I got home from work and found JPH prepping eggplant. It was going to be a comfort food night. There was a chicken in the fridge that needed to be roasted, potatoes to be baked & mashed, parsley to be chopped and rosemary that needed to be harvested from the patio. (finally the plants are outside - I am trying to convince S. to start a gardening blog, she has done amazing work with the garden). As I was seasoning the chicken, JPH pointed out that a wine needed to be selected. I hesitated on this French Pinot Noir simply because it is a $17.99 bottle of plonk - that is steep for a Wednesday night table wine, but hey, why not? JPH also challenged me to a review and since I have been slipping in that department this year, I accepted.
This is a classic French Pinot Noir from the classic Bourgogne power house Maison Louis Jadot. That being said, it is simple French table wine and we were opening it on the down side of it's peak. It has some forward spice and a watery finish, which is not unattractive in a wine to have with a well seasoned dinner. At 12.5% ETOH, JPH noted that you could just keep drinking and drinking this with a meal. We wondered just how many French restaurants have it as their house red. We're guessing a lot - Maison Jadot has a winery dedicated exclusively to the production of Bourgogne Pinot Noir. This is high quality, mass production wine and it is the backbone of Burgundy, good wine that you can drink that won't break the bank.
"Well Balanced" was the catch phrase for the evening. It is an even drinking wine with no surprises. Slight tannins made it a good astringent foil for the roasted chicken, and the earthiness made the truffles stand out more in the truffled mashed potatoes. (seriously, between the wine and the potatoes, I wondered if I put any butter in at all)
This is a "safe" classic French wine. You could bring it to your in-laws and be deemed cultured. As for me, I am just thrilled that we hit the pairing out of the park. Dinner was the highlight of my day. Chicken roasted with lemon and rosemary, sauteed eggplant in garlic scented olive oil with parsley and truffled mashed potato. It doesn't get much better on the comfort scale.
I'll leave you with my chicken as it just came out of the oven, and the eggplant waiting to be plated. It was a rainy Spring night, and comfort food hit the spot.