Seasonal Pairings: February 1, 2017
Instead of staring your rutabagas down with your unenthusiastic eyes, let them know that they are destined for delicious fates. Yes, a recipe and wild wine from Greece will brighten up a weeknight dinner. For a heartier dish to get you through a week, there’s spicy beef stew and sweet leeks. We’ve also got a red to match! This second wine comes from steep and abandoned old vines of Spain. Try both wines for just $10!
Recipe: Rutabaga and Celeriac Puree with Scallops from The Kitchn
Pair with: Gaia Wild Ferment Assyrtiko Santorini 2015 ($33)
I bet a good ol’ Wednesday night never looked so darn gourmet! But thanks this perfect pairing of seared scallops and a refreshing Greek wine, you can feel like seaside royalty without skipping town. Gaia is a Greek winery started in 1994 by Yiannis Paraskevopoulos who has a PhD in Enology and Agriculture. Needless to say, the guy knows a few things about grapes and how to grow them. Yiannis also knew that indigenous Greek grapes like Assyrtiko weren’t getting the international attention they deserved, so he got straight to work. He picks Santorini’s indigenous Assyrtiko from a site called Pyrgos. Here, Yiannis found that he could make more aromatic wines than grapes from sourced from other parts of the island. And even though most of the wines that Gaia makes are done in a very modern facility with select yeast strains, this wild ferment Assyrtiko makes a nod at tradition. Yiannis gives the grapes 12 hours to macerate on its skins before placing the juice in large barrels where the ambient local yeast takes over. Instead of doing any manual manipulation once this wine gets going, the winery simply selects just the good tasting barrels. This way, you’ve got a super mineral and terroir-driven bottle of wine that begs for seafood. You can even pick up a extra bottle to store in a cellar for a few years, as this is one white wine that ages well!
Recipe: Smoky Beef and Leek Stew from Food and Wine
Pair with: Silice Ribeira Sacra 2014 ($25)
When life gives you leeks, put it in a stew! Smoked paprika a.k.a. pimentón really gives this beef and leek stew a spice and smokiness that warms you up inside out. To pair, we’d like to suggest a red from Ribeira Sacra in Northwestern Spain. Silice is a small operation run by Fredi Torres, a winemaker from a fishing family in Galicia. After working in wineries in Argentina, Switzerland, and Spain, Fredi started his own project in Ribeira Sacra. Super steep slopes characterize this area, and a lot of old timers have since given up on maintaining their vineyards growing off the sides of treacherous heights. This slightly spicy and vibrantly earthy wine is made entirely from grapes grown on once abandoned vineyards that Torres and his buddies Juan and Carlos are restoring with organic and biodynamic farming. Everything is done with so much care that very little sulfur is needed at bottling. The resulting wine is herbaceous, rustic and perfect for a hearty beef stew with leeks and the smoky spice of paprika.