30 Days of Local Wine

If you’ve taken the scenic route along Hwy 3 between Wheatley and Blenheim, you may have noticed the vineyard sewn hills along the cliffs of Lake Erie.  This is the birthplace of Aleksander Estate Winery’s 2008 Pinot Noir.

Seductive red berry notes, an earthy mid-palate and a firm finish make this Aleksander’s sexiest wine, not to mention one its most refined. An excellent partner for firm cheeses and Ontario lamb.

As we mentioned in a previous post about local culinary gifts, if you’re looking for some great local lamb, County Connect is starting up their first Lamb Share, scheduled for January 2011. How it works is a local lamb from Ewe Dell Family Farm in Woodslee will be aged and portioned for people to enjoy in a package of various cuts.

The lamb order deadline is Tuesday January 4th, 2011 for a February 8-9th delivery.

Here is a great recipe from County Connect that their Lamb Share and the AEW Pinot Noir would be perfect for:

Essex County Lamb Shanks


  • 4 County Connect local Lamb Shanks, Frenched
  • 4 large local Russet potatoes
  • 4 local tomatoes (boiled and peeled)
  • 5 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup minced local white onion
  • 6 cloves local garlic, minced
  • ½ cup of chopped rosemary
  • 1L local Chicken Stock


Preheat the oven to 500 Degrees.

Sear the shanks in a cast iron skillet, browning them all around.

After the shanks are seared, set them aside, add the chopped onion, garlic, rosemary and butter to the still hot skillet. Sautee for roughly 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add to a roasting pan along with the potatoes and peeled tomatoes. Deglaze the pan with some of the stock, add the contents of the pan, and the rest of the stock into the roasting pan.

With the cover off your roasting pan, cook at 500F for about 10 minutes, at that time, place the cover on your pan and drop the temp to 300F. Cook for an additional 3 hours or until fork tender. Ensure that you baste the shanks at least once every half hour.

Serve the shanks in a bowl of the remaining pan sauce.

Serves 4.