In which the cook buys the wrong wine…

I learned a valuable lesson tonight.

Those of you who cook will know the rule of thumb, don’t cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink? Well, that is a very important rule, of course, but I’d like to now insist that you also shouldn’t cook with a wine variety that you yourself have not tasted before.

I was quite excited to make this mushroom sauce. Mushrooms are pretty low on my list of things I like to eat; it very much depends how they are prepared. So I had been thinking I ought to get better at preparing them in ways I do like to eat them. I do really like a good wine & mushroom sauce, so I thought I’d start there, starting tonight.

I stopped at the grocery store on the way home (a trip during which I attracted more than one person’s stares as I wandered around the produce section, looking for other things I might like to have for dinner. I freaking love doing that.)  Problem was, I spent a good chunk of time and wandering looking for a decent sauvignon blanc; however, none to be found. Instead, I turned to my trusty iPhone, and one of a couple of wine-tasting type apps I have (and never use). I went with what the app seemed to think would be the next best thing that was in my limited price range – a white lexia, which was described as dry, but also with a fruity kind of sweetness. Since I’d be cooking it with mushrooms and a turkey breast, that sounded perfect. I grabbed that, some shiitake mushrooms, and a shallot, and was on my way.

Everything else went completely according to plan, but a lot of my dinner ended up pretty un-tasty, thanks to the wine I braised everything in. It ended up being far more sweet than anything else, and pretty much ruined my sauce.

It looked pretty, though:

I also made a recipe for roasted asparagus that my friend Lisa perfected, and that truly saved my meal, with all its bread-crumbs-and-Parmesan-cheesy goodness.

Tomorrow, since I have another turkey breast to cook, plenty of mushrooms leftover, and a bit of a bottle of red wine I haven’t gotten to drink yet, I think I will try again with a wine I know I’ll like.


*  *  *  *  *

This past Sunday, I continued my new habit of cooking a big Sunday dinner and eating it for lunch all week. This week, I improvised some chicken soup with tomato. Y’all, it was awesome. And I’m still enjoying it, in little tupperware sized packages, all week. I’m so glad I starting doing the Sunday dinner thing.


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