I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.

Speaking with Wine Director Andrew Limberg from the French Basserie “Lyon Hall” was a fun and educational experience.  I mentioned him we are celebrating DC Wine Week October 15-22 and I wanted to know which wines he suggests with two new staples dishes at the restaurant.

His explanation was so on spot even me a total i-am-learning-about-wine and promise not to mention sideways-film-as-wine-knowledge it was a clear invitation to join him anytime and drink and learn, I even asked him what was his first advise to those who are starting to understand wine and learn about it, he sharply said “tell them buy wine, a lot of it, and drink it”. I really followed his advice since I got 4 bottles at Boxwood Winery, VA (next blog post it’s a promise!).

These both wines were perfect pairing for the “Daube de Boeuf” Provencal traditional dish, a new add to the Lyon Hall menu by Chef de Cuisine Andy Bennett, the other will be paired with a new dessert on the menu as well created by Pastry Chef Rob Valencia.

And here we go:
Château Les Valentines Côtes de Provence
Perfect for red meat, Provencal wine Medium to Full Body, dark red color, provencal herbs nose, full rich flavors of berry, cassis and blackberry with hints of licorice in the background. (as described here on their page)

Daube de Boeuf
I love, love, LOVE, beef stews and this one in particular is no stranger to many, being a traditional French stew cook by many with tons of variations.

Speaking with Chef Andy I asked him any tips for those who want to cook it? he said “Start Early”, indeed it takes hours to get this beef soft and tender, the advantage though is you could make it up to three days in advance, keep the beef in the Red Wine Sauce and then finish it the day you are serving it.  Traditionally served with mashed potatoes and I’m sure it would go just fine with white rice!  At the restaurant it is served with Parsnip and Potato puree and root vegetables, yes I’ve had it now as I write this I want it!

Pastry Chef Rob Valencia, Chef de Cuisine Andy Bennett, Wine Director Andrew Limberg
(from left to right)

Chapoutier Banyuls 2008  Dessert from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
There is something about dessert wines, usually enjoyed at the end of your meal, and of course if you had a really good one the moment you raise your glass of wine you will be smiling, when I tried this one my smile was even bigger (yes it is possible to make me smile more ha!).

I still have so much to learn about wines, it’s no easy job for me to describe them, i can say “i like it” i love it” “where can i buy it?”, it was a blessing having Andrew next to me telling me exactly what I was smelling and tasting, sweetness, grenache, how when I tasted the Chocolate Panacotta by itself and then after tasting the wine, it was magic.

Spice Poached Bosc Pear w/ Chocolate Panna Cotta
The Pear poached with white wine and spices, the silky Chocolate Panna Cotta with its crunchy bottom, as I sip a bit of the Banyuls, and there is no better way to end my short wine class.  I shall thank Andrew, Chef Andy and Chef Rob for their time on putting up these plates for me to taste, to understand and appreciate how when properly wine-paired, a dish can only get better.

¡Viva la DC Wine Week! ¡a comer!
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Recipes I recommend to try for both dishes:

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