CSA Box Pairings: February 25, 2016
Today is a really big day at Bay Grape. We're getting beautiful produce boxes from Capay Valley Farm Shop. AND! AND! The New York Times is coming to photograph our space and the CSA Pickups & Pairings tasting! WHOA NELLY! Here's what we've got lined up for this momentous occasion...
Recipe: Roasted Achiote Chicken with Broccoli and Tangerine Aioli from Food 52
Pair with: Comte Abbatucci Cuvée Faustine Vieilles Vignes Ajaccio 2013 ($37)
May as well go a little wild, eh? Comte Abbatucci has turned the world onto the compelling wines of a little place called Corsica. This island of France feels like it may as well be its own country. And if it were, perhaps Jean-Charles Abbatucci would be the king. He certainly rules the winemaking scene here, practicing biodynamic viticulture as ardently as anyone else in the world. In addition to vines, his grand estate is home to native forests, olive groves, even herds of sheep keeping the natural local ecosystem in check. Jean-Charles is also known to play Corsican polyphonic music for his vines and wines--it's all about that terroir, yo! As for the Cuvée Faustine, it's made from local varieties Sciaccarellu and Niellucciu and shows off intensely pure Corsican flavor. Candied, wild bramble fruit, a touch of roasted herbs and a dusty red minerality plays to the smoky earthiness of the achiote in this chicken (as well as the dark bitterness of the broccoli) while the intense fruit helps the tangerine aioli really pop.
Recipe: Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto from Bon Appétit
Pair with: Forlorn Hope Pinot Gris Dragone Ramato Rorick Vineyard 2014 ($30)
Ah, Ramato Pinot Gris. What is it? "Ramato" is what the Italians call a certain coppery-auburn color... in wine, the Pinot Gris/Grigio grape (which is considered a white grape but actually has slightly pinkish-gray skins) can make a ramato colored wine when its juice and skins are left in contact with each other for an extended period of time. Typically, we'd call a white wine left on its skins like this an "orange" wine, because most white varieties' skin-colors will impart more of a golden orange hue. But Pinot Gris's pinkish skins make more of this ramato color. Get it?
White wines left on their skins tend towards a more savory, earthy flavor profile, which can mirror that of a root vegetable... like a carrot! Yet winemaker Matthew Rorick of Forlorn Hope is based in sunny, happy California, and like the great people of this state, the great wines of this state typically showcase a pretty sunny, happy disposition that plays, here, to the snappy, showy sweetness of purple carrots. The carrot top pesto gives this dish just enough verve to hang with the wine's bright acidity. Shine on!