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Spring fun with a Spanish tortilla and California wines


Spring is in the air, and friends and family are on the move again, maybe even on their way home. Greet spring visitors with a savory tortilla or Spanish omelet, full of potatoes, ham and spinach. Incorporate it into a buffet that can also include simple, seasonal dishes like roasted asparagus and baby carrots, stuffed eggs, goat cheese crostini, poached salmon or a pea salad, tender greens and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Complete the table with loaves of crusty bread, dishes of dried olives, and a special cake or pie from your favorite bakery, and your job is done.

California Pinor Noir and Chardonnay (especially those with little to no oak aging) are two versatile and user-friendly choices to serve with the range of flavors on your spring table, so we’ve put together a list of recently rated wines in these categories to help you complete your springtime entertainment plans.

Spanish-style potato tortilla with ham and spinach

To note: Peeled and sliced ​​potatoes will start to discolour when exposed to air, so if you cut your potatoes for more than a few minutes before frying them, keep them in a bowl of cold water, then dry them before frying to avoid splashing. Celebrity Spanish chef Ferran Adrià is known to replace potato chips with freshly fried potatoes, so if you’re short on time, skip step 2 of the recipe below, using the best quality potato chips you can get. find, preferably cooked in olive oil.

• 2 cups of the best quality olive oil

• 1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped

• 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

• 1 bunch of spinach, rinsed and drained

• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

• 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced ​​(about 1/8 inch thick)

• 6 large eggs

• 1/4 pound of ham (preferably Spanish jamon serrano), diced

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat until just sparkling. Add onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until translucent and fragrant but not golden. Add the spinach, stirring well to coat with oil and cook until wilted and bright green, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and transfer to a colander to remove excess moisture. Transfer to a cutting board or food processor and finely chop. Reserve in the fridge.

2. In a separate pot or high-sided pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat until it begins to sparkle. Check that the oil is hot enough by gently sliding a slice of potato into the pan; it should sizzle immediately. If it starts to brown too quickly, remove the oil from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes, then try again. Add the potato slices and fry them until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the pan using a slotted spoon or a small colander and place them on paper towels to drain off excess oil. Season the potatoes with S&P. Reserve 1/4 cup of oil.

3. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk briskly but do not beat too much – the eggs should still be thick and gelatinous. Add the potatoes, spinach and ham and mix with a wooden spoon to combine. Season the mixture with S&P to taste.

4. Add the reserved 1/4 cup cooking oil to a 10-inch, preferably non-stick, sauté pan and heat over medium heat until it begins to smoke lightly. Add the egg mixture to the pan, smoothing the mixture into the pan with a spatula or wooden spoon to ensure it is evenly distributed. Cook for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to very low. Once the edges are cooked, place a plate on top of the pan and gently turn the pan over so that the tortilla wraps around the plate, raw side down. If the pan looks dry, add a few tablespoons of cool oil. Return the tortilla to the pan by sliding it inside, raw side down. Continue cooking for another 60 seconds, then remove from the pan and let stand 10 minutes before slicing. For 4 to 6 people.

RECOMMENDED CHARDONNAYS

MORGAN Chardonnay Monterey Metallico Unoaked 2008 Rating: 89 | $ 20

Fresh, lively and vibrant. In the absence of any wood, it emphasizes the purity of the fruit, with rich and lively scents of reinette apple, citrus fruits and lively and persistent flowers. Drink now through 2015. 5,000 cases made. —JL

FREI BROTHERS Chardonnay Russian River Valley Reserve 2007 Rating: 88 | $ 20

The ripe, floral and peachy flavors of Chardonnay are crisp, delicate and full-bodied, but not heavy, ending with a subtle hint of oak. Drink now through 2014. 84,600 cases manufactured. —JL

SOVEREIGN Chardonnay Alexander Valley 2008 Rating: 88 | $ 17

Intense, juicy, vibrant and full-bodied, with a complex blend of creamy oak, pear and nectarine flavors that are pure and precise. Drink until 2014. 32,000 cases made. —JL

BOGLE Chardonnay California 2008 Rating: 87 | $ 10

Fresh and crisp, full bodied and soft in texture, with vibrant flavors of green apple, melon, ripe pear and honeysuckle, ending with a long, full finish. Drink until 2011. 250,000 cases made. —JL

BUEHLER Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2008 Rating: 87 | 16 $

Clean and flinty, with spicy flavors of green apple and honeydew melon. Medium bodied and moderately complex. Drink until 2013. 16,000 cases made. —JL

ESTANCIA Chardonnay Monterey County Pinnacles Ranches 2008 Rating: 87 | $ 12

Intense, with spicy and herbal floral notes that are full bodied, with flavors of lime, citrus and green apple that are pure and refreshing. Drink now. 268,000 cases carried out. —JL

FLOCK Chardonnay Mendocino 2008 Rating: 87 | $ 15

The fragrant scents of honeysuckle, ripe pear and citrus blossom are both blooming and delicate and detailed, with a touch of spicy and toasted oak woven into the fabric. Drink now. 6,400 cases produced. —JL

FOUR VINES Chardonnay County of Santa Barbara Nu 2008 Rating: 87 | $ 14

Fresh and vibrant, with full and crisp citrus, grapefruit and pippin apple flavors, crisp and refreshing. Drink now through 2012. 46,220 cases manufactured. —JL

VIS KAPPA NAPA Chardonnay Napa Valley 2007 Rating: 87 | $ 15

This vibrant white offers firm and complex notes of citrus, green apple and hazelnut, with a hint of honey. Maintains focus on finish. Drink now. 6,000 cases carried out. —JL

RECOMMENDED PINOT NOIRS

DAVIS BYNUM Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2007 Rating: 90 | $ 35

Rich and full-bodied, with a pleasant blend of black cherry, wild berry and mocha flavors that are intense, concentrated, focused and lingering, ending with a long lingering finish. Drink now through 2015. 6,500 cases manufactured. —JL

HUSCH Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 2007 Rating: 87 | 23 $

Offers a pleasant blend of earthy berry, sage, cedar and spice flavors, with a floral touch. Full-bodied, balanced and pleasant to drink. Drink now through 2012. 3,938 cases manufactured. —JL

LOCKWOOD Pinot Noir Monterey Bloc 7 2007 Rating: 87 | $ 19

Marked by savory herbs, dried berries, minerals and sage, this full-bodied and earthy wine ends with grainy tannins and hints of tobacco leaf. Drink now until 2014. 6,000 cases made. —JL

NAVARRO Pinot Noir Mendocino 2007 Rating: 87 | $ 19

A subtle and juicy wine, with delicate notes of wild berries, cranberries and ripe flowers but still offering a refreshing element. Sweet and detailed, with nice spicy notes that accentuate the finish. Drink now through 2012. 4,082 cases manufactured. —JL

LE CRUSHER Pinot Noir Clarksburg Wilson Vineyard 2008 Rating: 86 | 13 $

Sleek and spicy, with pleasant earthy berry, plum and blueberry notes that are crisp, full-bodied and balanced. Drink now through 2013. 13,400 cases manufactured. —JL

2008 Pinot Noir Monterey Herd Rating: 86 | $ 15

Dark and full-bodied, with a fleshy, smoky and peppery touch reminiscent of Syrah with flavors of ripe plum and blackberry, gaining body and depth. Drink now through 2011. 5,400 cases manufactured. —JL

STERLING Pinot Noir Central Coast Vintner’s Collection 2008 Rating: 86 | $ 15

Fresh and crisp, with fruity flavors of plum, black cherry and wild berry fruit that are pure and complex, precise and balanced, ending with firm tannins. Drink until 2012. 84,000 cases manufactured. —JL


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