Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

What’s new to pair with walnuts, figs and anchovies?

SusanLeonardiWineauxW

By
July 13, 2011 | Leave Comment

A mild allergy kept me away from walnuts for 40 years.

“I don’t like them much, anyway,” I told myself grumpily, as I turned my back on dense chocolate brownies and bright spring pesto.

When I moved back to Davis, an orchard owner suggested I try Chandlers and surprisingly (to me, not to him), I didn’t react to them at all. Thus was born my current passion for walnuts. I buy a pound nearly every week from McDonald Orchards at the Farmers Market, and I scatter them on salads, bake them into morning cakes, add them to pasta dishes, top my oatmeal with them and grab a handful for a midday snack.

Other foods that have come to me late in life have inspired similar passion — fresh figs (just now coming into season — what could be better than a plump fig stuffed with goat cheese and topped with toasted almonds?), for example, and anchovies.

So when I stopped at Seasons to try some of their new wines and saw a white anchovy pizza on the menu, I salivated. Since I already had dinner plans that evening, I vowed to return at the first opportunity and found myself calculating how each of my wine tastes would pair with that pizza.

A Bokisch Albarino? Oh, certainly. Markus and Liz Bokisch make wonderful Spanish varietals from their Lodi Hills vineyards, and it would be hard to find a better match for a pizza appetizer, or any appetizer on the menu, than this — a real bargain at $7.50 a glass.

Although California dominates the excellent Seasons list, owner Tamas has a few carefully chosen bottles from his native Hungary as well. I tried the Gere Olaszrizling first and liked the light, citrus-y notes and bone -dry finish. I can’t pronounce it, but the last seven letters announce the grape varietal — and a nice Riesling it is, again a bargain at $7.50 a glass.

But I’m not sure it would stand up to anchovy pizza, so I concentrated on (meaning I had a second glass of) the Hilltop Cserszegi Fuszeres, a grape that has the aromas and flavors of a Muscat-Gewurtztraminer blend. Delicious. And, yes, I do think my future anchovy pizza will be well served by this crisp, lively, floral and nicely acidic wine. Amazingly, only $6 a glass — and, equally amazingly for so much flavor, only 11 percent alcohol.

My next taste was a similar wine ($31, by the bottle only), also new to Seasons list, the Claiborne Churchill Central Coast Dry Gewurtztraminer. Lusher and slightly sweeter than the CF, it has a beautiful nose and tangy, nicely structured fruit, but I think I might pair it with a cheese plate instead of the pizza. In case I decide on another pizza for “dessert,” which I sometimes do, I’ll try out one of the new Hungarian reds.

If you go to Seasons with a cocktail-loving friend, he or she probably will ignore the wine list (alas) in favor of one of Jackie’s seasonal concoctions like the Ramble On — with Ketel One Vodka, Navarro Pinot Juice, fresh raspberries and soda water. That sounds good even to a cocktail-hater like me.

Seasons’ list of aperitifs and digestives is equally intriguing, and includes Fernet Branca — a really effective Italian digestive aid, rumored to cure hangovers. It’s a taste I acquired hanging out with my Italian-American relatives, but be warned — it is an acquired taste. Jackie also urged me to try Gran Classico — a bitter herbal from Switzerland that’s explosively orange-y and delicious. And much more instantly likable than Fernet Branca.

Right around the corner from Seasons, at 808 Second St. to be exact, a new restaurant has popped up, Our House. I haven’t eaten there yet, but I’ve perused the interesting wine list, which offers glasses from $6.50 to $15, most in the $8 to $10 range. A number of local familiars, I’m happy to say, appear. The house white, for example, is the ’08 Rominger Ranch White, and the ever-good ’05 Rominger West Syrah joins several Putah Creek selections.

While there are a few bottles under $30, there are also five wines over $100. Well over $100. The mark-up on most of the other wines seems pretty standard and reasonable, so I was surprised when I checked on the price of a couple of these expensive bottles to find that, for example, the ’06 Stags Leap Cask 23 on the list for $235 retails at $163, and the ’09 Mollydocker Carnival of Love (an Aussie Shiraz) for $165 retails at $90. That translates into something in the neighborhood of $100 profit on a bottle of wine, which seems excessive, but, no matter, wineaux probably won’t be ordering one of these anyway.

The really good Our House news is the every day from 4 to 6 p.m. is happy hour, when you get $2 off every glass, which means a nice refreshing Chasing Venus Sauvignon Blanc for only $5 — in a cool, comfortable setting.

Another new development: The Davis Food Co-op is selling two wines by the glass (Putah Creek Ransom Red and Putah Creek Chardonnay) at $5 each. You can sip your drink on the pleasant, shaded patio, enjoy the birdsong and choose your alcohol absorber from the thousands of items the Co-op carries, including Chandler walnuts, fresh figs and white anchovies.

— Reach Susan Leonardi at vinosusana@gmail.com. Comment on this column at www.davisenterprise.com

Susan Leonardi

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    UCD admits record number; 4,284 from abroad

    By Cory Golden | From Page: A1

     
    Hub of activity: DHS newspaper keeps evolving

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    A springtime ritual

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Tom Adams seeks Davis school board seat

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

    Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Tour renovated YCCC facility Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Tour Davis Waldorf School on Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    The fifth annual Tour de Cluck is soon to be hatched

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Ortiz lawn signs available

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sign up soon for spring cooking classes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Robb Davis team to rally on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Steadfast in their support

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Yolo Hospice offers free grief workshops

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Sign up for Camp Kesem caterpillar crawl

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Quilters gear up for annual show

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A4

    League hosts a series of candidate forums

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    KDVS launches fund drive on Monday

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

    Calling all Scrabble fans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Hub webpage is seeing traffic increasing

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

    Lescroart welcomes all to book-launch party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A16 | Gallery

     
    DEVO set to serve up 14th annual Winkler Dinner

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16 | Gallery

    Learn Chinese crafts at I-House

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A16

     
    Preschool open house set at Davis Waldorf

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

    Birch Lane celebrates its 50th anniversary

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

     
    Hotel/conference center info meeting set

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

    .

    Forum

    Take ownership of your health

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Keep your baby safe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Reliving the agony and ecstasy of spring

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

     
    Road diet? No, city diet!

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 2 Comments

     
    We’re reveling in our equality

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Vote no; it’s fiscally responsible

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

     
    Core values on campus

    By Our View | From Page: A12

     
    Bill is an affront to UC Davis ag biotech and local farmers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

    Don’t want to sit in Fix 50 traffic? Consider alternatives

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

     
    .

    Sports

     
    UCD softball shut out by Santa Barbara

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie men shoot 9-under, lead own tourney

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Stars shine in Woody Wilson Classic

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils burn up the track

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    UCD roundup: Aggie baseball swept away by Highlanders

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    A’s score 3 in ninth, rally past Astros 4-3

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Yolo Federal Credit Union gets WISH funds

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    PG&E pays taxes, fees to county, cities

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

    Will Davis get an Old Soul?

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9

     
    Pediatricians, nurse practitioner hired at Woodland Healthcare

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Asian stocks mostly higher after mixed U.S. earnings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Davis Roots will showcase its graduating startups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14

    University Honda wins another President’s Award

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

     
    Dutch Bros. raises $19,000 for girl with leukemia

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 20, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8