Friday, April 12, 2019

Seabass Agli Agrumi + Wine from America's First Demeter-Certified Biodynamic Winery #WinePW


Gwen of Wine Predator has the Wine Pairing Weekend crew looking at Biodynamic Wines of the World. Read her invitation here. If you're reading this early enough, join us on Twitter for a live chat - Saturday, April 13th at 8am Pacific. Follow and use #WinePW. And here's the line-up for the event.


Biodynamic Wines
Gwen has had us focusing on biodynamic wines in all of our wine groups this year, including #ItalianFWT and #Winophiles. For those events, I shared, respectively: Dinner in Testosterone Land: Braised Short Ribs + 2016 Nuova Cappelletta Barbera del Monferrato and Learning about Biodynamic Wines + M.Chapoutier Wines with Some Cross-Cultural Pairings. I'll be honest, I appreciate learning about biodynamic practices and I truly respect wineries that are following those practices - whether they get the certifications or not - but the designation is not a guarantee of a "good" wine, in my mind.

In My Glass

So, I was excited to have the chance to explore biodynamic wines a little closer to home this month. I located one from Mendocino - Frey Biodynamic Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 - that read, "...bottled by America's 1st Demeter-certified biodynamic winery." Sweet!


Frey Vineyards is a third-generation family-owned and operated winery located at the headwaters of the Russian River in Mendocino County. They aim to meld modern and traditional winemaking methods to really showcase the distinct attributes of different grape varietals. And they have been crafting wine without added sulfites for over thirty years. They wholeheartedly embrace organic and biodynamic farming methods that promote biodiversity in the vineyard, referring to themselves as "stewards of the land"; in fact, they hold ninety percent of their estate as a natural habitat for native plants and animals.

This wine certainly feels like it mirrors a complex ecosystem. It's lively and velvety with flavors of spice and wild berries. And, at the finish, there's a perceptible note of elegant flowers. What a wine! I loved the complexity of this Cab.

On My Plate

I enjoy this preparation of fish because it's relatively quick...and it's pretty! And though I wasn't initially sure that all that citrus would pair well with the wine, the unctuous sea bass lent a creaminess that made the pairing a winner.


Ingredients serves 4

    • four seabass fillets (mine were just over 1/2 pound each)
    • an assortment of citrus for roasting, squeezing, and serving (I used a mixture of organic lemons, blood oranges, grapefruits, and mandarins)
    • freshly ground salt
    • freshly ground pepper
    • fennel pollen, optional
    • Also needed: olive oil, parchment paper or silicone baking mat

Procedure
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 


Thinly slice citrus and arrange them on a parchment paper or silicone mat-lined baking sheet. Place fish on top of the citrus and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fennel pollen, if using.

Arrange smaller segments of citrus on top of the fish. Squeeze citrus juice over the fish, then drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven and bake until just opaque, these took approximately 10 minutes.

If citrus slices have not browned or singed, place the pan under broiler for a minute. Serve drizzled with more olive oil and another squeeze of citrus. I served this with a wilted kale salad.

8 comments:

  1. Tasted wines from Mendocino a few years ago when I was pouring in a tasting event. Found the wines from that part of California a bit earthy and unique. Frey Biodynamic Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 has all the right notes - seems to be my type of wine. Smart to pair it with Seabass, a rich fattier fish!

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  2. The fish dish looks so beautiful and I bet it was delicious! I've heard of Frey, but never had any. I had not realized they are biodynamic.

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  3. What a gorgeous presentation. You are the second member to showcase this wine. I am going to have to look for it.

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  4. Sea bass is so rich that it needs a contrast on the palate. The citrus sounds like the perfect foil. And yes to the Cab as a wine pairing!

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  5. I’ve heard of Frey but didn’t know they’re biodynamic or the first to be Demeter certified. Definitely going to have to search them out!

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  6. Frey is so cool. I am hoping to get to Mendocino this year... had a June trip planned, but that fell through. This is such a beautiful post. I love the visuals. Well-done as always. When do we get our Camilla Cook Book?!

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  7. I will definitely have to try this recipe Cam. It seems to me that roasting the citrus is what makes it compatible with the Cab. Great looking dish!

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  8. Wow the first certified biodynamic wine that's quite the achievement. The dish looks amazing as always!

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