January is the season for hearty comfort food on cold nights, and we’ve got some suggestions, including two stellar full-bodied red wines. Check out the recipe below for Croque Monsieur.
Ortiz Tuna Reserva de Familia $7.49
A traditional preserve of white tuna in olive oil. Ortiz follows a careful maturing process, allowing their tuna to age in storerooms until they have reached the perfect maturity. Another excellent product from Ortiz! Mix into salads or top on crostini for an easy tapas.
Crazy Points & Delicious. Wow!
2015 Domaine Cabirau ‘Serge & Nicolas’ Maury Sec $24.99
A stunning dry red from a region known, primarily, for its sweet wines. Domaine Cabirau is an estate owned by the American wine importer, Dan Kravitz, who is famous for selecting wines that boast high quality-to-price ratios (QPR).
“The 2013 Maury Sec Serge & Nicolas is a blockbuster that goes screaming past its humble price point. Made from a blend of 60% unoaked Grenache and 28% Syrah and 12% Carignan aged in 500-liter demi-muids, it boasts tons of kirsch, peppery herbs, licorice and hints of crushed flowers to go with a full-bodied, layered, and beautifully concentrated feel on the palate. Coming all from the black schist soils around the village of Maury, it pretty much maxes out the QPR scale and is a complete, balanced Roussillon to drink over the coming 7-8 years.”
95 Points, Wine Advocate.
2015 Chateau Thivin Côte de Brouilly $23.99
Château Thivin has a roster of outstanding wines that reach their zenith with their Côte de Brouilly; fashioned by Claude Geoffray, these wines are benchmark wines for the region. Chateau Thivin also happens to be the oldest estate on Mont Brouilly; established in 1877, when Claude’s grandfather purchased the estate at auction. A true expression of the potential for greatness of the Gamay grape!
“Bottled 3 weeks prior to my visit, the 2015 Côte de Brouilly was very closed on the nose though you can tell that it is packed to the rafters with fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with intense red and black fruit, superb mineralité and harmony, gradually building in the mouth with a compelling, tensile finish. What a fantastic Beaujolais in the making – about as good as it gets to be quite honest. If I taste a better QPR wine this year…no, just impossible.”
94 Points, Wine Advocate.
Not long after arriving in Paris, I received my first education in French cuisine. A new friend, and chef of my local bistro, took it upon himself to teach me how to make a proper Croque Monsieur. The secret ingredient: béchamel. Layer two slices of country-style bread with béchamel sauce, grated comté cheese and French ham, butter the outside of the bread and grill on the stove until well browned. Take off the stove and top the sandwich with more béchamel and more grated comté and broil in the oven until the bread is crisp and the cheese has melted. It is so simple, yet one of the most satisfying things I have eaten. Now that I know how to whip up a Croque à la français, it has become my go-to for a leisurely weekend breakfast or a simple dinner. Make it a Croque Madame by topping with a fried egg. Bon Appétit!
Pick up your ingredients at Paris-Madrid Grocery!
Jambon de Bayonne (French Ham)