Fort Mill Times

Wine Time: Duck with port wine sauce delicious

We typically talk about a specific type of wine and then say what type of food it’ll go with.

Of course, most often it works the other way around. You’ll have a recipe in mind and then pick a wine. Marie recently came up with a recipe for duck that turned out so well, we had to share it.

Duck is one of our favorites. It can be prepared in a gazillion ways, all of them good. The Chinese are credited with being the first to raise ducks for food.

The spices in the recipe honor the origin of domesticated duck.

Rendered duck fat is liquid gold to chefs. It has a high smoke point, can be frozen for a long time and is reusable. It’s low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fat. It’s healthier than butter and other animal fats. Many bakers use it in place of butter as it brings a lightness and crispness to crusts, breads and cookies. It’s versatile and can be used like vegetable shortening to give savory flavors to veal, pork, fowl and seafood. You can render it yourself or buy it in jars in gourmet stores.

Wine Recommendations

Pair this duck recipe with a medium-bodied red wine with mild tannins to allow the wine and the duck to complement one another and reveal their fine nuances.

▪ Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2013, California – about $26. This silky red wine has floral aromas of red cherry and berries. It’s well made with bright flavors of raspberry, cranberry with nuances of earth and smoke. It’s a long wine with notes of nutmeg and sandlewood.

▪ Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino 2012,Tuscany, Italy - about $28. This deep, ruby red wine is made from 100 percent sangiovese grapes. It has dark fruit aromas of plum and blackberry with flavors of ripe raspberry, balsamic vanilla and tobacco. It has good structure that will allow it to age well.

▪ Morgon Domaine Pral Les Charmes 2013, Beaujolais, France - about $19. This isn’t the thin, watery Beaujolais released in November, this is serious wine. The wine is 100 percent gamey grapes grown in chalky, granite soil, and this ruby red, dry wine has a nose of bright red fruit. It is dominated by flavors of cherry and strawberry with nuances of citrus on the finish.

Jim and Marie Oskins Lake Wylie area. They can be reached at winetime@comporium.net.

Learn more:

Sweet Caroline, a premium wine produced by Duplin Winery of Rose Hill, N.C., is available for a limited time online and at the winery.

A labrusca blend laced with sweet muscadines, it is the sweetest wine made by Duplin Winery. The label was designed by Sheyenne Wiggins of LeGrande, Ore., winner of Duplin’s second annual label contest.

Duplin also opened its first location outside North Carolina in north Myrtle Beach. At 15,000 square feet, the location can accommodate more than 200 guests for guided wine tastings, making it the largest wine tasting station on the Grand Strand. The new winery is adjacent to Barefoot Landing and Alligator Adventure on Highway 17.

For more information, visit duplinwinery.com.

Duck with Cherries & Port Wine Sauce

1 4-5 lb. duck

1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled

1 tablespoons 5 spice powder

12 cloves garlic, peeled

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped

1/2 cup chicken broth

8 red cherries, pitted and halved

2 tablespoons Port wine

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon butter, chilled

Salt and pepper

Using a fork, pierce the skin of the duck in several places. This helps to render out the duck fat when it cooks. In a cheesecloth, tie the ginger, garlic, 5 spice powder, and cinnamon, and insert it into the duck cavity.

Roast the duck in a large pot, in a preheated oven, at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350, and roast for an additional 40 minutes.

Remove the spice bag and discard.

For the sauce, pour 2 tablespoons of the drippings into a saucepan. Add the shallots, and stir over medium heat for 30 seconds.

Add the broth, cherries, port and honey.

Increase the heat to high and boil, while stirring, until the sauce is reduced to a glaze, about 3 minutes.

Whisk in the chilled butter, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Carve the duck and serve with the sauce.

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