Thursday, January 7, 2010

#20 - Coconut & Salsa Tilapia With '08 Yalumba Viognier

Four different kinds of meat, five total, were consumed the day before this Food With Wine offering.

Something clean, light, nutritious and non-meaty was absolutely imperative.

The following was so good and left us feeling so clean, a non-meat protein is back on the menu for tonight.

Food: Tilapia poached in coconut milk and chipotle salsa over pea shoots with Trader Joe's vegetable samosas

Clean, clean, clean. Not too light with the deep-fried samosas bringing some fat to the party. The chipotle along with the spice in the samosas also brought a hint of a heat kick.

A simple coconut milk and chipotle salsa reduction became infinitely better than the sum of its parts and the pea shoots freshened everything up beautifully. the entire meal, after thawing the tilapia, was prepared astonishingly quick. Probably a half-hour total.

Great meal. We'll be eating this again.

Wine: 2008 Yalumba Viognier Eden Valley - $13 Binny's

#39 on the list of Wine Spectator's top 100 of 2009.

Personally, I could take or leave Australian whites. They're usually merely representative of the grape and not particularly layered or exciting. This one really wasn't much different.

If tasted blind, I would have guessed it was an unoaked chardonnay. Creamy with mostly pineapple fruit. Nothing great and was probably included on the WS list because it was so cheap and fairly versatile with food.

Wasn't terrible but we wouldn't buy it again.

Pairing: Meh

In the beginning, a sprightliness to the wine made us think it could end up quite good. I got a nice lime acid kick with the spice but it quickly dissipated. By the middle of the meal with the palate fully coated with the flavors of the meal, the viognier became nothing more than watered-down pineapple juice with a hint of cream. In good viogniers, a floral perfume dominates with ethereal fruit, nice spice and fantastic layers. This was too one-dimensional.

Nothing clashed. It just didn't compliment the food in new or exciting ways.

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