We have been the privileged recipients of fresh, wild salmon for the past several years, courtesy of a good friend who vacations in Alaska each summer and shares his bounty with us. Receiving our salmon this year was a good occasion to share the salmon with Jackie and Steve, Chicago Splash Magazine food and beverage reviewers. It was also the perfect time to enjoy two white wines, this being the perfect time of year for organic white wine.
To begin our gathering, we enjoyed the Pizzolato Fields Prosecco, a very pleasant wine for a meal’s beginning or ending. This is a wine made from 100% cetified Prosecco Grapes in the Veneto region of Italy. The handpicked grapes are vinified by use of the Italian Charmat method. This is a method wherein the secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks and not in the bottle. In this way the process is speeded, which is very good for young wine that is intended to be drunk quickly.
As we enjoyed the Prosecco, we could understand why it was a Gold Medal winner at the 2008 Denver International Wine Competition and was rated an 88 by Wine & Spirits magazine. Steve has the most experience with judging wine. He commented that the wine was “easy to drink”. He thought the stainless steel tanks produced a dry, crisp wine and also noted that it was grassy with hints of nectar. This was a Brut, the second most dry and most popular D. O. C. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata), certified Prosecco by the Italian Government. There are no chemicals used in processing this wine.
Our group thought that it would be very good with soft cheese, black olives and almonds and also very good with chocolate. Another recommendation would be to serve this wine very cold, about 50 degrees. Everyone really enjoyed it.
The basic table wine we had to accompany the special salmon dinner was from Austria, Biokult Gruner Veltliner also made with 100% organically grown Gruner Veltliner grapes. This is the largest producer of quality organic wines in Austria where it is certified organic, and it received a Silver Medal in “Tastings.com World Wine Championship Awards”. It is a wine that can handle one to two years of aging, which is unusual for organic wines.
This wine was a perfect compliment for the salmon with its fruity-spicy nose and dryish light body and touch of white pepper. We thought it would be very good with the following: pesto, gnocchi, broiled or grilled chicken, pasta with a cream sauce, tabouli, polenta, tilapia and eggplant. And as an after dinner drink we thought it would be great with flan or figs and almonds. For maximum enjoyment, it should also be served very cold, 50 degrees.
The two lovely organic wines were the perfect accompaniment to the food, creating a relaxed, pleasant atmosphere conducive to easy conversation.
These wines are available for purchase in select grocery and liquor stores and accessed through traditional U. S. wine distributors nationwide.
Photos: Websites for the wines and Leon Keer