Meatballs, Oatmeal Panade, Linguini, and a Stunning Hagafen Merlot
On the week of September 2nd my meatball saga continued. My Meatball tinkering continued with the ever growing quest to create the perfect meatball. This time the meatballs were really nice because of a combination of a pair of new approaches. First off we did use shredded vegetables, but this time we squeezed all the liquid we could from the shredded vegetables. We used onions and zucchini for the shredded vegetables, while we used a new approach; that being an oatmeal panade. Last year we used oatmeal for making meatballs, as many of our friends were not eating bread at that time. Since then, we went back to bread in our recipes, but every so often the wife wants to try a different starch to use in the panade. So, we essentially made oatmeal using quick oats and rice milk and added it to the raw ground meat, along with the shredded vegetables, and herbs and spices. The meatballs were slowly braised in a tomato sauce, made from 4 parts whole tomato sauce and 1 to 2 parts red wine, along with nice browned onions to boot! The meatballs came out really nicely and we were really loved the tomato sauce, which we paired with brown basmati rice and a fresh tossed green salad.
To enjoy these meatballs we opened a lovely wine that showed very differently than our previous tasting, the wine tasted very much like an Alexander Winery Cabernet. The wine showed rich ripe plum, blackberry, cassis, cedar, and tobacco. The wine’s core acid and rich mouth feel and texture easily handled the rich tomato sauce and meatballs.
The wine note follows below:
2006 Hagafen Merlot – (USA, California, Napa Valley) – Score: A-
Two weeks ago we had a bottle of this wine, but this week I could have sworn this was Cabernet. The cinnamon was gone and in its place was rich cassis, blackberry, and more chocolate. The nose on this purple colored wine is filled with rich cedar, black cherry, blackberry, cassis, herbs, mint, vanilla, chocolate, loamy dirt, and smoky notes. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is classic Hagafen, with a soft plush mouth of rich cedar, plum, cassis, blackberry, cherry, and nice mouth coating tannin. The mid palate is balanced with nice acid, chocolate, more cedar, and nice tannin. The finish is long and spicy with mint, dirt, rich cedar, vanilla, chocolate, cassis, plum, herbs, and tobacco. Herbs, cassis, chocolate, cedar, vanilla, and tobacco linger long after the wine is gone.