Thursday, May 3, 2012

#274 - Weisswurst, Grapes, Tomatoes, Pierogis & Rapini With '09 Ponzi Dolcetto

While not necessarily a meal fit for the first hot and humid day of the year, this sausage, grapes and tomatoes recipe, first eaten as a weeknight meal a few weeks ago and loved every second of it, has easily shoved its elbows into our food rotation.

Its five best qualities:

1. Delicious
2. Easy to make
3. Versatile as all-get out for wine pairings
4. Tasty enough for quick dinner AND sorta fancy dinner
5. Delicious

In fact, it's a meal perfect for showcasing a wine you crave. Reverse it. Modify the recipe. You crave a wine and don't necessarily crave a specific dinner? Modify this one with herbs. Got a Portuguese wine just sitting around and want it? Add a dash of five-spice.  How 'bout a GSM? Sage and pepper it up. Maybe South African syrah blend? Bet a sprinkling of mint and black olives would be interesting. Possibly a Ribera del Duero? Char up the sausage and drizzle in a touch more balsamic.

It's a platform for so much because it possesses wine's origins in the grapes with a tomato acid that doesn't drive the dish.

Mrs. Ney wishes she would have added rosemary to link the Italian variety here but we quickly warmed to the pairing while getting everything the wine offered.

Food:  Weisswurst, grapes & tomatoes with potato pierogis and rapini

Get the recipe here, from Orangette, linked from Saveur, modified from Gourmet.

We used more hefty pork sausages last time and liked it more.  This time, veal-based weisswurst from Gene's Sausage Shop cooked up with grapes and tomatoes (Mrs. Ney's addition) into something Jamie Oliver would respect and has probably made. It's something made for an outdoor oven.

It's not stew. It's not fussy. It's sausage, grapes and tomatoes and it's delicious.

Gene's potato pierogis and rapini rounded out the meal. Potato pierogi with onions served as a nice starch with its pierogi individuality and rapini's bitterness doing what rapini does so well. Basil sprinkled over the top of everything.

Rustic but refined. Substantial but oddly light.

A new favorite, I think.

Wine:  2009 Ponzi Vineyards Dolcetto ($30 - Winery with shipping)

To wit.

I just wanted to try this dolcetto.  Nothing in the recipe said it would clash.

The most sparkly dark purple wine we've had in a long time.  Deep blackberry, seeds, stems and all, mixed with a small hit of truffle and vanilla, a bit of fennel licorice, medium-bodied trending towards full and still young as a youthful tannin grip was floating around on occasion. Great quality control here. It's Ponzi. It's what they do.

It rushed to the delicious finish a bit too quick, leaving little time to savor an interesting spicy mid-palate but a year might cure that.  I wasn't sure about it at first but this one quickly grew on both of us.  An honesty to the wine helped.  This is New World Italian, simple, straight-forward and representative. We're starting to fall into deep like with the good ones and this one is no different.

Pairing:  87  I'd do it again

We got everything from the wine and the food helped, particularly the basil and a bit of pepper, mixing with the onions nicely and was overall friendly and accommodating with everything.

The weisswurst and wine were a little standoffish with each other but no big arguments reared its head. Nothing ever wandered into enhancement perfection but by golly, nothing really wrong here.

Similar weights, interesting flavors that grew more interesting as the meal progressed.  Don't NEED much more.

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