Pairings at the Keyboard! Vinho Verde.


Pairings at the Keyboard! Vinho Verde.

So I’m home alone and it’s time for a bite to eat, soooo I pull out my Kindle and Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine and head to the wine store.  It’s an unfortunate truth that there are not any small family owned wine shops nearby.  I love Khoury’s but they are a 45 min drive in traffic across town.  So…I head to Total Wine and More knowing that they will have something.  I start at the top of the book with Light to Medium Whites and search for a Moschofilero (Mo-sko-FEE-leh-ro), a Greek wine from Southern Greece.  I find a bottle by a producer he recommends Boutari at $12.99

I drop it in my bag to ponder as one of my choices.

I head on to the section with German and Austrian wines to look for an Austrian Riesling.  They are notably drier and less sweet than German Rieslings and his suggestion of lobster in a cream sauce for a pairing has me thinking of the fresh lobster ravioli that I can pick up at Fresh and Easy for a quick dinner and pairing.  I find a bottle from Wachau that is priced at $19.99 and add it to my list to ponder.  It goes through my brain that if I spend $20 on a bottle of wine and $6.99 for the dinner to go with it, it seems a bit excessive and maybe I should wait for Michael for that.

So I’m off to check out the Australian Rieslings, when…I find the tasting counter with a Saturday afternoon tasting.  They are tasting a Petals Muscato from Germany, Paradise Peak Riesling, B Lovely Riesling, Summit Estates Sweet Merlot, a cabernet that I can’t remember and even if I did I wouldn’t mention because it had absolutely no depth, and a Red Decadence chocolate red wine.  I skip the Petals, try the Paradise Peak which is nice for the price, sweet but not too sweet.  The B Lovely is sweeter, still nice but a little too sweet for what I wanted.  The Sweet Merlot had beautiful depth on the nose.  I was happy to leave my nose in the glass there, but then was pretty simple on the palatte.  The Decadence was intriguing.  It is not cream based like so many other chocolate wines that make my stomach turn.  It hits you will cocoa on the nose and then drinks like a dessert wine that is not fortified.  I picked up a bottle because I thought it would make for a simple dessert.  When I got home, I noticed the corner of the label that says “Made with dark chocolate flavor”.  Hmm….so an added chemical flavoring.   Oh well.

I asked about Australian rieslings and was pointed to Alternative Whites with a suggestion of Thorn and Clark.  This Eden Valley Riesling ran $13.99 and I dropped it in my bag and realize my wine bag is now full and I still have an itch for some Vino Verde.  Sooo…The Moschofilero will wait until next time and I grab a bottle of Gazella Vinho Verde.

Driving home I stop at Whole Foods and pick up a sourdough demi, a can of sardines in olive oil and a seasoned squid and mountain vegetable salad from the sushi section.  I search for tomatoes kicking myself for not picking one up this morning at the farmers market.  All the tomatoes at Whole foods are either conventional or if they are organic are shipped in from Mexico.  So, sadly, I forego the tomatoes.

At home I drop the Vinho Verde in the fridge, slice up the demi coat them with olive oil and set them in the broiler, they then get smeared with goat cheese and topped with a sardine.  Loki decides sardines might be tasty and begins curling around my legs.  And…well here I am.

So…The Vinho Verde is tangy and zippy with green notes (think tart green apple) and a little slate.  The squid salad turns out to be a little sweet but pairs nicely.  The goat cheese is not as tangy and some I have had, so it misses a little of that edge to pair with the wine, but is still nice.  Although as I crunch through the crusty sourdough and salty sardine the creamy tangyness is actually another great layer that plays with the wine it a whole new way.  It’s Very nice, but not heaven.  Perhaps if I were not sitting in the office in front of a keyboard, but instead on a white washed balcony overlooking the coast with  salt spray in the air…well then it would be heaven, so maybe it is all about location and ambience.

Vinho Verde if you are not familiar is a wine from Portugal and translates as Green Wine.   It is often a blend of up to 25 grapes from the region with the primary typically Alvarino (Albarino).  It sits typically at around 10% alcohol and Oldman suggested that there should be a faucet for Vino Verde next to every grill!  It set me back about $7.99 and my local Trader Joe’s has picked it up so I have it within easy reach.  Now if they or Total Wine would just pick up a Txakoli!

Okay…Almost done with my dinner, then it’s back to cleaning and planning for tomorrow night’s dinner with Michael, where I hope to pair some great seafood with the Thorn & Clark Mount Crawford Eden Valley 2010 Riesling.

Oh…one last interesting note.  All the wines I purchased today had screw caps.  Guaranteed, I didn’t spend over $13.99 for any of these wines, but….maybe those poor cork trees will get a bit of a rest!


pinit fg en rect red 28

Robin Renken
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