The Bacchus Report from Cambridge Wine Excellence
September already? Where did the summer go? You are getting a hint of autumn as the sun starts setting early and you need to put on a light as you enjoy a glass of wine on your patio. I have to admit that I love autumn but not crazy about what follows.
New at the store
We have a new website which I hope you will enjoy. It still needs a little polishing, including adding additional content on the wine descriptions and removing the prices from the website. The prices were from another local make wine on premises business and as you know ours are much lower. We used the services of Convex Studios in Cambridge to design the new website and were quite pleased with the results. Keep them in mind if you ever have need for a website. We will also have all the archived newsletters so you can go back and find a recipe if required.
On the wine front the exciting news is the introduction of the 2020 Limited Editions. Peter and myself will be attending the virtual launch later this month and once we get the details we will be sharing it with you fine folks via social media, email and on our website..(Did i mention that we have an updated website?)
The store will be closed the Saturday of the long weekend. We will be open again on Tuesday for you to replenish your wine supplies.
Know your wines
Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine that owes much of its popularity to winemakers in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley in France. The Sauvignon Blanc taste is very different from other white wines, like Chardonnay, because of its green and herbaceous flavors. The name Sauvignon Blanc means “Wild White” and the grape is related to Traminer with origins in the South of France. Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most widely planted wine grapes in the world and because of this it has a wide range of styles and flavors.
The primary fruit flavors of Sauvignon Blanc are lime, green apple, passion fruit and white peach. Depending on how ripe the grapes are when the wine is made, the flavor will range from zesty lime to flowery peach. What makes Sauvignon Blanc unique from other white wines are its other herbaceous flavors like bell pepper, jalapeño, gooseberry and grass. These flavors come from aromatic compounds called pyrazines and are the secret to Sauvignon Blanc’s taste.
Here at Cambridge Wine Excellence we sell Sauvignon from New Zealand in Private Reserve line products and California Sauvignon Blanc with our Reserve line. A Chilean Sauvignon Blanc can be enjoyed in our Classic Line.
Cooking with wine is great. Not only does it add flavour to your dish, but you probably only use a cup or so in each recipe, so you open the bottle and there is enough wine for you to drink while you are cooking. That is what I call a win win situation.
This recipe uses the wine highlighted in the previous section. Grilled Vegetable Pasta with Cumin will pair nicely with any white wine but especially with a Sauvignon Blanc. A great autumn recipe that will be enhanced with a trip to any of the great farmers markets nearby.
1 small eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
1 red bell pepper, quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
How to Make It
Light the grill or heat the broiler. In a large shallow bowl, toss the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, and garlic with 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the black pepper. If using the broiler, arrange the vegetables in a single layer on one large or two smaller baking sheets, preferably nonstick. Grill or broil in batches, turning the vegetables once, until they are tender and lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Cut the vegetables into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
In a small glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, cumin, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the penne rigate until just done, about 13 minutes. Reserve about 3 tablespoons of the pasta water. Drain the penne and toss with 1 tablespoon of the reserved pasta water, the oil-and-lemon-juice mixture, and the vegetables. Add more pasta water if the pasta seems dry. Top with some Parmesan cheese and pass additional Parmesan at the table.