PHOTO © A_PEACH
Cellar Talk Getting Fresh By Virginia E Schultz
Virginia Schultz finds wines to go with fruit and veg straight out of the garden
otager cooking,’ or ‘cuisine de marche,’ is based on the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients. For as far back as most French cooks can remember, they have had ‘potagers’ or kitchen gardens as well as open markets where they go to buy fresh vegetables and fruits no matter the time of year. Perhaps it’s my Alsace blood, but no matter where I lived, I’ve had a planter box at a window or on my balcony. In these petite spaces, I’ve planted everything from tomatoes, to peas, to various types of herbs as well as mint. To protect them during cold weather, I cover them at night with a plastic covering. Whether this would work in a more northern climate, I don’t know, but in the UK, California and Texas I never had a problem. The problem with salads, it’s difficult to find a wine to serve. Not
everyone would agree, but I prefer a bottle of German or Austrian Riesling. That slight sweetness in the wine at which many of us turn up our noses is the reason. I should add, sugar is not added, it’s simply the way the wine is made. For lunch today with five friends, I made a simple pasta with fresh peas bought at the farmer’s market and a salad of lettuce and the last of my home grown tomatoes. With it we had a bottle of St. Urbans-Hof Riesling Spatlese Mosel Saarfellser 2014 and a bottle of Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Spatlese Rheingau Grunlack 2013. Both of these German wines have a fruity flavor of peaches, apricot and a note of citrus zest at the end. My guests and myself could not decide which wine we preferred. Both wines were in the thirty dollar range. I might add, my salad dressing was made with
raspberry vinegar. If you can’t find this vinegar in your local supermarket, just add fresh raspberries to a bottle of vinegar and put aside for ten days to two weeks. At the moment I am readying my garden for spring. When you plant perennials, it is best to consult your local garden center for advice. Different times of year mean different fruits and vegetables and I am also limited because of space. But I’ll be planting plenty of salads as there’s nothing better than eating freshly picked leaves and tomatoes. I might add, for dessert I made pears poached in Pacific Rim Riesling Columbia Valley Sweet 2014 ($11). I also served petite glasses of this wine with the dessert. One of my guests brought home made fudge which, to my delight, went well with this dessert wine and was the perfect ending to our lunch.