Out with the old, In with the New

Are you a resolution person? You know, “new year new you,” kinda thing. I am not one that finds myself deeply reflective as one year closes and other begins. Instead I try to live with intention and conscious awareness of making positive changes whenever necessary regardless of the date on the calendar. However, I love trying new things, especially when it comes to wine, so when this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend theme of “Something New” was introduced by Martin Redmond of Enofylz Wine Blog I was excited.

As December sped by I carried a wine thought in the back of my mind, “something new.” I love discovering new wines and new wine regions. I would love to try wine from Georgia, Lebanon, Morocco, Sweden, India, the list goes on and on.  Unfortunately time kept moving and “something new” never came to fruition. Thankfully I realized our group focuses on wine AND food pairings. Why can’t my something new be a dish I have never made? Of course it can! My Wine Pairing Weekends are full of grace! So this month as Culinary Adventures with Camilla hosts our 2016 kick off, my wine is something old and outstanding and my food pairing is something new!

Lucente 2012 IGT

The older I get the more I am open to trying (and often liking) new foods. While we were in Tuscany this past October we had rabbit for the first time. It was prepared by our lovely hostess Athena at Terralsole. Myself and the other two ladies staying there took a cooking class with Athena so helped her make the rabbit. It was delicious! Ever since eating rabbit in Tuscany I have been wanting to have it again. Did you know each holiday season Whole Foods sells frozen, cut up rabbit. Well they do and I bought two! So to embrace something new this January I made an awesome rabbit dish for my family and they loved it!

There are many ways to make rabitt. Ragu, stew and roasted are the easiest. I found many delicious recipes on Pinterest. If rabbit legs were sold in my area I would make them regularly. In my search for a rabbit recipe I discovered that rabbit meat is juicier than chicken and possibly the leanest meat you can eat. Furthermore, chicken can be substituted for rabbit in just about any recipe you find. I chose to make Tuscan Rabbit with Pancetta and Rosemary. It was a super easy recipe to make. I chose to cook it longer and slower than what the recipe suggests and the outcome was exactly what I was hoping it for! I cooked it in the oven, covered, at 250degree Fahrenheit for four hours. This lead to tender, juicy rabbit that was a bit of a challenge to plate because it was literally falling off the bone. The sauce was fantastic, filled with flavors of rustic Tuscany. My teens asked if I would make it again. Winner winner rabbit dinner! The only disappointment was apparently my family does not care too much for polenta! The tragedy! They ate it but requested pasta the next time. Personally, I love creamy polenta. I added a touch of mascarpone with milk, salt, pepper, and garlic. It was delicious as far as I was concerned.

Rabbit prep
Tuscan rabbit ingredients
Rabbit from Whole Foods
Whole Young Rabbit Cut up from Whole Foods
Rabbit browned on stove then put in a oven casserole dish
Rabbit sauce
Cooking sauce to pour over rabbit
Rabbit before oven
Pour sauce over rabbit and cook at 250F for up to four hours.
Rabbit after oven
After cooking long and slow rabbit will literally fall off the bone!
Rabbit dinner yum
Rabbit dinner
Does that look delicious or what!

I chose to pair the Tuscan rabbit with an outstanding Tuscan IGT wine that was sent to me by Colangelo and Partners PR. Though the wine was a media sample my thoughts and opinion are my own.

Lucente 2012

Lucente 20122LaVite Lucente 2012 IGT: The Lucente is Luce second wine, sourced from the same vineyards in Montalcino, Tuscany as Luce. It is impressive from the first smell! This Sangiovese Merlot blend poured a deep ruby into the glass; a powerful bouquet of cherries, plums, black berries, strawberries and pomegranate were harmoniously joined by dense notes of mineral earth, spice, savory herbal notes and a hint of smoke; it was a beautiful balanced of restrained juicy fruit and deep earthy notes; round acidity and surprisingly well integrated tannins lead to the complexity and richness of this deliciously well-drinking wine; full in body ending with a lush, long finish; with an SRP of $25 this wine is a steal! It was aged for 12 months in 55% new French oak barriques, 5% new American oak barriques, and 40% once used French oak barriques. If Lucente is the second wine I cannot wait to try Luce!

Lucente LogoLuce is a dream-team wine venture! The project began in the early 1990’s when Vittorio Frescobaldi and Robert Mondavi united their passions for extraordinary wine making for a common goal: to bring the world a totally unique, utterly exceptional wine from Montalcino. Tenuta Luce della Vite is comprised of 192 hectares, 77 of which are vines, in southwest Montalcino. Some of the vineyards date back to 1977 but most were planted in 1997. The soil is rich and the climate is perfect for rich ripe grapes. Sustainable farming practices are used to insure the vine’s health and balance.

Lucente Estate Montalcino
Lucente Estate Montalcino

My something old (Tuscan wine) paired seamlessly with something new (Tuscan rabbit) for a dinner to remember. I encourage you to seek out the Lucente wine. It was really good and will make an excellent addition to 2016.

Let’s see what “something new” my fellow #WinePW friends have discovered for 2016:

Please join our chat at 10 CST on Twitter using #WinePW and join us again next month as we share with you some romantic wine and food pairings to get you in the mood for Valentine’s Day.

My Song Selection: Sultry, sophisticated, slightly rustic, endlessly pleasing….the Lucente and this song!

Get your own bottle of Lucente 2012 IGT and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!

23 responses to “Out with the old, In with the New”

  1. That looks amazingly delicious! I’ve never been a big fan of rabbit, but adding pancetta, a whole host of Tuscan flavors, creamy polenta, and paired with a delicious red? I think I found my something new for the New Year too! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. We both love Rabbit. Scott had it on the menu for a while and it was divine. I still crave it, it was more stew like and braised with aged whiskey. Crazy but it was magical.
    Like you, I also had rabbit for the first time in Italy, I think that is the reason for my nostalgic attatchrmt as well. Nice pairing with Luce! I haven’t had that wine in quite a while, might need to pick up another bottle.

  3. Like the new theme, I am big Luce fan, was not aware of the second label, will have look out for it. Rabbit is great, just not much fun to prepare for cooking!

    • Thank you! I am glad you like new theme. My 19 yr old daughter said I needed a face lift. She did the whole thing. Yes, check out the Lucente. It is delicious and a good price. Thankfully this rabbit was already cut up so it required little prep. Cheers!

  4. I’ve been seeing a lot of rabbit dishes lately, and yours looks equally delicious as the others. I never thought to look for rabbit at Whole Foods, I was thinking it wasn’t available in my area. And ditto from me on liking the new theme! It’s time mine gets a facelift too, but I’m such a procrastinator. 🙂

  5. I’m all for adventure, but mine is more the outside type of adventure. I am so NOT adventurous when it comes to food. I could never try rabbit. Awesome for you and your kids! However, if I was at your house for this meal, I would have had no problem taking all their portions of the polenta!

    • Interestingly rabbit is really not that adventurous. I completely respect your hesitation but it is easier to prepare than chicken because it has almost no fat to remove. It is white meat, juicy and delicious…..as long as it is already cut into pieces. You never know.

  6. Another phenomenal post. So impressed you made rabbit at home – I tried once and overcooked it. This recipe and the wine sound intriguing – wondering if my WF still has rabbit…. I’ll definitely be looking for the Lucente wine. Great song pairing too.

  7. Michelle, I enjoy rabbit dishes and I must say that I really like the wine. I discovered it in a restaurant in Columbus, Ohio last year and wrote about it. You made me smile with memories on two counts today, plus who doesn’t enjoy the tango.

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