Spring is in the air... I just read it's going to be 67 on Saturday! The Mobile Chowdown was a lot of fun & it was great to see some of you there amongst the queues. I guess we should be thankful that it was a little chilly instead of the forecast we have for this Saturday. The lines would have been to the stadium. Also had a great time at the Art of the Table anniversary party--I was listed as a food "celeb" sighted at the party :)
And attended an amazing tasting at Via Tribunali with Small Vineyards this week & I can't wait to start selling their Italian line up.
But I have much to tell you about that is available right now. Brought home lots of new wines & have been tasting away. My work is never done :) I now have a Facebook fanpage so please become a fan!!!! It's where to stay ahead of the curve on events, new wines I'm recommending, & general food gossip. I keep up with gourmand Twittering for you... Oh yeah, you can follow me as quesoyvino there too. Into the 21st century I go!
Oh & happy St. Paddy's Day all you O'Hara's... I'm wearing my green garden clogs. A fava is sprouting outside in a determined spring way.
Catherine Reynolds (O'Hara)
Presidenta, Queso y Vino, 206-518-1166, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned for Harvest Vine wine & tapas April 20th
and other special appearances in the works
SCALLOPS WITH PISTACHIO VINAGRETTE from The
New Spanish Table by Anya von Bremzen
my friend Chef D. at Art of the Table loves this cookbook! I made this
recipe for my friend & blogger Seattle
Tall Poppy (who took this gorgeous shot of food porn) a
few summers ago & she was wowed by it's restaurant-like appearance.
No surprise, the recipe came from Basque super-star Juan Mari Arzak of
San Sebastian. So while I associate this dish sunny summer weather
under our umbrella table on the deck, I was amazed to see scallops on
the University Farmer's Market fresh sheet for this week. Here's
where you can check out what's Ripe and Ready in town. Ready, set,
make your shopping list! They're predicting a balmy 67 degrees for
Makes 61/2 cup Txakoli (a Basque white wine) or Portuguese Vinho Verde
2 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 medium-size garlic clove, crushed with a garlic press
1 Tbs minced shallot
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup light olive oil, plus more for brushing the scallops
1 small pinch of sugar
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) & freshly ground black pepper
18 sea scallops
A handful of baby lettuces, for garnish
2 Tbs minced chives
1/3 cup lightly toasted unsalted pistachios, finely chopped or coarsely ground
Place the wine in a small saucepan over medium-high heat & cook until reduced to about 1/4 cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the wine to a bowl & whisk into the vinegar, garlic, shallot, & lemon juice. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, then season the vinaigrette with the sugar & salt & pepper to taste. Let the vinaigrette stand while you prepare the scallops.
Light the grill & preheat it to medium or preheat a ridged grill pan to medium-hot over medium heat.
Soak 6 bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels & lightly sprinkle salt & pepper over them. Thread the scallops on the skewers through the sides, placing 3 scallops on each skewer. Brush both sides of the scallops with olive oil.
Grill the scallops, working batches if necessary, until just opaque inside & lightly browned on the outside, about 3 minutes per side.
To serve, place each skewer on a small appetizer plate & arrange a few leaves alongside. Stir in the chives & the pistachios into the vinaigrette & dab some vinaigrette on the scallops. Serve at once.
THIS WEEK'S QUESO Y VINO WINE RECOMMENDATIONS
I offer a 10% discount on whole or mixed cases, free delivery for orders over $150, smaller orders will be conveniently & gladly delivered to you for the nominal fee of $10. Start a buying club & I'll waive the delivery fee! Ask me if you'd like to arrange a free pick up at the Saturday University Farmer's Market or Sunday at the Ballard Farmer's Market or the West Seattle Farmer's Market. We're usually there from a window of 10:30 until noon depending on our order requests, and can be around to meet you before or after your market shopping.
Don Tiburcio 2006, Mendoza $9.99
Bring on the rub-your-eyes-at-the-price factor--I love direct imports so much. The Benegas-Lynch family immigrated from France & has one of the flagship properties in the Argentine wine industry. Out of all the Benegas wines this one is named after Don (the MAN!), Tiburcio Benegas, who started Trapiche & founded the wine industry in Mendoza, so you better believe it's good. A plush blend of Malbec, Cab Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, & Merlot, this is Bordeaux beauty at South American prices. Sumptuous plump black cherry juice & rolling currant liqueur, topped off with roasted vanilla bean finish. My goodness this is wonderful for TEN BUCKS!!!!!
Podere Il Caio Roso Umbria Sangiovese Merlot 2008, Rosso Umbria $11.99
You should see their gorgeous agriturismo. Umbria is a modest wine region (look at this price) east of Tuscany, north of Rome, in the "green heart of Italy". Perfect for St. Patrick's Day! This Sangio Merlot blend has a little Cab & Montepulciano thrown in for good measure, & it swept me off my feet. It spends a brief 3-5 months in cask which keeps it fresh, but solid with raspberry, black cassis, ground pepper mill, & juicy plum preserves. I happily drank this with last week's recipe for Minestra with cabbage, wheat berries & sausage--perfect pairing, perfect price.
Chateau de Pena Rivesaltes Ambre, Rivesaltes $11.99
This delicious & tres interessant wine is hard to classify as it is recommended as an aperitif, with foie gras, & chocolate tart (not all at once) by the producer. That's a lot of latitude! We served this at Art of the Table with olive oil cake & a sweet orange compote-mmmm. A blend of Grenache Rouge, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris aged for 3 years in large French oak barrels. This comes from the foothills of Corbieres in the heart of the Rousillon in Francce, but is still culturally a Catalan area. Beautiful plump apricot jelly, gingerbread & caramel, butterscotch & toffee, spiced bitter oranges.Lightly nutty & smoky. A steal of a dessert wine that doesn't have to be for dessert.
Fico Prosecco, Veneto $12.99
Bring on Spring! We popped this open to try with some Korean tacos & it went hand in hand, even though that blend of cultures is quite a mouthful. This is ready for a pile of cured meats & cheeses. I've written about the Botter family's achievements in the past & this Prosecco is grown on the hills of Venice, where I hope to return to some day. Their Proseco vines benefit from over 25 years of age, but this bubbly has a lovely youthful vernal feel. Dry white peaches, light on its feet, fine bubbles. Not to be confused with sweeter styles. You could definitely have this with prosciutto-wrapped figs.
Vevi 2008, Rueda $13.99
Vevi is like the fireworks of forsythia blooming on the crest of my lawn: a golden harbinger of spring. A lovely new Verdejo with some Viura to round it out, this is as clean as its package. Explodes with Pomelo, Buddha's Hand citron, & a zesty punch. Super crisp style, I loved it with saag paneer & a chickpea/eggplant side on our dinner table. Absolutely refreshing, clean, & affordable. Oak lovers, there's nothing for you here.
Hazana Semi-Crianza 2007, Rioja $13.99
This new Rioja tastes as good as it looks. Hazana translates as a literary "heroic feat" & that it is, a tasty Rioja with a handsome price. This is made at Vinicola Real, with its labyrinthine tunnels, where barrels age in the side of a mountain. Everything else about this Rioja feels deliciously modern. The semi-crianza is aged in new French & American oak for 6 months, just enough to give backbone, but not overwhelm the wondrous orchard fruit contained inside. Plums, spice & earth circle the nose, roses on the palate, this is solid & smooth with supple dark cherries. This is a new generation of Rioja not to miss out on.
Benaza Godello 2008, Monterrei $14.99
I've never seen a wine here from Monterrei, even though it appears to have become a DO in '96. This wine also contains a grape I've never seen listed called "Dona Blanca". Cool! Monterrei borders on Portugal, in the valleys of the Tamega River--it has a different climate than other Galician DO's as it is warm & dry, which can be tasted in the wine. Benaza uses 30-50 year old vines, so this Godello has wonderful weight. Stonefruits, apricot, & white nectarines flood from the glass, with zingy & spicy citrus rind, plus zesty minerals. An absolutely delightful wine I'm taken with, & a great match for this week's almost-Galician scallop recipe.
Borsao Crianza Seleccion 2006, Campo de Borja $14.99
This was the big hit out of the line up we tried this weekend with my tasting crew. I've gone to visit Borsao & the wonderful thing about these guys is that it is a mass effort--the day I arrived at the winery they took us out in dozens of all-drive vehicles & we went right to the vineyards, ducking grape vines and bumping along instead of examining all their pumps & tanks. Just the way I like it! The nose is pure sumptuous berries, boysenberry freezer jam. This is plump as a pin cushion, but not overly ripe or sweet. #1 at our Sunday evening taste off, & I have to say a handsome new label of Moorish-looking tile adds to the appeal.
"Dense and balanced, this polished red carries plum, blackberry, black pepper and tar flavors. Muscular tannins are well-integrated, and fresh acidity carries coffee, floral and mint notes through the finish. Tasted twice with consistent notes. Drink now through 2014" -92 points, Wine Spectator
Joao Portugal Ramos Falua Conde de Vimioso Reserva 2003, Ribatejo $19.99 (was $27.99)
You don't get more legendary that JP Ramos. Infamous for his Moscatel de Setubal wines, he's also known as a trendsetter & was one of the first to put Alentejo on the map. Now the hottest Portuguese wine region on the map, Alentejo wines are recognized for their deep earthy flavors & structures, but Vimioso from neighboring Ribatejo has a royal elegance about it. A large but undisclosed amount of Touriga Nacional gives itself away with a nose of pure blueberry & garrigue. Very dark plum hue with good acid & elegance, soil tones & a charcoal note.
"Rich, full-bodied palate. Deep, sweet ripe fruit. Great balance." -Decanter
Didn't find your perfect wine this week? Go with a
Specially Selected Six-Pack!
This has been such a successful way to serve you that I say we shall continue this tradition, holidays or not. You pick the theme and price level you want to pay & I'll mix and match from my favorites in the cellar. Limited quantities, thoughtfully selected.
Choose your juice theme & your 6-pack price level:
The Pride of Portugal $60; $75; $100
Savor South America $60; $75
Celebrate Spain $60; $75; $100
Great Grenache $60; $75; $100
Throwing a Party $50; $60; $75; $100
I have created a tip jar and I hope if you get something from my writing but don't want to order anything--maybe a recipe idea for an upcoming dinner, or wine advice that you put to use elsewhere--I hope you'll slip a couple of bucks in the jar from time to time. It's like sending your pledge money to public radio, only I don't interrupt the airwaves for a fund drive.Thank you & enjoy!!!!!!
Copyright, queso y vino 2010