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Jun 25, 2006 04:31 PM

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

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.

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  1. 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. 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. 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. 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

            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. 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

              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.


              Delicious any way you try it.

              1. re: Cheese Boy

                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

                  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

                    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

                  Unoaked definitely. Not California or Australian.