With all the dreadful news we read everyday about the economy, I just want to reassure you that Corti Brothers will be here for the foreseeable future. We had a small problem which began in July of 2008, that has been satisfactorily resolved. Corti Brothers will continue doing what it has done for the past 62 years, but with the security of a lease. Since the problem is resolved, I would like to thank all of our supporters. It really is “all’s well that ends well.”
There are some very nice items in this newsletter which I hope will bring joy and pleasure to your life at least through the table. Happy Springtime!
In our Holiday newsletter, I wrote about the Lemongrass Kitchen yellow curry base. Now two other sauce concentrates are available: Vietnamese Lemongrass Ginger sauce concentrate and Thai green curry sauce concentrate. They are all created by Mai Pham, the Vietnamese born author and chef whose Sacramento restaurant Lemon Grass is renown for having brought true Vietnamese flavor to Sacramento. Having lived in Thailand, Mai is equally at home in that cuisine. These are really sauce bases which need you to add ingredients and coconut milk or water or both, producing at home, restaurant quality dishes, without the fiddly part. These 8 oz jars produce 6 servings per jar and sell for $6.99 each. Following the label instructions, you cannot go wrong in making easy to do, tasty dishes that do not require a lot of kitchen time. But you do have to cook.
Vignalta Sale Alle Erbe is a staple in my kitchen. It is what every piece of meat is treated to before cooking. The combination of Sicilian sea salt and fresh wild herbs (rosemary and thyme predominantly) growing in front of the Vignalta winery in Italy’s Colli Euganei, together with a little fresh garlic and ground pepper are the “erbe”(herbs to us) in the blend. Since the herbs are added fresh to the salt, their aromatic oils, just like the touch of fresh garlic, are preserved in the salt. Other “herbed” salts use dried herbs, thus having much less flavor.
You should try Vignalta Sale alle Erbe. You’ll wonder how you ever got along before without it. It may also become a staple in your kitchen.
Lucio Gomiero, the owner of Vignalta winery in Italy’s Veneto region, precisely, the lovely hilly area to the west of Padova known as the Colli Euganei, also makes wine from California’s Monterey County grapes since he lives there. From a very good vineyard in the still cool climate, but warmer southern end of Monterey County, he has produced a lovely example of Syrah. At a recent tasting, it was the best wine out of a lineup of nine wines, spanning Italy, France, California’s Central Coast, and El Dorado County. As one of the tasters, a young Australian winemaker remarked, “Now, that’s really good Syrah.” And it definitely is.
Not just brawny and muscular, but with finesse and delicacy, it drinks very well right now and will continue to develop for several more years. It is scented, with elegant acid structure and a juiciness of flavor uncommon in this variety in California. With all the syrah planted in California, and all the wines around, the variety risks overexposure, becoming a caricature. Vignalta Monte Rey is a wine which is very good, not found all over, and selling at a lovely price. I cannot recommend it too highly.
Alsace One® 2007 is a blend of grapes from the noted Alsatian producer Pierre Spaar. In the old days, this wine would have been labeled Edelzwicker, since it is a blend of noble varieties, sylvaner, muscat, riesling, pinot blanc and klevener de Heiligenstein (savagnin rose). A dry wine, it will keep 2-3 years, but right now it is perfect drinking. The balance is perfect, not overpoweringly aromatic, but with a floral scent. Its balance and body make it a summer delight. If you are looking for a charming table companion for late spring, summer, and beyond enjoyment, this is it. Unoaked, Alsace One is wonderfully quaffable and worth every penny.