My ongoing quest for the month of January is to find pretty Italian red wines to pair with all of my winter “cleansing” foods. I’m sticking to a kind of “you can have your cake and eat it too” mentality.
My first contender, and the wine that gave me the idea for this, was the Burlotto Aves 2013 Barbera d’Alba DOC. But in my foggy blur of November and December (working long hours, holiday madness, etc), I managed to misplace all of my notes and delete the photos I took. So take it from me, if you can get ahold of it, grab it! It’s a charmer.
Recently I cracked a bottle of Grosjean Pinot noir, hoping to find my next contender. Lo and behold, yes! A delightful wine indeed.
Grosjean Pinot noir Vigne Tzeriat 2013. Vallee d’Aoste DOC. Pinot noir 100%. The vineyards are at an elevation between 600-850 meters (2,000-2,800 feet) in the valley.
The wine initially greets you with aromas of orange peel, rhubarb pie, and roses. It opens a couple of days later to give off some smoky notes and more of a dried character of the above qualities. On the the palate it stays consistently light, pretty, soft, and finishes with traces of allspice, juniper berry, and hickory.★★
With the Grosjean Pinot noir Vigne Tzeriat, I paired a simple baked salmon filet (lightly drizzled with coconut oil and sprinkled will dill and salt) along with a salad composed of lacinato kale, arugula, cilantro, shredded golden beets, sprouted black lentils, pumpkin seeds, and goat cheese crumbles. I dressed this invention with a mix of olive and flax seed oils, lime juice, and apple cider vinegar. Turned out great—the pairings worked splendidly!
Moreover, I feel confident that all of the antioxidants I consumed totally negated any adverse effects from the alcohol. Proof that the two desirable alternatives—reap the benefits of a cleanse or enjoy my usual intake of Italian vino—are not mutually exclusive! 😉
Grosjean is one of my favorite producers in Valle d’Aosta. They grow the entire gamut of indigenous grapes (Petite Arvine, Petit Rouge, Fumin, Cornalin, Prëmetta, Vuillermin, Vien de Nus) as well as the French ones that have taken up home there in the valley (Muscat Petite Grains, Pinot gris, Chardonnay, Syrah, Gamay, Pinot noir). In the gorgeous spot between the small villages of Quart and Saint Christophe sits the family estate vineyards and winery. Grosjean has enjoyed international as well as local success in recent years and is in the process of expanding its capacity. I’ve made a point of visiting nearly every year since my initial visit in 2010. (It’s only a 1.5-hour drive from Barolo!) Here are some images from my 2014 visit …