Posts Tagged ‘Loire Valley’

Here’s What We Had: Thanksgiving Edition

November 23, 2012

It’s Thanksgiving!

Okay…

Thanksgiving was yesterday, but I don’t have to go back to work ’til Monday.

So…

I’m pretty much okay with still calling this Thanksgiving.

Anyway…

Since I am currently visiting my folks in Reno, Nevada, I was planning on doing a video with my Dad… Or even my sister, who is visiting from Atlanta, Georgia.

But…

I’m sick right now.

I’ve been sneezing like crazy.

My nose is hella raw.

My eyes are bloodshot.

My throat is killing me.

I look about as bad as the New York Jets right now.

So…

Instead of posting a video, I’ve decided to share with you the wines that we had with our Thanksgiving dinner last night.

Here they are…

20121123-154243.jpg

Domaine Laurent Barth 2010 Racines Metisses Alsatian White Blend

I’m a big fan of white wines from Alsace, France.  This is a blend of Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner, Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Muscat.  It’s got a light straw yellow color with a little frizzante action in it.  The nose gives good fruit of green apples and pears with a good touch of minerality.  On the palate, fruits of lime and pear skin are balanced out with a nice acidity, flinty minerality, and just a touch of residual sugar.  I give it an 89.

20121123-154250.jpg

We had the white wine with some crab cocktail, which brought out a buttery apple flavor in the wine.

Up next…

20121123-154256.jpg

Domaine des Maisons Brulees 2009 L’Erebe

The L’Erebe is a natural wine from the Loire Valley of France.

It is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Cot.

Cot is Malbec.

I really enjoyed popping the bottle cap off of this one.

This wine is a dark ruby-red.

This wine has a funky nose of Earth and dark berries.

On the palate, this wine brings the funk hard.

Tires for days.

Ripe red fruit.  Strawberries.  Raspberries.  Cherries.

Black pepper.

Lime zest.

90!

For the final wine of the night we broke out this bad boy…

20121123-154302.jpg

Cascina Tavijn 2009 Barbera d’Asti

This Barbera is a nice, light, ruby-colored wine.  It’s got an oaky, almost buttery, nose with a bit of cranberry and black pepper.  The taste of this wine is rich and earthy, with blackberries and cherries.  89.

This is a great wine to have with turkey.

20121123-154403.jpg

Here’s my dad and his turkey.

Here’s hoping you had a happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

Mine was sick.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

My new diet: When I seafood, I drink wine.

August 7, 2011

Yesterday, Kara and I had a hankerin’ for some fish.

I thought it would be really neat to prepare it two ways, so I decided to make a Tilapia Ceviche and some Barbecued Shrimp.

Before heading out to get some groceries, I opened up Kevin Zraly’s wine book to get an idea for what types of wine go well with seafood.  After flipping through his chapter on the white wines of France, I left for the store with the intention of getting either a Loire Valley white (like Sancerre or Muscadet) or a white Burgundy (Chablis perhaps).

While at Trader Joe’s, I spotted this gem…

Chateau Des Cleons 2010 Muscadet Sevre Et Maine

The Muscadet region is on the Eastern end of the Loire Valley of France where the Loire River meets the Atlantic Ocean.  These wines are made from 100% Melon de Bourgogne grapes.  They should always be dry and light in style.  See how it says “Sur Lie” on the label?  That means that it was fermented on its skins (not really… see the comments below), so it should have a bit more body than a Muscadet that does not read as such.  The book says that Muscadet is good with shellfish and fishfish, so I was more than happy to pick this bad boy up for only $6.99.

I’ll get back to the wine in a bit.

But first…

The food!

Here’s how I make my Tilapia Ceviche…

Cube up about a pound of fresh Tilapia and throw it in a non-reactive bowl.

The key to Ceviche is to layer the flavors.

Here’s a fun game…

Take a sip of wine for each new layer.

Dice up half a large red onion and throw it on top of the fish.

Mince up one clove of garlic and throw it on the onion.

I added a small green bell pepper from my garden. Diced, of course.

Next I put in one quarter of a jumbo yellow bell pepper that Kara picked up from the farmers' market.

Here, I piled in a third of a large cucumber which was cut into little pizza wedges. So whimsical!

Add one small diced avocado. California love!

Open up a small can of diced chillies and dump it on top.

Chop up some cilantro. Add it in with some salt n' peppa. Stop to bust a move while humming the music to "Push it!".

The secret ingredient is carne asada seasoning. Shhhhhhhhh!!!!! Don't tell anybody.

Zest one lime over the top. Squeeze in the juice of three limes. The acid from the lime juice will "cook" the fish.

Stir, but do not mush it. Cover with plastic wrap and throw it in the fridge for a few hours.

While the Ceviche is marinating, we move on to the Shrimp…

These are large peeled shrimp from the seafood counter at Safeway. I marinated the pound of shrimp in a shallow glass dish with olive oil, salt n' peppa, fresh rosemary and thyme from the garden, and the juice of one lime for about 20 minutes.

While the shrimp is marinating in the fridge, preheat the grill with the burners on high.  After ten minutes, set to medium indirect heat.

Now…

Arrange the shrimp on pre-soaked bamboo skewers, making sure that all the shrimp are facing the same direction.

Grill the shrimp for 3 minutes a side on indirect heat with the lid closed.  Be sure to baste the shrimp in the marinade.

The only thing left is to serve,

But let’s get back to the wine…

Hip hop hurray... Muscadet!

Chateau Des Cleons 2010 Muscadet Sevre Et Maine:

Color: A nice straw yellow.  I was pleasantly surprised by a tiny bit of frizzante action.

Nose: Lemon/lime spritzer with a touch of grass and minerality.  Nice.

Taste: I see now why this wine is recommended for lighter fare.  It is dominated by its acidity, which pairs well with food.  There is a nice floral component, mouth cleansing lime, and a dancing minerality.  There is a nice touch of spice.  The skins give it a medium to light body.  Very cool.

Score: All I’m thinking about this wine is how clean it was.  It was fresh.  It was vibrant.  Every sip made me thirst for another.  This wine is a solid 88.  Way to go, Chateau Des Cleons!

Back to the food…

Duo of Seafood: Grilled Shrimp and Tilapia Ceviche a la Jeffrey w/ a light Spinach and Shallot Salad

The spinach and shallot salad was prepared by Kara.  A very clean, palate cleansing bite.

The ceviche was very fresh, with a perfect balance between the acidity of the lime and the fattiness of the tilapia.

But the shrimp…

The shrimp…

The SHRIMP was Tha BOMB!

Juicy.  Rich.  The flesh just pops when you bite into it.

Amazing!

And with the wine?

Hella Dope!

The clean flavors of the wine just rounded out the fatty richness of the seafood.

But wait!

There’s more!

Morgan Hill Cellars Blackberry Wine with a long-lost friend.

Kara and I have been sitting on this Blackberry Wine from Morgan Hill Cellars for about a year.

I’ve been dying for some vanilla ice cream for the last few weeks.

So…

Vanilla Ice Cream with Blackberry Wine... I got my just deserts.

De-Lish!

Stay Rad,

Jeff

PS – If you ever make ceviche, do yourself a favor…  After you serve the ceviche, save the leftover juice from the bowl you marinated the fish in.  Peruvians refer to it as Leche de Tigre, and it is known to be a cure for hangovers.  I just drink it ’cause it’s awesome!

Farewell indeed!


%d bloggers like this: