To start the new year, I've decided to make a new dish and try it with a new wine! So tonight I am enjoying a Spanish wine (lately I've come to really appreciate the breadth of the wines Spain has to offer), the 2010 Espelt Old Vines Garnacha, a lovely Spanish take on Grenache, a wine I've also taken quite a shine to over the last few months. This particular wine hails from the Emporda region in the northeastern corner of Catalonia, a place where wine was rumored to be introduced by the Phoenicians in the 5th Century BC.
This particular wine has a very dark, brooding color in the glass, a bit unusual for a Garnacha which in my experience tends to be a bit lighter. The nose over very pleasant, with notes of ripe berries, smoke and the faintest hint of woodsy earthiness. The taste is a burst of ripe fruit at the outset, ripe berries and plums, that quickly transition to some floral notes intermingled with spice that really makes this wine interesting. The youthful tannins play nicely for a long, smooth finish (we're talking 30+ seconds here!).
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8, it's a wonderfully complex wine that's drinking well now, and it was a tremendous value at under $11 at my local wine merchant, G.B. Russo's. Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a meal that's somewhat off the beaten path. Recently, I was at my butcher and he had a lovely looking tied pork roast that was on sale, so I decided to buy one, even though I had no idea what I was going to do with it. So over the course of time I decided to sautee some aromatic vegetables, onions, peppers, celery, carrots, garlic and turnip in some olive oil, while browning the roast. After the roast was browned I put it in a slow cooker. After the vegetables began to caramelize I poured in about a half bottle of basic dry red wine, and then let the alcohol burn off for a few minutes. I put that mixture in with the roast, and then added 2 cans of San Marzano tomatoes (if you use regular plum tomatoes, make sure to add a bit of sugar to make up for the sweetness of the San Marzano tomatoes). I added some fresh oregano and let that simmer all day long. About an hour before finishing I added some fresh basil to the mixture and in the end, I had a lovely roast pork, perhaps the most tender, fall apart roast I've made, and a wonderful sauce to put over it. Now tonight I served this over white rice, but it would be perfect with orzo, or even some smaller pastas like orecchiette. Delicious!