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Piemonte in October, Day 1 ( 26/10/2012 )

It’s our first morning in Piemonte, cool and rainy one. Lots to do, we would like to enjoy picturesque views of the nature and Medieval villages as well as seasonal local foods ( especially after we had a wonderful dinner at La Libera yesterday evening, we are more curious about food! ) and the wines of the region. But today, our priority is wine! cause most of the wineries are closed on weekends. Our appointments are done in advance.

The first one is Paolo Scavino in Castiglione Falletto, 20 min. to Alba. Although our car navigator fails to show there – as it happens often at rural areas – we could arrived the winery on time by helping our mobile phone maps and luck.

First we take winery tour that;

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We see rotofermenters, are used for alcoholic fermentation and maceration at the same time for their Barolos.

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French Oak barrels for ageing and also malolactic fermentation takes place in them. Ageing takes 24 months; 12 months in barrels and additional 12 months in casks. As the quality of wine in all individual barrels are observed during the ageing period, so lesser qualities can be eliminated.

In vineyard they apply organic and biodynamic applications including harvesting their grapes according to the moon calendar.

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Tasting them;

  • 2011 Paolo Scavino Langhe Bianco

  • It’s a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. Fruity and refreshing style. Intense aromas of apricot and peach with good acidity.

  • 2011 Barbera D’Alba

  • Deep crimson. Cherry pie and cheesy notes. Medium tannin and acidity. Long.

  • 2008 Barolo

  • It’s a blend of 3 regions; Barolo, Castiglione Di Falleto and La Morra. After tasting Barbera, it’s distinctively deep and complex. Aromas of red berries, licorice, chocolate with delicate floral notes.

  • 2008 Bricco Ambrogio

  • From Roddi. Brown sugar, cherry and floral notes. Long mineral and medicinal ending.

  • 2008 Monvigliero

  • From Verduno. More delicate. Floral with white chocolate notes.

  • 2008 Bric del Fiasc

  • From Castiglione Falleto. Intenser than Monvigliero on the nose. Complex aromas of licorice, brown sugar, chocolate with earthy and fleshy edges.

    At the end of the tasting we are lucky enough to meet with Mr. Enrico Scavino, who is the owner and wine maker of Scavino wines. Scavino wines offer a knowledgable and sincere tasting atmosphere.

    Now we are on the way of La Morra, 10 min. to Scavino Wines. Before Osteria Veglia, the view is wonderful, so taking some photos;

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    We are at La Morra town. Unfortunately the view is not clear at the Piazzo Castello because of heavy rain. So we choose one of the wine bars for lunch, Viniera S.Giorgio on Via Umberto.

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    We order “Tajarin” ( homemade pasta prepared with lots of eggs) which is a local dish can be found widely in the region and their Barbaresco option served by the glass.

    Our second tasting appointment will be at Fratelli Revello at 2pm. Revellos produce La Morra wines that are elegant and perfumed style of fine Barolo. The style is result of its Calcareous-Marl soil type that is same in Barolo Docg as well, whereas less fertile and Sand-Limestone soil combination of Castiglione Falletto Docg, Mondorte d’Alba Docg and Seralunga d’Alba Docg produce beefier, more tannic and structured wines that are less approachable when young but have more aging capacity.

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    1999 Fratelli Revello Barolo was one of my random purchase at the free-shop of Ataturk Airport in Istanbul and was one of the best wines I’ve ever had up to then. So we are at their panoramic wine tasting room.

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  • Fratelli Revello Barolo 2008
  • Long with red fruit aromas and floral notes.

  • Fratelli Revello Barolo Gattera 2008
  • Sweeter on the nose. Carnation flavours are already perceivable.

  • Fratelli Revello Barolo Giachini 2008
  • Elegant with aromas of sweet red fruits, leather and Autumnal notes.

  • Fratelli Revello Barolo Conca 2008
  • More powerful expression of Barolo with coffee and meaty aromas. 2007 is Intenser and sweeter on the nose with smokey fruits. 2006 is less approachable and has aromas of sage, cherry and strawberry.

  • Fratelli Revello Barolo Rocche dell’Annunziata 2008
  • Intence and delicate fruit is very well integrated with high tannin and acidity. Perfumed and already focused.

    Gattera is the only one aged in Slovenian oak and represents more traditional ageing approach. The others are more modernists and aged in French oak barrrels for 24 months.

    We are leaving there with pleasure of tasting their fine wines.

    It’s time to turn back to Alba for having some rest and be ready for having a local food experience at Il Falstaff !

    Spanish Wine pairing with Japanese Food!

    After tasting wonderful sherries, it’s time to enjoy them with friends. Especially for La Bota De Manzanilla 32, I have a good pairing idea; “Clam Soup with Miso and Tofu” . The recipe from my favorite cookbook; “The Family Meal” prepared by celebrated chef Ferran Adria.

    Why this pairing? Because, I have taste this kind of pairing at Serendipity Restaurant in Wilderness, South Africa and we amazed of “Miso Soup and Fino Sherry” pairing in their tasting menu. The difference between two soup will be additional clams which are the traditional pair for Manzanilla and will have more weight with creamy Tofu. And Clam Soup is enough original and easy to prepare for a weekend dinner which will be prepared together with friends at home, a PARTY!

    Yes we began! We have all we need, not really! except from Dashi powder, cause I couldn’t find it yet;

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    Dividing Tofu,

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    Boiling in Miso and Fish stock (instead of Dashi powder),

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    Naughty girl is tasting clams! Before the meal gets ready 🙂

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    Almost ready and took less than 20 min. Creamy and deep, but not heavy, really delicious!

    Over all the pairing is like sea breeze. Weights and aromas of Soup and Sherry are matching. My tasting note for La Bota De Manzanilla 32 can be found in other post.

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    Have a good weekend, Cheers!!!

    Tasting and Appreciating ” Old Ladies’s Drink ” ; Sherry!

    I’ ve been quite excited to taste the Sherries I bought from Vila Viniteca during my last trip to Barcelona. Especially, dry or off-dry Sherries, which are my favorites, such as Manzanilla, Fino, Amontilado and Oloroso. They amazes me with their very different aromas from all other red and white wines and their unique production method; Solera*.

    As Sherries are underappreciated and misunderstood by wine drinkers for years 😦

    – some can call them as “Old Ladies’s drink! ” , never mind 🙂

    maybe so that their prices are still reachable in the premium level !

    And before dinner, I would like to taste three different styles of sherry; Manzanilla ( which will be consumed at the dinner and I will try to pair it attentively, I hope! ), Amontillado and Oloroso.

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    While uncorking them, an accident happened! with Amontilado’ s cork, but luckily helping with Ah So cork puller, everything is under control again.

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    EQUIPO NAVAZOS La Bota De Manzanilla 32

    It has deep gold color with lemon rim. Nose is quite complex, fruity aromas; lemon and red apple peel, nutty; roasted nuts and refreshing edges; moss and mineral tones. On the palate bone-dry, beginning with lemon peel and salty-minerality, mid palate is rich with apple peel, lemon zest and chestnut, at the long finish, roasted nuts and ginger aromas are getting intenser. It has good acidity and medium (+) body. Revitalizing! 15% Vol.

    EMILIO LUSTAU Single Cask Amontillado

    Amber colored with orange rim. Harmoniously comlex and deep. Sweet on the nose; perfume-like aromas of green olive, moss, iodine, dried fig, chestnut candy. Round on the palate with quince marmalade, caramel, cajun, touch of saltiness and the long dry finish with persimmon and ginger flavours. Full (-) bodied with lots of acidity. 18,5% Vol.

    BARBADILLO Oloroso Seco – Aged 30 years

    Mahogany colored with gold rim. Intense aromas of roasted chestnut, raisin, peach and apricot marmalade, brown sugar, smoke, mineral edges, touch of ginger. On the palate good acidity, full- bodied,round texture and off-dry, touch of saltiness and ginger,ending with lemon cheese-cake flavours. Very Long. 22% Vol.

    FOOD PAIRING FOR MANZANILLA

    In order to complete appreciation of wine, my next step is preparing food for Manzanilla. Of course I’m not a pairing expert but also I like to play pairing game 🙂 , then home-made sushi! Why?

    I expect;

    – Medium (+) body of wine could be match the weights of salmon and overcooked rice,

    – Flavours of sushi roll and Manzanilla are almost equally intense ( also they have common flavours of moss, sea and ginger ).

    – Powerful taste of pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce will be refreshed by acidity of Manzanilla.

    Otherwise, we can easily back to the basics; there is some almond and green olives at home 🙂

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    It is quite fun to prepare simple sushi roll at home. Actually over cooked rice and wrapping them tightly are the keys. I’ll use avocado, cucumber and salmon ( Instead of fresh salmon, I use lightly smoked salmon )

    Looks like a good match 🙂

    And Old Ladies have obviously good taste!

    Sharing with friends is the next step!!!

    *Sherry is a fortified and non-vintage wine that aged in Solera – a very complex ageing technique that the wines belong to successive vintages ( also vineyards ) are blended on vertical and horizontal base with/without flor layer for years -.

    Ô Chateau, My Birthday…

    Last April we were going to Bordeaux via Paris and we chose Ô Chateau; a new wine bar in Paris for my birthday dinner. I learned the bar from a tweet of Jeannie Cho Lee, MW;

    ” 2 new wonderful wine discoveries in Paris: Frenchies wine bar on Rue du Nil & Ô Chateau on JJ Rouseau, casual, gd wine prices…”

    Its location is central but far enough from very crowded and touristic regions of Paris, so feeling the city in more relaxing way is possible.

    In order to spend sometime at the bar before dinner, we arrived earlier than our booking to the cozy wine bar is decorated with warm colors and lighting, comfortable feeling with high ceelings and wide windows.

    We took our place at the bar by helping welcoming staff. The wine menu – by the glass – is quite extensive that consists almost all of the important wine regions of France and has also some of the iconic wines of France such as; Chateau d’Yquem and Dom Perignon. There are 3 options of cl’s; 3cl, 10cl, 15cl and 3cl is quite enough to taste and enjoy the wines.

    Whites

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    Reds

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    So I asked something special to taste on my birthday. Honestly I was looking for a glass of 1999 Dom Perignon but what we had was,

    ” Cuvée Edmond Vielles Vignes 1996 – Sancerre ( Alphonse Mellot Edmond ) “

    And we met an unusual, maybe a hidden style of white Loire; an aged Sauvignon Blanc, like a Bordeaux Blanc without its Sémillon. It was impressively rich, complex and deep with delicate fruit and gentle mineralty.

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    After surprising and informative experience, we chose daily menu with two options;

    Starters

    – Baked truffle brie, apricot sauce,
    – Mozzarella, tomato salad

    2 glass of Pouilly-Fumé were a good matching with cheese-based dishes.

    Main

    – Beef fillet, gratin dauphinois, braised asparagus, 3 cheese truffle sauce,
    – Risotto aux Saint Jacques poêlées, sauce balsamique

    were brilliant with aromatic J.C. Rateau – Les Bressandes 2008 – Beaune 1er Cru,

    Dessert

    – Orange Tart,
    – Cheese cake and fraise coulis

    with a thoughtful birthday present from Ô Chateau; 2 glass of 1999 Dom Perignon were excellent.

    Another souvenir came soon;

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    – No need to make reservation unless selecting one of their wine tastings or having a dinner at limited tables.

    – Interesting wine tastings such as;

    Grands Crus,
    Le Tour de France of Wines,
    Paris Pass,
    Paris Champagne Cruise,
    Champagne Madness…

    – friendly, kind and knowledgeable staff.

    – Relaxing atmosphere and lively crowd.

    – Good selection of French Wines and accompanying food.

    – Good pricing, we only paid for the wonderful evening 85€.

    Sometimes being a winelover can really be rewarding!!!

    Preparing MEAL 2 from The Family Meal

    Interesting cookbooks is the best way to taste different dishes at home and only 2 days ago we have received our new one; ‘The Family Meal’ prepared by celebrity chef Ferran Adria.The book is perfectly designed that made us excited to cook and we choose Meal 2 ;

     

    Pasta Bolognese

    Mackarel & Patato Stew

    _

    Chocolate Cookie

    Paired with Chianti Classico

     

    with Maderia

    We paired Pasta Bolognese with Chianti Classico (Italian-Italian), Mackarel with Albarino (Spanish-Spanish) and Chocolate Cookies with Maderia.

    But first thing to do was preparing Bolognese sauce and fish stock are given in the Basic Recipes section of the book.Bolognese sauce takes almost 2 hours but now we have plenty of them in our dep-freezer divided into 250 gr packages and It’s delicious that the best one I ve ever tasted.Fish stock is easier, only 20 min.

     

    The book has detailed explanations with photographs for every step of cooking, ingredient parts with measurement and timing tables that It’s difficult to make any mistake.

     

    All of the dishes were delicious, so we will try remaining 30 meals in following weekends.

    Bon Appétit!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Preparing Chicken Liver Pâté

    As a lover of sweet wines, I’m always looking for something to prepare at home complementing ( excepting desserts ) to sweet wines and as a starter. But it should be something that simple to prepare and could be kept for long time for occasions. After I checked some recepies of Chicken Liver Pate (sample: BBC recepie ) I’m convinced that not as difficult as I thought.

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    Now we are tasting some of them and the remaining will be consumed with friends along with a Late Harvest Muscat.

    It is simple to prepare and delicious that I can recommend to all wine lovers!

    Bon Appétit!!!