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Rabbit recipe needs a "better" wine, know any good ones?

Cheese Boy Jun 25, 2006 04:31 PM

Not looking for a wine-pairing per se, but the recipe calls for Pinot Grigio and the last several times I attempted this recipe I was somewhat displeased with the taste that resulted. Can anyone recommend a Pinot Grigio that I can purchase from Trader Joe's wines (or anywhere else for that matter) that tastes good when used in similar recipes. Under $10 would be nice too.

  1. w
    Winemark Jun 25, 2006 04:40 PM

    Trader Joe's frequently has their own labels for wines which are typically bulk brands. I will never cook with a wine I would not drink on its own. It is like saying you can use second quality beef because you are going to grind it into burgers, all you are making is second quality burgers.
    Try a Pinot Grigio such as Barone Fini or on the higher end Attems. These sare quality Estate wines not co op produced jug wines

    1. DanaB Jun 25, 2006 05:50 PM

      I think your best bet would be to go to your local wine shop and ask for recommendations. We have a shop here in Los Angeles (Silverlake Wine) that specializes in affordable bottles, mostly from Europe -- they have a ton of whites in the $7-10 range. In other words, not all wine shops only carry pricey wines.

      The problem I'd had with the TJs wines is that their cheaper bottles are all over the map when it comes to quality. Plus, their stock changes all the time. Barring a "tasting" of the various varieties in stock, it's hard to give a recommendation that would be consistently available. At our TJs, the best values in whites recently have been Australian or New Zealand Sauvignon blancs; they had a TJs brand recently, called "Stormy Bay" or some similar sounding take-off on Cloudy Bay, that was pretty decent.

      1. c
        ChiliDude Jun 25, 2006 06:11 PM

        Have you given any thought to using a potable other than pinot grigio? I suggest either Marsala or Madeira, both of which I use in cooking. Sometime I even mix them half 'n' half. The results of their use have been favorable.

        1. v
          Val Jun 25, 2006 06:38 PM

          I would flat-out switch to a Sauvignon Blanc if it's to be used IN the recipe; Pinot Grigios (to me) are so light and somewhat fruity that they lend nothing to a recipe, that's just my opinion. I never use them in cooking and must say that I rarely see them specifically called for in a recipe. Carmenet (California) makes a nice Sauv Blanc for under $10 (it's usually $6 or $7), I bought a bottle of BV Coastal (also California) the other night for $6.99 and there are some very nice New Zealand Sauv Blancs out there also that are under $10.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Val
            Robert Lauriston Jun 26, 2006 03:54 PM

            Same here. Look for a Marlborough (New Zealand) sauvignon blanc. I've never had a bad one from that region. Trader Joe's had one recently for around $6.

            Carmenet's gone downhill.

            Pinot grigio is so trendy right now that there's tons of bad ones out there.

          2. carswell Jun 26, 2006 05:20 PM

            Details, please. Can you provide a description of the prep? What displeased you about the taste? Are you sure the wine was at fault?

            5 Replies
            1. re: carswell
              Cheese Boy Jun 27, 2006 03:35 PM

              Carswell, here's the recipe. I did not take the time to translate, as I'm fluent in Italian. I've decided to experiment with a Sauvignon Blanc instead of a Pinot Grigio. For some reason I remember the recipe calling for PG, but it doesn't. It calls for 'Vino bianco secco' ANY dry white wine. This recipe is Excellent.

              Link: http://www.ricetteonline.com/visualiz...

              Delicious any way you try it.

              1. re: Cheese Boy
                carswell Jun 27, 2006 04:00 PM

                Nice recipe. Of course, it's got to be from Liguria with all those herbs, eh? By the way, what does "q.b." stand for?

                When I make similar dishes, I usually reach for a fairly neutral unoaked dry white like an inexpensive Côtes du Rhône or Penedes. To keep it in the "famiglia," you could look to something like a Soave or a Vernaccia or one of the many trebbiano-based blends. I usually avoid cooking with sauvignon blanc because of its grassy/herby/chile/"pipi" aromatics but in this case they might actually enhance the dish. And, anyway, an hour's cooking will probably eliminate most of them. One tip: your problem with pinot grigio may have been its residual sugar (some of them can be very off-dry), so make sure whatever wine you choose is dry (many SBs aren't, though their acidity tends to hide it). Whatever you do, please let us know how it turns out.

                1. re: carswell
                  Cheese Boy Jun 28, 2006 03:58 AM

                  Excellent tips all around. Can I still do a New Zealand SB, or does that fall under the same grouping as Australia? And yes, the residual sugar is EXACTLY what I did NOT like. It also darkened the meat a bit more than I preferred because of added caramelization occurring. So unoaked is the way to go. Trebbiano would be nice if I could find it under $10. I'll be attempting this recipe again with a great choice of wine, and I will post my results.

                  Ah yes, many people ask this. What is 'Q.B.'? In the United States, we know it as the Field General position in football, but in Italy, you'd be way off. Q.B. stands for the phrase 'Quanto Basta'. Quanto basta means 'when enough' or 'the amount that is needed'. Q.B. is also a way of saying 'to taste'. Bravo for asking! Great question from the Hounds. Viva L'Italia.

                  1. re: Cheese Boy
                    Robert Lauriston Jun 28, 2006 05:14 PM

                    Q.B. in a recipe should be translated as "to taste."

                    Since it's a Ligurian recipe, vermentino would be a great choice, if you could find an inexpensive one that hadn't been oxidized in shipping.

                2. re: Cheese Boy
                  Robert Lauriston Jun 27, 2006 04:37 PM

                  Unoaked definitely. Not California or Australian.

              2. t
                teddy Jun 28, 2006 04:09 AM

                Don't bother with wine! Do youself a flavour. Rabbit is a traditional peasant's dish (oringinally). I always braise or finish rabbit with cider or decent Belgian beer. The sweetness brings out the flavour in the meat much better than something rather acidic. Add a touch of mustard too, if you've not rubbed the beast with it before browning.

                1 Reply
                1. re: teddy
                  Robert Lauriston Jun 28, 2006 05:07 PM

                  It's an Italian recipe. Dry white wine is essential to getting the traditional flavor.

                2. George Jul 4, 2006 03:54 PM

                  "Fate insaporire" -- I remember reading an essay by Marcela Hazan about how important this step is to Italian cooking. It was nice to see it and be reminded of it in this recipe--I love rabbit. It means to make sure you let the ingredients cook and color, and not to pour in the white wine right away.

                  "Allow it to gather flavor" ?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: George
                    Cheese Boy Jul 7, 2006 03:12 AM

                    Exactly. Allow it to take on its flavor. It's an attempt for a recipe's author to tell the chef not to add any remaining ingredients prematurely. Fate insaporire, allow it to take on taste.

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