L’OSTAL CAZES – ROSE (syrah/grenache) – 2015 ($14.95CDN)
This was quite the find when I stumbled upon it- it won’t break the bank, and it pairs easily and well with some summer appetizers and BBQ. On its own, this wine is dangerously good; dry, smooth, with lower to moderate acidity. Because this wine is so well-balanced you can enjoy it by itself, without food. It will be gone before you know it. In the glass, the wine is a crystal-clear, pale pink-orange. If you have a sensitive nose, you might notice aromas/bouquet of light berries (strawberry prominently), rhubarb, faint nectarine and some herbal tea notes. And if you have a sensitive palate, you will notice the same, with some unripe watermelon. It has none of the sweetness the nose might suggest, which lends itself to hot, sultry summer nights- Chilled, this is a refreshing spring/summer wine!
Because BBQ weather and patio get-togethers are upon us, this wine will make a great opener (or light dinner accompaniment). Right now it’s asparagus season and I love taking advantage of the local produce. Blanched and chilled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, makes a great cheap and stylish appetizer. Or for a vegan/vegetarian option, asparagus simply blanched, chilled, and then drizzled with olive oil and a little lemon juice will be just as good. For those who like to experiment in the kitchen, grab some local asparagus and play with some savory elements and see how the wine enhances your creation (or not, it happens!).
For some full meal options think ‘lighter’. For seafood lovers: this wine will be your best friend. Grilled garlic shrimp and seared scallops are an excellent meal pairing (especially if you’re as lucky as me and can find garlic scapes!). Puree the scapes, olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some salt and pepper to taste, and marinate your shellfish in it (if you like a bit of heat, add a little bit of jalapeno to the mixture). The grilled seafood can be used on a salad, added to a pasta with other grilled veggies or as appetizers alone. For recipes, scroll down.
Garlic Scape ‘Pesto’:
1Cup Garlic Scapes chopped
1/2Cup- 1Cup Olive Oil
2tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Add scapes to a food processor (or blender) and begin to blend while adding oil 1/4cup at at time. The amount of oil added will depend on the desired consistency. Once the scape mixture is smooth, with no lumps, squeeze in some fresh lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Blend again. You may want to add more lemon, salt and pepper, until desired taste is reached. If you wish to use this pesto on a pasta, adding in some parmesan cheese will make it a more traditional pesto. This pesto is easily frozen if you don’t use it all.
Thinly shaved proscuitto
1 bunch asparagus spears
Trim tough ends off of the asparagus spears while bringing water in a deep frying-pan to a simmer. Place asparagus in simmering water and cook just until bright green. Remove from water immediately and bathe asparagus in cold, icy water to stop them from cooking. Squeeze some lemon juice onto the asparagus and chill in the fridge for a couple hours. When asparagus are cool, wrap each spear with a thin layer of proscuitto.