Welcome to this week’s “From the Archives” — a near-weekly series where I dig through more than a decade of posts on my old blog and highlight something interesting. This week’s post is from November 2009, and it’s a recipe created by the late chef Debra Whiting to pair with a wine of my choosing, Heart & Hands Wine Company 2007 Barrel Reserve Pinot Noir. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about bringing this series back. What do you think?

My assignment this month from Lenn was to create a dish to pair with the Heart & Hands Wine Company 2007 Barrel Reserve Pinot Noir.

This is a beautiful Finger Lakes pinot with overtones of currant and cranberry and by the way is my favorite pinot noir in the Finger Lakes! So, I decided to pair it with one of my favorite dishes…..duck breast.

This is a simple but elegant relish that works well with pan seared duck breast (also be great on that Thanksgiving turkey too) with undertones of clove and orange.

In fact, if you’re in the area I have put this duck dish paired with the wine on my November Chef’s table — so come on in and enjoy them both!

Cranberry Clove Relish

By Deb Whiting, Chef and Co-Owner Red Newt Bistro


2 cups onion, diced
1 1/2tbsp garlic, minced
4 cups cranberries
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp orange zest
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 cup sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil


In a saucepan, add olive oil, onion and garlic. Saute for about 10 minutes until onions begin to soften.

Add remainder of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until the liquid has been reduced and most of the cranberries have “popped”, about half hour.

On a pan seared duck breast (I suggest medium rare) add one tablespoon of the warm cranberry clove relish to the top of its golden brown skin.

Pour yourself a glass of the Heart and Hands 2007 Reserve Pinot Noir and enjoy!

About Author

Lenn Thompson, a proud Pittsburgh, PA native, moved to Long Island more than a decade ago and quickly fell in love with the region’s dynamic and emerging wine community. A digital and content marketing and community professional by day, he founded NewYorkCorkReport.com in early 2004 to share his passion for the wines, beers and spirits of New York State. After running that site -- which became the premier source for independent New York wine commentary, reviews and news -- for 12 years, he launched TheCorkReport.us in late 2016 to add the wines of Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont and beyond to his beat. Lenn currently serves as the wine columnist for The Suffolk Times weekly newspaper and is the former editor of the Long Island Wine Gazette. He contributes or has contributed to publications like Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Beverage Media, Edible Brooklyn, Edible East End and Edible Hudson Valley. Lenn served on the board of directors for Drink Local Wine, and is the creator and founder of TasteCamp, an annual regional wine immersion conference for writers and trade. An admitted riesling and cabernet franc fanatic, he’s intensely passionate about eating local and the many local wine regions of America. Lenn lives in Miller Place, NY with his wife Nena, son Jackson, daughter Anna and their dog, Casey Lemieux Thompson.

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