Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Quick Drink: Riesling

You and I aren't drinking enough Riesling (pronounced Reese's Peanut Butter Cups). The International Association of Riesling Exporters and Importers' (IAREI) states that the average American drinks only 1 tablespoon of Riesling every two years. Art Vandelay, head of the IAREI, recently expressed his firm desire to "get that number up to 1/4 cup at least every eighteen months."

Well, you might be saying, why should I drink more Riesling? Chances are you are going to go out for spicy food, seafood, barbecue, or Asian food soon. Likely the waiter will come by first to take your drink order and you will request something disgusting like sweet tea or Pepsi. The reason you want these drinks is because of their inherent sweetness. Sweetness brings stability and helps balance out aggressive, bold flavors. Put down the sweet tea and ask for a Riesling instead.

What is Riesling? Riesling is a type of grape, grown mainly in Germany, but also Germany-light (Alsace), the Finger Lakes Region of New York, and other cool areas, such as Washington State and Sean Payton's bachelor pad. Besides having a touch of sweetness or honey on the palate, Rieslings can also have some acidity which makes them the George Gershwin of wines. You can pair them up with fancy food like smoked salmon and caviar or dress them down and pair with boiled crawfish. Try it with poached salmon with a grapefruit and ginger beurre blanc.

In short, drink more Riesling.

Grapefruit and Ginger Beurre Blanc

I use less butter than is traditionally called for per Ms. Child's classic recipe, as I do not think you really need 2 sticks of butter to achieve a rich and luxurious sauce. But look, Mrs. Child is probably right.

1 Shallot, minced
1 joint of ginger about the size of your thumb, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons of grapefuit juice
3 tablespoons of white wine
8 tablespoons of butter
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a saucepan, combine the shallots, ginger, a pinch of salt, a few cracks of pepper, wine, grapefruit juice and 3 tablespoons of butter and bring to a rapid boil. Allow this mixture to reduce to a syrupy consistency. Take the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter and cut into small pieces roughly the size of your thumbnail. Or if you are a giant, the size of your pinky nail.

Strain the reduced sauce into a clean, unheated sauce pan. Immediately, add 2 pieces of the reserved 5 tablespoons of butter. Whisk furiously. Then, place pan on low heat and whisk in the remaining butter and remove from heat. Taste, adjust for seasoning, and spoon over poached or grilled fish for best results.


Celeste said...

I'm lazy, I'd leave the minced ginger bits in the sauce.

Fat Harry said...

Is this blog dead?