For the South Australian Drink Of The Week we usually provide tasting notes but with our 1991 Penfolds Grange we have cooking notes because we cooked with it for our five 2017 retrospective episodes.
As good chefs always say, never cook with wine you wouldn’t drink, so therefore we cracked the ’91 Grange and used it to cook two dishes.
In fact, our New Year’s Resolution is to only cook with Penfolds Grange from now on!
The wine was provided by our guest host for the five special episodes, Leila Henderson from Newsmaker and Kondotto. It was given to her for services rendered and she had been saving it for the man of her dreams.
He hasn’t shown up yet so she decided to spend it on Steve and Nigel. As the saying goes, never cook with men you wouldn’t …
1991 Penfolds Grange cooking notes: Coq au Vin
The first dish we cooked with Grange was Coq au Vin, one of Leila’s house specialities.
The small onions, mushrooms, and garlic cloves sauteed in butter, along with the tomatoes and herbs, provided a stunning base for the dish.
The chicken legs were then “flamed” with the help of some Glenmorangie Whisky (we didn’t do things by halves).
And, finally, a generous dollop or two of 1991 Penfolds Grange lent a rich, black fruit base to the dish.
First, a small taste to make sure the wine wasn’t “off”.
Then a hearty couple of splashes into the Coq au Vin.
And, finally, we got to indulge in the tender, delicious Coq au Vin – the first time such a Coq has passed Steve’s lips, apparently.
1991 Penfolds Grange cooking notes: Poached pears
The second dish we cooked with the 1991 Penfolds Grange was a poached pears dish shared with us after Barbara Gare’s appearance on The Adelaide Show Podcast 134.
This simple dish used five small pears, a star anise, pinch of black peppercorns, two generous rinds of orange, and 100g of castor sugar.
Oh, and a full bottle of wine but due to our small taste and the hearty inclusion of Penfolds Grange in the Coq au Vin, we only had about 500ml of the ’91 Grange at our disposal, so we just had to make do with that.
Here’s Steve pouring in the remainder of the Grange into the pear dish.
Once the pears had cooked in that mixture for 40 minutes, they were removed and the remaining liquid boiled to reduce it to about half its volume.
Once ready, a pear and a generous drizzle of Penfolds Grange glaze were accompanied by a dollop of rich cream for a truly decadent dessert.
We believe the 1991 Penfolds Grange cooking notes would note be complete without noting how the spiciness of the wine really worked well in the poached pears dish and is sincerely recommended for your next dinner party.
You can hear us talk about cooking with Grange in episode 227 of The Adelaide Show Podcast, below, or by opening your favourite podcast playing app on your phone and downloading the episode there.
We shall also be mentioning it during the remaining retrospective episodes, 228, 229, 230, and 231.