Roasted Chicken, Couscous and Abarbanel Beaujolais Villages, Red Fern Cabernet Sauvignon and Red Fern Syrah
This past week we made a bowl of lovely couscous by steaming it over a pot of chicken soup, along with some really nice lemon roasted chicken. The couscous is one of the best I have ever made. Normally I take a box of Niles East Plain Couscous and place it in steam basket above a boiling pot of chicken soup. On an aside, I never imagined I could actually place the couscous in this steamer insert. The holes on this thing look so big and the couscous kernels are so small, I thought they would all fall though. But the trick is to wet the holes of the steamer so that the couscous sticks to it, until it cooks fully. Also, as it cooks it puffs up and the next trick is to move the couscous in the steamer around so that you see the holes of the steamer. This allows the steam to move around the steamer insert and create an almost convection like atmosphere in the steamer.
Anyway, this time the pot was so full with soup, that when we placed the insert into the pot, soup leaked into the insert itself. I decided what the heck, I poured the couscous into the insert and sure enough 15 minutes later, the couscous was done. It was by the far the very best couscous I ever made, fluffy and flavored perfectly. The soup was equally enjoyable and the lemon/herb roasted chicken that my wife prepared to accompany the couscous was quite enjoyable as well. I guess experimenting every so often is not so bad.
To pair with the chicken and couscous I looked for a nice light bottle of wine and found a Beaujolais that would go nicely with dinner. A friend swung by before Sabbath started and brought the two Red Fern bottles over to taste, so the notes are included below as well.
The wine notes follow below:
2007 Abarbanel Beaujolais Villages – Score: B
The nose on this light burgundy/ruby colored wine is filled with strong dirt, mineral, and earth notes, along with strawberry, cherry, tarragon and spice. The mouth on this light to medium bodied wine is almost sweet with cherry and strawberry. The mid palate is acidic and bright with slight coffee flavors. The medium long finish is spicy with slight acidity. I highly recommend that you drink up as soon as possible and that once you open the bottle it should be drunk without waiting for it to air out.
2005 Red Fern Cabernet Sauvignon – Score: B+
The nose on this dark garnet colored wine is really nice with cranberry, plum, blackberry, sweet oak, and anise. The mouth of this full bodied wine is mouth coating with soft tannins, plum, cranberry, and cassis. The wine flows into a mid palate of strong acidity, oak, and coffee. The finish is long with more acid, wood, black fruit, and dark chocolate.
2005 Red Fern Syrah – Score: B – B+
The nose on this dark garnet wine colored wine was the best feature of the wine by far, with strong blackberry, cassis, and cherry, oak, and herbs. The mouth was way out of whack, which was a real shame — the acid was not commensurate with the wine’s body and structure. Still, the mouth starts with blackberry and cassis. The mouth flows into a mid palate of way too much acidity and tannin. The finish is average long with more acid and hints of leather and chocolate. I hope this wine settles down to reveal the fruit that lies behind the acid and tannin firewall. Until then, I would say your money is better spent on other Kosher Syrah options.