Siduri Wines crafts pinot noir with that extraordinary silk-on-satin texture that lovers of the varietal, myself among them, find so compelling. This is as true of our Wine of the Week, Siduri 2011 Sonoma County Pinot Noir ($22), as any I've tasted. Tannins are long and smooth, with nary a hint of roughness. Yet there is texture, too, a plushness that emerges on the wine's almost melodic finish.
Delicate flavors emerge from this engaging foundation like ephemeral stars rising in the night sky. There are delicate flashes of earth and fruit that deliver on the palate promises made in the wine's evocative bouquet, which is full of that ethereal quality I like to call the pinot thing.
The wine is pure sensual pleasure and, at $22, pretty much guilt-free.
When it comes to pairing, the wine's embrace is broad and deep. It will flatter a huge array of foods, from blue cheeses, roasted root vegetables, all manner of mushrooms and wild rice, to salmon, mussels, chicken (dark meat), duck, lamb, pork and certain cuts of beef, like tenderloin and filet mignon. A creamy beet risotto, shrimp scampi, roast turkey, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese and grilled eggplant all welcome this wine alongside. When I narrow it down to the very best companions, I'm left with mushrooms, duck breast and winter squash-bacon gratin.
For today's recipe, I've chosen a delicious mushroom strudel that can either take center stage or be a supporting player. It's an ideal holiday option for vegetarians and is excellent with roast chicken. I like to serve it with a tangy green salad alongside, something simple, like young parsley leaves and capers tossed with a light vinaigrette.
Maitake Mushroom Strudel
Makes 6 to 8servings
? cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
? cup old-fashioned cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
? cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
-- Kosher salt
10 to 12 ounces mushrooms, preferably maitake (also known as Hen of the Woods), broken into small pieces
? cup medium dry Madeira, such as Rainwater
-- White or black pepper in a mill
4 ounces Joe Matos St. George cheese or Bellwether Carmody, grated
3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted
To make the dough, use an electric mixer or sturdy wooden spoon to combine the butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until it is smooth and creamy. Sift the flour and salt together and gradually add to the butter mixture. Mix in the cream, shape into a ball and refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour. (The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for several days, provided it is well wrapped.)
To make the filling, heat the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, saute 7 minutes, add the garlic and ginger and saute 2 minutes more. Season with salt.
Add the mushrooms and the Madeira and simmer, turning the mushrooms with a spatula, until the liquid is nearly complete reduced. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer very gently until the mushrooms are limp and have released their liquid, about 7 minutes. Uncover and simmer to reduce the pan juices until only about 2 tablespoons remain. Season with salt and several turns of pepper, remove from the heat and cool.