New recipe, new wine

Tonight I made a Summer Vegetable Tian from Deborah Madison’s The Savory Way (a loan from Aurora), which we ate with fresh rosemary-topped rolls and the recommended “variety of cheeses” (since Dr. T did the cheese shopping, these were Brie, blue Brie, a Danish blue, and Havarti).
The Tian, with eggplant, red onion, tomatoes and sweet potatoes, was quite nice, but perhaps not really substantial enough to be a main meal. I see it now as something I could make as a side, or perhaps as an antipasto. It would also be quite nice on top of pasta, although I think I’d go for smaller slices of veg for that. It emerged from the oven with quite a lot of juice from the vegetables, so, following Madison’s advice, I poured the liquid off into a saucepan and reduced it to a syrup – Robert was excited about the idea of syrup on vegetables, but in the end complained that his veggies were too sweet.
Bonus – I used fresh marjoram from the garden in the dish! This year I have planted marjoram, coriander (which I’ve already used a lot!), parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary (my favourite plant aesthetically), tarragon, mint (carefully segregated from everything else), dill, Vietnamese coriander, pineapple sage, and curry (yes, really). My chives are thriving, and about to flower. Dr. T and the boys planted some carrots and lettuce, but I am pessimistic…
But back to the meal:
We opened up a bottle of Eco Trail Chardonnay Auxerrois, an organic white from Pelee Island, to accompany the meal. I am a big Chardonnay fan, and we were attracted to this one (on our most recent Ottawa excursion, since it’s not available here) for the grape, the ‘organic’ label, and the frog sillouette on the bottle.
Terence & Irene, who are our most frequent dinner guests, have determined that wine is good if there’s an animal on the bottle. With the possible exception of one bottle of Porcupine Ridge (which was, well, skunky), the system has worked, so whenever we spot an animal label in the store, we grab it for the next time T&I come for supper. This explains the tetrapack of “Frisky Zebras” in the cellar. On the other hand, because our weekends of late have been hard to coordinate with T&I, the animal labels are starting to accumulate, so we buckled and opened our frog-adorned Eco Trail.
It’s a nice wine – we’ll buy it again – and it worked well with the Tian and cheese meal. It would probably work well with pasta with a rose sauce, but I don’t think it would fare well with spicy stuff. I tasted gooseberries in the first sips, and Dr. T identified apples and possibly limes. It’s not oaky, which means it’s less of a Chardonnay than I was expecting, but I can live with it.

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