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Velocity Cellars - Moving At Velocity Speed

by Michael Sherwood, May 2006
with Recipes to Pair with Velocity Wines

Gus Janeway is a busy guy. He makes wine for RoxyAnn Winery in Medford, Ore. and for a few other wineries all housed in the same facility. He also makes his own Velocity Cellars brand.

Some years back Janeway staked out the Rogue Valley in pursuit of a Southern Oregon terrior. Vineyard management posts in the Valley were followed by winemaking positions, beginning at Quail Run and Griffin Creek Vineyards. He then served as founding winemaker for Paschal Winery, where he built a state of the art winery. Gus directed winemaking at Paschal to critical acclaim from 1998 until going out on his own in 2002.

Southern Oregon is "still in search of an identity" said Janeway. Big red blends are slowly taking hold across the Rogue and Umpqua Valleys with wineries from Valley View and RoxyAnn to Foris and Abacela experimenting with red blends. Gus loves the addition of Malbec to his Velo brand. This grape has done well in Argentina making full-bodied, almost leathery, deeply colored red wines and is proving to do well in Southern Oregon. The two sauces suggested with this wine [salsa corolla and chimichurri sauce] come with Argentine roots, perfect for the Malbec connection.

Claret- Pioneered by Janeway

Gus would like Claret to be Southern Oregon's signature wine.

Portugal has Port. Tuscany has Chianti. Burgundy and the North Willamette Valley have Pinot Noir. That Southern Oregon would want to focus on Bordeaux-style and other big red blends is no great leap. Hot weather varietals combined with vineyards young and old are making magic from Roseburg to the Applegate and the hillsides in-between.

The State of Oregon has what is perhaps the most rigorous labeling wine standards in the United States, with strict use of varietal names, percentage content, appellation content and definition of estate wine. In December of 2004 the State of Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) approved the use of the name "Claret" in use with wines that are a mixture of at least two of these grape varieties: Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Carmenere or Malbec.

The rule changes removed Claret from the list of semi-generic designations, which are generally prohibited in Oregon. RoxyAnn Winery helped forge this new designation and is among the first wineries in the State to use the term Claret on its labels.

The Wines of Velocity

Velocity Cellars 2003 Velo Red Wine $26.99/$29.99

Vibrant lively table red from Southern Oregon. Deep garnet in color this wine resolves to a pretty vermillion on the edges of the glass. Dusty aromas of plum and cassis up front with touches of vanilla, clove, sandalwood at the finish. A traditional Bordeaux-style blend with a distinctive touch of Malbec added to make this reliable old-world style wine with a new world grape as a regional interloper. 17 months in 30% new French oak. 401 cases made. 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 18% Malbec and 7% Cabernet franc.

The winery says: "Velo is the second label of Velocity Cellars, winemaker Gus Janeway's personal venture. Composed from some of the same vineyards which produce the flagship Velocity, Velo places an emphasis on Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec in 2003 which results in a dark, yet graceful old-world style of wine which belies its avante-garde Stelvin topped package. The '03 vintage displays sophisticated aromas of ripe plum and black cherry with scents of cocoa, vanilla bean and spice that are focused and complex."

RoxyAnn Winery 2003 Claret $22.49/$24.99

This wine carries the quite sophistication that you always hoped the Rogue Valley would start producing. The color is a sultry dark raspberry with clear bright vibrant edges - very pretty indeed. Cup the glass to you nose and breath in notes of cinnamon spice, a waft of violet, some sweet oak and current. Rich and full in the mouth with juicy blackberry and black cherry flavors. Liquid velvet on your tongue with a finish that keeps going. This came from select barrels of barely half the 2003 harvest, a blend of 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, and 19% Cabernet Franc. 1495 cases produced.

From the winery: "Our Signature Wine! ...dark, plush and deeply concentrated, the estate blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc is a luscious, complex wine that showcases layers of ripe currant, black cherry, and blackberry fruit flavors."

"The 2003 Claret is an elegant wine that holds its focus and gains complexity on the palate with juicy plum, anise, and mocha flavors giving way to sweet barrel spice and fine-grained tannins in the long, rich, flavorful finish."

Recipes to Pair with Gus Janeway's Wines

Gus's wines from Southern Oregon carry enough fruit and structure that they can stand up to spicy sauces and jerked chicken with no problem. Try this Hanger steak for an inexpensive yet delicious cut of meat that you marinade.

Gus loves the addition of Malbec to his Velo brand. This grape has done well in Argentina making full-bodied, almost leathery, deeply colored red wines and is proving to do well in Southern Oregon. The two sauces suggested with this wine [salsa corolla and chimichurri sauce] come with Argentine roots, perfect for the Malbec connection.

Garlicky Herb-Rubbed Hanger Steaks

Chef Shea Gallante of Cru in New York City based this recipe on a classic Florentine dish called bistecca alla fiorentina, a thick T-bone grilled rare over hot coals. Here, Gallante substitutes cheaper but equally flavorful hanger steak - which he thinks is an underrated cut - and rubs the meat with dried herbs, garlic and paprika before cooking it.

Here's what you need:

1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and minced
Three 2-pound hanger steaks
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
Olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Here's what you do:

1) Prepare herbs and steak: In a mini food processor or spice grinder, combine the dried thyme with the dried rosemary, marjoram and oregano and blend the herbs until a powder forms. On a work surface, rub the minced garlic cloves all over the hanger steaks and sprinkle them with the sweet paprika. Dust the steaks with the powdered herbs, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Let the steaks stand at room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding.

2) Light your grill. Drizzle the steaks all over with olive oil and season them generously with salt and pepper. Grill the steaks over a medium-high fire until they are charred on the outside and medium-rare on the inside, about 12 minutes per side.

3) Transfer the steaks to a carving board to rest for 15 minutes. Working from both sides and using a sharp knife, slice the steaks against the grain until you reach the strip of gristle in the center. Discard the gristle. Arrange the slices on a platter and serve.

Prep time is about 20 minutes. Total time is about an hour for prep and cooking plus about 5 hours for marinating the meat. Serves 8.

Source: Chefs Gone Wild - recipe by Shea Gallante from Food & Wine Magazine - June 2005

Salsa Criolla (Creole salsa, Argentine style)

This colorful tomato, onion and pepper relish is another traditional accompaniment for grilled meats throughout South America. There are as many variations on this recipe as there are cattle in Argentina. Serve this along side your grilled steak or for a more power packed condiment, try the Chimichurri sauce.

Here's what you need.

1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4 -inch dice
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4 -inch dice
1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1/4 -inch dice
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or pressed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Here's the drill. It's very simple:

In a medium bowl combine the tomatoes, onion, green bell pepper, parsley, oil, vinegar, garlic and oregano. Cover and chill before serving. Just before serving, season generously with salt and pepper. The salsa can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead, but it should still be seasoned just before serving.

Note: I've seen recipes that add a minced jalapeño chili, a diced avocado, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve this with grilled steak or a roasted chicken with rice.

Source: Wild man chef Steven Raichlen from Food & Wine - October, 1998

Chimichurri Sauce

You can use this classic sauce for a marinade or for as a condiment with grilled steak like they do in Argentina where the sauce originated. It is served in bowls to top grilled foods including grilled meat, chicken, empanadas or simply drizzled over vegetables. The sauce has a tangy flavor, but what I like about it most is how fresh it is. Try to use only fresh ingredients if you can find them. It really makes a difference with this recipe.

Here's what you need:

1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped red bell pepper
8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 to 2 jalapeños, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 minced shallot
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup white wine vinegar (or Sherry vinegar)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano or a tablespoon or more fresh chopped oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Here's the drill:

In a food processor, combine the parsley, red bell pepper, garlic and jalapeños and pulse until minced. Add the oil, water, vinegar, salt, oregano and pepper and process to blend. Transfer to a bowl and serve. The Chimichurri Sauce can be refrigerated for several days, but it's best when it's freshly made.

Note: The jalapeños and the garlic in the chimichurri add noticeable heat to the grilled meat. Look for a Merlot with enough fruit to tolerate the spice,

Source: Adapted from wild man chef Steven Raichlen from Food & Wine - October, 1998

NW Style Jamaican Jerk Chicken

The jerking technique is thought to originate with the Maroons, descendents of slaves who escaped from their Spanish overlords to the island's most remote mountain areas.

"Jerked" meat is marinated for hours in an incendiary mixture of scallions, onions, thyme, Jamaican pimento, cinnamon, nutmeg, peppers, a special blend of fruit juices and more... then cooked over an outdoor pit lined with pimento wood or grilled simply over an open flame. The low heat allows the meat to cook slowly, so it loses little of its natural juices while becoming saturated with the flavor of the wood.

Jerk refers to the technique, the spice mixture, and the finished product. And yes, it is now possible to find pre-made jerk seasoning mixes but there is nothing like a fresh marinade made from scratch.

Here's what you need:

1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons garlic powder or fresh
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 lime juice
1 Scotch Bonnet pepper or Habanero pepper (we use Jalapeño)
3 green onions - finely chopped
1 cup onion - finely chopped
4 to 6 chicken breasts, skinned and boned.

Here's what you do:

1) In medium sized bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients including the sugar. Mixing with wire whisk, slowly add olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, orange and lime juices.

2) Use rubber or plastic gloves to prepare hot pepper (jalapeño or serrano may be substituted for a more mild heat). Avoid touching face or eyes! Add chopped pepper and chopped onions to marinade; mix well.

3) Spread 2 cups marinade in glass baking dish. Add chicken to coat in marinade. Cover and marinade at least 1 hour (overnight is best). Reserve 3/4 cup of marinade as a dipping sauce. On grill, cook chicken over medium to high heat 6 minutes each side. Baste with excess drained marinade.

Preheat an outdoor grill.

4) Remove the breasts from the marinade and grill for 6 minutes on each side or until fully cooked. While grilling, baste with the marinade. Bring the leftover marinade to a boil and serve on the side for dipping. Since few of us have a source of green Pimento wood handy, to replicate the smoked nature of true jerked chicken, you might throw a handful of wet hardwood chips into a wad of tinfoil and set that on the side of the heat source of your barbecue grill a few minutes before you throw on the chicken and let it smoke for a few minutes while the meat cooks.

Notes: Even though I like heat, as in 'picante', Habanero and authentic Scotch Bonnet peppers are amongst the hottest on the planet and can blow your taste buds away. In order to taste the wine better you might tone the Scoville units down a bit with some hot but not blistering jalapeños. Serve with Jamaican Barbecue Sauce alongside rice, a nice vegetable and your favorite bread of choice.

Source: The Sugar Reef Carribean Cookbook by Devra Dedeaux

Jamaican Barbecue Sauce:

1 1/4 cups ketchup
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Jamaican hot pepper sauce such as Pickapeppa or Walker's Wood Jonkanoo Pepper Sauce
2 tablespoons Jerk marinade (reserved from associated recipe)
3 scallions, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons dark rum

Here's what you do:

1) In a medium non-reactive saucepan combine all ingredients except rum and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook another 12 minutes, until sauce is thick and flavorful and coats the back of a spoon.

2) Remove from heat and stir in rum. Cool sauce to room temperature before serving. Yield: About 2 cups

Source: The Sugar Reef Carribean Cookbook by Devra Dedeaux

About Hanger Steak

The hanger steak, or hanging tenderloin, is the thick strip of meat that is located on the underside of the carcass and hangs between the last rib and the loin. It is actually part of the diaphragm. Like the skirt steak, it is very flavorful and it can be prepared with almost any type of cooking method, but it should be marinated first if using a dry heat cooking method such as grilling or broiling. The hanger steak is also known by the following names: Hanging Tenderloin, Hanging Tender and Butcher's Steak. more>

Buying and storing tips
Look for skirt or hanger steak that has a clear, red color. The normal color of beef is purplish-red, but it takes on a cherry-red hue, known as the "bloom," when exposed to oxygen. While the exterior is bright red, the interior of the meat retains this darker color. Vacuum-packed skirt tip steak also shows this purplish color.

Packaged skirt steak should be cold and the packaging should be free of punctures or tears; vacuum-packed steak should have its seal intact. The beef should be firm to the touch. Check the label for the "sell-by" date and make sure to buy the meat before or on that date.

Store skirt steak in its original packaging in the coldest part of the refrigerator, where it will keep for 3 to 4 days. It may be frozen in this packaging for up to two weeks. For longer storage, wrap the steak in heavy-duty aluminum foil, freezer paper, or freezer bags. Skirt tip steak will keep 6 to 12 months in the freezer. Defrost the steak in the refrigerator, allowing 12 to 24 hours, depending on size. Cook as soon as possible after defrosting.

Skirt steak may be available in butcher shops. In grocery stores it is typically sold already cut up and packaged to use in making fajitas.

Preparation, uses, and tips
Skirt steak can be cooked using either moist heat or dry heat, if marinated first. Marinades are seasoned liquids containing tenderizing ingredients, and include either acidic foods such as lemon juice, wine, vinegar, and tomato juice, or natural tenderizers such as pineapple, papaya, or ginger. To marinate, place the skirt steak in an acid-resistant container; add the marinade - 1/4 to 1/2 cup for each 1 to 2 pounds - and turn the steak to make sure the marinade touches all surfaces. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for six hours or overnight. Marinades may be added to skirt steak while cooking, but never consume marinades that have come in contact with raw meat unless they have been thoroughly cooked to destroy all microorganisms.

Marinate the steak, then preheat the broiling element. Place the steak on a broiler pan 2 to 4 inches (5–10cm) from the heat source. Broil for five minutes, turn, and broil the other side five minutes for rare, allowing more time for medium. Remove the steak when it reaches the desired degree of doneness.

Marinate the steak and then place it directly over the heat source. Grill for four minutes, then turn and grill for four minutes on the other side for rare, longer for medium.

Marinate the steak, and then heat a skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat until hot. Place the steak on the skillet and cook 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. Remove the skirt steak when it reaches the desired degree of doneness.

Cut the skirt steak against the grain into four pieces. Then heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and sauté two minutes on each side. Watch out, this meat can dry up quickly if you don't watch it.

Heat oil in a skillet and brown the skirt steak on both sides. Add cooking liquid and seasonings. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours.

Source: Truestar Health Encyclopedia

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