Tue 9 Jun 2009
Casting about at lunchtime for what to put on my cheese toast, I came across some leftover black bean and corn salsa and thought “Eureka!” And I would have said it in Spanish if I had known how. So, first I slid the bread into the toaster for a minute so it wouldn’t be too soft and get soggy and fall apart under the juiciness of the salsa. Then, I slathered the slightly toasted bread with mustard, dropped on some diced tomato, and spooned on the salsa. This I followed with shredded and grated Cheddar, Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses. Over these toppings, I sprinkled salt and pepper and some powdered chipotle. Because the cheeses were shredded or grated, under the heat of the broiler they melted into the salsa, as you can see in the accompanying image. Wow, all I needed was a mariachi band and a glass of wine!
Looking for the wine, I decided — defying all expectation! countermanding common sense! — to go with a crisp cool white, in this case the Mahoney Las Brises Vineyard Albariño 2007, Carneros, since, after all, the albariño grape is widely grown in Spain, where the population speaks Spanish, and in Portugal, where, well, they don’t. Anyway, my wine of choice is a light straw color and offers aromas of spiced lemon and peach with a hint of jasmine and a touch of dried herbs. Flavors of lemon balm and lemon verbena find support in zinging acidity and a bright mineral note, leading to a finish in which a bit of spicy, roasted pineapple seems swathed in meadowy hay and straw. A lovely wine, subtle and supple and highly drinkable, even with “Tex-Mex” cheese toast, though seafood dishes would be more logical. Production was 350 cases, so mark this wine Worth a Search. Excellent. About $18.