March is here! I don’t know how winter has been in your neck of the woods, but in here in North Texas winter has been more a combination of late fall – early spring. In fact, February was our warmest February on record. Our warm February afforded me an extended opportunity to make more spring-like cuisine; rather than heavy, hearty winter meals. So as we move closer to spring on the calendar here is a great meal to get segue into lighter fare.
The Wine: In February I featured 2013 Borra Vineyards Heritage Field Blend Red in my article Finding Comfort in Food & Wine. In addition to Borra Vineyards, winemaker Markus Niggli also crafts his own portfolio of wines under the label Markus Wine Co. I am a huge fan of Markus’s wines, both his label and Borra Vineyards. Add the fact that I love Lodi wines and Mokelumne Glen Vineyards and my wine selection is a true winner!
2015 Markus Wine Co Nativo White Wine Lodi USA ($18.99): Crafted from a blend of 52% Kerner, 29% Riesling, 15% Bacchus, 4% Gewürztraminer; clear, pale gold; clean medium aromas of bright citrus, white stone fruit, fresh picked white flowers, tropical fruit, grass; off-dry, medium+ acidity, mouth coating acidity balances the kiss of sweetness creating a lively, racy wine with layers of mouth-watering flavors and a medium finish. This wine can be purchased direct from Borra Vineyards by clicking here.
The Food: This wine contains a kiss of sweetness, just enough residual sugar to flirt with the palate yet enough acidity to lift the sugar off the palate. It is a very well made wine. I wanted to pair it with a dish that also had a little sweetness. The wine is also light and playful so the pairing needed to also be a bit playful.
My Choice: A family favorite: Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich. Not only is this recipe super easy (crock pot) to prepare, it is a family favorite that is usually requested a few times a year. How will it pair with Markus’ Nativo? I am hoping the pineapple juice sweetened BBQ sauce and the brown sugar baked beans will blend well with the kiss of sweetness in the wine. We shall see…
The Results: Winner, winner chicken dinner! Another weeknight family meal success made special by a fabulous wine pairing. I must confess I love it when a weeknight meal is as easy as this one, add in a delicious wine pairing and suddenly Monday feels like Friday. The Nativo is a wonderfully versatile wine, perfect to pair with BBQ, Thai food, sushi, and even apple pie! You will want to have several bottles on hand as we move into warmer weather to kick up any spring or summer meal.
Markus Niggli did not begin his career as a winemaker. However, while working in the tourism industry in his home of Switzerland, Niggli began reading about winemaking and was bitten by the wine bug. He moved to Australia to learn the ins and outs of the industry. After learning the ropes, he headed to California to expand his wine knowledge. Now at Borra Vineyards, Markus crafts full-bodied style wines from Borra’s own vineyards, as well as Markus wines from a wide variety of sourced fruit. “Markus has free reign to craft small production bottlings in a very contemporary, fresh, early-harvest style that showcases the vineyards themselves and is especially suited to a range of foods. This lower-alcohol, leaner avant-garde style relies on optimal winegrowing and earlier harvesting to yield the ideal pure fruit/acid balance that will appeal greatly to those yearning for a certain energy and excitement in their wines.” I strongly encourage you to visit Borra Vineyards web site to purchase a selection of Markus’ wines from both Borra Vineyards and Markus Wine Co.
My Song Selection: Fun wine, fun dinner, fun Monday!
Make your Monday dinners taste like Friday by getting your own bottle of 2015 Markus Wine Co Nativo and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!