Tomato Tarts … Absolutely Delicious with an Italian Chardonnay

Pairing:  Tomato Tarts Paired with a 2012 D’Amico Chardonnay Calanchi di Vaiano

Food: As the autumn harvest nears it’s end here in northern New England, we cherish the last few evenings that are warm enough and light enough to enjoy dinner on the terrace. It is also the time to catch the last of the heirloom tomatoes before the frost hits. These tomato tarts capture the rich, deep flavor of the heirlooms and showcase them as the centerpiece of the meal. We use the recipe found in The French Culinary Institute’s Salute to Healthy Cooking from America’s Foremost French Chefs, a fabulous cookbook. The recipe calls for making a savory pastry from flour, egg, olive oil, canola oil, salt and water. Chill the dough, then shape it into six-inch rounds. Top the rounds with overlapping thinly sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, fresh basil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 375F for about 8 minutes. Unbelievably good!

Tomato TartsJPG

Wine:  For fun … over the next few months we are going to sample Chardonnays from several different parts of the world, exploring different expressions of the Chardonnay grape.  This Calanchi di Vaiano winery is located in the Lazio wine region of central Italy, the locale of the ancient city of Rome.  The D’Amico’s Chardonnay is unoaked allowing only the terroir created from the eroded lava hillsides where the vineyards are planted to shape the flavors of the wine.

Calanchi ChardonnayJPG

Tasting Notes:  A beautiful medium-gold color. Inhale deeply … one is almost knocked over with the delightful aromas of honey, honeysuckle and peach. On the palate, one recalls one’s youth eating a bowl of honeyed peaches. But it’s not a sweet wine … there is just enough acidity to brighten and balance the flavors. Another sip … is that apricot there in the orchestra of tastes … maybe a little bit of spice, too … nutmeg? Gosh, this is a really, really nice wine. One of the top 5 Chardonnays I’ve ever tasted! And … $14 … get more! Oh, and it’s a brilliant pairing with the tomato tarts. Just brilliant. (do I detect a little bit of head-swelling? … nay). The wine, the tomatoes, the crust, the cheese … all work together to enhance each flavor. Wonderful!

Other Wines That Pair Well with Tomato Tarts:  Soave (Italy), White Burgundy (France), Pinot Grigio (Italy), Vouvray (Loire), Albarino (Spain).

Other Food That Pairs Well with Italian Chardonnay:  Pasta with a Light Cream Sauce, Crab Cakes,  Fresh Tuna and Tomato with Pasta, Pasta Salad with Mushrooms & Tomato.

Read More About Lazio Wines:  http://winefolly.com/review/the-wines-to-know-from-lazio/

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Haddock with Shrimp and Watercress Sauce … Paired with Verdicchio

Pairing: Haddock with a Shrimp and Watercress Sauce Paired with a 2013 Verdicchio de Matelico

Food:  Having just stopped at a farm stand and purchased fresh sweet corn and green beans, we now must decide what fish (it is Friday, after all!) we will serve with these lovely vegetables. Haddock is always nice and available. How shall we prepare it? Well, my wife and live-in gourmet cook (they’re the same person … in case you were wondering) had recently made and frozen some wonderful watercress sauce. Thaw out the sauce, toss in a handful of already cooked and frozen coldwater shrimp, cook the sauce down a little bit and added a Tbs of cream to thicken it, and pour over the pan-fried haddock. An amazing flavor combination has just been discovered!

Haddock with Shrimp & Verdicchio

Wine:  Verdicchio is widely regarded as an ideal companion to fish. And we concur. This Verdicchio di Matelica is the smaller of the two Verdicchio wine growing zones (the larger being Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi) both in the beautiful Marche region of Italy … the Matelica vineyards located on the eastern slopes of the Apennine Mountains. The Verdicchio grape has been grown in this region for more than 600 years.

Verdicchio di matelica

Tasting Notes:  The color is a pretty golden hue. The aromas are of clover and peach (like walking through the peach orchards of Adams County on a summer day). Flavors of lime, yellow peaches, and some minerality emerge on the palate and continue on the finish. The light taste of lime is a nice companion to the sweetness of the fish and shrimp (as well as the corn in this dish). That sweetness of the corn, salinity of the seafood, and the peppery notes of the watercress, taken together bring out the subtle, perhaps hidden, flavors of this delicate wine.

Other Wines That Pair Well with the Fish:  Soave (Italy), Sauvignon Blanc (California), White Bordeaux (France), Chenin Blanc (South Africa)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Verdicchio: Poached or Sautéed White Fish (Cod, Sole, Haddock), Fish Stew or Chowder, Shrimp, Scallops, Crab

Read About:  https://www.wine-searcher.com/regions-marche

A Source:  www.klwines.com

 

 

 

 

Two for One … Shrimp Salad and Peach/ Lime Pork each paired with Roero Arneis

Pairing:  (1) Vietnamese-Style Shrimp Salad, and (2) Pork Tenderloin in a Peach/ Lime Sauce, Each Paired with 2013 Cascina Spagnolo Roero Arneis (Italian White)

Food:  There are usually just the two of us home for dinner, and a bottle of wine typically lasts us two nights. So we plan for two meals that each will pair nicely with the same wine. This posting provides an example of this pairing with two very different meals that benefit from the same wine accompaniment.

The first meal is a recipe from Eating Well magazine for Chilled Maine Shrimp with Cabbage and Peanuts, Vietnamese-Style (see link). A most flavorful shrimp salad made with small shrimp, Chinese cabbage, cilantro, rice vinegar, peanut oil, fish sauce, Asian chili sauce, sugar, fresh ginger, shredded carrot, and unsalted peanuts.  A stellar shrimp salad with a conglomerate of bold flavors.

The second meal is simplicity itself. Rub a pork tenderloin with salt and black pepper. Cook on a hot grill pan. Make a basting sauce with peach nectar (or pureed peaches or peach jam/ marmalade) with some lime zest and soy sauce mixed in. Warm up the sauce on the stove, knapp some of the sauce onto the cooking pork. Serve the remaining sauce over the pork slices at the table.

  1. Wine:  The Piedmont wine region of northern Italy is most noted for the Nebbiolo grape, the single grape used in the making of the exquisite Barolo and Barbaresco red wines of the region. However, Arneis is a grape/ white wine that is gaining in popularity after teetering on the brink of extinction in the 1970’s, thanks mostly to the efforts of winemaker Alfredo Currado of the Vietti wine family (“Never doubt that one man can change the world …” – Margaret Mead). Roero has become the center for making the Arneis white wines, gaining such distinction that it is sometimes referred to as the white Barolo.

Roero Arneis Italian White

Tasting Notes:  A pretty pale gold color. The nose is a medley of fruit aromas … peach, melon, and citrus … each sniff bringing another fruit to the forefront.  The palate echoes the same fruits, the melon being ripe cantaloupe. There is a background hint of sweetness to the taste, along with the delight of white flowers. The finish brings back the citrus notes. A lovely pairing with the complex flavors of the Vietnamese-style salad. And the peach and lime flavors of the pork bring out the peach and citrus tones in the wine. Yet another wonderful Italian white wine, both by itself and paired up with good food.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Vietnamese-Style Shrimp Salad:  Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), Vouvray (Loire Valley), Pinot Gris (Oregon), Unoaked Chardonnay (California), Soave (Italy)

Other Wines That Pair Well with Peach/ Lime Pork:  Chardonnay (California), Gewürztraminer (Alsace), Riesling (Germany), Viognier (Australia)

Other Foods That Pair Well with Roero Arneis:  Crab Salad, Pasta with Seafood, Poached White Fish, Clams

Read About:  http://www.wine-searcher.com/grape-718-arneis

A Source:  www.wine.com

 

 

Shrimp Arrabbiata … Paired with a Beautiful Verdicchio

Pairing:  Shrimp Arrabbiata Paired with 2012 Monasesca Verdicchio di Materica Riserva

Food:  This recipe is adapted from Artist’s Arrabbiata with the addition of shrimp to this light, but spicy, tomato pasta. Arrabbiata means “angry” in Italian, or spicy when describing this dish. Pancetta, garlic, red pepper flakes, and Romano cheese … all classic ingredients that contribute to the spiciness. But, the shrimp cools down the heat a bit.

Shrimp Arrabbiata

Wine:  Red or white? This is often a relatively easy question to answer when selecting a wine to pair with a meal. Most seafood or vegetable dishes pair best with a white wine, while meat or pasta in a rich tomato sauce go nicely with a red wine. And some foods (eg., roast chicken or pork) go well with either a red or a white. Obviously, there are many exceptions to these generalizations, but you usually can’t go wrong with these pairings. However … what do you do with a dish like this shrimp arrabbiata that combines delicately flavored shrimp and a more assertive tomato sauce with pasta? One could overpower the shrimp with a red wine or overwhelm a white wine with a rich tomato sauce. This was my dilemma when considering a food/wine pairing for this dish. The tomato sauce is not really made with a long, slow cooking that would intensify the tomato flavor. Rather this recipe calls for a low simmer for only about 15 minutes. This results in a lighter, fresher tomato taste which suits both the delicate shrimp and a pairing with a crisp, flavorful Italian white … Verdicchio. Perfecto!

Verdicchio Di MatelicaJPG

Tasting Notes:  Ah … the wonderful fragrance of honeysuckle in full bloom … light and sweet smelling. Along with the intoxicating aroma of fresh, ripe cantaloupe. That sweet cantaloupe taste fills your mouth with a wonderful counterpoint to the spicy tomato sauce as well as a lovely complement to the shrimp. There’s even a hint of clementine on the finish. A delightful wine and a nice pairing for this shrimp arrabbiata.

Other Foods That Pair Well with Verdicchio:  Grilled Seafood, Pasta with a Creamy Sauce, White Fish, Scallops

Other Wines That Pair Well with Shrimp:  Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), Chardonnay (Italian), Chablis, Dry Riesling (Alsace)

Read About:  http://www.wine-searcher.com/regions-verdicchio+di+matelica

A Source:   www.klwines.com

Crab-Stuffed Sole with a Grechetto

Pairing: Crab-Stuffed Sole paired with 2013 Paolo e Noemi d’ Amico Seiano

Food: While my Mom was living in Portsmouth, NH after Dad died, a favorite treat of hers was to take our family out to a place called Hector’s Country Kitchen. The best thing on the menu, and what she always ordered, was their sole (flounder) stuffed with bread crumbs and crab, and drizzled with a delicate butter sauce. Our version is made with crabmeat, fresh breadcrumbs, chopped scallion, and Dijon mustard, all held together with an egg white. A light sauce is made from a dollop of butter, some chopped parsley, leeks and shallots, and 1/4 cup of the wine. Sauté lightly. Lay out the sole filets, spread the stuffing over each, roll up each stuffed filet, drizzle with the light sauce, and bake at 400 for about ten minutes.

This one’s for you, Mom, on the 107th anniversary of your birth. Cheers!

crab-stuffed-sole

 

Wine:  2013 Paolo e Noemi d’ Amico Seiano One of our favorite things to do is to sample wine made from uncommon grapes or from out-of-the-way places. The Paolo e Noemi d’ Amico Seiano is from the Italian wine region of Umbria, and made from grapes in a vineyard located about halfway between Rome and Florence. This white wine is made from Grechetto and Sauvignon Blanc grapes.

seiano-italian-white

 

Tasting: A very unusual wine, but with a welcome flavor that complements well the meal. The nose calls to mind a green meadow of grasses and clover. Some might also detect a touch of green melon. The palate has some similarity to viognier with white flowers and white fruit being most recognizable.

Other foods that Pair Well with the Grechetto: Pasta with a Light Cream Sauce, White Fish, Crab or Lobster (particularly with a light butter cream sauce)

Other Wines that Pair Well with Crab-Stuffed Sole: White Burgundy, Viognier, Albarino, Orvieto

Read More:  http://paoloenoemiadamico.it/en/http://thatusefulwinesite.com/varietals/Grechetto.php

A Source:  www.klwines.com