CSA Box Pairings: April 23, 2015
Now that the asparagus has run its course, we're onto fresh spring peas! Also, the carrots keep on coming... and coming... and coming. This week's recipes both use carrots--one's more classic, and one's unexpected but absolutely approved.
Pair with: Mario Bazán Sauvignon Blanc Napa 2013 ($23)
Mario Bazán moved to the Napa Valley from Oaxaca, Mexico, in 1973. He started his new life as a general laborer, helping in the vineyards and eventually moving his way up to vineyard manager of such prestigious sites as Robert Mondavi's Opus One and To Kalon vineyard. In 1997, he opened his own vineyard management company to consult on great Napa sites, and by 2005, he was able to purchase his own small plot of vines and launch his own wine label. As a man of the vines, Mario's approach in the cellar is hands off, believing that if he can bring in perfect fruit, very little must be done in the winery. His Sauvignon Blanc sings out with ripe, luscious and extroverted stone fruit and melon notes--the intensity of aromatics and slight richness of texture match up with the intensity of the spices and coconut milk in this soup, while the slightly green vegetal flavors that are signature to this grape play off the peas and fresh herbs.
Pair with: L'Argentier Aramon Rosé Languedoc 2014 ($16)
Pour Aramon. The teaser to this grape's entry in the impressive Wine Grapes book edited by Master of Wine Jancis Robinson reads, "Very productive vine once responsible for much of France's least noble wine." Such accolades! True, though, that the vine was prized for its huge yields in France's one-time quantity-focused Languedoc region. Quality, though, is on the up and up in these parts, and Aramon has gone all but extinct. As an exception to the rule, L'Argentier is making a quite compelling rosé version of old-vine Aramon. It's got ripe, juicy cherry fruit that, while not sweet, stands up to the caramelized sugars and spices in these seared carrots. It also has weight to match up with all that butter you're about to douse on this dish, while the fresh acidity keeps things lifted.