Seasonal Pairings: November 9, 2016
This week, we’re featuring two wines made by two sets of brothers to go with some cozy Fall recipes. In case you’ve been missing your siblings, this meal and the wine pairings will help you celebrate the unconditional love of your siblings, even if they refused to share their Batman action figure with you (and you’re not one bit bitter about it). Try both wines for $10!
Recipe: Chicken Sausages with Butternut Mash from Martha Stewart
Pair with: Domaine de Fa Beaujolais ($21)
Even though it’s November, this is not Beaujolais Nouveau! Domaine de Fa makes the good sh*t because the winemakers are brothers Maxime and Antoine Graillot. These two had learned winemaking from their legendary pops Alain Graillot, who makes age-worthy Syrahs in Northern Rhone. Having perfected their earthy, black peppery Syrahs, the two siblings started looking further north for the next wine adventure. In their search for the perfect Beaujolais plot, they came across a very high hill of granitic soil that they knew would make some structured and gorgeous wines from Gamay grapes. Unlike Beaujolais Nouveau and its tendency of tasting like bananas and possibly cheap cranberry juice, this wine emerges bright but mature. It’s got the pop of pomegranate, green peppers, and violets. Together with chicken sausages and a side of creamy butternut mash, this wine will make you wish you and your bro never fought over who got to hold the remote and instead learned how to make wine with dad.
Recipe: Sweet and Sour Cabbage from Chinese Healthy Cooking
Pair with: Smith-Madrone Spring Mountain Riesling Napa 2014 ($32)
It’s normal to feel skeptical of Riesling from California. It’s a grape that’s got a bad rap for being “too sweet”. Perhaps our CA weather is too warm to warrant the residual sugar left in the wine, leaving your mouth sappy and fruit-bombed. But ask a sound-minded German and they will tell you that Riesling grown in cool climate is so tart they’ll make you squint. In this case a little sweetness left from the grape juice is certainly welcome. Californians may have gone too hard on the residual sugar idea. But hope emerged when the smart Smith brothers decided to make Riesling. About 42 years ago, the brothers had planted their Riesling vines on the East-facing slope of their high elevation estate. The warmth of the morning sun is milder on the Riesling vines so that they retain their signature crispness. They then fermented their wine all the way dry. Still, you might detect those gorgeous white peach, pear, and orange blossom flavors that refresh your palate whenever you eat spicy food. Since this traditional Chinese recipe is a great dish to spice up with some Sichuan peppercorns and fresh ginger, be sure to have a glass of this Smith-Madrone Riesling by your side.