The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

The Simple Delights of a California Cab and a Porterhouse

Posted on | March 26, 2015 | Written by David Bertot | No Comments

photoSome of the first wines I ever fell in love with were Cabernet Sauvignon blends from California. When these wines hold their fruit, structure, and alcohol in balance, they can be excellent. Four and a half years ago my love affair for Italian wines was enhanced by joining the IWM team, so truthfully I haven’t focused on Californian wines much as of late.

Recently my wife and I enjoyed a lovely visit from my in-laws. My father-in-law loves California Cabernets, and they gave us a gift of Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace from the 1997 vintage. What better way to celebrate than opening this bottle for a big Sunday night family dinner? It was a hit! We started the evening with extremely thinly sliced pieces of Jamon Iberico Pata Negra de Bellota along with 2 sheep’s milk cheeses. The main course was pa- seared porterhouse steak with roasted potatoes and sautéed asparagus. After decanting the wine for about 1.5 hours, the wine evolved nicely throughout the course of the meal. Red Rock Terrace refers to Diamond Creek’s seven-acre parcel of north-facing Cabernet Sauvignon vines in northern Napa. The wine was rich, balanced, and velvety in texture while displaying flavors of cherry, leather, and dusty tannins. With 12.5% alcohol, it’s all about balance.

Unfortunately, we don’t have any vintage Diamond Creek wines right now at IWM, but you can find this beautiful 2011 Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow.

Recipe for porterhouse:

• Buy the best possible porterhouse steak at your local butcher.

• Sear each side for 90 seconds on an extremely hot pan

• Finish in 500-degree oven until you have an internal temperature of 125. Let the steaks “rest” in aluminum foil for 10 minutes, and they will naturally reach a perfect internal temperature of 130 to 135 degrees.

• To make the Beurre Noir sauce, deglaze the pan with half a bottle of neutral, red wine, making sure to get all the little burnt bits from the bottom. Add a chopped shallot and few sprigs of thyme and reduce by half over medium low heat while the steak are resting. Finish the sauce by taking off heat, straining, and whisking in 3-4 pats of cold butter. Serve immediately with slices of meat.


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