For dinner tonight, I went back to an old favorite wine cookbook:
Pepper Crusted Filet Mignon, with 4-cheese Macaroni and Cheese. Both recipes from the above cookbook. Oh, and some sautéed garlic and lime shrimp too.
To top it off, a bottle of 2011 Gehringer Brothers Optimum Pinot Noir
I hadn't tasted this wine when I chose it to pair with the peppery steak; but last year's vintage was the most peppery Pinot Noir I had ever tasted. I honestly would have never thought it was a Pinot Noir if I didn't see the bottle!
This edition wasn't the same at all; don't get me wrong, there is a nice hint of spice, but nowhere near what there was in the 2010 vintage. This vintage had black cherries front and centre on the nose, with a palate that screams ripe berries, with a hint of chocolate and the aforementioned pepper on the finish. Although it wasn't what I was expecting, and probably wasn't the perfect wine to pair with this particular meal, it was still an exceptional Pinot Noir, and a steal at the $20.99 price point.
No question the wine was the best part of this meal; the macaroni and cheese was OK, nothing special, and although the filet was tasty, I have several Filet recipes that I like better. Every time I cook something like this I'm shooting for top notch restaurant quality, and this one didn't even come close.