Crossing bridges through food & wine.

I’m on the hunt for something comfortable. I’m not complaining but after everything I’ve eaten over the last month, I’m in need of some comfort food. Something hearty, simple, and something that will just make you feel warm and comfortable.

I think a big dish of Shepard’s Pie should do the trick just nicely. It’s a great meal for a cold winter day and it gives us plenty of leftovers for the freezer.

A quick glance in the fridge confirms that I have most of the ingredients that I need, but I do need some potatoes which means a quick trip to the store. Which also means the perfect excuse for a quick visit to the local wine store next door.

The recipe I use for my Shepard’s Pie calls for 1/4 cup of Red Wine. Now I have wine at home but I figure why open an existing bottle when I can buy a new one. A quick chat with the proprietor about what I’m looking for results in a recommendation of 2014 Racine Pinot Noir.


It wasn’t till I got home and opened up the wine that it struck me. I was using a French wine in an typically English Dish. I kind of felt like I was doing my part to improve relations between the two countries.

Once I tasted it I realized this was by far one of the most interesting Pinot Noir’s I’ve ever had. What really struck me with this wine was the body. At first the body seemed to very similar to most Pinot Noir’s. It was light with some notes of ripe fruit and low sweetness. It was very clean and drank very well with low tannins.

This is what I derived from the first glass that I had while I was preparing the dish. However once the dish was done and we sat down to eat, I poured myself another glass and to my amazement the wine changed.

Once paired with food the body seemed to grow and become fuller more developed. I still picked up on the ripe fruit in the flavour but I noticed a subtle earthiness that had developed.

On the nose I picked up ripe fruit like raspberry and strawberry along with just a hint of pepper. The nose on this wine was very subtle as first but slowly came forward.

In regards to taste I noted black berry and cherry along with a slight candy taste. My first thought was almost like black liquorice. The flavour wasn’t sweet like candy but more like the mouth feel you get after eating several pieces of candy. I had to admit this candy taste still bugs me, I would be very curious to see if anyone else notes this.

The colour of the wine really intrigued me. It had a very ruby colour in the glass however if you tipped the glass and if the light shone at the right angle the depth changed. RPN_01The rim lightened considerably and became very pale and translucent.

I’ve seen this other wines but for some reason this time it stuck with me. I couldn’t place it a first but then it eventually came to me. It reminded me of the fruit juice we drank as kids specifically cherry or raspberry. That tall glass of red liquid that looked like the colour of it’s fruit namesake but that had a certain translucence to it. I can distinctly remember as a kid holding up the glass of juice and being amazed that I could see through it.

I will freely admit that this could simply have been the lights in my kitchen playing a trick on me but I found it interesting.

I really liked this wine and at $22.00 thought it was an excellent value. I definitely can see a few more bottles of this ending up in my cellar.



  • Winery: Racine
  • Vintage: 2014
  • Grape: Pinot Noir
  • Region: Languedoc
  • Country: France
  • Nose: Ripe fruit, pepper
  • Taste: Black berry, cherry, red liquorice
  • Purchased: VR Wine
  • Price: $22.00


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