It’s Not All Garlic in Gilroy

There’s more than garlic in Gilroy.  There ‘s  wine.

To be specific, there is wine from Sarah’s Vineyard, a small production winery in the southwest corner of the Santa Clara Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) on the eastern slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The winery was founded in 1978 in a region with a long history of grape growing.  Case in point, Sarah’s Vineyard Zinfandel is made from grapes planted in 1922.  So, the winery has good cred on WineStreet.  But I’m not here to talk wine history, I’d rather cut straight to the present and talk about today’s Wine of the Day, the Sarah’s Vineyard 2011 Côte de Madonne, a Rhône blend of Grenache, Mourvédre, Cariganne, Syrah and a dash of Counoise. The wine in the glass is a superb California take on wines of the Rhône Valley. It is a powerful but balanced,  all about dark fruit with a touch of minerality and leather and a long, echoing finish that keeps you reaching for another glass. It should age gracefully over the next five to eight years.  The price is $32.

This wine matches perfectly with this recipe, developed by Ann Walker.  It is based on a classic dish from Mexico.

Medallions of Pork in Orange Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pork lion, about 2 pounds

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 onion minced

1/3 cup raisins

2 oranges, zest removed and juiced

1 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons well-drained capers

Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the pork, season with salt and pepper, brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pork and set aside to rest.  Add onion and raisins to the same pan and sauté over medium heat until soft and the raisins are plump, about 3 minutes.  Pour in the orange juice and stock and add capers.. Return pork to the pan and cook over medium heat until it is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove pork, slice and spoon the sauce evenly over the top. Garnish with orange zest and serve.

(Recipe adapted from Tequila: the Book, (Chronicle Books)   by Ann Walker and Larry Walker.)