pairing food & wine

Over the past few years I’ve been fortunate to have been asked by Brian Carter Cellars to develop recipes for new wines from their collection that they are releasing to their wine club members. I’m fortunate because Brian’s wines are always spectacular, this year earning him recognition as 2015 Washington Winery of the Year, and because it’s an assignment that energizes my creative juices.

BCC 11.2015This fall I was asked for recipes to pair with three wines, Touriga Naçional ONE, 2011 Byzance and 2011 Trentenaire. Each of the wines was exceptional and will be an excellent addition to your cellar. Since each of the wines has a note of cherry, I decided to develop a cherry pan sauce for use on the perfect steak, roasted pork loin or sautéed duck breast to show off the best flavors of both food and wine. You know it’s a great pair when you can’t tell where the food stops and the wine begins!

I’m extremely pleased with the result – enjoy!

sautéed cherry pan saucesauteed cherry sauce 9

This sauce is great over a steak, a pork chop, a
chicken or duck breast!

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided                              
  • 1 cup dark, tart cherries (I use frozen)
  • salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper, to taste              
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • dash of ground cinnamon                                                                
  • ¼ cup ruby port
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon sugar, taste

sauteed cherry sauce 4

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the cherry halves, a sprinkle of salt and black pepper.

sauteed cherry sauce 4

Cook until cherries begin to give up their juice, about 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle the rosemary and cinnamon over the cherries. Then add the port.



sauteed cherry sauce 6

Raise heat to high, and reduce the liquid by one third. Taste and correct the seasonings, adding a bit of sugar to bring out the fruitiness of the cherries, without making the sauce overly sweet.

sauteed cherry sauce 8

Turn off heat and swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, one at a time. Spoon sauce over steak, chops or chicken.

Makes about 1 cup sauce; serves 4.


Want to learn to cook the perfect steak? Check this out!

In thinking of other uses, I’m going to use this sauce over a baked Brie as an appetizer – I know it will be a delectable,  mind-blowing appetizer:

baked brie with sautéed cherries

In an oven-proof shallow dish, bake a brie round at 325°F for 8 to 10 minutes, until very soft. Pour warm sauce over a brie round, sprinkle with slivered almonds, and serve with toasted baguette slices. Of course, serve with one of Brian Carter Cellars wines listed above for a very special pairing.  


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