CSA Box Pairings: March 10, 2016
This week's recipes and pairings go out to the beloved honeybees of the world! Despite how much we depend on these little guys, we aren't doing such a good job keeping them alive. Fortunately, some growers work extra hard to grow grapes and make wines with a less detrimental impact on the environment. We are featuring two certified organic wines that are damn delicious!
Recipe: Carrot, Avocado, and Orange Salad from Epicurious
Pair with: Torre Dei Beati Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo 2013 ($19)
Near the Gran Sasso mountain range, not far from the sea, Fausto Albanesi's father-in-law planted grapes for the family in 1972. Wind sweeps down the mountainside and up from the sea, preventing unwanted bugs without the aid of harmful pesticides. The land is fertile (vines make more compelling fruit in less fertile soils), so Fausto works hard to carefully prune the grapes and severely restrict their yields. During harvest, the team selects grapes that are perfectly ripe and return to harvest them five to six different times; none are picked too early, and none are picked too late. This is the type of scrupulous care that goes into making a delicious wine from an organic vineyard that doesn't claim "organic" for the pat-on-the-back. They do it because they really care!
You'll notice that this rosé is extra dark. The flavors are rich without being tannic and full like a red wine. The bright acidity of this wine compliments the sour juicy oranges that contrast the creaminess of the carrots and avocado.
Recipe: Duck Leg Confit, Nicola Potato, and Sage Cake from SBS
Pair with: La Roche Buissiere Petit Jo France NV ($20)
Speaking of bees... Antoine and Lawrence Joly's grandpa was a beekeeper in the '70s, so he knew a thing or two about keeping the land happy for his honey-making friends. As early as 1980, their 18 hectares of vines in the Southern Rhône were already certified organic. Aside from getting environmental brownie points, Antoine and Lawrence's Petit Jo is a wine that pairs perfectly with gamey duck and earthy potatoes. Grenache and Syrah create a perfect blend of peppery spice and plummy red fruit to liven up this elegant, yet hardy dish. The Joly brothers harvest a little earlier than what's common in this region so the wine retains a strongly acidic backbone and hints at fresh green herbs. This can be a weeknight dinner, a hot date (for someone worth it) or a no-sweat-I'm-just-effortlessly-impressing-the-in-laws type of meal.