This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with the June #Winophiles event.
Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.
This month the French Winophiles are exploring the wines of Alsace. And many thanks to Jill of for arranging samples through Teuwen Communications for the party as they represent Wines of Alsace and spearhead the month-long Alsace Rocks. Cheers!
If you are reading this soon enough, feel free to join our Twitter chat. We'll be meeting on Saturday, June 18th at 8am Pacific. Follow the hashtag #Winophiles and be sure to add that to anything you post so we can see it.
Here's the line-up of articles...
- Cremant Wine Battered Perch; Michigan and French Classics Collide on A Day in the Life on the Farm
- A Thai Green Curry Lesson + Willm Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé on Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Crémant d’Alsace: An Elegant Sparkling Wine from France on Grape Experiences
- Crémant d’Alsace - Exploring the Nuances of France’s 2nd Favorite Sparkling Wine on Crushed Grape Chronicles
- Crémant d'Alsace: A Candidate for Your House Bubbly on Food Wine Click!
- Crémant d'Alsace Paired with Summer Fish Menus on Always Ravenous
- Crab Crêpes Compliment Crémant d'Alsace for Summer #Winophiles on Wine Predator
- Cheese Hour at the Culinary Cabin with Pierre Sparr Crémant d'Alsace Brut Reserve on Somm's Table
- Porch Sipper of the Year: Crémant d’Alsace on Keep the Peas
- Crispy Fishwich + an Organic Cremant d'Alsace from Charles Bauer on Wineivore
- Try This Traditional French Sparkler For Modern Drinkers on L’Occasion
Alsace, due to its location on the border of Germany and France, has been subject to a series of political tug-of-wars for years and years. Here's what I mean: at the end of the Thirty Years' War, in the mid-17th century, Alsace was given to France. Nearly 250 years later, at the end of the Franco-Prussian War, Alsace was seized by Germany. Post-WWI, it was once again part of France...until 1940 when Germany reclaimed it. And, finally, with the end of WWII, Alsace became French again and has stayed so ever since. You can see the effects of this on-going conflict in the languages spoken, the architecture, the cuisine, and the wine.
I have previously shared posts featuring Alsace wines such as Domaines Schlumberger 2018 Pinot Blanc: A Delectable GrapeMutation + Criques de Pommes de Terre; Lingcod, Legumes, and Domaine Mittnacht Frères Crémantd’Alsace; and High-Low Pairing: Domaine Allimant-Laugner Crémant d'Alsace Rosé + Takeout Chinese.
For this event, we were lucky enough to join a Crémant d’Alsace Webinar with Thierry Fritsch, Head Oenologist and Chief Wine Educator of Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins d'Alsace (CIVA). He started off sharing the favorable climate of this northeastern part of France. Then he moved into some statistics, including that more than one-third of the vineyards are certified organic, certified biodynamic, or in conversion to one of those. There are seven main grape varieties in the region: Sylvaner, Muscat d’Alsace, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Gewurtzraminer and nearly all of the wines from the region are white wines! I was frantically typing up notes as he presented.
One of my favorite take-aways from the webinar: value! You can get "a really great Crémant d’Alsace for $30. You can get really crappy Champagne for $40." So true! I was fortunate to receive a few bottles of Crémant d’Alsace. The one I'm featuring today is...
Willm Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé
This is single varietal - 100% Pinot Noir - from Willm Estate in Barr, at the foot of the majestic Kirchberg de Barr Grand Cru vineyard. Interestingly enough Emile Willm, the estate's founder, was responsible for the first wines from Alsace to be exported to the United States in the early 1930s as soon as Prohibition ended. It is rumored that Al Capone enjoyed the Willm wines after his release from Alcatraz!
In the glass, the wine poured a deep salmon color with a light gold rum. The Willm Rosé Brut is delicately textured - with persistent tiny bubbles - in addition to being silky on the palate with an energetic finish. While I could easily see this pairing well with salmon or sushi, R had asked for a cooking lesson. So, I poured this with bowls of Thai green curry. The wine had the perfect amount of fruit and acid to go nicely with a little bit for heat.
A Thai Green Curry Lesson
If you follow my blog regularly - or just know me in real life - you'll know that Jake and I are about to become empty-nesters! Our older son, R, just finished up his sophomore year in college, is home for the summer, and will be moving into an apartment for next school year with four other twenty-year-olds. And while he has always participated in the kitchen when asked, it's never been a passion for him.
I suspect that the fear of not having a meal plan option and living with four other guys who also don't really know how to cook has kick-started his interest in getting some cooking lessons this summer. We started when he was home for D's graduation; and we made this in the last few hours before we headed out and dropped him off for his finals week.
His first request: Thai Green Curry. Apparently, when they go out to eat at one of the multitude of Thai restaurants just off campus, that his is standard order. Okay. Here we go. First stop was an Asian market where we picked up fresh chiles, galangal, ginger, turmeric, and more.
He tried this on his own with some prepared pastes and said it wasn't as good. So, he requested a microplane and a mortar and pestle. Done! But this version is done with a microplane and a food processor.
Ingredients makes approximately 4 to 6 servings
Green Curry Paste
- 1 Tablespoon galangal, microplaned or grated
- 1 Tablespoon ginger root, microplaned or grated
- 1 Tablespoon lemongrass, microplaned or grated
- 1 teaspoon grated turmeric root (or you could use 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 6 to 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 to 4 Thai green chiles, destemmed, deseeded, and chopped (the more you use, the spicier it will be)
- zest and juice from 2 organic limes
- 2 Tablespoons dried shrimp or 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- Also needed: microplane, food processor (you can also do this with a mortar and pestle)
Thai Green Curry Shrimp
- green curry paste to taste, at least 1 cup
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 1-1/2 cups diced onions
- 1-1/2 cups diced carrots
- 1-1/2 cups diced green bell peppers
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup stock (for this we used fish stock)
- 1 can (14 ounces) coconut cream
- 1 to 2 teaspoons fish sauce, as needed
- Also needed: steamed rice for serving, fresh lime wedges for serving
Green Curry Paste
Place the roughly chopped herbs in the bottom of your food processor. Add in the galangal, ginger root, lemongrass, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garlic, chiles, dried shrimp, lime zest, and brown sugar. Blitz a couple of times, then add in the fish sauce, or salt, and juice from 1 lime. Pulse to form a paste. Pour in the juice of the second lime as needed to great the correct texture. It should be something similar to a thick pesto. Set aside until you are ready to cook.
Thai Green Curry Shrimp
Heat 2 Tablespoons coconut oil until the pan is glistening. Add in the curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, until highly aromatic. Add in the other Tablespoon oil and stir in the onions and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions start to soften. Stir in the bell peppers and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Stir in the coconut cream and heat until the liquid starts to steam. Taste and add in fish sauce to taste.
Add the shrimp and cook until they turn opaque, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. You do not want to overcook them as they will get rubbery.
That's it! Serve this with more fresh cilantro and Thai chiles, if you like.
Scoop steamed rice into individual serving bowls and ladle in the curry. Add lime wedges on the side.
If you are curious what else is on his cooking lesson list, you'll be seeing pancit, chicken adobo, pad Thai, and more. I am seeing a trend: he hasn't asked me to show him anything Italian. Hmmm...
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Alsace Rocks on the web
*Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.