine. When Sue finishes reconstructing my site, wine and food will again be a major part of the mix. In the meanwhile, perhaps James will not be too annoyed if I avail myself of access to his site to recount some wine and food thoughts.

Dinner tonight was slow cooked pork chops. I soaked a couple of inch-and-a-half thick bone-in pork chops overnight in a store bought brine mix. Around 1 PM this afternoon, I pulled the chops out of the brine, rinsed and dried them. I sauteed the chops in a bit of olive oil until well-browned on both sides (about 5 minutes per side over medium high heat). The chops then went into my small slow cooker. Three ounces of unsulphured dried apple slices were loosely placed on top of the chops. Meanwhile, I julienned one half of a yellow onion and then sauteed the onion in the same pan in which the chops had cooked. There was still plenty of fat in the pan, but I added a bit of butter anyway. The onions got a pinch of salt and a couple of grinds of pepper while they were cooking. Once they were translucent and starting to brown at edges, I added them to the slow cooker. I wiped the excess fat from the saute pan with a paper towel and then deglazed the pan with 1-and-a-half cups of organic, low sodium chicken stock. The stock went into the slow cooker, along with a teaspoon of dried thyme and a lot (~a tablespoon) of freshly ground black pepper. One hour in the slow cooker at high, followed by 5 hours at low. Discard the bone and serve with steamed baby yellow potatoes. Yum.

A lot of wines would have worked with this dinner. A lightly oaked Chardonnay, for example, would have offered apple and stone fruit flavors that would have worked well. In my book, however, a Pinot Noir rose offered a more interesting match. The Etude is fully dry, with just enough acidity to slice through the rich stew. The bright strawberry, cherry, and rose petal flavors and aromas made a piquant summery contrast with the warm fall dinner. It was a nice example of how using contrast in wine and food matching can work just as well as complements.

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Steve Bainbridge
About Steve Bainbridge
Stephen Bainbridge is the William D. Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law and the longtime proprietor of the law blog Professor Bainbridge. He did a guest stint at OTB in November 2006. Follow him on Twitter @ProfBainbridge.


  1. I forgot to mention that dinner was based on an Alton Brown recipe.

  2. bains says:

    That seems like a long brine for pork – especially so with the slow poach in broth. Other than that it sounds like an interesting recipe. One that would go with an albarino as well.