Thursday, February 19, 2015

Feta-brined Chicken, Latkes And Arugula With 2012 Birichino Malvasia Bianca

"Cold enough for ya?"

We love Spanish wine oodles more than Italian, if we were prompted to provide a preference. Not even close, really.

BUT. If we see an Italian-style wine/grape grown in California on the shelf, it's a much more immediate "Yes, please" than a Spanish version. You gotta pick and choose with the Spanish-style stuff. Isn't that funny? Weird, huh?

Today's post is brought to you by useless tidbits about our wine proclivities.

Here's an example, though.

Food: Feta-brined roast chicken, latkes, roasted veggies and arugula-parsley salad

Recipe for feta-brined chicken from Melissa Clark in the New York Times. Good chicken, moist breast (giggity), got the feta notes, sort of, but this didn't change Mrs. Ney's two-day salt rub preference. Nice. Worthy diversion.

Veggies roasted under the bird, mostly celery on crack. Celery, celery seed, celery leaf included, because malvasia LOVES celery. Trader Joe's potato latkes with feta crumbled on top. This is a top-notch product, particularly when whipping up a fancier starch seems like a lot of work that day. Or even not. They're that good. Creamy-crunchy and a great vehicle for more cheese. Arugula-parsley salad to mix and match with a piece of chicken, latkes and/or veggies. You do what you want. It's your food and you're an adult, damn it.

Quite pleased with this meal, we were. All the flavors we like done well. And the wine was perfect.

Wine: 2012 Birichino Malvasia Bianca Monterey ($14 - Vin Chicago)

Elderflower, lime leaf, pink carnations, white peach, kiwi juice. Lighter body than we expected. Bright impression. Seamless transitions. Delicious wine. A perfumey, floral wonder that never wandered into true-blue perfume, which can sometimes be a problem for this grape family that includes malmsey, our favorite name in the malvasia family. This one is bouncy and light, letting the floral notes sing instead of weighing it down. Birichino is an off-shoot of Bonny Doon. Like Bonny Doon wines, it seems Birichino also likes to take Old World grapes and make them their own. So...we'll be following this winery. Because we like surprises.

Pairing: Yep. Good. Happy with this one.

We've been in a pairing slump, particularly with whites. We just haven't had that interlocking deliciousness that's made a meal complete of late. This one meshed and connected in great ways, allowing for that pause in the meal when you say to yourself, "Crap, this is good." Except with the arugula. That was god-awful.

Glad we have another bottle of this stuff. It's another example of the slap-happy goodness coming out of the California.

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