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Posts Tagged ‘Grüner Veltliner’

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!

Wine for Thought: A crowd-pleasing wine from Austria — Grüner Veltliner!

June 30, 2010 1 comment

A 2007 Berger Grüner Veltliner

In last week’s inaugural Cocktail Fodder wine discussion, I talked about the Italian wine Pecorino. I hope all of you have had the opportunity to try this remarkable juice and share it with your friends.

This week I am going to introduce you to a wine that is readily available on the U.S. market and is currently selling like hot cakes here at the shop in the East Village. As the most widely harvested grape in Austria, accounting for over one-third of the vineyard plantings in the country, Grüner Veltliner (GROO-ner, VEHLT-ly-ner) is an Austrian classic that is perfect for the spring and summer months.  Once known as Grüner Muskateller, Grüner Veltliner only became noteworthy post-WWII when more advanced viticulture allowed for the full potential of the grape to be realized. While there are some nice examples of aged Grüner Veltliners, it is better known for being a young wine. If your local wine shop carries it, they should have the most recent vintages of ’07, ’08, and ’09. These wines will typically be dry, light to medium-bodied, with a lively food-friendly acidity. That makes this wine great to beat back the heat and enjoy with a wide range of summer foods.  For pairings think tofu and vegetables, cold soups, Asian-influenced dishes, and lighter meat fare (veal, pork, and poultry).

"The Luncheon of the Boating Party"

Renoir's "The Luncheon of the Boating Party." That party is missing some Grüner, don't you think?

The Grüner that ABC Wine Company currently carries is the 2009 Berger Grüner Veltliner. It’s a 1L bottle in a crown cap (the same type of cap used to bottle beer).  At 11 dollars a pop, with flavorful notes of green apple and citrus and the capability of serving 6 people, this is a win-win situation for every recent graduate, cost conscious shopper and wine lover out there.

Let’s say it all together now: GROO-ner, VEHLT-ly-ner!