As I went looking for a bottle to open for a simple evening dinner, a small celebration of the end of a work week, I came across a bottle of sparkling vermentino in the wine fridge.
I love vermentino and today was one of the first really hot days this summer, with temps hitting triple digits. Those kind of temps call for something bright and vermentino certainly fits the bill. On top of it, it was a sparkling vermentino. Well I am always down for bubbles!
It was from Bonny Doon and I flipped it over to read the back label. Randall Grahm always has enchanting lengthy back labels. The description ended with ” -tears of joy and laughter”. Well…now of course I was going to pop this bottle! I really needed that at the end of this week!
Bonny Doon 2017 Sparkling Vermentino
This wine is a blend, 77% Vermentino and 23% Grenache Blanc from Beeswax and Cedar Lane Vineyards in the Arroyo Seco AVA within Monterey County. This AVA sits in the Santa Lucia mountain range.
Soils are Arroyo Seco gravelly loam, with river stones that absorb the heat during the day and radiate in the evening. The vineyards are nearby to each other and closer to the valley floor between 300-500 ft. The valley has a cool climate with Pacific ocean breezes every afternoon.https://shop.bonnydoonvineyard.com/product/2017-Sparkling-Vermentino
The label on this wine is deep green and yellow which inspired the bottle shot, out back on the grass with the fallen blossoms from our desert museum palo verde, Dulcinea-Sophia (yes, I name my trees).
The back label entertainment
I mentioned that Randall’s back labels (and really anything he writes) are enchanting. He is a thoughtful writer, and while often the words are many, they are all entertaining. This is actually one of his shorter back labels.
While not included on the label, a quick visit to the Bonny Doon site, set me up with options for pairings. Sometimes, I go off the rails with pairings from what is suggested, but Bonny Doon’s suggestions are always tried and tested. The suggestions were
Oysters on the half shell, Dungeness crab, fish tacos, prosciutto-wrapped melon.https://shop.bonnydoonvineyard.com/product/2017-Sparkling-Vermentino
So we did some prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe and I whipped up some fish tacos.
The description of the wine on the site mentioned citrus, lemon balm, lemon-lime, and an herbal note of possibly rosemary…so my fish tacos riffed on this.
Fish taco w/ cod bits en papillote with lemon & rosemary
- 4.5 lbs of Atlantic Cod bits defrosted
- 2 lemons
- 4 sprigs of rosemary
- medium to small tortillas (I used flour tortillas)
- 1 lime
- spring greens (or cabbage)
- salsa (I like green salsa)
- Preheat the oven to 425
- Cut two large squares of parchment
- place 6-8 thin lemon slices to one side of center on one sheet of the parchment
- arrange half the cod on top of the lemon slices
- sprinkle with salt (I used pink himalayan salt)
- add a grind of pepper
- top with 2 sprigs of rosemary
- zest a bit of the lemon on top
- repeat with the other sheet and the rest of the fish
- fold up the edges (here’s a video from @Cooksmarts)
- place both packets on a cookie sheet
- pop into the oven for about 20 minutes (or less)
I typically get a plate and a damp dishtowel and wrap my tortillas in the towel and pop them in the oven to warm for 5 minutes. This steams them so that they stay soft.
Then I gather all the other stuff I want on the tacos. Today it was guacamole, jasmine rice, lime wedges to squeeze, spring greens and I had Herdez guacamole salsa, which is medium heat.
All in all a pretty delicious evening! Light-hearted and delicious. That Sparkling Vermentino? Well, they only made 210 cases of it, so if it sounds good to you, you’d best go grab a bottle from their site. It’s set you back $36 a bottle, but the “tears of joy and laughter” make it all worth it.
You can find Bonny Doon online or drive out to their tasting room on the coast in Davenport. The views are spectacular, and the people and the wines in their tasting room will make you want to stay all day.
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In all our years drinking wine, we’ve never had a sparkling Vermentino. We’ve only had a few still Vermentino but love Grenache Blanc so this sounds like something we need to try. We’ll be on the hunt and when we find it, busting out some fish tacos to go with it!
It’s really lovely, the bubbles with the wine push it over the edge into the super happy zone. My notes were:
Medium to Fine bulles
Tart salinity on the nose.
Bright tart citrus and zest
Sparkling medium body
Golden Grapefruit and some pith
Lime and pith on the palate.