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Keyword: ‘gamay’

Wine for Thought: Gamay from the Beaujolais!

July 7, 2010 2 comments

Beaujolais Nouveau: Good to chill

In this week’s Wine for Thought, I am going to touch upon a red wine that you can put on ice and chill. I mentioned Gamay in last week’s recipe of the week. It still stands as a perfect compliment to that Pesto Shrimp Penne recipe. Today, though, I’ll give you a bit more on the grape’s history and current state in the wine market.

Joseph Drouhin's Beaujolais Villages.

Gamay is grown all over the place but its ancestral homeland is in Beaujolais, located in the southernmost part of Burgundy, France. Although technically a part of “Greater Burgundy”, its soil, topography, and climate are distinct from the noble area to the north. The red wines produced in Beaujolais are predominately made from the Gamay grape. The Gamay grown in Beaujolais produces a wine that is light and fruity with a bright acidity on the palate. All three of these characteristics make it a great wine to have chilled at a picnic, at the beach, or at a barbecue in the park or rooftop.

Some people will recognize Beaujolais Nouveau as a wine that is released on the market in September/October; right after the harvest. Georges Duboeuf, the large French negociant, is synonymous with Beaujolais Nouveau. His wines, festooned with flowers, are the quintessential quaffing wines. So if you want to try one, you can’t go wrong with a Georges Dubeoef. Beaujolais Nouveau is the most predominant example of Beaujolais on the U.S. market and is your best bet to find and throw in that waiting bucket of ice.

There are other, more serious Gamay Beaujolais wines that are also great on ice. Instead of serving them between 55-65 degrees (the preferred red wine serving temperature), serve them between 45-55 degrees and enjoy the juicy fruit and spice. So ask your local wine merchant for an affordable Gamay from Beaujolais, pop it into the fridge, wake up in the morning, prepare your snacks, get outside, and enjoy the goodness offered from the region of Beaujolais.

In the future, I’ll make sure to throw out some more examples of wines that can and/or should be chilled this Summer. Until then, keep sipping the good stuff.

Summer heat calls for a light dish: pesto shrimp pasta with a side of spinach sprinkled with gorgonzola

June 30, 2010 2 comments

Pesto Shrimp Pasta with Spinach

The summer heat is currently oppressive. Some of the tell-tale signs: commuting to work and having your shirt gingerly wet upon arrival, walking lethargically in the streets hoping to see an open fire hydrant to frolic in and desperately waiting to hear the familiar sound of the ice cream truck (NSFW!) so you can grab a soft serve. This type of weather calls for the shoestring chef to offer something light and easy to beat back the heat. Here’s your solution: pesto shrimp pasta with a side of spinach sprinkled with gorgonzola. How does that sound to you?

Pasta is cheap and simple to make, pesto simply makes everything taste better (does anyone disagree?), and shrimp offers us great low calorie protein with solid levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and essential minerals (iron, zinc, copper).  Most importantly, a glass of Grüner Veltliner, which I delve into in today’s “Wine for Thought” post, would pair splendidly with this dish.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound Penne pasta, dry

12 medium-size precooked, peeled shrimp

2 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

1 clove garlic

1 cup spinach

1 tomato chopped

1 ½ tbsp pesto

2 tbsp crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Start by boiling the pasta. Put the olive oil in a skillet pan over medium heat and add the shrimp for no more than a minute or two until they are warm. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and place in a bowl to the side. Heat the butter on a skillet and add the garlic until lightly sautéed. Add the spinach and cook on low heat until the spinach is nice and tender. While the spinach is cooking, take the finished pasta and drain it. Add the pesto into the pasta making sure it’s well mixed together. Sprinkle the gorgonzola cheese over the spinach once done. Plate with the pesto penne. There you have it. Cheap. Quick. Easy. Summery.

Regarding wine choices, other than our suggested Grüner, the penne pasta with pesto will pair well with a nice un-oaked Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. If you are feeling adventurous and want to chill a red wine for this meal go with a chilled Gamay Noir. Bon appétit!