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.

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 

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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

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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.

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

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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.




Discover Beaujolais at Pabu Japanese; A Food And Wine Pairing Revelation

Last month I received an invitation to attend a Beaujolais Wines & Japanese Cuisine Pairing Dinner.  My first thought was “Huh”?

That’s because pairing red Beaujolais and Japanese cuisine had ever occurred to me.

On the other hand, having recently tried a Beaujolais Blanc for the first time on Chardonnay Day, I knew that would have an affinity for traditional Japanese fare such as sushi, sashimi, and perhaps tempura.

Nevertheless, I was eagerly anticipating  the dinner with a “I can wait to see how they pull this off” sense of excitement.

It’s not like I didn’t know about Beaujolais’ affinity for a wide variety of foods.  In fact, it was the first wine I listed in a previously posted “What Are The Most Food Friendly Wines?” piece.

The dinner was held at Pabu San Francisco, a Japanese restaurant that  presents a modern take on traditional Izakaya-style dining (think seasonal small plates, composed entrees, and grilled skewers along with sushi, sashimi, fresh tofu and tempura). 

About Beaujolais

The event was sponsored by InterBeaujolais, the official wine-trade organization of the region

Located north of Lyon in eastern France, Beaujolais overlaps Burgundy (of which it is sometimes considered to be a part) in the north and Rhône in the south. The picturesque Beaujolais vineyards run along the Saône River, where winemakers have crafted deliciously supple and fruity wines since the days of Ancient Rome.

The Gamay grape, a cross between Pinot Noir and Gouais, is used to make  ninety-nine percent with Beaujolais wines. The exception is Beaujolais Blanc, which is made of Chardonnay grapes.

The “Beaujolais” winemaking is unique and original.  Grapes are hand-picked then subjected to semi-carbonic maceration. There are 2600 winegrowers producing red, white and rosé  wines.  There are 12 appellations including 10 crus, which are considered to produces the best Beaujolais wines.

Discover Beaujolais at Pabu Japanese; A Food And Wine Revelation

These wines – all under $20 – delivered amazing QPR!

Check out the fun and informative Discover Beaujolais website, including the Top 3 reasons to try Beaujolais for more information.

Discover Beaujolais at Pabu Japanese; A Food And Wine Revelation

The Food and Wine

Upon arrival we were treated to a glass of the 2014 Château De Raousset, Cuvée Marquise de Robien Beaujolais Villages Blanc (Retail $16), an unoaked Chardonnay. It was paired with two delightful appetizers, “Happy Spoon” with Kushi oyster, Ponzu Crème fraîche, and uni-tobiko ikura, and Poke served on a crispy wonton chip.  The fresh green apple, pear,citrus and chalk character of the wine was wonderful complement to the flavors of both apps, but especially the crème fraîche and raw oyster in the “Happy Spoon”

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After a bit of socializing, we were seated for dinner.  Check out the menu!

Discover Beaujolais at Pabu Japanese; A Food And Wine Revelation

The Beaujolais Villages Blanc was also paired with the first course of Sashimi: O Toro (Fatty Bluefin Tuna), Umimasu (Ocean Trout) and Hamashi (Yellowtail). It was also a superb accompaniment to the sashimi with its citrusy acidity and mineral note.

The second, hot plate course, featured we had the Tender braised pork belly, asparagus, snow peas, onsen tamago (soft quail egg), and sesame .  It was paired with the 2011 Pascal Granger, Les Viallières, Chénas (the smallest of the 10 Beaujolais crus) (Retail $18). The wine has an earthy, floral pomegranate, cherry, graphite character with well-integrated soft tannins.  I’m a sucker for pork belly, and Pabu’s was showed a harmonious interplay between the crispness of the pork belly with the soft creaminess of the egg.  And the egg brought the minerality of the wine to the fore.

It should be noted (and this is a small but important detail) the wine was perfectly chilled. It would be the many impressive displays of attention to detail manifest by the Pabu team and sommeliers during our experience. 

Our third course was Skewers: Chicken meatball/Tsukune, Togarashi, Jidori egg; Trumpet mushroom/Eringi, Furikake and Beef tongue/Gyutan, sesame, lemon, scallion. It was paired with 2011 Domaine Bel Avenir, Laura, Saint-Amor (Retail $18), which has a raspberry, dark cherry, spice and subtle brambly character.  The wine from this cru, which sell 20-25% of its production on Valentine’s Day is the wonderful companion for the skewer course.

By now it was pretty obvious to me that Pabu was in serious contention for a scrumptious sweep – delectable food, beautifully presented from start to finish….

Discover Beaujolais at Pabu Japanese; A Food And Wine Revelation

L-R Clockwise; The Sashimi, Hot Plate, Skewers, Dueling Foie Gras, and entreé courses

On to the fourth gastronomic delight – a Duo of Foie Gras. Seared Sonoma Foie Gras of duck with grilled Nori rice, pickled stone fruit and Hatcho miso and Ankimo ‘Ocean Foie Gras’ of monkfish liver, wakame, momiji, scallion, and ponzu . My Lord this was delicious!  It was paired with the 2013 Dominique Piron, Domaine De Combiaty, Brouilly (Retail $18; The largest and most southerly of the Beaujolais crus) This wine showed an elegant, fresh, cherry, raspberry, plum, spice and wet stone character with an appealing savoriness that was a wonderful compliment to the foie gras. In turn the foie gras accentuated the earthy/savory component in the wine.  I appreciated the little slices of cherry on the plate which was a delightful bridge between the wine and food. tour de force for detail

Our entreé course was American Wagyu NY Strip with charred squash, summer beans, porcini, and ume shiso. Two wines were served with the entreé – the 2010 Domaine Bel Avenir, Les Capitans, Juliénas (Retail $17) and the 2011 Domaine Pierre Savoye, CôteDu Py, Morgon (Retail – $19; and my Wine of the Day!)

The Juliénas showed low-key cherry and earthy aromas with ample red fruit and spice flavors. The Morgon showed lifted cherry, wild strawberry, pomegranate, spice and mineral profile with an appealing tannic grip.  I preferred Morgon with the entreé, but both wines were played very well with the tender, succulent beef.

We capped off our dining experience with a dessert course of Milk Chocolate Namelaka, black sesame sponge, cocoa nibs, red bean Gelato.  It was the 2011 George Duboeuf, Beaujolais Villages.  The surprising pairing worked thanks to the ample cherry, strawberry fruit flavors of the wine, and the fact that the delectable dessert was moderately sweet.  It was a good pairing.

My takeaways from the experience were many:

  • That scrumptious sweep? Mission accomplished! What a memorable food and wine pairing experience.  I highly recommend Pabu!
  • Cru Beaujolais is a great alternative to under $30 Pinot
  • If you’re looking to try some Cru Beaujolais, consider wine from the glorious 2009, 2010, and 2011 vintages
  • If you’re considering an unconventional pairing of a particular cuisine, go with wine that’s a flexible at the table  The experience reminded me  that Beaujolais should be in the Top 5 most food friendly wines along with  Sparkling Wine, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Rosé in my book.
  • Beaujolais make for great chillable summer red
  • Keep an open mind when it comes to wine and food pairing, and have fun!

Many thanks to InterBeaujolais, Sodexa USA, and Pabu San Francisco for an amazing and memorable Beaujolais Wines & Japanese Cuisine Pairing Dinner! 

_________________________________________________________________

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.

Tale Of A Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé At The Table #Winophiles

Welcome to the launch of French Winophiles!  It’s a group a food and wine bloggers started 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 Loire Valley.

About the Loire Valley

The Loire Valley, two hours southwest of Paris is known as “the Garden of France” due its abundance of fertile farmland that include vineyards along with fruit and vegetable farms which line the banks of both sides of the Loire River. The Loire is the longest river in France.
It’s also known as the Land Of A Thousand Chateau. The region has a rich heritage featuring historic towns of AmboiseAngersBloisChinonNantesOrléansSaumur, and Tours.

“The Loire is a garden, a mosaic of tastes and flavors with 45 appellations that attract curious wine lovers.” – Jean-Pierre Gouvazé

From a vinous perspective, the Loire Valley is one of the largest wine regions of France.  It covers fifteen departments and 52,000 hectares (128,000 acres) of vines shared between 7000 growers, who produce nearly 400 million bottles of wines annually.  It’s so large it is there are three large areas – The Western (home of Muscadet – home of my favorite still wine for oysters!), Middle (Vouvray, Tourraine and Chinon) and the Upper Loire (includes, arguably the regions most well-known appellations Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume). It’s France’s most diverse wine region producing red, white, rosé, sweet and sparkling wines.

Tale Of A Crémant de Loire Brut Rose At The Table #Winophiles

Source: http://jacksonvillemag.com

There once was a wine blogger with latent foodie tendencies.

His family and friends called him “M”. He had a beautiful, and wise wife named “G”.

Image courtesy of SeriousEats.com

It was a sunny warm Sunday afternoon in their town.

But M and G weren’t enjoying the day together as they usually do. That’s because “G” toiled away at her computer for her boss.

She, for ions it seemed, had been asking him to make Argentine Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce.  But M hadn’t gotten around to it.

On this sunny day, M had been drinking magic grape juice, relaxing, and dreaming of his Golden State Warriors winning the NBA championship.

Then out of nowhere a thought popped into his head…

A happy wife, makes a happy life

M was also wise (though it seemed, never as wise as G). So he decided to make G’s request come to be.

He went to the store, fired up the Weber  and got to choppin’, marinatin’ and grillin’.

As the skirt steak was marinating, another thought popped into M’s head.

Why not take advantage of the magic fire, and make something else too?

For that would make them both happy.

IMG_2938

M decided to make Grilled Spatchcock Chicken too!

After M grilled the meats over the magic fire, G made a green salad and they sat down to partake of the Skirt Steak with Chimichurri.

They needed magic grape juice that would play well with the steak.

M chose a tasty Rioja Reserva.  At first M and G were happy with how the Rioja played the steak.

Then they put the supernatural and spicy Chimichurri sauce on the steak.  But the Rioja clashed with the Chimichurri.

This made M and G a little  sad.

But then G reminded M that their favorite sparking rosé the Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé was in the refrigerator.

She though it could bring joy to the table.

They tried the salmon colored sparkling wine with the steak with Chimichurri sauce.  The two played well together.  And this brought them joy.

Excited, they also tried the sparkling wine with the salad. And it brought them more joy that the Rioja could not.

Finally they tried the sparkling wine with the Grilled Spatchcock Chicken.

That too brought them joy! For they had found the perfect wine to enjoy with their meal of red and white meats cooked over the magic fire and their salad too!

The End

We always have a bottle or three of this Crémant on hand.  It’s our go-to “everyday” Sparkling Rosé..It retails for $12.99 at our favorite wine store, and offers fantastic value.   We’re also fans of the Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Brut  which made my Top 20 Sparkling Wines Under $20 list.

Tale Of A Crémant de Loire Brut Rose At The Table #Winophiles

The wine is produced by the Robert and Marcel co-op using the méthode traditionnelleIt’s a blend of 90% Cabernet Franc and 10% Grolleau Noir from the Saumur region of the Loire Valley. 

It’s a pale salmon color with persistent stream of bubbles,  with appealing strawberry, peach, and a bit of floral aromas. On the palate shows a moderately creamy mousse, crisp acidity, and a surprising depth at this price point with strawberry, cherry, peach, blood orange and a hint of savory spice flavors with a streak of herbaceousness.  The fruit comes from 20- to 30-year-old vines. 12.5% alcohol

Sparkling rose offers tremendous versatility at the table, but I think the streak of herbaceousness from the Cab Franc in this wine really helped it pair so well with the Chimichurri sauce.

And speaking of Chimchurri here’s the recipe I used…

Argentine Skirt Steak with Chimichurri
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Agrentenian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3 oz flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped (about 1 bunch)
  • ½ cu olive oil
  • 3 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves of garlic coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 lb. skirt or flap steak, trimmed
Instructions
  1. Place parsley, oil, vinegar, garlic and red pepper flakes in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Season with salt and pepper. Puree until mixture is almost smooth, about 1 minute.
  2. Set aside half of the marinade in an airtight container, reserve in the refrigerator to serve along side the finished meat.
  3. Place other half in non-reactive container with skirt steak making sure the steak is well covered. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 or 3 hours
  4. Heat grill to high. Remove steak from marinade and discard marinade. Place steak over medium-hot area of the grill and cook for about 5 minutes each side. Serve on platter with reserved marinade on top
Notes
I recommend doubling the amount of Chimichurri marinade/sauce. It's delicious!

Don’t stop here! Check out the food and wines my fellow #Winophile-s have in store for you!

  • Jeff from from foodwineclickindulges in “Saint-Jacques Poêlées & Sancerre”
  • Sarah from Curious Cuisiniere brings us “Grilled Salmon with Beurre Blanc and Loire Valley Muscadet”
  • Wendy from A Day in the Life on a Farm tempts us with “Vouvray Poached Pineapple with Rosemary Whipped Cream featuring Bardon and Guestier aka CIC meets French Winophiles”
  • David from Cooking Chat shares “Grilled Shrimp with Pouilly-Fumé
  • Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla brings us “Gravlax, Goat Cheese, & French Sorrel Stuffed Squash Blossoms + Patient Cottat Sancerre 2010”
  • Anna from Anna Dishes is still whipping up her culinary creation
  • Tammy from Telling Stories from Chez Nous is sharing “Lemon Garlic Chicken with Pan Sauce paired with Oisly & Thesse Sauvignon”
  • Christy at Confessions of a Culinary Diva is sharing “Chard Roasted Salmon with 2013 Pouilly Fume and 2014 Sancerre Rosé”

Join the #Winophile conversation: Follow the #Winophile conversation on Twitter throughout the weekend and beyond. If you’re reading this early enough, you can join us today for a live Twitter chat on our theme Loire Valley on Saturday, June 20th, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m Pacific Time.

_________________________________________________________________

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.

Wines At Our Table; May 10th, 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; for the week ended May 10th, 2015.

2010 JC Cellars Grenache The Fallen Angel El Diablo – Retail – $42

Opaque violet color with appealing kirsch, blackberry, Herbs de Provence, and white pepper aromas. On the palate, medium-bodied, with good acidity and fine-grained well-integrated tannins with baked black cherry, blackberry, black raspberry and espresso flavors, and a bit of minerality, and a lingering finish. Russian River fruit. 50/50 Grenache and Syrah. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91 pts

2013 Campovida Viognier Estate Grown – Retail – $38

Pale golden-yellow color with appealing white peach, apricot, honey, and a hint of floral aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, fresh, and persistent with focused peach, melon, apricot, and honey flavors. Lingering finish Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91 pts

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Fairview Ranch – Retail – $48 

Opaque violet color with appealing roasted meat, roasted black fruit, smoke and a hint of truffle aromas. On the palate it’s medium bodied with very good acidity and soft well-integrated tannins and a hint of minerality with concentrated roast boysenberry, plum, blueberry and hickory flavors. Long finish. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91 pts

2003 Roederer Estate L’Ermitage Brut – Retail $48

Pale straw yellow color with abundant tiny bubbles with bread crust, baked apple, and hazelnut aromas. On the palate, it shows a delicate creamy mousse with mineral accented baked apple and pear, toasted hazelnut, apricot and a hint of spiced vanilla flavors. Long finish. 12.1% alcohol –  Outstanding; 92-95 pts

Wine of the Week 

The Campovida Viognier is one of our favorite Viognier.  Campovida is interesting because it’s a family owned and operated certified organic farm and working vineyard. With a retreat center. I had, what I think was, the last of my 2008 vintage wines that was smoke-tainted by the wild fires in California that year, Big Basin did a good job of making lemonade out of lemons, and I found the smokiness to be appealing.  

My Wine of the Week is the 2003 Roederer Estate L’Ermitage Brut.

Roederer Estate is the American outpost of Champagne Louis Roederer.  Their Estate Brut is my favorite under $20 (when on sale) multi-vintage California sparkling wine. We picked up this wine during our last visit to their beautiful winery a couple of years ago.

Their 580-acre family owned estate vineyard and winery are located in the Anderson Valley.  It’s a blend of  52% Chardonnay, 48% Pinot Noir with 4% aged reserve wine (vintage ’99). It was aged 5.5 years in French oak cask + at least 6 month in bottle prior to release.  It’s an outstanding vintage bottle of California sparkling wine that a relative bargain too! The latest release can be found for $39.99 at K&L Wine merchants.

I had the pleasure of meeting Chef de Caves and  Executive Vice-President in charge of the production Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon while visiting Champagne Louis Roederer last fall. He told us that he checks in on Roederer Estate a couple of time a year.

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The Roederer winemaking philosophy has guided the development of Roederer Estate, located 125 miles north of San Francisco near the Mendocino Coast. Since 1982, Roederer Estate winery has been quietly developing its own vineyards and crafting fine wines from the Anderson Valley. Roederer Estate’s Anderson Valley Brut debuted in October 1988 followed by the winery’s first vintage cuvée,L’Ermitage, in 1989, released in the fall of 1993.

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L’Ermitage, Roederer Estate’s special Tête de Cuvée, is a sparkling wine made only in exceptional years from pre-selected, estate-grown grapes. Carrying on the tradition of Champagne Louis Roederer in France, Roederer Estate produces its sparkling wines in the traditional French methode and adds special oak-aged reserve wines to each blend. 

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

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Note. All wines were purchased for review unless otherwise indicated
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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, and 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.

Chicken Pipián Verde, Mexican Quinoa and the Devil’s Collection White #winePW

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; along with tips on how to create your own food and wine pairing magic.  Christy of Confessions of a Culinary Diva is hosting this month’s South of the Border theme featuring wine pairings for Mexican Cuisine.

On My Plate

I adore Mexican cuisine. It’s easily the ethnic food I’ve had the most.  When I considered what main dish to try for this month’s South of the Border theme, two things came to mind.

Try something new, and try something authentic.

I decided to check out the La Cocina de Leslie blog, which is written by Leslie Limón, a native Californian who has been living in Mexico for 13+ years.  Bingo!

The recipe I chose is Chicken Pipían Verde.  Here’s how Leslie describes it…

“..Pipián is a traditional Mexican sauce that gets its distinct grainy texture from the pepitas. Pipián can be made in one of two ways: Pipián Verde made with tomatillos and roasted poblano peppers and Pipián Rojo made with tomatoes and dried ancho chiles. Pipián can be served over fish, shrimp, roasted pork, or chicken. Whether you choose to make Pipián Verde or Rojo, you’ll love the nutty flavor the pepitas adds to this exquisite sauce.”  Note: I’ve also seen where it can be served over Chile Rellenos

Leslie suggested serving with Mexican Rice, but I wanted a healthier option.  I chose One Pan Mexican Quinoa from Damned Delicious

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I essentially stuck to the recipes with the exception of  the following:

  • For the Pipián Verde I substituted corn meal for masa harina because I couldn’t find any in time.
  • For the Mexican Quinoa, I substituted chipotle chili powder for chili powder and used can of Southwestern corn instead of corn.

Considering it was my first time ever working with tomatillas, the Pipián Verde turned out very well.  Likewise for the Mexican Quinoa!

Both were delicious.  I highly recommend both recipes!  They are delicious (and pretty healthy too!)  How delicious were they?

My wife, and I both had seconds (actually she had thirds…but you didn’t hear that from me;-).

I even made Chicken Pipián Verde again a few days later (did I mention that my wife loves it)? Except this time we grilled the chicken, tomatillas, and Serrano peppers.

Wow! We enjoyed it even more!

In My Glass

The first two wines that came to mind to pair with my Mexican food was either Riesling (It pairs well with damn near everything) or Sauvignon Blanc.

I had neither.

But I did have a sample of Concha Y Toro’s Casillero del Diablo Devils Blend White. It’s a  blend of 85% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Chardonnay,and 5% Gewürztraminer from Chile’s Casablanca Valley.

I decided to give it a go…

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My tasting notes follow:

Very pale green color with apple, lime, peach, and hints of honeysuckle and gooseberry aromas On the palate, it’s medium bodied, and dry with refreshing acidity, and a soft pleasing texture that envelopes ample apple, lime, grapefruit and a kiss of peach flavors. Lingering finish.  Overall, this is an appealing, fresh, well-balanced balanced wine that delivers very good value for the money  Very good; 86-88 pts  Retail ~$15; 13.5% alcohol.

The Pairing

Overall, this was a very good pairing.  The predominance of Sauvignon Blanc in the blend worked well with the Pipián  Verde Sauce.  But, I think the wine worked better with the Chicken Pipián  Verde than the Mexican Quinoa because the quinoa had a pretty spicy kick to it.  So a bit more residual sugar (sweetness) would have made the wine pair better with the quinoa.

Don’t stop here!

Check out what my fellow #winePW bloggers came up with for this month’s theme! 

Join the #winePW conversation: Follow the #winePW conversation on Twitter throughout the weekend and beyond. If you’re reading this early enough, you can join us for a live Twitter chat on our theme “South of the Border” on Saturday, May 9th, from 8 a.m. to ( a.m Pacific Time. You can also visit our group Pinterest board to pin some great pairing ideas for later! Stay tuned for the June  Wine Pairing Weekend, which will be on Saturday, June 13, 2015