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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

A Chilean Seafood Soup + a Migrated Vine: Paila Marina + the 2019 Roberto Henríquez Tierra de Pumas

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

This month I invited the #WorldWineTravel group to join me in pairing wines made from the first Vitis vinifera grape variety to be exported from the Old World (Spain) to the New World (Mexico) in the 16th Century. Known as País in Chile, Criolla in Argentina, and Mission in North America.


Earlier I shared that I has a disappointing experience with the Mission grape. And I have another pairing planned with an Argentinian Criolla. For this month's event, the group will be posting between Friday, May 26th and Saturday, May 27th. We will also be gathering for a live Twitter chat on Saturday, May 27th. Follow the hashtag #WorldWineTravel and be sure to add that to anything you tweet so we can see it. Here's the line-up of articles...



In the Glass


I sourced a bottle of the 2019 Roberto Henríquez Tierra de Pumas from the Bío Bío region. A single varietal, the País grapes used in this wine are over two centuries old and are cultivated with organic and biodynamic practices. Grown in granite soils of the coastal range called Cordillera de Nahuelbuta,

which translates to 'Cougar’s Land,' or Tierra de Pumas in Spanish.


Harvested completely by hand, the grapes are destemmed, gently crushed, and fermented with wild yeasts. Then the juice is aged for half a year in 60% stainless steel and 40% neutral barrels.



Where my California Mission wine was simple and uninspiring, this Chilean País was delightfully complex. On the nose, the wine revealed purple florals and fruits with layers of clay and forest duff. On the palate, the wine was bright with a slight bitterness of citrus rind and the barest of tannins.


In the Bowl


I started looking at Chilean dishes and was compelled to make Paila Marina, a traditional seafood stew made with a mix of local fish and shellfish such as clams, mussels, and prawns. I love our local fish market and picked up some of our favorites: salmon bellies, halibut, clams, mussels, prawns and baby octopus.


Ingredients

serves 4 to 6


  • 1 Tablespoon butter

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 leeks, white parts only, trimmed and diced, approximately 2 cups

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed

  • 2 cups diced tomatoes

  • 5 cups fish stock

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)

  • 2 small bay leaves

  • peel from 1 organic orange (I used a Cara Cara)

  • pinch of saffron threads

  • pinch of chile flakes or cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1/2 pound clams (I used Littleneck), scrubbed

  • 1/2 pound mussels, scrubbed

  • 3/4 pound salmon belly, cubed

  • 3/4 pound halibut, cubed

  • 1/2 pound baby octopus

  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

  • fresh herbs for garnish (I used parsley)

  • Also needed: toasts and chimichurri, for serving


Procedure

In a Dutch oven or heavy lidded pot, melt butter in olive oil. Add in the leeks. Sweat until they are tender, but not browned, approximately 15 to 18 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until they begin to lose their shape, approximately 5 minutes. Pour in the wine. And bring to a boil. Boil until the liquid is reduced by half, then pour in the stock and water. Add in the orange peel, bay leaves, saffron, and chile flakes. Bring to a boil again, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.


Now, add in the seafood: first, the fish; then the mussels and clams. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes before adding in the octopus and shrimp. Simmer until the shrimp is just cooked through at the shellfish is open. This took about 10 minutes total from adding the salmon till the clams opened. Stir in the orange juice and adjust seasoning to taste. You may think it needs more salt, pepper, and chili flakes.


Remove from heat and ladle into individual serving bowls. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately with chimichurri toasts.


And that's a wrap for my offering for the event. I will still be sharing my pairing with the Argentinian Criolla. Next month, the group will be back with Martin of ENOFYLZ Wine Blog leading the discussion on Chilean Coastal Wines. Stay tuned!

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2 Comments


Wendy Klik
Wendy Klik
May 27, 2023

That soup sounds amazing and I'm so glad you found a wine to love.

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Camilla M. Mann
Camilla M. Mann
Jun 24, 2023
Replying to

We have been earing seafood soup a lot this summer. They go so well with all these summertime wines.

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