Cracking open a bottle of red on an evening is a great way to wind down from a busy day, whether you have been working or looking after your family, having some time to relax can be the pinnacle of everyone’s day and allow you the time to recharge. But when we think about cooking too sometimes you just can’t be bothered, so in today’s wine and recipe review, I have created a super simple recipe that can be made within the time it takes you to air your bottle of Eve Maison Ventenac from Pays d’Oc wine.
This wine is built on simplicity, its label to me says it all, with its beautiful almost handwritten text and the word ‘Eve’ printed upon the near white paper that is wrapped around this nondescript bottle, it is topped with yellow foil to seal in the cork. The idea that no other word is needed makes this wine seem confident that everything it has to say will be in the taste. So if you want to know what this wine tastes like and find out how to make our accompanying recipe keep reading our latest blog…
What I thought of the wine and the recipe pairing, plus method.
A Syrah is a light and fruity red which goes well with simple fresh dishes Its light, due to the fact that the grapes have been picked early in their journey, which discourages that dark and intense flavour. This is a drink perfect for accompaniment to canapés before your evening has begun, as its delicate and mellow flavour would be overcome by a rich and flavourful dish. This is why this chicken recipe is so perfect.
Briefly going back to the Syrah (Shiraz) before we look at why this wine works with our pairing, this Syrah has been fermented in stainless steel tanks for 30 days and hasn’t been fermented with yeast but with malolactic fermentation. This style of fermentation allows the grape taste tasting magic acid to be fermented into lactic acid. It is common fermentation for most red wines and gives a buttery mid palette taste. You can appreciate this within this wine it has fruity notes with a slightly acidic edge which is still pleasant. This is often what happens in the production of wine through stainless steel casks, they draw in a lot of tannins which can make the wine take a more bitter taste, but this happens to be the most widely used style of cask nowadays.
Back to the food. I chose to create this Pan-Fried Chicken dish that will take you around 30 minutes from start to finish to prepare and cook because it is not full of strong flavours and it is a perfectly simple meal to complement this wine. I chose to use for this dish, chicken thigh fillets, I love the flavour you get from them and they are also much more reasonably priced than chicken fillets, but you could use those too, see how below with our alternative recipe details.
Pan-fried chicken, with buttery greens and a wine jus, finished with oven-baked skin-on fries
Recipe to serve 2
4 chicken thigh fillets – seasoned with salt and pepper
Approx 180g of Asparagus (which is around 6-8 stems)
180g of runner Beans sliced
1 small courgette julienned
A tbsp of butter
For the jus
Two garlic gloves
1/4 cup of red or white wine (we of course used Eve)
250ml of chicken stock
Enough skin on oven fries for two people (see the packet you are buying for your quantity guide) I tend to use around 1/2 a pack. Or if you prefer 8 baby potatoes boiled with the skins on for a healthier version
Heat your oven to the recommended heat for your oven free and pop them on a tray and into the oven five minutes into the chicken cooking time.
Then, season the chicken, add oil to the shallow pan, then put onto a high heat and cook until browned on each side it should take around 20 minutes. Once cooked set the chicken aside and add the two cloves of garlic that has been finely chopped, reduce the pan to medium heat. Once the garlic has started to cook, add the chicken stock and red wine and cook until the sauce has reduced. Then add the chicken back into the jus.
Whilst the chicken is back in the pan on maximum heat, get a second pan and add in your greens (hold back on the asparagus), keep staring throughout and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a little powdered garlic (you can find this in most supermarket spice aisles), once all the greens have softened which should take around five minutes, add in the asparagus, and cook for a further five minutes.
By the time your chicken has warmed through in the jus your veggies are cooked your fries should be ready to come out of the oven and voila – a quick mid-week meal is ready and not forgetting to put it on a plate and there you have it!
If you prefer potatoes follow the same timing and just pop in your new potatoes into a pan of boiling water and cook until softened which will take around 25 minutes around the same time as the fries.
Where can you get your Eve wine?
You can buy it from Oxford wine.
How much is Eve?
Eve costs £11.99 per bottle
About Maison Ventenac
The Maison is run by third-generation farm owners Stephanie (who is the descendant of the vineyard) and her husband Olivier Ramy. Their wines are grown within the Cabardès region which allows for the winds from the Mediterranean and the Atlantic to impact the taste of the grape. It also is within an area where there is a lot of limestone, however Maison Ventenac there is also a clay quality to the soil, this combination has a pH balancing effect as the natural acidity from the clay combined with the alkaline limestone.
Stephanie and Olivier have taken a more traditional method to their wine making allowing for natural fermentation, however, often with a modern twist of using the stainless steel casks. Equally, for different wines in their vinery, they use concrete tanks. This makes their wines have a unique taste and a simplicity about them. Not only do they have Eve, Syrah, they also have a one called Puritaine, and a Cabernet called Paul, my personal favourite (in name) L’idiot that is a Merlot, as well as two whites, of which are Chemin Blanc and called Candide and Marie.
Maison Ventenac is elevating the traditions used in wine making and combining it with newer techniques, ensuring they are capturing a modern look with their wines. You can be sure of a good variety and range of tastes when it comes to their wines, and find out more here via their website.
Recipe by: Lex Ward
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*We were sent the wine in return for a feature. All opinions are our own.