Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pupusas from El Salvador and a good Pinot from the Santa Cruz Mountains

The other day, we were invited to a Pupusas party, one of the guests' mother being from El Salvador and a great cook. The pupusa is El Salvador's national dish, made of thick corn tortillas typically filled with cheese, pork, and beans and cooked on a griddle.

Freshly made and still hot from the skillet, it is really tasty but what to drink with it besides beer? Actually we found that Pinot Noir was a pretty good choice, especially if you avoided the extra spicy salsa.

We tasted the 2003 Muccigrosso Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains from Muccigrosso Vineyards, a small family-run winery in Los Gatos, in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The owners, Michael and Lynne Muccigrosso, planted their first vines in 1983 and bottled their first vintage in 2000. Now they produce 800 to 1000 cases per year of Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and a Syrah-Sangiovese blend called Table Two. The 2003 Pinot Noir was crafted by Jacob Kauffman, a yound talented winemaker who had gained his experience at near-by David Bruce Winery but who sadly passed away 2 years ago.

The wine had a bright garnet color and perfumed nose of sweet berries and violets. On the palate, it was medium-bodied with a good structure, elegant with a good amount of earthiness on the finish. Quite comforting, like the pupusas.

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