Pomfret con alceitunas y alcaparras
We had fish for dinner. Following a Spanish recipe, we had “Bonito con Aceitunas y Alcaparras” (tuna with olives and capers) from the “Culinaria Spain – Spanish Specialities” cookery book by Koenemann, 1998, Cologne, which is a wonderful book. It has not only breathtaking recipes but great pictures, stories about the food and the people, the various regions of Spain and, of course on Spanish wines.
We deviated from the original recipe by replacing the tuna fillets by whole pomfret fish but used all the other ingredients for the preparation of the dish. Needless to say, it was delicious. The recipe worked also with pomfret, one of my favourite fishes here in Asia.
I had no Spanish wine in my wine fridge, but a Riesling from Alsace which I had bought a couple of days earlier because of its funky modern label. Pierre Sparr is the name of the estate. The 2008 vintage Riesling is still young and exuberant, just the right stuff for pairing it with the strong taste of the olives and the capers. The acidity made all the difference.
I tried to find the same label on the Pierre Sparr website but could not. It must have been a special label for the export market. Back home in Alsace the same wines have more traditional wine labels. The Sparr family winery goes back to 1680. Pierre Sparr is representing the ninth (!!!) generation of Sparr family wine-makers and vignerons. The winery is located in Sigolsheim at the heart of the Alsace region. The family owns and operates 34 ha under vines and contracts fruit from about another 150 ha, usually small growers.
I love this wine region and have visited many times, especially during my student days. Alsace has a outstanding gastronomy, spread over the most picturesque region, right at the foot of the Vosges mountains down to the Rhine river. Vines have been cultivated since Roman times.
Pierre Sparr offers a wide range of wines (and also grappa). I guess the wine we had belongs to the lowest quality segment which you can buy in France for about 8.25-9.50 EURO/bottle. I paid much more for it here in Bangkok. It displays rose petal aromas, citrus, peach and honey. The wine is sprizzy and has zest, a good structure and a long finish. Its’ perfectly made and will last for some more years (12% alc/vol).
I hope we have the chance to visit Alsace again this year. And meanwhile I look out for Pierre Sparr wines here in Bangkok.