Wines At Our Table; August 23rd 2015

Over the course of a week, my wife and I drink a bunch o’wine – almost always with food. Since I’ve always been fascinated by wine at the table with food, I thought it would be fun to recap not only the wines we’ve been drinking, but also how they pair (or don’t pair) with the foods at our table.  It features my pick for Wine of the Week (WoW) – a  wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out for the week ended August 23rd 2015.

N.V. Emilio Lustau Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Dry Amontillado Los Arcos Solera Reserva – Retail $17

Tawny color with roasted nuts, spiced orange peel, toffee,dates, and coffee aromas. On the palate it’s between medium and full-bodied, dry and rich with wonderful fruit and good acidity. It shows molasses, spiced orange peel, hazelnut flavors with a bit of salinity and a lingering sweet finish. Very Good; 87-88pts

2014 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rosé – Retail $20

Pale salmon color with aromas of my favorite summertime red fruits – strawberry and raspberry with hints of watermelon. On the palate it’s medium-bodied with refreshing acidity and strawberry, raspberry, watermelon and mixed citrus of orange and lemon flavors with an appealing mineral note and a satisfying finish.Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

2014 Alloy Wine Works “Tin City” Central Coast Grenache Rose – Retail $7

From Field Recordings coral color with strawberry, watermelon, blood orange aromas with hints of guava and mint. On the palate it’s medium- bodied, fresh, juicy and dryish with ample strawberry watermelon, a bit of peach and a hint of blood orange peel on the back end. A seriously fun Rosé that’s oh so portable. $7 for a 500 ml can. Are you freaking kidding me? Will buy more! Very Good; 87-88pts

2011 Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Tralcetto Riserva – Retail $15

Dark ruby color with cherry, violet, vanilla and a hint of tar aromas. On the palate, it’s light-bodied and harmonious with vibrant acidity, dusty tannins and ample fruit. It shows easy dark cherry, vanilla, and a hint of plum flavors with a satisfying sweet finish. Very Good; 87-88pts

IMG_3476Wine of the Week (“WoW”) – It’s always a good week when I get to try, a new to me wine. This week there were actually two new to me wine (well one completely new and one sort of new)  I’ve never tried Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. And my choice turned out to be a very good one that’s offers damned good too!  The “sort of new”  was the Emilio Lustau Dry Amontillado Sherry.  I’m actually a big fan of Sherry. I don’t drink it often though. That’s probably because my wife is not a fan of Sherry. In fact, one of the most memorable wines I’ve ever had was a Palo Cortado.  I’ve enjoyed Amontillado before, but they’ve not been dry.  The Lustau was also very good, offers great value, and is very food friendly. But after all was said and sipped, my Wine of the Week is the 2014 Alloy Wine Works “Tin City” Grenache Rose.

It’s Rosé in a can! I picked up at my favorite wine merchant –  K&L Wine Merchants on a whim. Here’s what the producer say about it…

Alloy Wine Works is the perfect balance of inventive spirit and rural charm. In this can is pure craft wine, not because we want to seem “hip” or “relevant, but because we want to.  Made from wine that was sourced from the most unique and unexpected lots, the grapes were hand harvested and carefully blended to create something truly Californian.

It’ definitely over delivered (though I must confess my expectations were fairly low).  It too, was a new for me experience, because I’ve never had wine in a can before. I’ve already purchased a few more cans!  The producer Field Recordings has very good reputation. They also make Pinot Noir in a can under the Alloy Wine Works label and a red blend called Fiction under the Field Recordings label.  I’m looking forward to giving both a try!

More about Field Recordings

Field Recordings  is 34-year old winemaker Andrew Jones’ personal catalog of the people and places he values most. Spending his days as a vine nursery fieldman planning and planting vineyards for farmers all over California, Andrew is sometimes offered small lots of their best fruit on the side. Having stood in just about every vineyard on the Central Coast, he has a keen eye for diamonds in the rough: sites that are unknown or under-appreciated but hold enormous untapped potential. As friendships are made and opportunities are embraced, Andrew produces small quantities of soulful  wine from these unusual, quiet vineyards.

What was your Wine of the Week?  Any killer Food and Wine pairings?

Follow my reviews on Vivino and Delectable

Note. All wines were purchased for review unless otherwise indicated

_________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine. Since I’m a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

 

 

Best Wines To Pair with Asian Cuisine #SundaySupper

This week’s #SundaySupper theme Asian Cuisine.  Yum!  I love Asian cuisine! But it wasn’t always that way.

I grew up on the Midwest, and we didn’t eat very much Asian food, other than Chinese food occasionally.

Then we moved to California – the perfect place for me to taste the diverse world of Asian cuisines.   And that’s just what the #SundaySupper foodies have on the menu this week.

You’re going to find diverse and delectable recipes with roots in China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and more!

Pairing Wine with Asian Cuisine

Let’s face it, for most wine is not top of mind when it comes to pairing with Asian Cuisine. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to an Asian restaurant and seen a diverse selections of beer, or perhaps Sake, and usually, less than a handful of wines.  There’s typically a Chardonnay (America’s favorite wine), a Cabernet Sauvignon, and perhaps another wine or two.

I think it’s because, in broad terms, wine isn’t as much ingrained in Asian cultures. Especially when compared to European or even American culture.  Beer or other adult beverages typically find more favor within Asian cultures.  Beer, sake and other adult beverage can be good choices.   But wine can also be a great partner for Asian Cuisine.

Tips for pairing wine with Asian Cuisine

  •  Don’t go crazy over with pairing food and wine.  It can be challenge for one wine to work with a multitude of dishes.  If the wine doesn’t work with a particular dish, skip it and have a sip of water or tea to cleanse your palate.  Try the wine with another dishes, and chances are you will find success.
  • Try food friendly wines with high acidity and lower alcohol.  Riesling, Pinot (Noir, Gris, Blanc), Beaujolais,Dolcetto, Gruner Vetliner, Muscadet, Rosés (still and sparkling ), and sparkling wines are great wines to pair with Asian Cuisines.
  • Avoid wines with high alcohol and/or tannins. Such wines can overpower a dish or in the case of a high alcohol wine amplify the perception of heat in a spicy dish.
  • Pair to dominant taste first, flavors second.  When thinking about which wines to pair with food start with the primary tastes – salty, sweet, sour, and bitter before considering specific flavors. So, what’s the difference between tastes and flavor? Tastes are objective, whereas flavors tend to be subjective. For example, the sourness of a lemon, or the sweetness of honey are objective. A lemon is sour and honey is not. On the other hand describing the flavor of a strawberry is personal and subjective.  Just as foods have primary tastes, so do wines – those being sweet, sour and bitter. This opens the door to match foods and wines, or if you desire to set up contrasts. Start with the primary taste for either the wine or the food, then decide if you want to mirror or contrast the taste before getting into the specifics of flavors. Speaking of dominant tastes and flavors, pair to the sauce because that typically dominates a dish.
  • Spicy and salty foods like sweet wines.  Wines come in varying degrees of sweetness from off-dry (slightly sweet) to semi-dry (medium sweet) to an unctuous dessert wine that could satisfy a sweet tooth. Wines that are off-dry or semi-dry, such as a Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, or Muscat make a great counterbalance for moderately spicy Indian and Asian dishes. That’s because the sweetness of the wine cuts the heat (unlike carbonated beverages which amplify the perception of heat). Likewise, a sweet wine can provide a nice counterbalance to salty food
  • Match the “weight” of the food and the wine. Match delicate wines with delicate foods and robust wines with robust foods.

Experiment and have a sense of adventure.  The tips presented in this article are suggestions that will increase your odds of finding wines to pair with Asian Cuisine.  But they may or may not be to your liking.  It’s a good idea to keep a track your successes (and failures!) and rely on that to build your knowledge of which pairings work best.

Best Wines To Pair with Asian Cuisine

Image courtesy of Multiculturiosity.com

Here are my recommendations for this week’s fabulous Asian Cuisine menu:

Pair these Small Bites with a Rosé sparkling wine.  My “house’ (everyday) sparkling wine is the Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Rosé Brut ($13). It’s a beautiful pale salmon color and packed with strawberry, cherry, peach and blood orange flavors, with a bit of sweetness that is complemented with a hint of herbaceousness. Rosé sparkling wine may be the ultimate wine for starters and small plates.  Sparkling wine sets a celebratory tone and its color makes a visual impression.

I actually don’t recommend pairing wine with these soups.  Besides the soups being chock full of flavor, combining hot broth and a cool wine is a tough combination.  I think the wine would be best served either before or after the soup. 

Pair these dishes with Riesling, the white version of a “goes with virtually anything” wine.   Look for 2014 Charles Smith “Kung Fu Girl” Columbia Valley Riesling ($10). It’s off-dry so it’ll handle some spice, and it fruit forward, and fresh with lychee, nectarine, peach and a bit of citrus character. 

Pair these dishes with Pinot Blanc from the Alsace region of France, its spiritual home. Pinot Blanc, a mutation of Pinot Gris is a member of the Pinot family.  It’s often suggested as an alternative to Chardonnay.  It tends to be a medium to full-bodied wine with good acidity.  I’ve found it’s a very good partner at the table with various Asian foods.  Look for the 2012 Charles Baur Pinot Blanc ($13). It has a soft, creamy, and lush character with white peach, and sweet citrus aromas and flavors wrapped in spice.

Pair these dishes with a juicy, low tannin red wine. I recently attended a fabulous Beaujolais and Japanese pairing dinner that was a great reminder of how food friendly Beaujolais wines (made from the Gamay grape) are.  Look for the 2011 Chateau de Jacques Moulin-a-Vent ($14). It has a bold fruit black cherry, plum compote and cassis character with a savory undertone. 

I’ve been on a bit of a Bahn Mi kick the last few months.  And my top of mind, go to choice is Rose!  Look for the 2014 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare (around $14).  It’s a perennial favorite with an enchanting melon, peach, strawberry and spiced citrus character and lingering saline laced finish. .

Pair these dishes with a Gruner Vetliner, the signature grape of Austria. It’s an under the radar grape that’s pairs with a wide variety of good  Look for Domaine Wachau Gruner Vetliner (around $16).  It offers enticing aromas of tropical fruit, a bit of yellow apple, white pepper with a delicate herbal note. It’s medium bodied and harmonious with crisp acidity, juicy fruits and a spicy finish. 

Oodles of Noodles

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on today –  Sunday, August 23rd! This week’s chat will be hosted by Amy from kimchi MOM. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more greatSunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Sunday Supper Movement

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

#WineWednesday Review; A Taste of Silver Trident Winery

From time to time, I receive wines samples from wineries or their public relations agencies for review.  I feature such samples on here on #WineWednesday Review. This week I’m featuring two distinctive wines from Silver Trident Winery.

The Winery

Silver Trident Winery is a Napa Valley based winery located in Yountville that offers a completely different and singular wine tasting experience. Its Tuscan style “tasting home” offers a sit down tasting in a setting featuring Ralph Lauren furniture, home decor, and other accessories. In fact, it is the only Ralph Lauren outlet combined with a winery in the world!  Not only that,  but everything in the tasting room, which is one of a kind (not sold in any Ralph Lauren shops or their website), is for sale.

I had a chance to visit a couple of months ago. It truly was a one of a kind, marvelous experience.  Certainly the Ralph Lauren furnishings, decor and accessories were alluring. And you can’t beat the combination of comfort, style and hospitality offered.

But I’m more about the wine.

I’m pleased to report the wines are on par with the rest of the experience!

#WineWednesday Review; A Taste of Silver Trident Winery

L-R; 2014 Symphony No. 9 Sauvignon Blanc and 2014 Apollo’s Folly Rose of Pinot Noir

In addition to the two wines tasted here, Silver Trident also 2012 Playing With Fire (A Napa Valley Red Blend, $45), 2013 Benevolent Dictator (Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, $55) and the 2010 Twenty Seven Fathoms (Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, $90)

The Wines

2014 Silver Trident Sauvignon Blanc Symphony No. 9 – USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
Very pale straw color with appealing grapefruit, lemon peel, tropical fruit and a hint of chalk aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied with a great texture, depth and bright acidity. It shows grapefruit, lemon peel, and white peach flavors with a mineral note and a lingering satisfying finish. Fermented in 70% Stainless steel, 30% Neutral French oak. 14.2% alcohol. Retail -$28 Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

2014 Silver Trident Pinot Noir Rosé Apollo’s Folly – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Pretty salmon color with strawberry, raspberry, stone fruit, and a hint of floral aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, and fresh with juicy strawberry, raspberry, stone fruit, and a hint of savory spice with a mineral element and a lingering finish. 14.1% alcohol. Barrel fermented in 80% stainless and 20% neutral French oak. Retail $28 Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

If you’re looking for a one of a kind Napa Valley wine experience, check out Silver Trident!

Follow my wine reviews on Vivino and Delectable

Wines provided as a sample for review.  Many thanks to Bob Binder of Silver Trident Winery  and Julie Ann Kodmur

_________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Wines At Our Table; Week of August 16th, 2015

Over the course of a week, my wife and I drink a bunch o’wine – almost always with food. Since I’ve always been fascinated by wine at the table with food, I thought it would be fun to recap not only the wines we’ve been drinking, but also how they pair (or don’t pair) with the foods at our table.  It features my pick for Wine of the Week (WoW) – a  wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out for the week ended August 16th 2015.

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut – Retail $47
Very pale yellow color with tiny bubbles and a fine bead. Offers aromas of fresh biscuit dough, grapefruit, lime cream, with hints of quince and white flower. On the palate it shows soft creamy mousse with clean well delineated apple, peach, lime, lemon and grapefruit flavors underscored with an appealing minerality. Seems much improved to my palate over a few years ago – cleaner more complex Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

2013 Trivento Amado Sur – Retail $15
Opaque violet color with mixed black fruit, licorice, and low-key spice and cedar wood aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied with good acidity, ample fruit, and soft tannins with black currant, black cherry, plum, vanilla and a hint of spice flavors. Medium finish. (86 pts.)

2013 Domaine des Costes Rouges Marcillac Tandem – Retail $17
Dark violet color with promising red currant and raspberry aromas with low-key spice and dried herb notes. On the palate it’s light-bodied, fresh and well structured with charming, easy-going cassis, raspberry, and spice flavors with supple tannins and an enticing minerality. (88 pts.)

2014 Copain Pinot Noir Tous Ensemble Rosé – Retail $17
Pretty salmon color with watermelon, red berry and a hint of earthy aromas. On the palate, it’s between light and medium-bodied and fresh with an especially nice mid palate weight. It shows strawberry blood orange, cherry and raspberry flavors with a nice spice note. Medium long finish. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

2014 Dashe Cellars Grenache Les Enfants Terribles – Retail $24
Ruby color with appealing strawberry cream, sour cherry jolly rancher aromas with light spice, and mineral notes. On the palate, it’s light-bodied with vibrant acidity, a juicy texture underscored  some dusty tannins with strawberry, sour cherry, plum, spice and a bit of earthiness on the finish. Medium plus finish. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

2009 Ridge Merlot – Retail $45
Dark ruby color with aromatic black cherry, blueberry, cassis and a kiss of vanilla, and baking spice aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, balanced and elegant with black cherry, blueberry, cassis and vanilla flavors. Long finish. 14.2% alcohol.The Merlot is made from two parcels planted at 1,300 and 2,000 feet of elevation in the Jimsomare property, which is now part of the Ridge estate. 2009 was their first bottling of a varietal Merlot since 1997.Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

Wines At Our Table; Week of August 16th 2015

Wine of the Week (“WoW”)  Any week that includes some Champagne is a very good week indeed!  Not only that I tried a completely new to me grape – Fer Servadou (2013 Domaine des Costes Rouges Marcillac Tandem)

For quite a few years I was not a fan of Veuve Clicquot.  In my opinion, not only was it ubiquitous, but I thought it was overrated in relation to its quality.  I think it’s improved over the last few years though, and it’s back in my good graces (though there are still quite a few Champagne that I enjoy just as much if not more for less.  It’s definitely a quality bottle of Champagne that’s on par with many in the same price range.  The Ridge Merlot was a treat. As paraphrase a cliché goes…I don’t drink Merlot often, but when I do I drink Ridge😉

My WOW is the 2014 Dashe Cellars Grenache Les Enfants Terribles.  It’s one of my favorite summertime reds wines. It’s take a chill very well, and its lively acidity make it a wonderful partner at the table with a variety of dishes.  Highly recommended!

More about Dashe Cellars

Dashe Cellars, founded by Michael and Ann Dashe in 1996, is an urban winery located near Jack London Square in Oakland, CA.   Michael Dashe is the Winemaker, and Anne Dashe is the General Manager.  Between the two, they have 40-plus years experience in the wine business, including experience at  some big-time wineries such as Ridge Vineyards, Far Niente, Chappellet, Schramsberg Wine Cellars in California;  Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château La Dominique in France,and  Cloudy Bay in New Zealand.   The winery produces about 10,000 cases annually.

From the start we always wanted to make this Grenache almost in a Grand Cru Beaujolais style: a serious wine that offers bright, lively fruit but with a great structure and balance.  Dashe Cellars

From Dashe Cellars…In 2014, low yields and perfect ripening weather created a lovely Grenache, a bit softer and more delicate than previous vintages. Because of the way we make this wine—fermented with the native yeasts on the grapes; aged in large French oak barrels; unfined; and bottled with low SO2 levels—we felt that it deserved to be labeled with our other wines in the Les Enfants Terribles (the “Wild Children”) series made in a more Old World style.  The resulting purity of flavor, velvety texture, and lush midpalette is a break from the brash, fruit-forward style of many Californian wines.

What was your Wine of the Week?  Any killer Food and Wine pairings?

Follow my reviews on Vivino and Delectable

Note. All wines were purchased for review unless otherwise indicated

_________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine. Since I’m a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Marcillac – The Perfect Wine for Liver And Onions?

Welcome to this month’s French Winophiles!  We’re group a food and wine bloggers pulled together by Christy of Adventures of a Culinary Diva.  We’re taking a virtual tour of France region by region and learning about French cuisine, wine and travel.  This month we’re exploring the Sud-Ouest (South West) region of France

Sud-Ouest (South West) Region

The South West region of France is a relatively large territorial zone that lies between – and does not include – the wine regions of Bordeaux and Languedoc-Roussillon.  The region includes eighteen appellations denoted as either AOP or IGT.  It also includes the iconic Armagnac brandy-producing area.

marcillac-map

Image courtesy of The Wine-Pages.com

According to the Wines of Southwest France website (a wonderful resource) the region has a feel and a lifestyle all its own. Located off the beaten path from the bustle of Paris or Lyon, life in the southwest is more relaxed. For the French who live in other parts of the country, the southwest is the place to go for a relaxing weekend getaway.Here they can explore vineyards, enjoy the celebrated regional cuisine (think foie gras and duck confit), shop at local markets, fish in the Pyrenees, tour hilltop castles, admire prehistoric cave paintings or the art of Toulouse-Lautrec, or hike the Lot River valley. And for those who want sand and surf, the Atlantic coast offers 100 miles of beach, ending at the luxury resort city of Biarritz.

In My Glass

Given the region’s size and vinous diversity, I decided to focus on one specific appellation, with an eye on trying a new to me grape variety. My search lead me to the 2013 Domaine des Costes Rouges “Tandem” from the Marcillac AOP.

The Marcillac appellation, which is largely overlooked, covers 420 acres devoted almost exclusively to a single type of vine: Fer Servadou, or Mansois as it is known locally. The grape variety is found throughout the Sud-Ouest wine region, but Marcillac is its spiritual home.  No other appellation uses Fer as the key grape variety.

Fer is native to the País Vasco, the Basque area of Spain on the French border.  It’s a member of the Carmenet family, which includes Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Merlot, and Petit Verdot.

The grape  thrives on the stony, iron-rich soils known locally  les rougiers (due to their reddish color) in the hills surrounding the town of Marcillac.

Marcillac - The Perfect Wine for Liver And Onions?

2013 Domaine des Costes Rouges “Tandem”

The producer, Domaine des Costes vineyards are 100% Mansois and organically farmed.  All fermentation and elevage is done in concrete tanks.  Their wines are bottled unfiltered.

My tasting notes:

Dark violet color with promising red currant and raspberry aromas with low-key spice and dried herb notes. On the palate it’s light-bodied, fresh and well structured with charming, easy-going cassis, raspberry, and spice flavors  with supple tannins and an enticing minerality.  Stylistically the wine falls between a Loire Cab Franc and Gamay. 12%; Retail-$17

On My Plate

The challenge with selecting a wine produced from a new to me grape is determining what kind food with make a harmonious pairing with the wine.

As I was researching pairing options I came across Seared Calves Liver and Marcillac.

Wow! It’s been a seriously long time since I’ve had liver, which of course I held in contempt for many years.

What changed?

I worked my way through college as a cook in a restaurant.  One day, in desperate need of something different to eat, I threw a piece of liver dusted with some flour into some bacon grease and sautéed some onions in the same.

My contempt for liver disappeared with the first fork full of offal yumminess that is liver and onions.

I checked out some recipes and found a Calf’s Liver With Bacon, Caramelized Onions and Sherry from Emeril Lagasse.

Marcillac - The Perfect Wine for Liver And Onions?

Calf’s Liver With Bacon, Carmelized Onions and Sherry

The recipe was definitely an upgrade over my relatively simple and quick liver preparation.

One of the key steps in recipe is to soak the liver in milk for at least 20 minutes.  I’d never done that before. But I certainly think it paid off – the dish was utterly delicious – with a  hint of sweetness I’d never before tasted when eating liver.  The sherry pan sauce was a very nice compliment to the sweetness of the caramelized onions. And hey…you can’t go wrong with bacon bits!

As for the pairing? It was wonderful!  The wine was made the liver taste better, and vice versa. This is a combination I’ll be repeating!

There’s plenty more food and wine deliciousness from Sud-Ouest.  Check out what my fellow French #winophiles have in store for you!

Join us Saturday, August 15th at 11 am ET/8 am PT for a live Twitter Chat sharing wine, food and travel stories from Sud-Ouest. Follow us on #winophiles.

Next month we explore the wine and cuisine of  the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France on Saturday, September 19th 

_________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine. Since I’m a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogA

Wines At Our Table; Week of August 9th 2015

Over the course of a week, my wife and I drink a bunch o’wine – almost always with food. Since I’ve always been fascinated by wine at the table with food, I thought it would be fun to recap not only the wines we’ve been drinking, but also how they pair (or don’t pair) with the foods at our table.  It features my pick for Wine of the Week (WoW) – a  wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out; plus my Food and Wine pairing of the Week for the week ended August 9th 2015.

2008 Torre de Tavares Encruzado Dão – Retail $42
Hazy yellow tinged gold color with aromatic, appealing quince, pear, orange marmalade, and wet stone aromas with an appealing oxidized note. On the palate it’s well structured, full-bodied, and very fresh, yet lushly textured with a very appealing hint of tannins. It shows tart quince, orange and vanilla flavors, with a hint of baked nectarine and a long mineral driven finish. 12.5% alcohol 250 cases were produced.Outstanding; 92-95 pts
2013 Dashe Cellars Ancient Vines Bedrock Vineyard – Retail $35
Garnet color with pretty black cherry, spice, dark chocolate and licorice aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied with a very appealing texture and firm well-integrated tannins with black cherry, raspberry, mixed peppery and sweet spice flavors and a medium long finish. 98 % Zinfandel; 2% Petite Sirah Approachable now but will easily age 5-7 years Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts
2012 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas – Retail $20
Violet color with tobacco, blackberry, black cherry, dried herb and bit of cranberry aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied with very good acidity and a supple texture with soft well-integrated tannins and black cherry, blackberry, cranberry, flavors with mixed sweet and savory spice notes and an appealing minerality on the back end. 53% Syrah,27% Grenache,18% Mourvedre and 2% Counoise 13.8% alcohol Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts
2014 Tercero Mourvedre Rosé Vogelzang Vineyard – Retail $22
Medium salmon color with red fruits, and orange peel aromas with hints of earthy/meaty notes and wet stones. On the palate it approaches full-bodied and show wonderful acidity with an appealing light tannic grip with strawberry, stone fruit, and spiced orange peel flavors with a lingering satisfying finish. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts
IMG_3339Wine of the Week (WoW) – We’ve been building up a bit of a wine cellar.  Not necessarily by design (trust me there’s no master plan; though in hindsight I wish we had more Old World wines) It’s simply because we’ve been buying a bit too much wine (No “Novinophobia” for me) The downside is a light wallet. The upside is that we rarely purchase “everyday” wines anymore to prevent ourselves from drinking better bottles, which would be likely to benefit from some aging.
So we’re definitely drinking better pretty much every day of the week this year.
This past week was a good example of that .  The Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas offers great value for a $20 bottle of wine year in and year out.  Under normal circumstance we wouldn’t have consumed the 2013 Dashe Ancient Vines Bedrock.  It’s a wonderful bottle of wine that was built to age. Unfortunately my wife and I had a “failure to communicate”.  Oh well. The Dashe was delicious and bound to get better.  The Tercero Mourvedre Rose is a fave because it’s fuller-bodied rose, and Owner/Winemaker Larry Schaffer seems to make it better each year.
However my WoW, the 2008 Torre de Tavares Encruzado stood head and tails above the other wines I enjoyed this week.
The grapes are harvested by hand. The wine was not fined or filtered. It went through malolactic fermentation in a steel tank, then was aged on its lees in oak for 1 year. It then spent another 6 months in the tank before bottling. It was aged in the bottle for 5 years. Unfortunately, winemaker João Tavares de Pina wasn’t able to source grapes from the same vineyard in subsequent years and the wine is now sold out.
It was a remarkable bottle of wine. It will most certainly be in the conversation if you ask me “What’s the best bottle of white wine you’ve ever had”? 

For my Food and Wine Pairing of the week, we paired the Encruzado with Grilled Fish Setubal Style. It was a fantastic pairing!. The wine’s vibrant acidity cut through the butter and the sauce of the dish, while the weight of the wine was a great match for the weight of the dish. Additionally, the citrus notes in the wine perfectly complimented the citrusy flavors in the dish.

What was your Wine of the Week?  Any killer Food and Wine pairings?

Follow my reviews on Vivino and Delectable

Note. All wines were purchased for review unless otherwise indicated

_________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine. Since I’m a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

#WineWednesday Review; 2013 Trivento Amado Sur

From time to time, I receive wines samples from wineries or their public relations agencies for review.  I feature such samples on here on #WineWednesday Review. This week I’m featuring the 2013 Bodegas Trivento Amado Sur.

The Winery

When in the mid-1990s Concha y Toro, Chile’s leading wine producer, announced its successful purchase a collection of vineyards (now accounting for 3,185 acres) in the Mendoza region of neighboring Argentina, there was little doubt on either side of the Andes that change was in the air. Wind is an agent of change, so it was only fitting that the new venture was named “ Trivento” (Three Winds), a whimsical reference to three winds that sweep through Mendoza and are such a distinguishing feature of the region’s climate and environment.

Trivento’s principal vineyards are located in the Uco Valley, Maipu, Lujan de Cuyo, San Martin and Rivadavia districts of Mendoza, a region that exemplifies the advantages of high-altitude viticulture.

Significant differences between day and night temperatures help minimize the risk of pests and disease.  Vineyards that barely receive 8 inches of rainfall a year are irrigated with natural snow melt from the Andes.

With the release of Amado Sur Malbec, Trivento became one of the first Argentine wineries to experiment in a significant way with blends.

The Wine

The 2013 Trivento Amado Sur is a Malbec based blend of 70% Malbec, 20% Bonarda, and 10% Syrah

Each variety is separately fermented in stainless steel tanks.  The separate wines are aged for 8 months in French oak barrels. After assemblage, the wine is aged for 6 months in stainless steel and then further aged in bottle for 5 months prior to release.  Retail $15

IMG_3383

My review notes follow:

Opaque violet color with mixed black fruit, licorice, and low-key spice and cedar wood aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied with good acidity, ample fruit, and soft tannins with black currant, black cherry, plum, vanilla and a hint of spice flavors. Medium finish.  Very Good; 86-88pts

Pair with: Rich dishes and roasted meats including lamb, beef, and pork. It would be great with a hamburger too!

Follow my wine reviews on Vivino and Delectable

Wine provided as a sample for review.  Many thanks to Excelsior Wine and Creative Palate Communications

_________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Taste of Portugal:Grilled Fish Setubal Style and 2008 Torre de Tavares Encruzado

Wine Pairing Weekend is a monthly collaborative event for wine/food bloggers started by David Crowley of Cooking Chat.  It’s a great way to find food and wine pairings that work (or learn from the ones that don’t); along with tips on how to create your own food and wine pairing magic.  Christy Majors of Confessions of a Culinary Diva is hosting this month’s theme where we’re sharing pairing food and wine from Portugal!

About a month ago, myself and a half-dozen or so other wine bloggers were invited to tasting hosted by Alleah Friedrichs, co-founder of Bliss Wine Imports. The tasting featured wines from France, Spain and Portugal. I was very impressed with the wines we tasted.

Since I hadn’t settled on a wine or a dish for our Portugal theme,  and I typically pick my wine first, I reached out to Alleah and inquired about which Portuguese  wines she had in stock.

She mentioned  several wines, including a few that I enjoyed at the tasting. But what caught my attention was her comment about an “unfiltered white”…of 100% Encruzado that “is off the hook- Michael Mina bought this

I adore unfiltered white wines!  And I get a chance to discover a new to me, grape variety indigenous  to Portugal?  My inner wine geek did a break dance!  Of course, the Michael Mina endorsement certainly helped…Sold!

In my Glass

My wine is the 2008 Torre de Tavares Dão.  As previously noted, it’s made with 100% Encruzado.

Oh…you’ve ever heard of the grape variety? Neither had I!

Taste of Portugal:Grilled Fish Setubal Style and 2008 Torre de Tavares Encruzado

According to Winesearcher.comEncruzado is arguably Portugal’s finest white grape variety, although far from its most famous. Planted mainly in the granite hills of Dão in the center of the country, Encruzado makes rich, full-bodied wines with aromas of lemon, woody herbs, stone fruit and melon, often with floral overtones. These wines are prized for their waxy, textural mouthfeel and well-made examples can be cellared for many years.

It’s certainly the leading light-skinned grape variety in the Dão (where it’s almost exclusively grown). There it’s often blended with Bical or Arinto.

 Amongst its virtues is the ability to maintain almost perfect balance between sugar and acidity, making serious, rich, structured wines with extraordinary ageing potential. It is used both as a single variety and as a star ingredient in many Dão blends…can be viewed as a melding of a Burgundian Chardonnay’s texture and terroir with the aromatics of the Portuguese grape Fernão Pires. (Source)

The grapes for this wine were harvested by hand. The wine was not fined or filtered. It went through malolactic fermentation in a steel tank, then was aged on its lees in oak for 1 year. It then spent another 6 months in the tank before bottling. It was aged in the bottle for 5 years.

I aerated the wine (as recommended by Bliss Wine Imports) for about  30 minutes in a decanter.  Aerating the wine also provided an opportunity to let the wine come up to the appropriate serving temperature of  50-55°F.

My tasting notes follow:

Hazy yellow tinged gold color with aromatic, appealing quince, pear, orange marmalade, and wet stone aromas with an appealing oxidized note. On the palate it’s well structured, full-bodied, and very fresh, yet voluptuous with a very appealing hint of tannins. It shows tart quince, orange and vanilla flavors, with a hint of baked nectarine and a long mineral driven finish. 12.5% alcohol  Retail $42

This was a remarkable bottle of wine. It will most certainly be in the conversation if you ask me “What’s the best bottle of white wine you’ve ever had”?

On My Plate

After choosing my wine, and poking around for a recipe, I settled on Grilled Fish Setúbal Style.

Taste of Portugal:Grilled Fish Setubal Style and 2008 Torre de Tavares Encruzado

Setubal Style Grilled Fish…In case you’re wondering…yes that yellow deliciousness beneath the fish is butter!

I modified the recipe a bit because I wanted to actually grill the fish (in the recipe the fish is broiled).

Grilling the fish turned out to be a great idea, though my coals were quite hot enough to get some nice grill marks.

The sauce for the dish is just so damned delicious. Essentially, it’s a citrus browned butter reduction.  I might double it next time!

It’s the kind of sauce that when you taste it, you immediately begin to consider what  other dishes you might put it on!

Oh…and those oranges on top, which I thought were just there for show?  On a whim, I tried one and….

Deeeelicious!

The recipe is definitely a do over…and over…and over!

The Pairing

This was a fantastic pairing!. The wine’s vibrant acidity cut through the butter and the sauce of the dish, while the weight of the wine was a great match for the weight of the dish. Additionally, the citrus notes in the wine perfectly complimented the citrusy flavors in the dish.

If you’re considering checking out an Encruzado, you’ll find some great pairing suggestions here.

Check out what my other food and wine loving friends have in store for you:

Please join us this morning at 8 am PST on Twitter for a fun and lively discussion on Portuguese food and wine pairings at #WinePW. Also, join us Saturday, September 12 as we explore volcanic wines and food pairings! _________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, yoga, hiking, and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine. Since I’m a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! Follow my reviews on Vivino and Delectable This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Wines At Our Table; Week of August 2nd 2015

Over the course of a week, my wife and I drink a bunch o’wine – almost always with food. Since I’ve always been fascinated by wine at the table with food, I thought it would be fun to recap not only the wines we’ve been drinking, but also how they pair (or don’t pair) with the foods at our table.  It features my pick for Wine of the Week – a  wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out; plus my Food and Wine pairing of the Week for the week ended August 2nd 2015.

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Old Vine – Retail $19
Garnet color with dried cherry, black raspberry, and sweet spice aromas. On the palate it’s between light and medium-bodied, and well structured with soft well-integrated tannins and wonderful acidity with cherry, black raspberry, sweet spice, a hint of strawberry and very appealing spice. Medium-long finish. Great value at $20! Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

2014 La Bastide Blanche Bandol Rosé – Retail $22
Salmon color with lifted red berry, melon, blood orange, wet stone, ocean breeze and a hint of damp dusty earth aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, layered and fresh with fine concentration and mixed melon, stone fruit, red berry, flavors with and herbal note and a very giving mineral driven dry finish. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

2010 Carlisle Syrah Papa’s Block – Retail – about $60 now, but purchased for $38
Opaque violet-purple color with very appealing bacon fat, mixed blackberry and blueberry compote with a hint of floral aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied and focused, with ample fruit deftly counter-balanced with very good acidity and a supple texture and well integrated tannins. It shows blackberry, blueberry, vanilla, peppery spice flavors with hints of red currant, bittersweet chocolate and plum. Long finish. 95%
Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre. 1% Viognier. 15.5% alcohol Outstanding; 92-95 pts

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Albariño Abrente – Retail $22
Pale yellow color with appealing green apple, lime, cantaloupe, ocean breeze aromas complemented by hints of tropical fruit and orange blossom. On the palate, it approaches medium bodied, and persistent with crackling acidity, and a wonderful texture. It shows green apple, lime a bit of stone fruit and a bit of melon flavors with a giving finish. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

Louis Roederer Champagne Brut Premier – Retail $47
Pale yellow color with plentiful active tiny bubbles and fresh bread, almond, apple, subtle citrus and a hint of smoke aromas. On the palate, it’s refined, lively and fresh with a delicate creamy mousse. Mixed tart apples, pear and lemon curd flavors dominate but hints of grapefruit, black currant and an appealing smoky minerality play in the background. Long finish.Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

2001 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova – Retail about $90 per Cellar Tracker
Very dark red brick violet color with very appealing, mature, dried cherry, cherry liqueur, leather, and vanilla with a hint of balsamic aromas. On the palate it’s light-bodied, complex and, elegant with a silky texture. It shows dried mixed red berries, leather, and spice flavor. Long finish. A distinguished beautiful wine! Outstanding; 92-95 pts

IMG_3348

Wine of the Week (WoW)It was a wonderful week for wine. I tend to drink a lot of California wines because that’s what I have the most of (I like to try before I buy), but since I’ve been participating in a few food and wine pairing groups, I’ve been tasting more Italian and French wines.

Not a dud in the bunch this week.  The Bedrock Old Vine Zinfandel offers remarkable value at $19. Likewise for the La Bastide Blanche Rosé, and the Bedrock Wine Co. Albariño Abrente. Both are offer a lot of bang for the buck.  I’m glad I’ve got a couple of more bottles of the Albariño, and I’ve already purchased more of the Bandol, which I think is comparable to the Domaine Tempier Bandol at about half the price!  The Carlisle Papa’s Block Syrah is such a delicious and well structured wine.  I wish I had more.

Ultimately though my WoW is the 2001 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova.  My good friend Enrique and his wife brought the bottle for a very memorable brunch with my wife and I at Nopa in San Francisco last weekend.

The 2001 is its best Tenuta Nuova ever, delivering the depth, richness, freshness and unique character expected of such a great vintage—Wine Spectator

While we went to brunch, ostensibly, to see if their burger lived up to the hype (it did), Enrique brought this fabulous bottle of wine (#1 on  the 2006 Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines) kick off my birthday month celebration (not my idea – I’m cool with a day;-).  I won’t be able to think of this bottle of wine without thinking of the remarkable day shared with good friends, or vice-versa.  And isn’t that what makes wine such a beautiful thing?

For my Food and Wine Pairing of the week, we paired the Bedrock Albariño with Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas from our favorite local taqueria.  Just a remarkable pairing!  And the Albariño has great acid making it a very versatile wine at the table.

What was your Wine of the Week?  Any killer Food and Wine pairings?

Follow my reviews on Vivino and Delectable

Note. All wines were purchased for review unless otherwise indicated

_________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine. Since I’m a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Sardinia Style Seafood Paella and Cantina Di Gallura Canayli Vermentino #ItalianFWT

One of the things I love most about food and wine is their ability to transport one to a different place.  And a  place’s people, culture, and customs are reflected in its food and wine.  In that sense, one can virtually travel the world through food and wine.  And that is exactly what we are doing through Italian Food Wine and Travel (#ItalianFWT).  We taking a virtual tour of Italy by exploring its food and wines.  This month we’re exploring Sardinia (known as Sardegna to its Italian-speaking inhabitants)!

About Sardinia

Sardinia,  located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, is 150 miles off the west coast of mainland Italy. It is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and only marginally smaller than Sicily.  The island has belonged to various empires and kingdoms over the centuries. This is reflected in its place names, architecture, languages and dialects, along with its unique portfolio of wine grapes.

I love how author Kerry Christiani describes her love of the island…

Sardinia was love at first sight for me. No matter how often I return, I find new coastal trails to explore and mountains to climb, hidden bays to kayak to and little-known agriturismi tucked away in the silent hinterland. The island is deceptive – it looks small on paper, but unravel it and it is huge. It’s like a continent in miniature, shaped by its own language and fierce traditions, its own cuisine and culture, its own history and the mystery that hangs over it like a shroud. Sardinians are proud of their island, and so they should be.

The island is, of course, most renown for its beaches and coastline including Costa Smeralda.  But there is much more to see including the recently unveiled stone sculptures of Giants of Monte Prama.

Nowhere does slow food like Sardinia. Throw in views of mountains and sea, some fine home-produced Vermentino or Cannonau wine and fresh farm produce and you are looking at a great culinary experience — simple but great. (Source)

On My Plate

I adapted a recipe for Shellfish Paella with Fregola for my Sardian Style Seafood Paella. Food and Wine magazine describes the recipe as follows:

Fregola replaces rice in this Sardinian paella; the chewy, dot-shaped semolina pasta comes from the western part of Sardinia, near Oristano, where more than four centuries of Spanish occupation left Catalan influences that are still prominent today. In another change from the traditional Spanish recipe, this version is made with only seafood (no chorizo).

The primary changes I made to the recipe were mostly driven by ingredients I wan’t able to find, including fregola and fava beans.  Instead I substituted pearl couscous and baby lima beans respectively.  But I also changed up the seafood a bit, substituting scallops for the monkfish in the recipe.

Sardinian Seafood Paella and Cantina Di Gallura Canayli Vermentino #ItalianFWT

My wife and I adore paella!  We’ve had it in Spain, and cooked it a home, including cooking it on our Weber grill. We mostly prefer Paella Mixta, but we were eagerly anticipating this all seafood version.

While I was a little disappointed I wasn’t able to find any fregola (a.k.a. fregula), the recipe turned out fabulously. It was a very nice change of pace from rice based paella.

Sardinia Style Seafood Paella
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • INGREDIENTS
  • 1 quart fish stock or bottled clam juice
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 c frozen baby lima beans (thawed)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups pearl couscous (11 ounces)
  • 16 littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
  • 16 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 plum tomatoes—halved, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup drained sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 4 ounces medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 4 ounces squid, bodies cut crosswise into 1-inch rings, tentacles left whole
  • 4 ounces bay scallops
  • 3 tablespoons chopped dill
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the fish stock to a simmer. Transfer 1 cup of the hot cooking liquid to a measuring cup and crumble in the saffron. Cover the remaining stock; keep warm over low heat.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the pearl couscous and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until it is well coated with the oil, about 2 minutes. Add the clams, mussels and 1 cup of the hot stock and stir constantly until the shellfish start to open, about 4 minutes; discard any clams or mussels that don't open.
  3. Add the sherry and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in the baby lima beans, sliced red and green bell peppers, plum tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves and rosemary. Add the remaining 2 cups of hot fish stock and the saffron-infused stock to the pearl couscous. Lower the heat to moderate and cook, stirring frequently, until the couscous is just tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp, squid and bay scallops to the couscous and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until the seafood is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme and rosemary sprigs. Stir in the dill and season with salt and pepper. Serve the paella immediately in shallow bowls.
  5. NOTES
  6. The original recipe called for Fregola, a toasted pearl-size Sardinian pasta that is quite similar to couscous. It's available at specialty food shops and some supermarkets. Since I was unable to find I subbed pearl couscous

 In My Glass

2013 Cantina di Gallura Vermentino di Gallura Canayli – Retail $18

Sardinian Seafood Paella and Cantina Di Gallura Canayli Vermentino #ItalianFWT

As I usually do, I picked my wine first. Then I chose a dish I thought it make for a harmonious pairing.  When I saw that this wine was described as “one of the most popular Italian whites” at my favorite wine shop K&L Wine Merchants I was sold. So far during our virtual tour of Italy I’m finding the Italian white more interesting and appealing than the reds for the most part.

It’s from Sardinia’s only DOCG appellation – DOCG Vermentino di Gallura. It’s produced in the province of Olbia-Tempio, which is a large area at the northern end of the island that’s incessantly swept by the salty Mediterranean air.

The origins of the Vermentino grape variety are not clear. It commonly thought to be native to Spain, then brought to the Ligurian coast of northwest Italy during the Middle Ages. It is also possible that a variant of Malvasia migrated from the island of Madeira to Spain and then to Corsica. Italians would tell you the grape has been cultivated in Gallura, often under the name Arratelau, since the fourteenth century.  My tasting notes follow:

Very pale yellow green color stone fruit, lemon thyme, wet stone and a hint of green pepper aromas. On the palate, it’s dry medium-bodied and fresh with an abundance of mixed stone fruit, clove, and a hint of almond flavors with a lingering saline minerality.

The wine was a very harmonious pairing with the Sardian Seafood Paella.  The saline minerality of the wine was a nice compliment to the paella, while at the same time the citrus notes of the wine was a refreshing contrast…sort of like a spritz of lemon on seafood!

Wait……there’s more!  My fellow bloggers have lots more to share with you so check out their blogs below.  If you’re reading this in time also you can join us live on Twitter at 11am EST at #ItalianFWT and tell us all about your experiences with the island of Sardegna or come and learn something new about this region.

If you’re seeing this early enough make sure to join us live on twitter at 8am PDT. Follow #ItalianFWTTell us your food, wine or travel stories of Sardegna. We look forward to chatting with you. Next month September 5th we’ll feature the region of Abruzzo.  Let me know if you’d like to join our group.  Ciao ciao for now!

________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine. Since I’m a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.