La Crema Willamette Valley Pinot Noir: I Will Sleep!
I’m not sleeping well these days. Are you?
I should stay away from social media and news programs. But knowledge is power, and I feel a need to fortify myself with information. Rather than being fortified, however, I am left with a feeling of impending doom.
A retreat to the kitchen where I could immerse myself in the meditative process of cooking redirected my thoughts to a safer, saner place.
It was easy to get wrapped up in the heady aroma of chopped fresh herbs.
Washing soil off the earthy mushrooms was a labor that reminded me I was cooking from the earth, not from a package.
Shallots and fennel slices softened together while aromatic hazelnuts toasted in the oven.
That feeling of impending doom? Replaced by a kitchen full of delicious scents!
This Mushroom Ragu over Butternut Squash Ravioli is a modification of a recipe from Food and Wine, October 2015.
Of course, I had the perfect wine to go along. La Crema Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. This is the winery’s inaugural Oregon Pinot Noir, is made using 100% Pinot Noir grapes and is aged 9 months in barrel.
THE WINE WOW!
I opened this bottle earlier in the day, before my kitchen was filled with aromas that could be distracting. A little plate of cheese was a good accompaniment.
The bright garnet color sparkles in the daylight. Ripe fruit aromas of red and black cherry mingle along with dried herbs, a hint of vanilla and dusty cocoa.
The palate continues the black cherry notes along with cinnamon stick, earth and red licorice coming in on the mid-palate. Supple tannins join lingering cherry notes and lively cool-climate acidity.
This Willamette Valley Pinot Noir was nuanced yet flavorful enough to pair well with the mushroom ragu. Earthy notes in the wine were certainly well-matched with the earthy mushrooms. Baking spices mimicked those in the ravioli and the wine’s acidity was a pleasant contrast to the ravioli’s creamy texture. Hazelnuts, which grow right next to the vineyards in the Valley, seemed to bring out a hint of nuttiness in the wine.
I was able to focus for an entire evening on rich textures and flavors, and a gorgeous wine to elevate the whole experience. I was full of hope, finally, for a worry-free, good night’s sleep!
THIS IS A WINE WOW! FOR:
Serving with a hearty mushroom dish;
Drinking on a quiet evening to encourage calm;
A Pinot Noir drinker who enjoys a medium-bodied wine, yet filled with flavor.