Corked and a Recipe

Unfortunately, there will be no Wine Wednesday feature this week due to a wine debacle I will share with you because this unfortunate thing may happen to you and I wanted to offer my advice in what to do. Last week when picking up wine for Wine Wednesday, I also picked up a bottle for this week. It was a steal of a deal; a village level red Burgundy from Joseph Drouhin, a key producer from that region. I was really excited to open it and share Wine Wednesday with my mom since she is visiting for my brother's wedding. However, when we opened the wine, I was extremely disappointed, it was corked. Corked is a term for TCA, Trichloranisole, a chemical reaction between chlorine, used to bleach cork, and phenol, a compound in the cork. Essentially it is a mold that grows in your cork and can ruin your wine with off putting aromas. These aromas can vary from very mild and just kill the natural aromas of the wine to very smelly like damp basement, wet cardboard or wet dog. It is not uncommon to have this happen, but decreases in chances with higher quality of wines because of the quality of cork used.


Despite having a cellar full of wine, I have very few every day drinking wines and the point of Wine Wednesday is to share with you an affordable (under $25) bottle of wine that I find particularly intriguing. I opened up a back up bottle and found that it really was nothing to write about so, unfortunately there is no Wine Wednesday this week. I did want to share this story with you so that you know what you can do in the event this happens to you. Most wine shops will replace a corked bottle. It is considered a flaw of the wine and most places are happy to replace it for you. It's usually not a big deal to them because they will then have the distributor replace that bottle for them. Don't throw out the wine, just cork itand bring it back that evening, or the next day. If you wait too long to bring it back then it will become oxidized and they may not be able to tell if it was really corked.

I did not want to share my unfortunate story with you empty handed. So here is, as promised last week, a recipe for sautéed cod with lentils, onions and arugula. A perfect pairing to go with your bottle of Penedès white wine!

I am such a lentil fan! Super healthy and delicious and way more flavorful than having rice. I am really particular about lentils though. My favorite French lentils because they are tender when cooked, but still hold their shape. They are a perfect addition to salads and sides.

I added arugula do this dish, but spinach would work just as well.

So let's get started!

Sautéed Cod with Lentils

serves 2

 Adapted from



1 cup French green lentils, rinsed

2 tbl unsalted butter

1 cup onion, finely chopped

2 large garlic cloves, chopped

3 tbl flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 tbl fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp ground pepper

1 tbl Olive Oil

2 cups Arugula or Spinach

2 (6 oz) fillets of Pacific Cod, Pacific Halibut, or Haddock Fillet

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 black pepper

1 tbl unsalted butter

1 tbl Olive Oil

1/4 Flour

Cook the lentils: Cover lentils with cold water by 1 1/2 inches in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered until lentils are tender, but not falling apart, 12-25 min. Drain in a sieve over a bottle, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a 2-3qt heavy saucepan over moderately low heat. Stir in onions, garlic, and salt to cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until onion is pale golden, about 10 minutes. Remove lid and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally until onion is golden, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Cook the Fish: Pat fish dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge fish in flour, shaking off all excess flour. Heat butter and oil in a 10 inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides.  Add fish and cook, turning once, until browned and just cooked through, 6-8 minutes.

Meanwhile finish the lentils: Stir lentils into onion, along with reserved cooking liquid and arugula. Stir in parsley, lemon juice, pepper and oil. Serve fish a top lentils and drizzle with olive oil and lemon.