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Château de Brézé has a long and storied history, first being mentioned in texts in 1068, lauded by King René of Anjou in the 15th century and served at all the royal courts. In 1957, when the AOC of Saumur Champigny was established, the owner of Château de Brézé refused to be part of the appellation, saying that his estate's vineyards were the best and deserved an appellation all their own. And he was probably right. Unfortunately, the wines from those exceptional vineyards were terrible. Lucky for us, the winery sold in 2009 to Le Comte de Colbert, who recruited Arnaud Lambert from nearby Domaine de Saint Just to make the wine. He changed the vineyards over to organic farming and began producing truly stellar wines worthy of their source. The 2012 Château de Brézé Clos David is all estate-grown Chenin Blanc raised in stainless steel to preserve freshness. It has the slightly-oxidized note of a great White Burgundy and a lovely richness that allows it to pair with a variety of foods.

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Friday
Oct152010

Food-Pairing Friday: Vegetable Crumble

Photo courtesy of Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites.

Every week, before I load a rainbow of reusable bags and rickety crate-on-wheels into my dusty green Subaru and head out to one of the many Los Angeles-area farmers' markets, I sit down and I menu plan. And every week I promise myself that I'll make at least one entirely vegetarian meal for Meatless Monday. But it rarely happens. I was, actually, a vegetarian many moons ago, but it's something I grew out of, like patchouli oil and tie dyes. I no longer believe meat-eating is an all-or-nothing proposition, and I prefer to have some on my plate -- J&J Grassfed beef, Jimenez Family Farm's lamb and pork, Lily's chicken -- at most meals because I find a lot of vegetarian mains less than satisfying. That's why I was super-excited when my friend Matt Armendariz at the blog Matt Bites posted a recipe for a vegetable crumble. Like Matt, I love crumbles but have never thought to make a savory one. Matt's recipe uses summer vegetables like zucchini and tomatoes, which sound fantastic (especially given the balmy weather persisting on the West Coast), but I've been in Boston for the last week where it's been a brisk 30 degrees in the morning, and that's got me craving Kabocha squash, parsnips and Jerusalem artichokes. 

With a richer, earthier root vegetable version of this crumble, I'd seek out a fuller wine with plenty of acid, like the 2009 Weingut Allram Gaisberg Grüner Veltliner Kamptal Reserve ($19.99). From one of the top sites in the Kamptal, this wine is made by the young Michaela Haas, the fourth generation of her family to run the Allram domaine. Its lemon-pepper character carries over from nose to palate, fleshing out with muskmelon flavors, white pepper spice, minerality and plenty of acidity, though it's a bit rounder than some of the other Grüners we sell. A delicious wine to add another dimension to your veggie crumble that's so good, that combined, you might not even think about what's not on your plate.

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