Vinum Cellars is a collaboration of friends and winemakers Chris Condos and Richard Bruno (who’s also the director of winemaking for Don Sebastiani & Sons). They met as students at UC Davis, went on to establish their careers, then reconvened when they made their first Vinum wine together—a Chenin Blanc called “Pointe Blanc.”
Today they make wine from grapes grown throughout the state, with a focus on fun and experimentation. Their 2006 “Rosé—It’s Okay!” is made with 100 percent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in the Provençal style. It has berries, cherries and melon in its aromas and flavors, and a portion of its proceeds are donated toward breast cancer research. The winemakers have paired it here with pork tenderloin, pomegranate sauce and braised leeks.
Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Sauce and Braised Leeks
|2 pork tenderloins (about 10 ounces each)
3 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 sprig oregano
1 sprig thyme
|8 ounces pomegranate juice
4 sprigs marjoram (or fresh, savory
herb of your choice); with the leaves of two of them removed
fresh pomegranate seeds (if available; for garnish)
Trim any excess fat from the pork and season it with salt and pepper.
To braise the leeks, trim off and discard dark green pieces and root ends. Clean well and either quarter or julienne. Lay the pieces out onto a 9-inch glass baking dish, cover with chicken stock. Sprinkle in a teaspoon of sea salt, a sprig each of oregano and thyme. Cover and bake for 25 to 35 minutes at 325 degrees, until slightly brown.
For the sauce, take the pomegranate juice and reduce to half its volume with the marjoram leaves, stirring frequently on medium heat. As it reaches a boil, or when the liquid is slightly syrupy, turn off heat and reserve.
In a medium to large sauté pan or skillet, sear the pork (on high) on both sides (about two to three minutes on each side) in just enough olive oil to coat the pan surface. Turn the pork onto the original side seared and reduce the temperature to low. Add the pomegranate sauce, but make sure it’s not too thick (if so, add some water and mix). Make sure the pork is completely saturated in sauce by turning it over into the sauce with tongs. Then cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the temperature of the center of each tenderloin reads 155 degrees with a meat thermometer.
Pull the leeks out of the oven and plate first. Slice the tenderloin and fan or layer on the plate. Follow with the drippings of the sauce over the top. Garnish with a small handful of pomegranate seeds and a small sprig of marjoram.
Owners and Winemakers
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