Friday, July 12, 2019

Oven Roasted Italian Sausage with Rioja Reserva

Usually a couple times a year I feature wines of Spain.  Our Wine Pairing Weekend group led by Jeff of Food Wine Click chose Rioja to highlight with some BBQ pairings.  Let’s get creative!   

Rioja Wine Region 
The Rioja wine region of Spain has been making wine since Roman times.  It’s one of Spains major wine growing districts located in the north central part of the country.  Only about 200 miles from Bordeaux one can really delve into some of the famous wine regions of Europe.  Back when the phylloxera vine attacking disease hit in the late 1800’s into early 1900’s some Bordeaux producers relocated to the area of Rioja since many of their vineyards were destroyed.  The area had a similar climate and growing conditions in comparison to Bordeaux.  The winery I’m sharing today, Bodegas LAN, is one of the respected wineries on this region. 
Copyright of Wine Folly

The Winery ~ Bodegas LAN 
Bodegas LAN was established in 1972 and is based in the town of Guenmajoy in the heart of Rioja Alta.  Their vineyard, Vina Lanciano, is situated along the Ebro River and is where many of their wines are  produced.  I was intrigued by the LAN in the title as I thought it was rather unique.  Come to find out it represents the 3 provinces that make up the Rioja D.O.C, Lagrono (known as La Rioja), Alava and Navarra.   

The Grapes ~ Tempranillo 
Rioja is primarily a red wine region.  The red grapes used in the wines of Rioja include tempranillo, garnachamazuelo, graciano and maturana tinta.  When it comes to Spanish wines I have always gravitated towards tempranillo as I found many similar characteristics to sangiovese, one of my favorite Italian reds.  They are medium to full body in weight displaying red fruits, primarily cherry as well as some earthy qualities and leather notes.  As you’ll see the wine I sampled was primarily tempranillo with a small amount of mazuelo
The Wine ~ Bodegas LAN 
The 2012 Bodegas LAN Rioja Reserva is made of 92% tempranillo with 8% mazuelo.  The grapes are grown from long time suppliers of theirs from both the areas of Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa.  The vines average about 25 years old.  It is aged 18 months in oak plus an additional 21 months in the bottle.  I loved the aromatics of this wine.  The red fruit smelled luscious with vanilla notes and a hint of spice.  The wine was medium-bodied with quite a silky texture.  Well-balanced with mostly cherry notes and some blackberry showing in the glass.  A lingering finish with the tannins making an appearance at the end.  For only about $16 I find this wine to be quite a value. 

Whats unique about the oak aging of this wine are the hybrid barrels used.  Looking through the photos of their wine cellar they’re structured in a beautiful pyramidal shape.  The barrels are comprised of French oak bases with American staves.  Per their website the French lends “aromatic complexity with delicate notes of spice, touches of menthol, smoke and cocoa.  It addes a considerable amount of tannins giving great structure”.  The American oak on the other hand lends vanilla and coconut nuances.  
Wine cellar of Bodegas LAN ~ Copyright of Bodegas LAN
The pairing  
When I think of red spanish wines whether its garnacha or tempranillo I always gravitate to roasted meats or BBQ grilled foods.  I chose to pair the Bodegas LAN Reserva with an oven roasted Italian sausage dish with roasted potatoes and veggies.  I love the summer time as I belong to a local farm and participate in their CSA program so weekly the veggies are abundant in our home.  A super easy one pan dish to prepare and in this house the easier the better, plus my kids love sausage.  The vino is for me!  The pairing went well and I think grilling everything would be even better.  
Join the rest of my fellow food and wine lovers as their share their wines of Rioja with some BBQ pairings.  If you catch us in time join us live on Twitter Saturday July 13th at 11am EST on #WinePW.  Hope to see you there! 
  • Deanna at Asian Test Kitchen shares “Vegan BBQ: 3 Ideas to Pair with Crianza Rioja”. 
  • Lori at Exploring the Wine Glass shares “A Father’s Passion is Passed Down to Daughter and Expressed in Bottle” 
  • David from Cooking Chat shares “Grilled Paprika Pork Chops with a Rioja” 
  • Jane at Always Ravenous shares “Grilled Sausage Feast Paired with Rioja Crianza” 
  • Lauren at The Swirling Dervish shares “Paella and Bodegas LAN: Perfect for Your Summer BBQ“ 
  • Jill at L’Occasion shares “On the Grill with Rioja Wine“ 
  • Martin at Enofylz Wine Blog shares “Grilled Garam Masala Lamb Chops paired with Bodega LAN Reserva 
  • Linda at My Full Wine Glass shares “Keep your cool with grilled steak salad and Rioja” 
  • Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares “Robatayaki and Rioja Wines, the Perfect Summertime Party” 
  • Pinny at Chinese Food & Wine Pairings shares “Bodegas LAN Rioja Crianza and Thick-Cut Sirloin Steak on the Grill” 
  • Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm shares “Our Favorite BBQ Ribs with LAN Rioja“ 
  • Gwen at Wine Predator shares “An American Summer BBQ with a Red and a Rose from Rioja” 
  • Nicole at Somm’s Table shares “Cooking to the Wine: Bodegas LAN Rioja Reserva with Smoky Seared Octopus” 
  • Rupal at Syrah Queen shares “Bodegas LAN Rioja with Canjun Butter Steak” 
  • Jeff at Food Wine Click! shares “Smoking Low & Slow with Rioja Wines” 

    *This wine was received as a sample, but opinions are my own.

*Most wines were received as samples, but opinions are all my own.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Prosecco DOCG is More Than Just Prosecco

It’s amazing to me that this past weekend into this week we celebrated my first born’s 3rd birthday.  It was the perfect opportunity to pop some prosecco that was sent from the Consortium for Prosecco Superiore DOCG and highlight it for this month’s Italian Food, Wine & Travel group. 

The Region ~ Conegliano Valdobbiadene 
Prosecco hails from the Veneto region in the northeastern corner of Italy.  The core of its production is found in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene area of the Treviso province, which has been producing prosecco since the late 19th century.  Located at the foothills of the Belluno Alps and north of the Piave River.   

Conegliano Valdobbiadene spans over 15 communes covering 15,000 acres from east to west.  Conegliano is located in the eastern part with lower hills closer to the Adriatic.  The weather is warmer resulting in softer, fruitier wines.  The Valdobbiadene is located on the western side on higher hills closer to the mountains.  There the climate is cooler with higher acid wines.   
Prosecco vs. Prosecco DOCG
Look at the comparison on the small parcel of Prosecco DOCG vs. Prosecco DOC.  Copyright of Federdoc
The Grape ~ Glera 
Prosecco is primarily based on the glera grape, which was previously known as prosecco tondo.  Many producers will utilize 100% glera, but they are only required to use at least 85% with 15% of other local varieties.  Glera is a late ripening grape that is widely planted and found in the province of Treviso.  It is a rather aromatic grape that produces light, refreshing wines with notes of apple, pears, white flowers, peaches and lemon.  Of course there are many different styles and those of the cartizze sub-zone show every more depth and complexities.
Prosecco DOCG Conegliano Valdobbiadene Adami Astoria Valdo
The Wines 
Valdo Cuvee 1926 Valdobbiadene DOCG Extra Dry – Started in 1926 by some winemakers and later sold to Bolla of Verona.  The wine is made of 90% glera with 10% chardonnay. Pale straw colored.  Florally with notes of lemon and stone fruits/peaches.  Abundant bubbles with a persistent finish.  Lemon, apple, pineapple on the palate nicely balanced with a tingly finish.  This wine spends 5 months with the charmat method and 3 months in the bottle.  ABV 11.5% SRP $19.99 

Astoria Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG Extra Dry – Astoria was founded in 1987 and is located in Refrontolo on 40 acres.  Surrounded by the Alps and the winery is located at the Val de Brun Estate.  A rather stylish bottle I must say.  Pale straw yellow color.   Refreshing with a hint of sweetness lending to a little more tropical notes than the others with citrus and green apple.  ABV 11% SRP $15 

Adami Bosco di Gica Brut Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCGNamed Bosco di Gica after the ancient land where the vineyards are located.  Made of about 95% glera with 5% chardonnay.  Pale straw color with lots of green apple and citrus with a very crisp, fresh acidity.  Nice lingering finish.  I’ve tasted this wine prior along with some of the others from Adami that you can read about hereABV 11% SRP $19  
At the Gambero Rosso I also tasted a couple of the wines from Botolomiol including their 2018 Bortolomiol Valdobbiadene Brut Prior and their 2018 Bortolomiol Filanda Brute Rose’ Riserva.  Out of all these wines shared today these were my favorite.  It could be partially because I’m not a fan of bubbles period and what I loved about the wines from Bortolomiol were the soft, frothy bubbles and elegance of the wines.  Wine is a beverage of personal choice always so this was just my personal preference.  

Join my fellow wine and food lovers as they too explored prosecco this month.  If you catch us in time we'll be chatting live Saturday July 6th on Twitter #ItalianFWT at 11am EST.  Hope to see you there!

*Most wines were received as samples, but opinions are all my own.