Rosewood Estates Pinot Noir 2008 – a food pairing

Today I am pleased to bring you my first wine and food pairing for Rosewood Estates, one of my generous sponsors for IFBC which I am attending in Seattle this weekend.  I will be posting a number of wine/ food pairing posts over the next couple of months and am excited to work with this up and coming Ontario winery.

Rosewood Estates is a family owned winery that has two sites selected for their potential to deliver the very highest quality grapes possible – 15 acres of vineyards on the Beamsville Bench, and 40 acres on the Twenty Mile Bench with premium French varietals – Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  Their artisanal approach results in wines that are a reflection of the unique land they are grown on.

They farm each vineyard site to deliver the highest quality grapes each year regardless of quantity. Rosewood also gives life back to their vineyards through organic compost, comprised partially of their own grape skins, pips and stems. This enriches the soil with tiny microbes and living organisms that breakdown matter into useful nutrients such as nitrogen and the nutrient rich soil allows the grapes to reach optimal fruit intensity.

Another integral component to the Rosewood vineyards is the honeybee. Their twenty colonies of honeybees live on the Estate and three other locations on the Beamsville Bench. The bees are tended by Eugene Roman a second generation beekeeper, his wife Renata, his son William and daughter Krystina.  I am excited to share some mead food pairings as well as some recipes using the Rosewood honey in the coming months.

This particular wine and food  pairing is a collaborative effort by both me and Neil.  I was making some fabulous mushroom arancini with a fresh tomato and mushroom sauce for my recent Mushroom Channel post and was looking for a something to pair with it. It’s a fairly robust dish but one with delicate flavours of sweet tomatoes so I wasn’t sure what might work – I enlisted the help of my resident winemaster.  Neil honed in on the Rosewood 2008 Pinot Noir and here’s what he had to say…

I wanted a red to go with the tomato sauce, but not something too heavy on a warm summer night.  The Pinot Noir accentuates the earthiness of the gorgeous mushrooms.  While not as “barnyard” as a Burgundy, the Beamsville bench is still a cooler climate, so the fruit would not be overly aggressive.  Ten months in French oak barrels give this a touch of mocha and sandalwood spice that complement the cracked pepper; the medium finish and softer tannins do not overwhelm the mushrooms, or the cheese.  Nice acidity match to the tomato sauce.  And the bright strawberry and raspberry notes suit the summer day Mardi served the dish!  The wine and risotto pair beautifully, with each highlighting the flavor profile of the other.

For $20CAD, this is a wine to cellar to 2014 or to enjoy now, decanted for a minimum of 2 hours.

Interested in the arancini recipe?  Head on over to the Mushroom Channel for a step-by-step recipe.

21 thoughts on “Rosewood Estates Pinot Noir 2008 – a food pairing”

  1. Uh I love arancini. Never had them with mushrooms…I have to go look at the recipe. Thanks for the wine pairing…I really cannot do the wine pairing and I always appreciate help

  2. I think, based on this post, Mister Neil may have to be renamed Master Neil… you’ve got the equivalent descriptors of a Master sommelier, Neil.
    One suggestion – I know that Master Neil is across international wines more than many of us… it would be helpful if, in future, he could give an indication of a non-Canadian wine equivalent to the Canadian wine he’s tasted. I know it may not always be possible, but where it is, it would be good to know.
    I enjoyed the post and I wish the winery well.

  3. I’m a big fan of finding out new pairings and was really interested in reading this combination. I agree with Geoff, if its possible to indicate where the wine was grown it’d be really helpful (specially for us internationals 🙂
    Love the read of this wine too!

  4. That mushroom arancini looks amazing! It is great that Rosewood Estates helped sponsor you for the IFBC! Good times! Good times!

  5. Killer pairing!

    I have used Pinot Noir as a clutch paring with mushrooms several times. I haven’t had this particular one and hope to find it on my next trip to Canada.

    I’d be happy to offer some pairing ideas for your upcoming ventures. I would love the training opportunity.

    Thank you


  6. For Geoff, Anna et al…

    Good point: will suggest alternate “international” pairings in future. This one was specific to the lovely Rosewood.

    In general for this dish, a Pinot Noir will work well, due to the earthiness – but cool climate, definitely. So best avoid Australia and head to New Zealand, avoid Napa and instead try Paso Robles or Sonoma. (Yes, I’m generalising.) Or the classic Bourgogne, France – though value wines more difficult here, of course.

    Different varietals would include: granache (granacha from Spain would work well I think); sangiovese (stay with Italy); nebbiolo (though this would be a meal unto its own). Cabernet Franc (more likely found from Canada or California as a single varietal) would likely work well – though it tends to be an acquired taste and can range greatly in quality. (Think capsicum.) Personally, would also love to try a Pinotage from South Africa – though one of the older more traditional styles that have grown out of favour.

    Alternate reds should shy away from heavier full-bodied ones, as the dish does not have the “oomph” and may be overwhelmed. So I’d avoid Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel, Amarone or even Cabernet Sauvignon.

    If you really want a white, a mildly oaked Chardonnay or off-dry Riesling (Germany) would be my suggestion.

    Of course, much of this is personal impression: above all, drink what YOU want and enjoy. Always. 🙂


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