Seasonal Pairings: February 8, 2017
In such rainy weather, the preferred position is a blanket burrito on the couch. But before you get rained in, make sure you got food and wine! Here's our suggestion for sustenance. First: a simple one-pot-wonder of beans infused with fresh CSA oranges to go with a floral and spicy Portuguese wine. Next, a butternut squash frittata that ensures happy leftovers. To pair, we’ve got a nutty, lemony Garganega. Come on by to try both wines for $10!
Recipe: The Lazy Cook's Black Beans from Serious Eats
Pair with: Joao Barbosa Ninfa Tejo 2012 ($16)
Beans and citrus are meant to be together. If you’ve been getting hella oranges as of late, don’t forget about this magical combo. To go with these simple beans, we’ve got an ultra tasty Portuguese red blend from Tejo, a wine region that runs alongside the Tejo River, just east of Lisbon. This region gets pretty warm in the summer time so the grapes show off some riper, spicy, and floral notes.
This particular wine is a blend of Alfrocheiro, Aragonez, and Touriga Nacional. Before you freak out about how these lesser known grapes, just know that it's perfectly acceptable to just call it a red blend. The emphasis on single varieties is rare in Portugal. More commonplace are blends. Traditionally, growers would plant different grapes in the same vineyard to ensure that if one variety doesn’t do well, they’ve got others as backups. Keeping a mini-vineyard in the backyard is also pretty common so no one’s stressing too much about homogenizing their vineyard into one variety. It would be like starting a garden and only planting lemon trees! The other theory is that Portuguese explorers loved trading a vine for a vine whenever they traveled. Whatever the origins of blended culture, we’re happy that it exists. Together, these three indigenous grapes taste like dried flowers, black cherries, and candied orange peels. The wine drinks like a budget Chateauneuf-du-Pape and goes wonderfully with a humble meal of beans and rice.
Recipe: Bacon Gruyere Butternut Squash Frittata from Delish
Pair with: Gini Soave Classico 2015 ($21)
Whenever a salty gruyere makes its way into a dish, it’s good to have a Garganega around…especially if it’s a brunch worthy dish! This grape is native to the hilly slopes of Veneto and makes a darn versatile wine! Gini is a winery run by folks who have tended Soave vineyards since the 1600s. The average vines are 70 years old. As you may know, the older the vines, the more concentrated the flavor of the grapes. Gini’s wine shows of Garganega’s best qualities – nuttiness, flower pollen, honey, and lemony goodness. After a spontaneous fermentation without addition of sulfites, the wine ages on the lees (yeast!) to develop a bready, savory flavor. A few sips will remind you that Spring is just over the horizon. But in the meantime, a gooey frittata will do.