Are you thirsty?
Continuing our 'ask the wine heads' informal series of food and wine pairings we jump from the remparts of Carcassonne to the Bay Area.
Eric Railsback, sommelier at RN74 wine bar in San Francisco lists 5 wines from their cellar (restaurant prices included) that would be good company for 5 recipes we shared in December 2010.
Unity prevails for Pot Roast Italian Style Beef in Barolo by Michele Scicolone from The Italian Slow Cooker (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). He votes for 1998 Roero Superiore ($99), all Nebbiolo By Malvira which Astor Wines praises as:
"Produced from stunningly ripe fruit culled from an atypical north-facing slope, this mineral-driven nebbiolo is redolent of dried blueberry, melon and water chestnut. For over 50 years the Damonte family has been curating vines in the northern Roero."
The Rosemary Gluten Free Kale Tart with Cranberries By Elena Amsterdan from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook (Celestial Arts, 2009) gets Cotes du Rhone 'il fait soif' (2009) by Maxime-Francois Laurent ($60).
French wine site Trink credits its personality to a family that lets Grenache loose. Maxime-Francois is the son of Michèle Aubéry from Domaine Gramenon. Arno Dietrich (Trink) describes 'Il Fait Soif' as "full of ripe fruit, velvety, with a touch of chocolate and just enough acidity on the finish to keep it fresh."
Third recipe, Skewered Pumpkin Recipe from The India Cookbook (Phaidon) finds its match further up the Rhone Valley in Les Contours De Poncins, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes (2008) by François Villard, one of the masters from Condrieu ($72)...
100% Viognier, rich fruit, apricot flavors.
We stay on the vegetarian side with Maple Roast Vegetables by Jane Hornby from What to Cook and How to Cook it (Phaidon) and head for Austria with Gruner Veltlliner Alte Reben (2002) by Weingut Brundlmayer ($99).
Tasting notes by Jamie Goode at Wine Anorak on 2000 Vintage (I could not find notes on 2002):
"Made from 50 year old vines, fermented in old 300 litre barrels and then transferred to 2500 litre casks. Subtle, gently herbal nose with some peppery notes. The palate displays a good density of savoury fruit. Very dry with good concentration and a nice spicy finish. Very good+"
Eric drafts Gewurtztraminer Grand Cru Furstentum (2007) by Domaine Weinbach ($110) from Alsace.
Producer calls it " subtle and powerful, with spice and grapefruit notes due to Botrytis, it is always marvellous… This cru produces beautiful late vintages and selections of noble grains." They suggest it to be good company for spicy foods or smoked salmon and perfect with Foie Gras.
Traveling around Europe in search of the right wine match.
Next episode will be all Champagne.
(* For this piece, wine picks were made by Eric Railsback. I filled in the blanks as far as producers and tasting notes were concerned. I did not sample the wines except possibly the Nebbiolo...at Vino 2010)