Seasonal Pairings: April 12, 2017
When life gives you leeks, grill 'em! When life gives you rutabaga, mash 'em! This week's seasonal pairings will include one snappy, fast recipe for your next grill sesh and another recipe that requires some patience but will reward you kindly at the end. Drop by Bay Grape to taste their wine counterparts today for just $10!
Recipe: Grilled Leeks from Wrightfood
Pair with: Picariello Fiano di Avellino 2015 ($30)
Long ago, Mount Vesuvius erupted and covered the whole town of Pompeii. While we remember the destructiveness of the volcano, life also buds from the volcanic soils of Avellino, further inland. There, Ciro Picariello founded his small winery in 2004. Fiano grapes grow on a windy hillside that sits over 1600 feet above sea level. Picariello is gentle with his grapes, making sure to collect picked grapes in small boxes so they are less likely to be crushed before making it to the winery. In the winery, they go through a natural fermentation with no added yeast and age with the lees to develop a nutty flavor. The wine is bottled unfiltered and unfined.
This grilled leek recipe is a great starter dish for sunny meals outside. With a splash of white wine vinegar and some good olive oil, you’ll want a wine that matches. This bottle of Fiano is bright and citrusy. It tastes of the smoky flinty volcanic soils from its origins and really complements those grill marks on your leeks.
Recipe: Horseradish Glazed Brisket and Short Ribs with Root Vegetable Mash from Epicurious
Pair with: Maitre de Chai Carignan Poor Ranch Mendocino 2015 ($32)
Brisket can take all day to get right, but getting the right wine and a quick side dish like mashed root veggies is no sweat. This recipe incorporates both your earthy CSA rutabagas and your new favorite grape, Carignan, into one delicious meal. The fatty juiciness of perfectly cooked brisket calls for a wine that can stand its ground. Maitre de Chai makes a Carignan that’s fruity yet full of meaty umami flavors that accompany brisket like old pals and inside jokes. The trickiest part of choosing a wine to pair with this recipe is perhaps the spice of horseradish. While tannins are usually nice for oily dishes, they do not go well with spice. Luckily, Carginan is a grape that’s full enough to handle the fats, yet not so tannic that it would create tension with the spice. This is a foolproof pairing for your next big dinner with friends and family.