Friday, September 7, 2018

Garides Saganaki + A Traditional Semi-Sparkling Orange Wine #WinePW


Cindy of Grape Experiences is hosting the Wine Pairing Weekend crew for September. And she has asked us to explore, open, and pair wines from Greece. You can read her invitation here.

I don't have a lot of experience with wines from Greece. Back in 2015, I poured Domaine Sigalas's Assyrtiko with Smoky, Spicy Clams. So, I was really excited to dig into wines more and I found a really intriguing one: a traditional semi-sparkling orange wine.

If you're reading this early enough, please join us for a live Twitter chat on Saturday, September 8th at 8am (Pacific time). Follow the conversation with hashtag #WinePW. Or you can search for that later and read all of the posts. Before I get to my wine pairing, take a look at the other Wine Pairing Weekend bloggers' posts...

Στην Υγεια σου!


In My Glass
As I mentioned, I located a semi-sparkling orange wine: 2016 Domaine Glinavos "Paleokerisio." If you have been following me for a little while, you'll know that I am a sucker for orange wines; they are usually as interesting on the tongue as they are to the eye! It's also made from grapes with which I have no familiarity: 97% Debina and 3% Vlahiko. Talk about intriguing.


Orange wines are to white wine grapes what rosés are to reds. Orange wines are essentially white wines where the skins make contact with the wine - sometimes for days or even months. That contact produces the orange color and increases the tannins which adds complexity. Along with the complexity comes a meatiness and - to be completely candid - some unexpected funkiness. There's no other way to put it: orange wines are odd and get mixed reviews. They are definitely not for everyone. But I love them!


This one comes in a smaller than usual bottle - only 500 mL instead of 750 mL - and was sealed with a top more similar to a beer. There was no cork, and screw-top. It almost reminded me of a sour beer instead of a wine. It's a good thing I'm a fan of sours.

To the eye the wine has a deep cantaloupe color. It was so pretty! On the nose, there was a little bit of funkiness that I love with orange wines - yeasty but with some fruit. And, on the palate, it was incredibly unique. The slight effervescence sets off the sweetness of fruit and dissolves into spicy notes that finish dry with a cutting tannic edge and a hint of bitterness.

On the Plate
While I thought to pair the orange wine with grilled octopus, I wanted to pick a Greek dish. We love Greek food! And I considered remaking my Bouyourdi (Baked Feta Appetizer), Soutzoukakia (meatballs in tomato sauce) with Ellinikos Lemoni Patatas (roasted potatoes with lemon and garlic), or Souvlaki Arni. But I decided that I wanted to try something new-to-us.

Garides Saganaki

I read about the ubiquitous - and tasty! - shrimp sagnaki, an appetizer that's served in almost every psarotaverna (fish tavern). And though I don't own a two-handled heavy bottom pan called a sagnaki or sagani, I figured my enameled cast iron braiser would do the trick. Please note that this is not a traditional Greek recipe; I cobbled it together based on descriptions I could find plus what I had on hand.
Ingredients

  • 1 pound large shrimp or prawns (click for the Seafood Watch recommendations for shrimp)
  • olive oil
  • 3 to 4 organic tomatoes, approximately 2 C diced
  • 1 bunch organic green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • peppers (type depends on your desired spiciness level, I used organic shishito peppers which are not too spicy), deseeded and sliced into coins
  • 1 t sweet paprika
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1/4 C ouzo (or any licorice liqueur you have)
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 T fresh chopped parsley
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • organic lemon peel for garnish
Procedure

Peel and devein the shrimp and set aside.

Heat olive oil in your pan and add the green onions. Sauté for just a minute to soften them slightly. Then stir in the tomatoes, garlic, and ouzo. Cook until the tomatoes begin to lose their shape, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Add in 1 T olive oil and lemon juice. Stir in the paprika then add the peppers and shrimp to the sauce.

Sauté the shrimp for just a minute on each side. You don't want to overcook them. Season to taste with salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in the parsley just before plating.

Place the shrimp on a serving platter. Pour the sauce over the top. Garnish with lemon peel and serve immediately. I rounded out our Greek feast with a green salad and a cucumber salad.


In October, the group will be exploring Merlots with Jeff from FoodWineClick! at the helm. Stay tuned for more information on that event.

7 comments:

  1. Your dish sounds wonderful Cam and I enjoyed the orange wine that you introduced me to in the past so I"m anxious to try this one as well.

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  2. I haven't made shrimp in a while but your recipe might end up on my dinner table this week. Sounds like you found a winner of a wine, too. However did you find such an unusual bottle? I want one!

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  3. I've never heard of orange wine, but now I definitely need to find one! Looks like a fantastic pairing!

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  4. I think cobbled together from what you have is a VERY traditional way of creating a recipe! I think I have most of these ingredients in my fridge and there is one dinner planned for this week!

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  5. OOH!!! baked feta!! Never had but sounds delicious so do the potatoes!! I have only had one or two orange wines, but never a sparkling

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  6. That sure does sound like an interesting wine! I haven't had too many orange wines; definitely not any sparkling. The dish sounds delish, too!

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