I am looking forward reading all of these explorations. The group will not be gathering for live chat on Saturday as that's my younger son's 20th birthday and I will be happily unplugged for the entire weekend as we celebrate. Here's what we're sharing...
A Coastal Pairing: Apaltagua Costero Extra Brut + Shrimp Tempura by Culinary Cam (you're here)
A Toast to Holidays and 25 Years of Domaine Bousquet Organic Wine with 3 Sparkling and Argentine Christmas Specialties like Pionono Ham Roll by Wine Predator...Gwendolyn Alley
Celebrating the Holidays with Friends, Appetizers, and Dominio de Los Duques Cava by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Here's to those Argentine sparklers that I have met, and to those I have yet to discover by Wine Travels with Dr. Sharon
Organic, Pink, Bubbly - What's not to love? by Crushed Grape Chronicles
Popping Bubbles With Domaine Bousquet Organic Sparkling Wines by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
These will all be live between now and Saturday morning. Please circle back and read about our wines and pairings.
Apaltagua Costero Extra Brut
For last month's #WorldWineTravel, I actually poured a Carménère Rosé from the same winery. Owned by the Tutunjian family, the Apaltagua Winery, which is located in the Apalta region of the Colchagua Valley, focuses on small-production wines made from the estate's vines 65-years-old vineyards by winemaker Carolina França. Read that pairing - Apaltagua Reserva Carménère Rosé 2022 with Three Grilled Octopus Dishes - within this post: Carménère: Two Shades and Two Continents.
This month, for South American Sparklers, I opened up a bottle of Apaltagua Costero Extra Brut. Grown in Chile's coastal hills, the vines are a mere seven miles from the Pacific Ocean. Made from a non-vintage blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, it's aged on the lees for nine months.
The wine pours a pale gold in hue with tiny, persistent bubbles. On the nose, there are aromas of fresh green apples and earthy hazelnuts. On the palate the wine is creamy with subtle flavors that mirror the aromas. There is a surprising salinity on the finish that convinced me to pair this with seafood.
I had initially planned to make Peruvian fried calamari, Chicharron de Calamar, because it fit the geographical theme. However, the recipe I tried didn't work out. So, I pivoted and went with a safer bet: shrimp tempura. It was still seafood and still battered and fried. And it was a great match with the wine! The shrimp tempura was just part of a huge tempura meal that I had promised to make while the boys were home for the holidays.
Shrimp, peeled and skewered
Also needed: canola oil, sesame oil (1 teaspoon per each cup of canola)
Batter (I doubled this for the amount of veggies and shrimp I had)
1 cup flour
200 milliliters sparkling water
Pour oil into a large pot, to about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch depth adding about 1 teaspoon sesame oil for each cup of canola oil. Heat until a small drop of water into the oil causes it to sputter and spit.
Make sure all of your ingredients are cold. Place the flour and egg in a mixing bowl. Pour in the sparkling water and gently mix with chopsticks. You don't want to over-mix.
When the oil reaches the right temperature, dip the skewered shrimp in the batter, letting the excess drip off before placing it in the oil.
Fry until golden and remove vegetables from the oil. Transfer the tempura to a paper towel-lined platter to remove the excess oil.
Repeat until all of your shrimp and veggies are cooked. Serve immediately. As I mentioned: the shrimp tempura was just part of a larger dinner. On the platter, clockwise starting with the shrimp are - tempura green beans, purple sweet potatoes, white sweet potatoes, carrots, and lotus root. So good!
That's a wrap for the #WorldWineTravel year in South America. Next year the group will move to a quarterly posting schedule and the first #WorldWineTravel event will be April 13, 2024. Stay tuned for our theme.
In the meantime, here's a 2023 recap of our events and posts. Click on my post to view all the other offerings for the theme...
January - Chile - A Bloody Good Rack of Lamb + 2019 Viña González Bastias País
February - Beyond Malbec in Mendoza - Bleu Cheese Sliders + 2019 Pasarina Malbec from Patagonia
March - Uruguay - Full of Uruguayan National Pride: The Chivito + Tannat
April - Organic Chilean Wines - Wishing You Happy Earth Day with An Organic Pinot Noir from Chile + A Quintessential Pasta from Rome
May - Wines from the First Grape to Go From the Old World to the New - A Chilean Seafood Soup + a Migrated Vine: Paila Marina + the 2019 Roberto Henríquez Tierra de Pumas
June - Coastal Chile - A Sauvignon Blanc from the Leyda Valley + Gambas al Pil Pil
July - Indigenous Grapes - A Taste of Argentina: Chupín de Mariscos + a 2022 Torrontés from the Salta Region
August - Uruguay - The Lighter Shades of Wines from Uruguay and a Parade of Pairings
September - Brazil - From Brazil: Picadinho de Carne + 2021 Familia Salton Intenso Pinot Noir
October - Argentina - From Soil and Sea to Sky: Miso-Glazed Squash and Salmon with Trapiche Medalla Chardonnay
November - Carménère - Carménère: Two Shades and Two Continents.
December - South American Sparklers - you're here!