Sunday, May 3, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Wineaux: Pairing the autumn foods feast with under-$15 wines

SusanLeonardiWineauxW

By
From page A9 | October 20, 2011 |

For the Foley-Leonardi-Pope family’s annual fall tasting dinner, we decided not to try to replicate — as we have in the past — our Thanksgiving feast.

Instead, we prepared a meal designed to make good use of the flavors we most associate with autumn. And we each brought a wine that we thought might pair well with them. All the wines cost well under $15 a bottle — appropriate in these hard economic times.

Since we’re all huge cheese lovers, and none of us can resist a new one, the meal began with a cheese plate that included Moody Blue and Petit Basque. (The former pleased even adamantly blue-averse Heath, so if you haven’t tried it, ask for a taste at the Davis Food Co-op cheese counter.)

We opened two sparklers to accompany the plate — Tiamo Prosecco NV, made with organic grapes from Italian vineyards, and Gerard Bertrand Cremant de Limoux ’08 Brut. Both went well with the cheese — as I would have expected — but, more surprisingly, with the rest of the meal, too.

We kept coming back to the Prosecco. Light, just a hint of sweetness, and quite fall-fruity (think apple and pear), it offered a good balance to the sharp, creamy cheeses. Away from food, I preferred the drier Cremant (on sale now at the Co-op) but I had to agree that the Prosecco worked beautifully across the board.

The next course was an amazing roasted sweet potato salad (though we thought the Towani blue turban squash looked so beautiful at the Saturday Farmers’ Market that Julian used it instead of potatoes for this Alice Waters recipe). Flavored with lemon juice, cumin, saffron, paprika and fresh herbs, it seemed like fall in a bowl, and the Prosecco just intensified the flavors.

We had two main-course dishes. Allegra made a butternut squash galette. (She’s the family pie czar and used her acclaimed crust —which she swears can be perfect only with Strauss Creamery butter. And this particular crust was perfect indeed.) A Deborah Madison recipe (in “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone”), the galette, too, invited us all into the new season.

I made a three-mushroom (porcini, trumpet, cremini) risotto inspired by the same Madison cookbook, but I did a freelance combination of her dried mushroom risotto and her fresh mushroom one. This dish is a great way to use leftover white wine (even red if the ‘shrooms are hearty), by the way, and it pairs successfully with either white or red.

We opened three bottles of red for the main dishes(s) — an ’09 Parducci Pinot Noir from Mendocino, a ’10 Tufo Rosso from Italy, largely Sangiovese, and Fitzpatrick “King’s Red XIII,” a Rhone blend from Fitzpatrick’s Fair Play organic vineyards.

No one voted for the Italian red. A perfectly drinkable wine, it would have loved a good simple pizza, but both the galette and the risotto overwhelmed it entirely — and it added nothing to them. We still had some sparkling left, and a couple of diners thought the Prosecco actually worked better than the reds even with these rich and hearty flavors.

Others thought the Pinot Noir paired best, not surprising given Pinot Noir’s special affinity for mushrooms. I liked the Pinot but thought it tasted a bit too generic Californian. Given the high cost of a good Pinot, though, this Parducci offers a real bargain.

I and a couple of others voted for the King’s Red — fruity, spicy, earthy — which, though medium-bodied, had enough personality to stand up to the strong flavor of the Parmesan in both dishes and the intense porcini in the risotto. One diner who proclaimed the Prosecco the evening’s grand winner, thought — after she had finished her last bite of risotto — that the King’s Red worked beautifully on its own.

My seasonal wine splurge was a case of this blend, which I picked up from Brian Fitzpatrick at the Farmers Market last week.

Fortunately, we had decided on a simple dessert of ice cream (we wanted but couldn’t find pumpkin so settled for French vanilla) topped with ginger snap crumbles and chocolate sauce. No one brought dessert wine, which was fine since we couldn’t linger any longer: The seven young ones had run out of patience with their exile to the anointed Kids’ Room. But kudos to them all — and especially to Seda, child-entertainer extraordinaire — for staying put all that time.

There was some wine left in the three red bottles, so I sampled them again the next evening. The Pinot Noir had degenerated into something heavy and much too oak-y, the King’s Red tasted exactly the same as it had the night before and the Italian had improved. Or at least it tasted better with roasted broccoli and potatoes than with winter squash and mushrooms. I bet that Prosecco would have been good, too.

Just a reminder that local wine events abound. Coming right up is the Putah Creek Winery semi-annual release and tasting party on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 2 to 6 p.m. They’ll be releasing their ’09 Zin and un-oaked ’10 Chardonnay. I can’t wait to try them. Be sure to attend this fun event ($15 admission) that joins music and art to the delicious food and wine.

Rominger West has added a classical/jazz series every Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss classical guitarist Elizabeth Bush on Nov. 11, and sip a big glass of RW Syrah while you listen.

The RW Happy Thursdays continue, of course. Head over this afternoon for Portland-based duo Heartroot and put local duo Misner & Smith on your calendar for Nov. 17.

The Davis Food Co-op continues to offer wine tastings, usually the first three Fridays of the month from 6 to 8 p.m. On Nov. 11 they’ll be offering a group of Thanksgiving wines. And I continue to do tastings at Monticello every Tuesday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.; they’ve added a Thursday Happy Hour (5:30 to 7:30 p.m.) with music by Bob Wren.

— Reach Susan Leonardi at [email protected] Comment on this column at www.davisenterprise.com

Comments

comments

Susan Leonardi

.

News

Breaking barriers: For Prieto, it’s all about hard work

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Council to hear about drought pricing

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Peaceful Baltimore demonstrators praise top prosecutor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Nigeria: Nearly 300 freed women, children led to safety

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Graveyard thefts land three Woodlanders behind bars

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

Downtown altercation leads to injuries

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Woman arrested for brandishing knife on overpass

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

Yolo DA launches monthly newsletter

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Can plants talk? UCD prof will answer that question

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

A Scottish setting for local author’s next book

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Free beginner yoga class offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Video discusses surveillance of prostate cancer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

NAMI support group meets May 10

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Dr. G featured on the radio

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Fee proposed on rail cars that haul oil, other flammables

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Indoor Fun Fly comes to Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Internships move UCD doctoral students beyond academia

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Make Mom a warm vanilla sugar scrub

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
The secret to Mother’s Day gifting success: Give time, not stuff

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Letter book is series of collected missives thanking Mom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
If your mom fancies something fancy, consider a tea party

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Out of Africa and back to Davis: James Carey will give special presentation

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Big Day of Giving makes philanthropy easy

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Tuleyome Tales: How are a snake and a mushroom alike?

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
Tuleyome hosts Snow Mountain camping trip

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Forum

End of life doesn’t mean life must end

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Advancing education for California’s former foster youths

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

With sincere gratitude

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
A wonderful day of service

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Please help Baltimore

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Eyewitness to the ‘fall’ of Vietnam: It was not a bloodbath

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5 | Gallery

He can’t give it up

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

 
 
Dangers from prescription pills

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

.

Sports

UCD softball splits with Titans

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Trifecta of Devil teams open playoffs Tuesday

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Defending champ DHS clinches a baseball playoff berth

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Making memories at Aggie Stadium

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: DHS boys win to reach lacrosse playoffs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

UCD roundup: Aggie women speed past Hornets

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
Pro baseball roundup: Hudson pitches Giants past Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Arcadia partners on soybean trait to improve yield

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Marrone opens new greenhouse

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
New firm helps students on path to college

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A8

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, May 3, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8