Jeff’s Corner 7-2-21

Happy Independence Day, everyone, and especially to you, our dear old Uncle Sam. I didn’t realize your persona is quite as old as it is. Legend tells us you date back to 1813 and that you are modeled after a meat packer in Troy, New York, named Samuel Wilson. Wilson delivered rations to our troops during the War of 1812 and was nicknamed Uncle Sam. He would stamp his packages with his initials, US.

Today, we are going to celebrate with the release of our brand new 2020 GCV Pinot Grigio. This incredible wine won our first ever “Best of Show” award at the prestigious Monterey International Wine Competition last March. For more on this amazing event, check out Jeff’s Corner from April 30.

Showing much more fruit and complexity than I typically associate with Pinot Grigio, this crisp, racy Texas High Plains wine is a lovely, iridescent pale yellow. Charming tropical aromas of pineapple, tangerine, ripe banana and lemon flirt with subtle hints of sweet caramel and butterscotch.

The palate is fresh and well-balanced, with fruit and acid lingering in a bright, clean finish. A perfect patio quaffer for summer with a friendly 13.8% ABV, let’s serve this well-chilled at about 45*. This is truly an outstanding vintage, enjoy it while it lasts.

Rich Cook is the Executive Director for the Monterey International and I thought it would be fun to share his very entertaining description of this wine as well: “Yes, Virginia, there is good wine in Texas, and this one will have you singing about yellow roses in no time. It’s bright and fun, and it’s quite correct with its light woolly note over stone fruit and a little dried herb character. Summer is in fact coming.”

For our food pairing today, I’d like to share my sautéed veggie/pasta recipe that Kathy and I enjoy a lot. You can use whatever veggies you like, but I like to limit it to about five or six. With garlic toast and a tossed salad, it will serve 2-4. Bon appétit, as Julia liked to say.

* 2-3 Tbsp butter or olive oil
* 1 bottle GCV 2020 Pinot Grigio
* 6-8 oz clam juice (usually on the canned meat aisle)
* 1 lemon
* 3 cloves fresh chopped garlic
* 2-4 oz crumbled Feta or Gorgonzola cheese
* 2 1/2 cups uncooked Rigatoni or Farfalle pasta
* 14-16 Sugar Snap peas
* 1 medium zucchini, sliced in circles
* 4-6 oz Cremini (Baby Bella) mushrooms, sliced
* 1/2 can quartered artichoke hearts (packed in water, not oil)
* 12 pitted whole Kalamata olives
* 6-8 really sweet cherry tomatoes, cut in half

* Cook the pasta al dente, and try to have it done just before the veggies
* In a large sauté pan (mine is 12” by 2+”,) heat the olive oil over med+ heat
* Sauté the veggies that are raw (first three) until they begin to soften, add the garlic, and cook for a minute more
* Add 4 oz of wine, bring to a soft boil, and drink the rest
* Add 6-8 oz clam juice, simmer, and reduce for 3-4 minutes
* Add artichoke hearts, olives, and tomatoes
* Add what you think is the best ratio of cooked pasta, and stir
* Add cheese and stir until it begins to melt
* Serve in a pasta bowl and top with lemon and cracked black pepper to taste