I’ve recently been enjoying all the late summer sweet corn and tomatoes that are in stock in Dépanneur Williamsburg. People often think of us as their coffee and sandwich spot, not realizing we stock in season produce as well, which alas doesn’t get grabbed up like you would think it would. I slice up the tomatoes sprinkle coarse sea salt and drizzle a good olive oil from the shop on top, slice up a Balthazar baguette (also from the shop) and that’s it. I’m easy to please.
When it comes to meal prep, I definitely lean towards the Alice Waters school of thought. Let the vegetables speak for themselves. (And Congrats to 50 years Chez Panisse!) That said, I’m not opposed to enjoying the labors of a six hour ratatouille recipe if someone else is making it. You can freeze it and have it in the winter when you long for summer again; we can’t do that with a fresh tomato.
I enjoy wine in the same spirit . I want to taste the soil, the grape, the wind, rain, sun. Ok starting to sound cheesy but seriously. I want to experience the story of the wine and I don’t want the story to be the same every time. Sure, I find a quarter pounder with cheese extremely comforting at times (usually when hungover), it always tastes the same, I know what to expect.
But that’s not what I want when I open a bottle of wine. I rarely drink the same bottle twice, even if I really love it. I may revisit it a year later to see how it has evolved. But I drink wine to be surprised. I drink and eat to experience something honest. (Again, except when hungover or sick or when I just want to generally numb out) then it’s all about comfort and familiarity.
Wine is transparent, it can’t lie to you about where it’s from, what has been done to it, and it speaks to the nature of the people that had a hand in its journey. I find this lens an incredibly refreshing one in which to view my experience.
I hope when you stop by for the Thursday tastings you will be refreshed, surprised and generally uplifted by the wines you experience .
Here are three late summer wines that do just that for me :
Stein Riesling Weihwasser Feinherb 2020, $26
Ulli Stein has become a cult figure in the wine world and in restaurants like Noma and Momofuku Ko. He and his wife cultivate on steep blue slate slopes and live at their mountaintop inn overlooking Mosel receiving a constant flow of devoted Ulli fans making the pilgrimage.
The Stein’s passionately advocate for the preservation of the Mosel Valley. This riesling just makes me smile. Asian pear, lychee on a summer’s day, light and fresh with backbone to boot, off-dry finish.
Stein says wine isn’t what he wants to make, it is what the vineyards give to him.
Pair with late summer sweet corn dusted with hot smokey paprika.
Altolandon Manchuela Enblanco Orange Wine 2020, $26
Bodega Altolandon Certified Organic + Biodynamic winery of Spain's La Mancha wine region in Valencia. This blend of Garnacha Blanca and Garnacha Gris uses hand harvested grapes grown on limestone and stony soils. Produced as naturally as possible with spontaneous fermentation on the skins in clay amphora, there are no added sulphites.
This creates a wine of orange-pink color with an elegant nose showing sweet aromas of stone fruits, mineral and anise, supported by apricot, mirabelle plum and citrus notes. Full and well rounded on the palate with plenty of weight, yet still elegant, lively and light in body. Try as an appetizer with tapas, baked fish, sushi, or well-flavoured hard cheeses.
I Clivi, Venezia Giulia Schioppettino 2019, $31
Certified Organic. 100% Schioppettino. 50-year-old vines from A south-east facing slope in Prepotto, in the Province of Udine between the Adriatic and the Alps. Ponca soil (marl and sandstone). Destemmed and gently crushed to break the skin. Spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel, with 14 days of skin contact. Aged in stainless also for 12 months.
Wonderful and delightful full nose of fresh cranberries and pulp, morels, dry, well structured, nice acidity, balanced, light red, perfect for a late summer seafood dinner, spaghetti tossed with garlic and ripe tomatoes, or an always delicious cheese board.
Cheers . Love you Guys.