CSA Box Pairings: September 10, 2015
Every year around this time, the abundance of tomatoes becomes a bit overwhelming. We have them growing in our backyard and can't give them away fast enough--there are simply too many amazing fruits to possibly consume. And so, we look to the family tradition of canning. Stevie, her mom, sister and two grandmothers typically get together in late August or early September to put up 60 or so quarts of plum tomatoes. San Marzanos (featured in this week's box) are the crème de la crème of canning and will reward you with glorious pasta and pizza sauce for the next year if you can them properly. But even if you don't have four extra sets of hands and a 10-hour day to can 60 quarts of the things, you can piece together the below recipe in an evening.
Recipe: Garden-Fresh San Marzano Tomato Sauce from Tasty Eats at Home blog
Pair with: Bitornino da Frascole Toscana Rosso 2013 ($15)
With the heat out there right now, don't be afraid to stuff your reds in the fridge. In fact, we highly recommend stuffing them in the fridge. Not only will prolonged high temperatures literally cook your wines, but drinking 80-degree Syrah is nowhere near pleasant. This bottle of Tuscan Sangiovese does especially well chilled down a bit because it has almost zero sulfur to act as a preservative (so keeping it cool to avoid spoiling is important), and its tart acidity and sour cherry notes are more appealing when they're also refreshing. Acid in a wine (Sangiovese packs a lot of it) loves to match up with acid in a food (hello, tomatoes!). There's also not much that screams end-of-summer more than a cool bottle of Tuscan Sangiovese and a fat bowl of pasta with fresh tomato sauce punched up with fresh herbs and a little garlic.
Recipe: Pan-Seared Black Cod with Grape Salsa from Food & Wine
Pair with: Dettori Renosu Bianco Sardegna NV ($23)
Dettori, the "bad boy" of Sardegna who adamantly makes wines the way he wants rather than the way the appellation or authorities tell him to, crafted this dense yet refreshing wine from mostly the local Vermentino--all piney and herbal and tart--along with a splash of Muscat to add a floral lift and easier-going fruitiness. Muscat is known for its fresh "grapey" fruit, which goes head to head with the grape salsa here, while the aromatics hold their own against the fresh herbs and spice in this briny fish.