CSA Box Pairings: May 12, 2016
Here's how to make your tummy happy! We've got a nearly extinct grape in Spain to go with a satisfying carrot salad, and for the main course, we've got a balsamic blueberry steak sauce with wine made by a member of the famous "Gang of Four"!
Recipe: Roast Carrot and Avocado Salad with Orange and Lemon Dressing from Jamie Oliver
Pair with: Valduero Yunquera Blanco de Albillo Ribera del Duero 2014 ($17)
This isn't one of those boring salads that leave you feeling existentially empty after eating mouthful after mouthful of leaves. Instead, it's slightly spicy from the cumin and chili, sweet and sour from the citrus and vinegar, and creamy-luscious from avocados and a smidgen of sour cream. Naturally, we chose the rare Valduero Yunquera's Blanco de Albillo to complement the dish.
This is a fuller-bodied white wine made from Blanco de Albillo grapes in the heart of northern Spain's Ribera del Duero region. Unfortunately for these almost-extinct Albillo grapes, the popularity of reds and other preferred varieties (and the darn bureaucracy of wine law) means this indigenous white can't bear its illustrious regional title. With the aid of stubborn persistence, however, Albillo has been replanted vine by vine across just five little hectares of this region. Fewer than 3,000 cases are produced despite their incredibly versatile, summery, ripe fruit, tropical and herbal notes. You can taste this rare creature and see how it'll give meaning to your meal.
Recipe: Balsamic Blueberry Steak Sauce from Relish
Pair with: Jean Foillard Côte du Py Morgon 2013 ($39)
Instead of going straight for the Worcestershire sauce, you can class up your steak game by making this awesome balsamic blueberry sauce. And, sure, you could easily pair this with any ol' Syrah and be so so happy, but if you're already making blueberry sauce, you might as well surprise someone and win them over with this fairly serious (despite the grape's light and chipper reputation) Gamay from Beaujolais, the southernmost sub-region of Burgundy, France.
Jean Foillard is now officially wine-world famous for being one of the members of Beaujolais's "Gang of Four." These four producers earned themselves a reputation for awesome, pure, transparent and captivating wines by using old-school, traditionalist methods in the cellar and extremely tuned-in practices in the vineyard. Despite the threat of disease and pests, they refuse to use chemicals and instead pay extra attention to mitigating these problems naturally. They also advocate for highly selective hand-harvesting, and they add minimal sulfur to their wines--if any at all. In Foillard's Côte du Py bottling (it's one of the most well-regarded vineyard sights in the Cru of Morgon in Beaujolais), you get a clear look at Gamay's full, fabulous potential--beyond the infamously young, bubble-gummy, unstructured Beaujolais Nouveau that once commandeered the region's reputation. Granitic and shist soils of Morgon give Gamay here more power and structure to stand up to your meatier dishes, but the vibrancy of the red fruit and bright acidity match the cheerful, tangy sweetness that this sauce adds to your dish.