The love of wine and food are inextricably intertwined.  Recently I had the pleasure of hearing Master Sommelier Peter Neptune give another of his famous wine education lectures, where he not only extolled the virtues of the Loire Valley wines, he illustrated a perfect Loire Valley wine pairing with his favorite recipe for Roasted Chicken…

Image borrowed from Blissfully Delicious (another amazing food blog to follow!)

Peter Neptune is by definition, a Large Personality.  He has a booming voice, made for projecting on a stage, without a microphone.  He is also over six feet tall, and he prowls the room while he lectures, gliding up and down rows and speaking from every angle, top, back, and all sides.  In other words, if you are in his class, there is absolutely no ignoring him.  Not that you’d want to!

Peter was sidetracked on this particular day, while talking about the amazing Cabernet Franc he had tasted in the Loire.  He diverted the lecture to give the attendees his own personal recipe for Roasted Chicken.  From Master Sommelier Peter Neptune himself:

  • High quality, organic, free-range chicken (Peter reminds us, “Bresse is Best”)
  • Salt that sucker really well overnight in fridge
  • Rinse, dry well (this is when Peter makes wild gestures as if he were drying a chicken with a hairdryer to illustrate just how well you should dry the chicken)
  • Coat in Olive Oil and Lemon Juice, squeezed from a fresh lemon
  • Stuff cavity with spent lemon halves and a couple rosemary springs
  • Mince 1-2 heads of garlic and mix with one stick butter
  • Insert garlic butter under chicken skin all over (get in there over the legs, thighs, wings etc.)
  • Salt and pepper the bird (use kosher salt)
  • Place bird in a rack above a roasting pan
  • Add potatoes, carrots, onions to the bottom of the dish, sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper
  • Roast at 475 for 30-45 min. Baste the bird.
  • Then lower heat to 350 and roast additional 20-25 minutes, basting twice more

Peter’s description of how luscious and amazing this chicken is will literally make you
drool.  He suggests pairing it with the Domaine de Hauts de Sanziers Saumur Rouge.  I humbly add, another stellar pairing would be the Tolaini Valdisanti, a decadent Tuscan wine made from a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese.

If you live in the Southern California area and you’re looking for an entertaining and serious wine education course, check out Peter Neptune’s school website.  You are guaranteed to enjoy yourself.

The added bonus: he’s sure to throw in a few winning recipes as well!