High temperatures arrive and with them the desire to enjoy the outdoors, the sun… and lighter meals. Do you want to know how to pair our freshest wines with the most versatile accompaniments? Today our sommelier Sergi Castro tells us about it!
“I know that technically, we are still in spring, but with these temperatures allow me to call it summer.
The fabrics become lighter, as do the dishes we prepare in the kitchen during summer. We no longer crave stews, casseroles and other heavier preparations, as well as the time it takes to prepare them.
We want to enjoy the outdoors, the sun… We bring out the barbecue again. We reinvent salads in a thousand different ways.
But if there is one thing that does not lighten up, rather the opposite, it is the supply of fruit and vegetables that fill the markets week after week. Personally, I let at least 10 days pass from the appearance of the first strawberries, cherries, apricots… before I start eating them. I like ripe fruit, it’s a personal matter, but I think I must be the only one when I see the shopping trolleys starting to overflow with these “new arrivals”.
If the addition of these fruits to salads is one of the easiest ways to add color and joy to the “star of the summer“, today I share with you a secret to accompany cold cuts, cheeses and even roasted vegetables and meats: compotes or chutneys in their easiest and quickest version.
Chutney is a condiment made from fruits, vegetables and spices, slowly cooked with vinegar, very typical of Indian cuisine. It is a kind of jam to accompany hot or cold meats, cheeses or as an appetizer.
But who would like to prepare a jam, with the resulting storage time, while being able to enjoy the sun, the sea, the terrace or the balcony?
A simple version, without the idea of preserving, prepared from one day to the next, is my solution in the kitchen:
I simply simmer the fruit of my choice, cut into small pieces, with some onion, sugar, a dash of vinegar and the spices for at least 40 minutes, stirring so that it doesn’t stick together and takes on the consistency of a compote.
Once it is done, I let it cool and put it in the fridge. By not doing the “preserving” process, I use much less vinegar (acidic) and thus avoid an addition that might not necessarily be pleasant with the wine.
The combinations are endless, both in terms of combining fruits and adding spices. Let your imagination run wild, but I propose a few combinations that will make that breast or that barbecued steak pair, as if by magic, with the freshest and lightest wines from our cellar, the Nativa and 3055 range, fresh and light wines, ideal for this time of the year.
Strawberries and strawberry
The ideal base fruit for our 3055 Rosé. Have you tried the new vintage? Don’t be fooled by the slightly more intense colour this year, once in the glass it will be as if you were plunging into a pool of wild strawberries with some raspberries. Some stewed strawberries, with a pinch of nutmeg, some grated ginger and apple cider vinegar, will add a nice colour to the side of that barbecued chicken.
Cherries, figs and plums
Together or separately, they are my favourite fruits to prepare this kind of condiment, and they add a touch of exoticism to a simple steak, lamb chops or sausage. A pinch of cinnamon, red wine vinegar, brown cane sugar and pepper. Simple and delicious, they harmonize perfectly with 3055 Petit Verdot-Merlot.
Pineapple, mango, apple
Those who prefer the 3055 Chardonnay have in these fruits the perfect allies to accompany fish, white meats and even vegetarian or vegan dishes. With ginger, you can give it that spicy touch and with a little curry (turmeric) the most exotic note.
Peach and apricot
Do you know the Jean Leon Xarel-lo from the Nativa range? A light, fresh version, ideal for the summer, of this variety so typical of the Penedès. These stone fruits, spiced with some cinnamon and orange blossom extract (orange blossom water) will surprise you. Again with white meats or fish, even fatty fish such as salmon, as well as cheeses, it will give a different touch that will make you talk.
Combine, taste, experiment… Melons, yellow plums, raspberries, peppers, tomatoes, courgettes and a thousand other products from our fields and orchards are arriving that are just begging to be enjoyed at the right moment. And this moment starts now.
Sergi Castro – Sommelier Jean Leon