Day 10 of the 12 Days of Wine 2021 with Crushed Grape Chronicles
If you know me very well, it will come as no surprise that this wine is on our countdown list. It is one of my favorites. This is Vermentino from Tablas Creek in Paso Robles, CA. It is perhaps thought of as a more summery wine, but in the chill of winter, something bright and fresh that reminds us of the warm days to come is a nice respite.
Tablas Creek Vineyard 2019 Vermentino, Adelaida District, Paso Robles
Vermentino is known as “Rolle” in the South of France. You mostly find it in Sardinia and Corsica. One of the nursery guys at Chateau de Beaucastel, sent it in a shipment of cuttings. He had decided that it would do well in Paso Robles, and he was right.
When I stuck my nose in the glass I got sea spray and honeysuckle, chalk, lemon and lemon zest. You get grapefruit pith, and green herbs. It is bright and fresh and delicious.
This wine sells out each year, but they have many other delicious wines and maybe you want to follow them on social media to see when they are releasing the 2021 Vermentino so you can stock up on a few bottles (that’s what I do every year). Head to https://tablascreek.com/ for all the details.
Seared Swordfish with artichoke caper tapenade and fennel orange salad
I wanted to pair this with seafood, but something a bit meatier. We seared cubes of swordfish, and placed them on a spoon over and artichoke caper tapenade and topped it with thinly sliced fennel and orange sections, a little meyer lemon zest and a fennel frond.
This melded gorgeously with wine. The swordfish and the notes of sea spray in the wine, together were delightful. The brightness and the crunch of the fennel and the mild citrus of the orange and meyer lemon were a great counterpoint.
Tablas Creek Vineyard
This is the one winery on the 12 days list that we did not visit this year. We drove by in August but sadly didn’t have time to stop in. Never fear we will get back out there.
They are located in the Adelaida District AVA on the west side of Paso Robles.
There are many wineries that I love, but Tablas Creek is my favorite. They do so many things right, they are a B-Corp, they have been biodynamic for a while, and now are farming Regeneratively. They are actively working to make our planet better, while they supply us with delicious wine. We did a piece a while ago on their Regenerative farming – Regenerative Agriculture at Tablas Creek – a meaningful way to farm
Here is a winery where you can try each of the 13 Rhône varieties from Chateauneuf-de-Pape individually bottled! Their vintage chart helps me know when to pop those bottles to get the most out of them. (They taste twice annually and update the chart to let you know which wines are perfect for drinking, which are in a closed phase, and which are nearing the end of their life!)
With all those Rhônes, you might be surprised that I went with their Vermentino. If you have read many of our posts, you might not be as surprised as this is one of my favorite wines and I have spoken about it regularly.
Savory, bright mediterranean notes shine through in this appetizer spoon. Artichoke caper tapenade is topped by seared Swordfish, a fennel orange salad and then finished with meyer lemon zest and a fennel frond.
This is perfect to pair with a Vermentino!
- Swordfish steak
- Olive Oil
- Marinated Artichokes
- Fresh fennel (or anise)
- Meyer Lemon
Supreme your orange
Thinly slice the fennel
Cut the pieces of orange and fennel into small enough pieces to fit on your spoon (about 1 inch)
Squeeze some of the orange juice into the orange and fennel
Add salt and pepper to taste and let this sit while you prepare the rest of the dish
In a small bowl add your marinated artichokes, capers (2 to 1 ratio), and a little olive oil and mix with an immersion blender.
Cut your Swordfish steak into cubes that will fit on your spoon.
Toss the swordfish in salt pepper and olive oil
Heat your Grill pan to high, sear the cubes on the top and the bottom about 2 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of the cut)
Place the artichoke and caper tapenade in the bottom of the spoon
Place the cube of swordfish on the tapenade
Top with the fennel orange salad.
Finish this off with a bit of zest from the Meyer lemon and a fennel frond
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.