Cooking With Wine

Last week, the lovely French winery Barton & Guestier decided to come to Toronto to host a wine tasting and cooking class at Nella Cucina. Since 1725, Barton & Guestier has represented a wide range of wines from the regions of Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Rhône Valley, Languedoc, Gascony and Corsica in France. Distributing in over 130 countries, in 5 continents Barton & Guestier works with over 200 winegrowers in France to combine the most ancient experience in hundreds of years in winemaking in Bordeaux with the latest technologies. Under the direction of Nella Cucina’s chef Brianne Nash, this interactive experience allowed us to play with these rich flavours in food that will bring out the full bodied notes in the wine. Creating a dinner with delicious NY Striploin steaks from Beretta Farms, I’ve decided to share this culinary journey with you! We started off the evening by enjoying a B&G Passeport Bordeaux Blanc (which will be released at the LCBO later this year)with was a golden straw yellow white wine that is filled with a seductive and fine wine mixing floral notes (acacia) with vanilla and fruity aromas when agitated. Visit your local LCBO to bring home a bottle of Barton & Guestier and try these recipes yourself!
Nella Cucina

Wine: B & G Partager La Gardie Merlot (Dry, medium-bodied and fruity, with a dark ruby colour and aromas of raspberry, currants, and a hint of herbs.)


  • 3 beets (roasted, cooled, peeled and sliced)
  • 1 fennel, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 apple, sliced (use an apple that does not oxidize too fast, such as Lady
  • Alice, or toss lightly in lemon)
  • 2 cups of arugula
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts


  • 1 tablespoon of shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cider vinegar (you can substitute it for white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar)
  • salt to taste


1-Roasting the beets:

Preheat the oven to 400F. Trim both ends of the beets. Layer 2 large pieces of aluminium foil and place the beets on top of them. Drizzle the beets with olive oil. Fold the foil over the beets and close it tightly. Bring it to the oven (place the foil package directly on the oven rack) for about 50-60 minutes or until beets are very tender. Wait the beets to cool before adding it to the salad.

TIP: beets can be roasted up to 3 days ahead if you keep them tightly closed inside the refrigerator.


Combine all the listed ingredients except the oil and whisk them all together until well combined. Slowly drizzle oil in while whisking very fast to combine oil and create an emulsion.

3- In a large bowl place sliced fennel, sliced apple, arugula, and fresh walnuts. Add the dressing and toss to combine. Adjust salt andpepper, if necessary. Top with beets and crumble cheese on if desired.
Nella CucinaNella Cucina

Wine (served with the main course) – B & G Partager La Gardie Cabernet Sauvignon (This dry and medium-bodied wine exhibits blackcurrant, cherry and plum aromas and flavours with a rich, deep ruby colour.)

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Serves 6 side dishes


  • 1 pounds wax (yellow) or green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter


Cook beans in a 4-quart pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 4-6 minutes. Drain in a colander, then immediately toss with honey, zest, butter and salt in a large bowl. If not serving right away under cook beans slightly and place them in a ice bath, then heat remaining ingredients in a pan when ready to serve and heat through beans.


  • 1 lb Fingerling Potatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 springs of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 springs of thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • Truffle oil to finish


Preheat oven to 425. Slice fingerlings in half lengthwise. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well, arrange on a baking tray. Bake for approx 20 mins or until fork tender and turning them halfway threw cooking process. Toss the hot potatoes with truffle oil, check seasoning and serve.
Nella CucinaJUS


  • olive oil, for coating the pan
  • 1/4 cup shallots, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped, optional


  1. In a saute pan, over medium high heat, add enough olive oil to coat the pan.
  2. Add the shallots and cook until translucent.
  3. Add the red wine and the stock and reduce by half.*
  4. Add the butter and chopped rosemary and whisk in to combine.

*if you would like a smoother sauce you can strain the shallots out at this point then return to the pan and add the butter and rosemary.
Nella CucinaNella Cucina


Wine: Les Charmes de Magnol Médoc (Deep purple-red colour and intense and complex on the nose. Developing ripe fruits, plums and spicy notes.)


  • 1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 6 oz dark chocolate
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt


    1. Preheat oven to 350º F, grease a pan 9 inch x 13 inch and line with parchment paper
    2. Melt chocolate over double boiler with butter
    3. Whip eggs with sugars till thick and frothy by hand stir in melted chocolate
    4. In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking powder and salt
    5. Then gently stir into the chocolate mixture
    6. Bake for 18/20 minutes, cool to room temperature before removing from pan

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      • 3 cups frozen sour cherries (a little less than 1 pound)
      • 1 cup granulated sugar
      • 2 tablespoons wine


Put cherries, sugar, and vinegar into a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cherries have burst and mixture begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Serve warm.
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