Updated: Oct 9
I love dates. Not like, dating, but the fruit, dates. They go in everything I want to be a little bit healthy to feel a lot naughty. My favorite restaurant, Tapas, near my parent's house in Mill Creek makes these bacon wrapped dates that are, frankly, a reason to go on a date. When my husband and I sold our house in Shoreline and were one step closer to moving over here to Chelan, we stopped there to discuss pieces of the business we were taking over, the house we were buying, and the only thing I remember, other than the feeling of relief, was the amazing pop of flavor from those bacon wrapped dates and the glass of tempernillo. So of course, I had to try to recreate in my oven.
I found this bacon wrapped version that seemed to capture the simplicity of the version from Tapas - no cheese or nut stuffed centers. About halfway through, I got the hang of squishing the date to ensure the bacon wrapped nicely. I did change a few things - for example, I cooked it at 415 F, because whenever I've cooked bacon in the oven, anything under 400 comes out under cooked. They came out super delicious. My daughter and I were headed to a friend's house for a play date so I popped
them in a tupperware and threw a few bottles in the car, and hoped they didn't mind taste testing for me. I was pretty sure favorites would collide - Cab Franc was going to come out on top. Thankfully, my friends were game and tried each wine like champs.
The grease on the bacon was still warm, and the carmalized sugar had wrapped itself around some of the toothpicks. Some of the pieces had sugar connections to the tupperware bottom, like brown gold dripping off the ends. It was messy. And delicious. We powered through and tried
several wines with several pieces At least, I needed several pieces, one for each wine. At one point I was told: "This is terrible, never make us taste test again." I think we'll get invited back, but maybe I'll have to lay off the sugars. When the verdict came in - the 2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon had the dry finish that stood up to the caramelized crust .
I was honestly surprised; the wine that I'd taken for granted the last several years was the one that was standing up most strongly. It's not that I didn't like the wine, it just wasn't as exciting for me as either of the Francs or the Meritage, but like our Merlot, the Cabernet Sauvignon continues to hold her head up and deliver strong in every glass. She's our unsinkable Molly Brown.