There's a recurring theme in my life, and one I'm happy to keep. It goes like this: Kate comes to my house, or I go to her house; we make a smattering of appetizers; there's usually some bubbly invoved, and a bottle of wine, or two. We gossip and rehash the weeks that have passed since our last sitting. I wake up with a hang-over the next day.
This week it was my house. My new (still unfinished) kitchen space. A little candlelight and some groovy beats that Dave twisted up while we filled our glasses.
Grayson (who is the ever talented Wine Director at Play Food and Wine) recommended we try this and for that I am grateful. An oaked, white wine made with 100% Viura from a region in Spain that is mostly known for its red wines. How fun is that?
This was sooooo interesting in the glass: lots of ripe, fruity aromas like apricot, quince, pineapple are followed by fresher notes of honeysuckle, pine needles, and a peppered vibrancy. The time in oak imparts a little butterscotch on the palate; the lush mouthfeel has a briny quality to it that gets balanced out by lime on the long finish. I could go on, but I don't want to bore you with more wine descriptors. Let's just say there's a lot going on with this wine.
It was particularly good with the hot artichoke dip that was on the table. I know there's nothing very new or innovative about the old baked artichoke dip appetizer. I think my mom used to make something similar at her monthly bridge club meetings back in the '70s, but if you haven't made one lately, might I suggest that now is a good time?
2 cans of artichokes, drained and squeezed of liquid
1 can of canned black olives, drained
1/2 block of cream cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp cayenne
salt and pepper
-blend it all up; put it into an oven-hardy dish; warm it up in the oven or microwave. I think some fresh basil would have made a worthy addition.
Note: Viura is also known as Macabeo in other parts of Spain.