Some wines make us gush. Some foods make us sing. And when the exact right combination of wine and foods comes along, it's not hard to go full-on operatic. When Carl and I tasted the just-released 2019 Cadenza Vineyards Albariño with dinner foods specially chosen to make its acquaintance, it was one of the best matches we'd tried in quite a while. Cue the aria...
In a blog post from late September, I recorded a couple of notes about the grape's history here in our Cadenza Vineyard. We also surmised that "It should pair wonderfully with light seafood dishes including shrimp and scallops." Well, now that the wine is ready for the dinner table, I decided to put that prognostication to the test.
For dinner, I made Fettuccini Alfredo, one of the easiest and most delightful pasta dishes in my repertoire. If I'm using fresh pasta, the entire preparation of the dish (including grating the Parmesan) takes only about a total of ten minutes.
To grace the bed of pasta, I also cooked shrimp and scallops in butter (laced with smashed garlic cloves) and finished them with a spritz of lemon and a bit of fresh dill.
All that remained to prepare was the spinach salad, with a fresh lemon-based vinaigrette, and a bottle of our lightly chilled Albariño.
Wow. The dinner foods and wine met each other so seamlessly that Carl called the pairing "ridiculous." When sipping the wine, the edge of bright citrus is first evident, but then it combines in tone and texture with the cream, pasta, and sweet seafoods. The wine and food integrated not just in flavor but also in a textual way, silky and delightful.
This new (to Cadenza Vineyards) style of white wine is a real joy for foodies. Both the big dash of Viognier and its treatment in neutral oak barrels in the cellar make it more than a one-note wine. It was certainly fun to welcome it onto our table, and I'll look forward to inviting it again soon.