CSA Box Pairings: June 11, 2015
Awww, giddy up! Summery likes of green beans and zucchini coming on strong now (and still, the carrots). And we're totally whooped on our new Jerusalem cookbook...
Pair with: Jolie-Laide Fanucchi-Wood Road Trousseau Gris Russian River Valley 2014 ($28)
Jolie-Laide is a French term for an unconventionally attractive person--a beautiful ugly. It sums up fantastically the style of wines this label by Scott Schultz is putting out... strange yet wonderful, perhaps enchantingly distorted or beautifully unconventional. This Trousseau Gris is a perfect example. It's made from a genetic mutation of the red Trousseau grape (originally from the Jura)--the gris grapes come in a rainbow of peachy-pinky-purpley colors... kind of like our rainbow carrots! Here, Scott challenges our expectations by crafting a wine that emerges a deep, coppery orange, all fleshed out with wild melon, juicy peach and chamomile tea notes yet at the same time stamped with the slightly tannic backbone of a light-bodied red wine. Baby's got grip! The flavors and texture come from letting the juice sit on the skins for an extended period of time, just as if you were making a red wine. The final result is complex and challenging yet also keeps you coming back for more... just like the spicy/sweet/vinegary carrots in our recipe.
Pair with: Chateau Musar Jeune Rouge Bekaa Valley 2012 ($25)
Chateau Musar is an icon. Run by the highly respected and beloved Serge Hochar, this estate sat strong and proud in the sunny Bekaa Valley of Lebanon throughout the country's devastating civil war (1975-1990). Thanks to Serge's dedication and passion for his wines, Chateau Musar is one of the world's true cult wines. Musar Jeune Rouge is the chateau's "entry-level" bottling--an unoaked blend of Cinsault, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon intended for early drinking (while their traditional red needs ample time in barrel and bottle before it's approachable). While Serge passed away unexpectedly late last year, his son Gaston is taking the reigns and crafting the wines in the same traditional way Serge taught him.
We can't help but love the notion of pairing a recipe from Israel with a wine grown just north in Lebanon. There's a certain roasted herbal undercurrent in the wine along with rich, ripe fruit flavors that plays off the fresh herbs and green beans as well as the toasted spices. Both the wine and the dish are bold, complex and intense yet remain fresh.