CSA Box Pairings: July 30, 2015
We're heading into grape onslaught, so be ready. They'll keep coming, week after week, for the next few months if we remember right. With that in mind, we've stockpiled a few grape-y recipes for your kitchen so you can supplement the sheer snacking you're sure to do. (You've tried frozen grapes, yes??)
Recipe: Lamb Chops with Rosemary and Grapes from Food & Wine
Pair with: Pizzorno Family Don Prospero Tannat Uruguay 2012 ($13)
This little nugget just came to us from a tiny, exclusively Uruguayan importer based in the Bay Area. The guy lived abroad in Uruguay for a while, and his roommate at the time married a girl from the area. Years later, the roommate told him about these fantastic wines made by her family that no one was (yet) importing into the US. Soon enough, the Pizzorno family's wines landed on our humble copper counter. This one's from the Tannat grape, which hails from Southwest France but has made its home-away-from-home in Uruguay. This Latin country has wholeheartedly embraced the full-throttle, tannin-terrific, dark and ornery Tannat, typically rendering it in a polished and opulent, slightly less strict style. The Don Prospero here is delicious, forward, meaty jet juicy without being obnoxious. We love the bold, rich body up against the gamey lamb, and the sweet pop of the grapes in your sauce mimics the juicy ripeness of the wine.
Recipe: Spicy Curry Grilled Shrimp with Cucumber Salad from Food & Wine
Pair with: La Clarine Farm Albariño Sierra Foothills 2014 ($23)
It's all about Hank Beckmeyer. Dude holds it down way up high in the Sierra Foothills, among his vines, his wife, and his goats. That's about it. His vineyard practices are minimalistic, and his winemaking even less involved. Which is NOT to say he's lazy. Quite the contrary: Hank works extraordinarily hard to basically allow his vines to do what they want. It's all about them and their precious grapes. After picking, he pretty much crushes them and then leaves the juice be--to be whatever it wants to be. Here's exactly what he said about this particular wine:
Wonderfully fresh and floral in aroma, and clean and crisp in the finish, this is a 100% Albariño. Sourced from a steep hillside vineyard on limestone, a rarity in the our parts of the Sierra Foothills. This was our first pick of the 2014 vintage, on August 15th. The fruit was lightly foot crushed and whole-cluster pressed gently into tanks. Ambient yeasts set to work very quickly (a hallmark of 2014 for us), and the wine was dry within 14 days. Malolactic fermentation completed spontaneously shortly thereafter.
The wine was aged 7 months on its lees. A light sulfite addition was made when the wine was racked just before bottling. Unfined and unfiltered, of course! We are very happy with the way this wine has evolved. It has enough minerality to work with a variety of foods, and yet is light enough to drink on its own, as an aperitif. Enjoy now and throughout the summer.
As for us, we just freaking love the slight bit of minerality yet really ripe stone fruits to back up the curry spice in your shrimp, yet the cool acidity and lightness in body that plays all nicely with your cucumbers.