While the new house has been renovated inside, many of the walls and open spaces are awkwardly sized. Since we’re having trouble finding shelving and furniture to fit the space, Hubby and I have decided to do a number of small do-it-yourself projects like building shelves, an deck box for outside, etc. As you can imagine, though, these projects require spending an inordinate amount of time at Home Depot. There is at least one trip a weekend, and often there are more. The first weekend in February was one of those two-trips kind of weekend, not to mention a trip Bed, Bath, & Beyond, World Market, and Michael’s Arts & Crafts. We spent the whole day running errands. Hubby and I are not big football people, so we skipped the Superbowl in favor of before coming home to an evening of sorting through everything and baking cookies. And, of course, there was a good bottle of wine to go along with the activities.
The 2006 Close de la Vieille Eglise (winery, snooth) is from Pomerol, which is on the Right Bank in Bordeaux, France. The wine is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes, and had a dark ruby color with a garnet rim. On the nose, there were blackcurrants, roses, and hints of cedar and meat. In the mouth, there were dark berries, meats, and cedar mixed with hints of licorice and chocolate. The wine was medium-to-full bodied with medium tannins and acidity.
Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one! What are you waiting for? At an SRP of $60, this bottle of wine was fantastic. Admittedly, though, this is when my impatience gets the better of me. The winery recommends that it continue to be cellared for several more years, and after having tasted the wine, I can only imagine how beautiful it would have been if I had let it continue to age.
However, I didn’t let it age. This wine was actually given to Hubby and me as a present from our loan officer at the closing of our new house, so opening it after a successful day of doing house stuff seemed appropriate. Once the wine had a little bit of a chance to breathe, it was incredibly food-friendly. I paired it with Hubby’s homemade meatloaf and roasted potatoes, which was a great pairing as the wine was flavorful and savory enough to stand up to the big flavors of the dinner. After dinner, I baked the Double Chocolate Oriolos, which made for a very different, but equally delicious pairing. I actually enjoyed the wine enough that I will
Overall, the cookies weren’t anything particularly different, but they were easy to make and were a big hit in the office. The wine, on the other hand, offered something a little more special than usual, which was a nice treat on a Sunday night. I actually enjoyed it so much that I’m planning to go to Schneider’s of Capitol Hill and buy several bottles, both to drink now and to cellar for later. Together, the pairing of the wine and the cookies was a huge success.
Question of the Day: Did you watch the Superbowl? Is it the type of event where you think about opening wine or is it strictly a beer drinking night?
Double Chocolate Oriolos
(*adapted from Rose Levy Beranabum’s recipe in The Baking Bible)
Yields: about 3 dozen
- 1/2 cup walnut halves
- 10 tablespoons butter (1 1/4 sticks)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup powered sugar (lightly spooned and leveled off)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup bleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (for coating)
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Spread walnuts evenly on baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times to toast evenly.
- Once done toast, put on clean dish towel and rub to loosen skins.
- Break nuts into bowl, discarding the skins.
- Let cool.
- In food processor, mix walnuts, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, powdered sugar, salt, and cocoa powder until walnuts are finely ground.
- Add butter.
- Pulse until butter has absorbed the cocoa mixture.
- Add flour.
- Pulse until there are a lot of moist, crumbly pieces and no dry flour.
- Divide dough in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment or silicone mats and place in refrigerator to chill.
- In small bowl, place granulated sugar for coating.
- Remove 1 of the dough halves to begin shaping cookies.
- Take a rounded tablespoon of chilled dough and roll between the palms of your hands to create 1-inch balls.
- Roll balls in sugar mixture until coated.
- Place cookies on lined, chilled cookie sheets. Keep cookies about 2 inches apart and press them down so that each is about 1/2 inch high.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Let cookies set on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack
Overall: 4.5 Corks