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Archive for the ‘Encostas do Lima’ Category

Week 31: What to Eat with the 2008 Encostas do Lima Vinho Verde

04 Apr

It’s been a great CorkPopper week…. Vinho Verde has proven to be quite enjoyable – light, pleasant and easy-drinking.  A “serious” wine it is not, of course, but that’s ok.  Sometimes light and fresh is exactly what you need.  For this week’s CorkPopper dinner, J and I had planned on making something light and fresh enough to not overwhelm the delicacy of the Encostas do Lima Vinho Verde, and I had settled on Seared Scallops with Citrus, Pancetta, Arugula and Pomegranate Salad.*

Today, however, was Easter, and although I don’t come from a religious background, my family never misses an opportunity to eat and drink something special.  So, instead of going with our planned CorkPopper dinner, J and I ventured down to Pop’s and SM’s place for a delicious Easter dinner of Roasted Leg of Lamb, Scalloped Potatoes with Fennel, and Roasted Asparagus.  Paired with a fantastic 2007 Melville Pinot Noir, it was a hard meal to beat…. thanks SM!

Here, however, is the recipe for the meal J and I would have made if we hadn’t been lured away by SM’s cooking…

Seared Scallops with Citrus, Pancetta, Arugula and Pomegranate Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound pancetta, diced
  • 3 clementines, peeled and cut into segments
  • 1 ruby red grapefruit, peeled and cut into segments
  • Sea salt
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 8 large scallops, dried
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Preparation

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook the pancetta until brown and crispy.  Remove to a paper towel and pat dry.  Wipe the skillet with a clean paper towel to remove excess grease.

Combine all the citrus in a medium bowl with a pinch of salt and crushed red pepper and reserve.

Season the scallops with salt.  Reheat the skillet and add a bit of olive oil.  When the oil is hot but not smoking add the smashed garlic cloves. When the garlic has become golden and very aromatic remove it from the pan and discard it. Place the scallops in the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.  You want the scallops to caramelize on each side.

While the scallops are cooking, dress the arugula in a small bowl with some of the juice from the reserved citrus and a splash of olive oil.  Arrange the arugula on individual serving plates. Toss the onion in with the citrus and give it a sprinkle of olive oil. Lay the citrus on the arugula.

Place the seared scallops atop the citrus.  Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and pancetta and drizzle with a bit more olive oil.

Cheers!

* This recipe is tweaked from one I found on Food Network.

 

2008 Encostas do Lima Vinho Verde

30 Mar

It has been an absolutely gorgeous few days in Southern California with bright blue skies, brilliant sun and light breezes – perfect weather to enjoy some Vinho Verde, a light and slightly fizzy white wine best enjoyed cold and young – and the 2008 Encostas do Lima Vinho Verde is no exception.

Clear and day bright, this wine is a nice straw yellow color of medium intensity and medium-minus viscosity.  It has a clean, fresh, youthful aroma of medium intensity and is loaded with the aroma of key limes, green apples and Asian pears along with a little bit of Spring flowers.  Dry with medium body and just the slightest hint of fizz, the lime and green apples dominate the palate.  As is typical of Vinho Verde, the alcohol level is medium-low (just 10% ABV), and although the acidity is high, it is in no way unpleasant, which is likely a result of the in-bottle malolactic fermentation.  With a medium-plus finish and medium complexity, this wine is exactly what it should be – light and pleasant.  It certainly won’t pair with your favorite comfort food, but if you’re looking for something to drink with a fresh salad, light appetizers, or some fresh ceviche, it’s an excellent choice.

If you’d like to stock up for your next pool party or backyard BBQ, you can find Encostas do Lima at The Wine House for just $9.99/bottle.

4 corks popped!

Cheers!

 

Week 31: Portuguese Vinho Verde

29 Mar

Welcome!  After a four-week hiatus, the CorkPopper Project is finally back in action, and I am so psyched that for my first month back I’ll be exploring the exciting world of Portuguese wines!  Portugal is not just about Port, after all, and there is no shortage of excellent Portuguese table wine just waiting to be discovered by people like you and me.

For this first week of my journey through Portugal’s wines, I’ll be tasting three different examples of Vinho Verde, which translates to “green wine” (meaning age rather than color) and could not be further in style from the country’s famous (and ubiquitous) fortified wine.  Hailing from the Minho region in Portugal’s northwest, which has been demarcated as the Vinho Verde Denominacao de Origem Controlada (DOC), Vinho Verde is typically made from Alvarinho or Loureiro grape varieties.  Vinho Verde is bottled young so that malolactic fermentation* occurs in the bottle instead of the barrel.  This means that there is typically at least some carbon dioxide (which is a natural result of the fermentation process) in the bottle, making Vinho Verde slightly fizzy.  In short, a perfect wine choice for a warm afternoon.

So, without further delay, here are this week’s contenders!

First, we’ve got a 2008 Encostas do Lima Vinho Verde, which is available for just $9.99/bottle at The Wine House.

Second, I’ll be tasting a non-vintage Broadbent Vinho Verde, which is available for just $8.99/bottle at The Wine House.

Finally, we have a 2008 Adega Cooperativo Regional de Moncao “Trajarinho” Vinho Verde, which can be purchased over at K&L Wine Merchants for just $8.99/bottle.

Cheers!

* Malolactic fermentation is the process by which the malic acid in a wine is transformed into lactic acid and is what gives some wines that “buttery” or “creamy” feel on the palate.

 
 
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