Four Gates Shabbos, Willm Riesling, and Tal Ronen’s fantastic vegan paella
On June 4th, 2010 we found ourselves being driven to Benyo’s Four Gates Winery for shabbos by friends of ours. I brought a bottle of wine with me, and we did have it for Shabbos day, but before that we went through a bunch of wines that are either not yet for sale, or ones that should have been sold long ago. Before shabbos started Benyo went into his cellar and looked for bottles that he was unsure about, and it was great trying them all, but no wine notes available – sorry.
Benyo was super gracious as always, and made tons of food and served tons of wine and it was really a nice enjoyable shabbos. I did bring a bottle of white wine with me – a bottle of 2008 Willm Riesling. Willm is a winery in the famous Alsace area of France. Alsace wine is famous for its oily, petrol, and perfumed wines, and there have been few of them that are kosher out there. I have had Abarbanel Alsace wines and none of the Herzog Alsace wines. The Willm wines, and there are many of them, are nice, so I recommend trying them out. The wine note follows below.
After Shabbos our friends drove us back and we were faced with a not so usual problem, we had nothing to eat for the week. You see, we make a large amount of food for shabbos, and normally eat it for supper the rest of the week, or most of it anyway. However, because we spent a lovely shabbos at Benyo’s we had no leftovers. So I used it as an opportunity to finally make a recipe from Tal Ronen’s awesome cookbook – The Conscious Cook. All of his recipes are long and complicated, but the flavors are fantastic! The recipe we chose is called “paella with ‘sausage’, nori-dusted oyster mushrooms, and wine braised artichoke hearts. The recipe requires many pans, lots of time, and crazy amount of prep work. But in the end, the flavors and texture were so good, maybe some of the best stuff I ever made, and my wife loved the stuff as well. Two notes about the book, the book is a cookbook for vegan minded folks, and so one would think it is 100% kosher. Unfortunately not, besides the wines that he recommends that are not kosher, the gardein product, take on “garden proteins”, is not kosher. Also, the vegetables and salad he uses are kosher of course, but please be very careful to check them all well for bugs. That is a reason why we skipped many of the wonderful recipes, because besides the crazy amount of work for each recipe, we were not ready to clean the ruffage as well 🙂
2008 Willm Riesling (France, Alsace, Alsace AOC) – Score: B++
The nose on this light straw to light gold with green shimmers colored wine is screaming and perfumed with musk, jasmine like perfume, ripe melon, pear, orange rind, peach, and mineral notes. The mouth of this medium bodied wine is screaming with bright tart lemon, melon, oily structure, and pear. The mouth is oily with a perfume that balances the fruit forward wine and makes it a joy to just drink or enjoy with food. The finish is long and tart with lemon, mineral notes, ripe melon, and orange rind. This wine can be enjoyed well with spicy food, fish dishes, and light pastas. Truly a fun wine that stands up to spicy and/or medium heavy dishes.