Sunday, April 23, 2006

Earth Day Coturri Dinner

Slope Cellars, our local wine store, put on a "Black Market Bistro" in a neighbor's house featuring Coturri wine. Tony Coturri was there, and introduced all the wines as well as explaining his big-picture approach to organic growing and producing. I agree completely with his position that local trumps organic in terms of supporting viable agriculture. His wines are funky, idiosyncratic, and have a unique combination of earthy and sweet.

The food and wine pairings were as follows:

Cheese course
2004 Albarello

Spiced tomato aspic with baby greens tossed in walnut oil and white balsamic
2004 Grenache

Marinated grilled squid with parsley and lemon confit
2004 Charbono

Pork butt with orange, cinnamon, and star anise served with caramelized fennel on fregula
2004 Carignane

Lemon cakes with basil
2003 Zinfandel Freiberg Vineyards

I thought the Carignane was particularly good, as was the pork, although I wished there was more fennel. The aspic had a nice summer-by-way-of-winter feel, with a nice deep tomato flavor presented in a preserved form. The lemon confit and parsley in the squid dish were strong and beat up a bit on the light charbono, and the zin had an interesting dry/sweet thing going on which went pretty well with the lemon and basil. The meal featured some nice use of citrus, and suited the rainy weather well.

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