Expanding on our Modern vs Traditional theme this month, we are offering up two distinctly different Sauvignon Blancs and two Tempranillo wines that, while born and raised oceans apart, share many similar characteristics–and we’ll see how they all get along at the dinner table.
We begin with Sauvignon Blanc: Malandes Saint-Bris of Burgundy, France is hanging out with Five Vintners of Lodi, California (already chilled). First off, what is a Sauvignon Blanc doing in Burgundy? Well, Saint-Bris happens to be the only appellation in Burgundy that allows Sauvignon Blanc grapes. (We have already established that the Malandes is the nerdy one of the pair.) This French white, grown on Jurassic limestone in the crisp cool climate of an ancient and stunning Burgundian appellation, is light-bodied with refreshing minerality and an unparalleled finesse and subtlety that cannot be mistaken for its Yankee counterpart. The charmingly feisty Five Vintners of the Golden State struts bold aromatics and bright acidity, with notes of grapefruit and citrus blossom—the fruit is in your face, and you welcome it. The Sauvignon Blanc grape can vary drastically in style depending on where it is grown and how it is handled in the winery. That being said, they all garner a nice amount of acidity which will pair well with a wide range of dishes. Enjoy both of these beauties with soft goat cheeses, chicken, pork, or turkey, and if you are in the mood for almost any type of fish, they will be tickled to join the party.
On to the reds: Las Tierras de Javier Rodriguez “Vinos de Pueblo” of Toro, Spain is a fiery Tempranillo with an insatiable love for food. His companion, Rabble Tempranillo Mossfire of Paso Robles, California wants only to live up to his Spanish origins (and does a fine job at that). Distance cannot alter these two – they exude an essence of cherry, plum, and fig with subtle notes of leather and tobacco. Truly savory in nature, these full-bodied wines embody ripe and rich tannins, are brilliantly balanced, and truly complex. The Pueblo is a true representation of traditional Spanish winemaking with its earthy, rustic, yet approachable character, while the Rabble has a bright, juicy fruit-forward character and slightly firmer tannins; the Rabble may not have been in the game as long as his Spanish counterpart (think Antonio Banderas Vs Chris Pine…the accent makes a difference) but may equally take pleasure in pairing well with the finest of cured meats, grilled steaks, hearty stews, tomato-based sauces, and traditional Mexican fare. Pretty much– because of their savory excellence–dress them up and take them anywhere.
Should you have the occasion to dine out with these enchanting modern and traditional varietals, set up a double date and keep in the theme: surf and turf will put a period at the end of this delectable sentence.