Pantry Pairings – Travel in a Bottle – Affordable Virtual travel in a pandemic

Tertini 2018 Pinot Blanc from New South Wales Southern Highlands with a one-pot spring vegetable pasta

Pantry Pairings – Travel in a Bottle – Affordable Virtual travel in a pandemic

Ahh…the best-laid plans. When we began sheltering in place in March, we ordered a selection of wines from around the world to do some pairings with! We had set up with Sun Basket to provide some meal kits that would allow us to have fresh vegetables to allow us to do some pantry pairings.

We did pretty well for a while! Getting out posts on our pairings. Then, life happened. Yes even while sheltering in place, we manage to find a way to become extremely busy! We are working on content from our in-depth visits with winemakers across the globe. Then came tastings and online events and I decided to add #WinePW and #ItalianFWT groups to my writing schedule. So…several pairings we enjoyed, but never shared with you! Today I will remedy that with a bit of our backlogged pantry pairings and travel in a bottle menus. Prepare for a bit of a photo montage!

Tertini 2018 Pinot Blanc and a one-pot linguini with spring vegetables – Pantry Pairings

We were able to get a bit of fresh air, back in early May, getting out to our local Gilcrease Farm to pick some vegetables. It’s a large property, outdoors, with plenty of space. We were socially distant and wore our facemasks. We actually met a couple of friends out there. People I have missed terribly. We cried as we stared at each other an could not hug, and took comfort in seeing each other eyes. I picked peas, Michael found zucchini and they had garlic scapes and asparagus at the checkout.

I made a one-pot pasta with linguini and everything I picked, adding lemon and topping it with finely grated cheese.

Travel in a bottle – back to Australia to the Southern Highlands

Then we did a bit of travel in a bottle to Tertini Wines in Australia. This winery is in New South Wales in the Southern Highlands wine region south of Sydney. We visited with Tertini Winemaker Jonathan Holgate last October and he took us out to the Yarrandoo Vineyard where they grow the grapes for this wine.

We did not drink this all in one sitting. I think I was trying to stretch it to last as long as possible. We did another pairing the next evening with a Sun Basket dinner of Mediterranean salmon with white bean-artichoke salad. Both pairings were delicious and sadly at this point, we had finished off this bottle that I wished could have lasted forever.

Roasted togarashi salmon with miso-glazed eggplant & a Trimbach 2016 Gewurztraminer

This was a delicious earthy meal with miso and eggplant, lightened by a carrot edamame salad on the side. The salmon got seasoned with shichimi togarashi (a blend of mild chile, orange peel, and nori). Then the eggplant is sliced and glazed with a miso & maple glaze, adding umami and sweetness. These roast and then the carrot and edamame salad with a dressing of almond butter, sesame oil and apple cider vinegar, finishes the plate.

Travel in a bottle – to Alsace France

I chose the Gerwurtz initially to pair with the togarashi. The Trimbach is from Alsace. It was pale lemon in color, with a pronounced nose of Ginger, rose, honey, and leechee fruit. On the palate, it was dry with the alcohol sitting at 14% and medium across the board for body, acid, and intensity. I got tropical and citrus fruit on the palate. This wine did have a bit of viscosity. When I posted a photo on Instagram, I found that this is a popular and accessible wine, with lots of folks saying this was a go-to Gerwurz for them. (SRP $22.99)

Trimbach has been around for a while in Alsace. They were founded in 1626 and are run now by the 12th generation f Trimbachs. Maison Trimbach is located in Ribeauville which is in the northern section of the Haut-Rhin (which is the southern section of Alsace).

Steaks with Chimichurri & harissa-roasted sweet potatoes with a Carhartt Vineyards 2016 le f.p.

This is one of those pairings that just falls together and it’s just so pretty. Another where we sourced from Sun Basket. It really is a great way to cut down on needed trips to the supermarket and still keep the fresh veggies in the fridge and our diet! The sweet potatoes just needed to get roasted in the oven the stead gets cooked on the stove, the chard sauteed with garlic and olive oil and then the chimichurri sauce is drizzled on top. It is one of the simpler dishes, but it’s so tasty!

Travel in a bottle to California’s Los Olivos

We didn’t travel far for this one, just out to California to Los Olivos and Carhartt Vineyard. Their “le f.p.” was previously known as “four play” a play on words for this wine (as you can see by the label with the stork). This is their Bordeaux style blend with Merlot, Cab Sav, Cab Franc & Petit Verdot. It’s a fan favorite and was delicious with this dinner!

Were there more Pantry Pairings? Did we continue to Travel in a bottle?

Were there more dishes? Well if you have seen our Instagram feed, you will know that there were. Pantry pairings from nachos to full dinners, with wines from California, Oregon, South Africa, and oh so many more. Here is a small sampling.

  • Boschendal 2019 Rose from South Africa's Western Cape with blackened sole and a corn & black bean salsa from Sun Basket
  • Nachos and Malvasia Bianca from Larner Vineyard in Santa Barbara's Ballard Canyon
  • Randall Grahm's Riesling to Live, method Champenois Riesling with a frittata and salad
  • Tablas Creek 2019 Dianthus Rose with a curried chicken with dried fig and cashews
  • Carhartt 2019 Sav Blanc and a pasta salad
  • Gloira Ferrer Royal Cuvee 2009 with turkey lettuce cups
  • Carhartt 2016 Quello Grande
  • Pairing for that Quello Grande Seared steaks with roasted red pepper ajvar and cauliflower from Sun Basket
  • Tablas Creek Cote de Tablas Blanc 2017 with a grilled apricot salad
  • Roasted apricot from Gilcrease Farm with bacon, goat cheese and pecans on greens.
  • Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigar Blanc and Turmeric-mojo shrimp with roasted carrots and poblano from Sun Basket
  • Take Flight White from Girardet Vineyard and nachos. Nachos are a recurring theme.

Have you been making any pantry pairings or taking an evening to travel in a bottle? Share with us your adventures in the comments!

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Robin Renken CSW (photo credit RuBen Permel)

Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.

When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.

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Robin Renken
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  • advinetures
    Posted at 01:02h, 15 July Reply

    We so enjoyed your pantry pairings…both inspiring and humbling! We are familiar with a couple of the wines you mention but also have a couple of new recommendations thanks to you. Cheers Robin!

    • Robin Renken
      Posted at 17:51h, 15 July

      The pairings have been so much fun. Not all “perfect”, but none that were terrible. There will be more! I mean, we have to eat, right?

  • Lynn
    Posted at 18:56h, 15 July Reply

    Some nice traveling! You have been busy… all of the online options popping up and sticking- there’s more now that ever but that initial start, whew.

    The eggplant and salmon with miso and togarashi and the Trimbach is so delicious and I didn’t even taste it! But I know and love the wine, always consistent. Finally, Sun Basket sounds like a super operation.

    • Robin Renken
      Posted at 19:37h, 15 July

      We really have used this opportunity to do a bit of globe-trotting. I love the opportunity to dive into these regions.
      The online education I have been getting on wine is really exciting. I can’t keep up. I’m doing the Pall Mall 67 tomorrow, after your recommendation. There are so many. I think I spend 4 to 8 hours each week on wine webinars of all styles. It’s pretty fascinating.
      As to the Sun Basket, the recipes are unique, with organic and sustainable meat and produce. We really like it. It keeps us in fresh veggies without having to get out much and pushes the boundaries of recipes that I might try. We get 3 or 4 each week, and the rest I pull from the pantry. This week however, we are without. They could not ship with the heat warning (we hit 121 on our roof the other day, in the shade). Hopefully next week we will be back.

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