Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Fregola Sarda Con Gamberi + Attems Ramato Pinot Grigio 2017 #WinePW

This week the Wine Pairing Weekend bloggers are looking at skin-fermented wines with Martin of ENOFYLZ Wine Blog leading the discussion. You can read his invitation: here.

Years ago, Martin inspired me to try a skin-fermented wine (then it was still called 'orange' wine) from Donkey & Goat Winery in Berkeley. I've been hooked on this style of wine ever since. So, I knew I'd be jumping into this topic head-first. Check back throughout the week to for more posts. Then, my official post - along with all the other bloggers' articles - will be up on Saturday in time for the live Twitter chat.

In the Glass

The first skin-ferment I poured in preparation for the May #WinePW event was the Attems Ramato Pinot Grigio 2017, which even during this challenging time of sheltering in place was readily accessible online; it was delivered right to my door!

Some people classify ramato wines as different from Rosé and so-called 'orange' wines, but I find the process almost identical: these wines have an extended maceration of the must and the skins during the winemaking process. In Italian, ramato generally refers to a hair color, meaning 'auburn' or 'burnished.' Some call it 'copper'. But the second I poured it, I realized why the word also referred to this wine.

This bottle, from the Attems family, comes from the northeastern part of the country that's bordered by the Alps to the north and the Adriatic to the south. The Attems family can trace their winemaking history back nearly a thousand years when the Bishop of Salisbury gifted them the estate to culivate vines and make wine. Nine centuries later, they aligned with Marchesi de' Frescobaldi and continue to collaborate on innovative vineyard management and ways to participate in the global wine market.

This wine’s aromas are intriguing with notes of vanilla, melon, and brioche. On the tongue, it's beautifully balanced with a playful acidity and hearty minerality. I can't wait to get my hands on another bottle and pour it again. But for now, it was the perfect match for a shrimp and pasta dish. Cin cin.

On the Plate

On the day I wanted to pour this wine, I had just picked up two bags of fregola sarda from one of my favorite local Italian restaurants. During this COVID crisis, I'm grateful to see local restaurants adapting their model (from restaurant service to pantry sales, for example) to feed the community and maintain some income for the owners. I'm always happy to support that kind of innovation...and get some high quality Italian items that I usually can't find. Fregola sarda is one of those items.

Sometimes called Sardinian couscous, fregola falls between a grain and a pasta; it has a distinctive nuttiness and irregular texture that is all its own. I love it! You just use it the way you'd use couscous or orzo.

Ingredients serves 4

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (heads and shells reserved for making stock later)
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 3 T fresh herbs (I had dill)
  • zest from 1 organic lemon (I used a Meyer lemon)
  • 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 package fregola sarda, cooked according to package directions, drained
  • preserved lemon, chopped (optional)
  • ricotta salata, crumbled (optional)


In a large skillet, melt butter in olive oil. Add the shrimp and cook until just opaque, approximately 2 minutes per side. Toss in the fresh herbs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add in the cooked fregola sarda and toss to coat. Add in more olive oil to make it shine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish with chopped preserved lemon and crumbled ricotta saltata, if using. We love the pop of flavor that both of those ingredients add. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. It was perfect the first time. I learn so much from you as well! Keep it up great post.


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