Vegetarian Stew and Baron Herzog Merlot
This Friday night was a quiet one for us and I wanted to make a recipe that actually hit the spot. I was in the mood for stew and my wife was not in the mood for a meat dish, so we agreed upon Vegetarian Stew. Readers of this blog will know that I am a fan of many of Mollie Katzen’s recipes, from her original vegetarian cookbook, which is getting harder and harder to find. The recipe calls for a nice mix of starch and mirepoix vegetables, along with mushrooms chopped up – to mimic the meat texture and flavor. We changed the recipe a bit to meet my interests this week, which was deep stew flavors and thick comfort food. I think I was successful, the stew smelled and tasted great, but the texture was what worked for me. The stew was thick yet sccopable.
I chose a wine to pair with the stew that was not about the wine. Also, I was wined out, and so, I chose a simple wine that is ok, but not one I would drink again, unless there was nothing else. I opened a Baron Herzog Merlot 2004 – which is a plain Merlot. It was OK, the same old same old. The interesting thing was that the more air it got, the nicer the nose became, but the more cooked the wine tasted – funny thing how Mevushal wine acts. It’s real fault is its plain mouth and body, lack of acidity, tannins, life. It has a quick but fleeting feeling in the front of the mouth and nothing more. That is what you get for a kosher 9 dollar bottle of wine. Just more stuff to talk about on Daniel’s other thread about wine prices.
Baron Herzog Merlot 2004 – Score: B-
A fine wine to drink but nothing exceptional. The wine starts off with a mild nose of blueberry, cranberry, oak, and plum. The nose does get better as it gets more air. The mouth of medium bodied wine starts with plum and red berries. The mid palate is more fruit. There is no acidity, no bracing tannins, this wine has been smoothed or fined to meet the quaffing needs of the public. The finish is short and has no carry effect to speak of.