Beaujolais at the Table: Nice Matin [Video]

In this episode of Beaujolais at the Table, VinePair sits down with Eric Starkman, chef of Nice Matin, to discuss Beaujonomie — a concept, philosophy, and mindset of convivial sharing and lively conversation. The spirit of Beaujonomie sparks a moment of enjoyment while sharing a table, Beaujolais wine, and a meal with family and friends. Here, he shares his perfect Beaujolais pairing.

For his perfect pairing, Chef Starkman prepares Cailles Morvandelles aux Raisins, or roasted quail with grapes served with a Cru Beaujolais, Château des Jaques Morgon Côte du Py 2016. Named after the small town it houses, the Morgon appellation is the largest of the Beaujolais crus and has a distinct soil composition made from granite, blue stone, and piedmont deposits. While Beaujolais wine is typically known for having a ripe, fruit-forward profile, this wine has a smoky flavor due to its grapes being grown in volcanic soils notable of the Morgon terroir. The basis of this dish lies in the hearty meat that balances nicely with the sweetness from the grapes in the sauce.

With a general fruit-forward flavor profile from the Gamay grapes, Beaujolais is beloved for its exceptional food and wine-pairing abilities. Beaujolais is a go-to wine at Nice Matin, due to its ability to pair perfectly with the restaurant’s many authentic French dishes.

Beaujonomie represents a communal sentiment while enjoying the wine, which is emphasized by the approachable characteristics of the wine itself. For this reason, Starkman feels Beaujolais is the perfect wine for a gathering between friends, a traditional family get-together, or an intimate family meal between the entire restaurant team.

“Beaujonomie is about coming together with simple food and enjoying a nice wine with great people,” Starkman says. “Beaujolais is the perfect wine because it’s not too stuffy, it’s easy to drink, and a red wine you want to sip.”

Roasted Quail with Grapes (Cailles Morvandelles aux Raisins)

Quail Prep Ingredients:

  • 2 quails
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 grams fresh thyme, minced
  • 20 grams extra virgin olive oil

Quail Prep Directions:

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the garlic, thyme, oil, and quail. Marinate the quail in a covered container overnight in the refrigerator.

Farci Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces diced baguette
  • 1 egg
  • 4 ounces bacon, small diced and roasted
  • 5 grams fresh thyme, minced
  • 4 ounces heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • A pinch of allspice
  • Salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Farci Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

Quail Assembly Directions:

  1. Stuff the marinated quails with your farci.
  2. With a small length of butcher’s twine, tie it around each of your stuffed quails once, to ensure an even cooking.
  3. Lightly season the outside of your quails with salt.

Quail Roast Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. On a baking tray roast your quails for 15-25 minutes until golden brown, and cooked throughout.

Grape Jus Ingredients:

  • 15 red grapes (seedless)
  • 30 grams Cognac
  • 150 grams chicken stock
  • 15 grams butter

Grape Jus Directions:

  1. Blanch and peel grapes; set aside.
  2. In a small pot over medium heat, add the Cognac.
  3. Reduce the Cognac by half and cook off the alcohol.
  4. Add in the chicken stock.
  5. Reduce the sauce until it begins to thicken.
  6. Drop heat to low and add in the grapes. (Be careful not to overcook.)
  7. Gently mix in the butter and season with salt.

Serving Directions:

On a dinner plate of your choosing, place any pomme puree or roasted potatoes you may want to add to the dish in the center of the plate. On top of that, place your quail squab and remove the string used to truss the bird. Put a dot of your sauce on either side of the bird and some around the edge for artistic appeal. Serve and enjoy!

Discover more pairings from this series featuring the chefs from Gage and Tollner, Market Table, and Hawksmoor!

Click here to watch Gage and Tollner.

Click here to watch Market Table.

Click here to watch Hawksmoor.

This article is sponsored by Beaujolais.