Tuesday, October 12, 2010

John Grover on Finger Lakes Traminette, Riesling and Thai Chicken Soup With Red Curry

I get John Grover's wine email newsletter. He's always finding great wines. He's a real enthusiast. I recently asked him if I could reprint a recent letter because it featured Finger Lakes wines. Here it is....two good picks, and a great recipe.

Good Wine Cheap (and good food to go with it)
By John Grover
This summer the Boss and I had the opportunity to visit the Finger Lakes region of New York State. We stayed at a bed and breakfast in the Village of Penn Yan which is located at the Northern end of Keuka Lake. The B&B was quaint; the landscapes were breathtaking; and, the wine tastings at the many vineyards around the lake were ever so good. The recipe for this month was determined by the sudden surplus of eggplants coming from our garden. But, it turned out to be a wonderful dish and a nice match to the wines below.

The wines this month are from wineries located on the east side of Keuka Lake. The first is the 2008 Traminette from Rooster Hill Vineyards. Traminette is a clone of the Gewurtztraminer grape. This wine offers floral scents and the taste of spicy fruit and citrus rind. It finishes crisply with a little pucker across the tongue. It is available at the winery for $12.99 a bottle.

The second wine is the 2007 semi-dry Riesling from McGregor Vineyard. The Finger Lakes is famous for its Rieslings and this one does not disappoint. It gives you the bouquet of peaches and orange blossoms. And, it fills your mouth with the luscious full fruit of peaches and apricots. This wine is more refined, and not as acidic as the first; but, it still has a clean finish. It is available at the winery for $17.99 a bottle.

Thai Chicken Soup with Red Curry and Vegetables (published in Bon Appetit, September 1997 and available on line at Epicurious.com)

Ingredients: 2 tbsp. corn oil; 1 tbsp. Thai red curry paste (Maesri is a good brand); 12 oz. skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips; 4 oz. green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths; 2 small Japanese eggplants, cut into 1-inch pieces; 3 cups canned low-salt chicken broth; 3 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk; 1 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla); 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add curry paste; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken; stir 2 minutes. Add green beans and eggplant pieces; stir 1 minute. Add broth, coconut milk and fish sauce; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in basil and serve. We served this with a large dollop of jasmine rice in the soup bowl. Also, regular eggplant will do if the smaller Asian varieties are not available.

John Grover is a member of Mensa of Northeastern New York. He lives with his wife Sharon in the Hudson Valley of New York.