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Click on the above link to return to the main wine and food page. There you will find a listing of twelve different varieties of wine and the menus specially chosen to create perfect pairings. Merlot is back! From fad to faillure to fad, this durable grape is back where it should be, on the table! If you would like to learn more about the Merlot grape, and see the rest of our Merlot dinner, click the link above.

1 4-5 pound pork loin, fat trimmed
olive oil
salt and pepper

marinade

12 cardamom pods, slightly crushed
12 coriander seeds, toasted
6 juniper berries
1/2 navel orange, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, peeled and cracked
1 cup prunes, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2/3 bottle Merlot

sauce

1/3 bottle Merlot
1 cup plum nectar or prune juice
1/2 cup brandy or calvados
3 cinnamon sticks
1 cup red currants
3 tablespoons butter
1-2 tablespoons flour

1. Combine all marinade ingredients except bay leaves and cinnamon sticks in a food processor and blend well. Add bay leaves and cinnamon sticks.

2. Place pork loin in a deep oven-proof dish and cover with marinade. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, turning once.

3. Combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

4. Preheat over to 350º. After marinating, remove pork from dish and rinse. Pat dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to a hot skillet and brown pork on all sides.

5. Return pork to marinade, making sure to cover generously on all sides and roast approximately 1 1/2 hours. Turn the meat once, basting well. When done, a meat thermometer inserted into the loin should read 160º and the pork will have a very slightly pink center.

6. While pork is roasting, remove cinnamon sticks from sauce and blend remaining ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Over low heat, simmer the sauce until rediced by about 1/3.

7. Just before pork is done, in a small skillet or sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the tablespoon of flour and stir until thick. Continue stirring until the flour begins to brown. Quickly add two tablespoons of the sauce and stir, making sure to break up any lumps that may form. Add remaining sauce mixture and allow to simmer about 10 or 15 minutes, stirring frequently. When pork is done, add two or three tablespoons of the pan juices and stir again.

8. Remove pork from pan to a large platter or cutting board. Slice into 1/2-inch thick medallions and serve with sauce.