Friday, February 10, 2006

Monkfish and Vermentino

The other day, I was happy to find some monkfish at my local grocery store because monkfish is so rare here. I known, monkfish is a really ugly fish, and the sight of it may disgust some people, but it has a firm, meaty, and tasteful flesh that makes great fish stews.

Northeast Fisheries Science Center

I decided to prepare my filets of monkfish braised in white wine, tomato, carrot, and mushroom. While the stew was slowly cooking in the oven, I looked in the cellar for a wine that could be nice to have with this somewhat Provencal dish, and found a bottle of 2004 Tablas Creek Vermentino.

Vermentino is a traditional Mediterranean white varietal producing fresh and aromatic wines with good acidity that work well with any kind of seafood. It grows mainly in France's Corsica, and Italy's Sardinia and Liguria, and it is also found in small quantities in the Rhone Valley. It was recently imported to California by the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel and Tablas Creek Vineyard. They thought that Vermentino would thrive in the rocky limestone soils of Paso Robles, and so far, the 2004 vintage is their third successful bottling of the varietal.

The wine had a bright light-straw color. The nose was shy but pleasant with pear, honey and mineral aromas and hints of Provencal herbs. On the palate, it was dry, crisp and mouth-coating with green apple flavors on the finish. And it made a great partner with my braised monkfish.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, great writing.

So, you just "looked in the cellar" and found Tablas Crk. Vermentino? I want to be you!

Any other domestic or import vermentino you like? I am drinking 2004 Costamalino right now, yum... Could be the summer case-load pick. Thanks for the cool blog,