Every year I say I’m going to see all the Oscar-nominated movies before the February Academy Awards telecast. Every year, including this one, I fall way short. No matter…I always focus on the fashions more than the films anyway. And I always plan something really good to eat and drink in front of the television.
For whatever reason, I woke up Sunday morning thinking that I should pair this year’s Oscar show with Coq au Vin. (I could tell you that I was honoring French actress Isabelle Huppert for her performance in “Elle”, but that would be an alternative fact.)
This braised chicken dish is made with red wine and with a bit of brandy that is flamed. Two ingredients close to my heart! The red wine I chose had been sitting in my wine refrigerator for a few years. It was French – although not a Burgundy as is usual for Coq au Vin. It’s from the south of France in the Languedoc- Roussillon region.
The wine: Le Carignan de la Bastide aux Oliviers 2011
The price: Well under $20, as I recall
Carignan (care-ee-nyahn) is the name of the grape. During the 1970s it was the most planted grape in France. For years Carignan wine suffered from a bad reputation because, frankly, so much low quality stuff was made. Recently, though, producers have revitalized old vineyards and elevated the wine’s status.
I opened my wine during E! channel’s Red Carpet show as you can see.
I allotted 2 cups for the Coq au Vin and poured myself a glass. It had both the aroma and flavor of earth and dark fruits. Some people don’t like earthiness in their wines. Fortunately, I do. This Carignan is medium bodied with light tannins.
Periodically, I compared the color of the wine to the various shades of red on the Red Carpet. No dress I saw matched the deep ruby of the wine.
By the time the Red Carpet ended, I had just enough Carignan left for dinner with the stars!