Follow thewinehub on Twitter

Monday, September 29, 2014

KALFU Wines from the Chilean Coastline, featuring Winemaker Alejandro Galaz by Philip S. Kampe

                                                 Winemaker Alejandro Galaz

                                             2013 Kalfu Sumpai Sauvignon Blanc
                                                      Carbone restaurant
                                               2013 Kalfu Kuda Sauvignon Blanc

Recently I was invited to a luncheon at Carbone restaurant in Greenwich Village. The restaurant is normally booked weeks in advance and difficult to get in. The main reason, of course, is the exceptional food that is served.

My interest at the luncheon was not food, but, the newly released Chilean coastal wines from Vina Ventisquero.

Most recently, Chile has undergone a viticultural transformation. High technology coupled with innovative wine makers who are willing to take a risk has proven to pay dividends. Wines of high quality at affordable prices now exist.

Chile is an isolated wine region, protected by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes mountains to the east. The isolated conditions with its environmentally protected land  are ideal for consistent grape growth yearly, which is unheard of in the other wine regions of the world. 

Take, for example, the wines that I sampled at Carbone restaurant with winemaker Alejandro Galaz. Mr. Galaz’s reputation is known worldwide as the winemaker who specializes in cool climate wines. According to Alejandro Galaz, “from the vineyard to the bottle, producing cool climate wines can be challenging…but, I enjoy a challenge…always striving to produce wines that are a sincere expression of elegance, distinction and subtlety of the grape”.

Winemaker Galaz was quick to add that the wines that we are tasting today from the KALFU collection, are also sustainable. In fact, Vina Ventisquero has been awarded the first of its kind certification as the only winery in Chile to have all of its vineyards certified 100% sustainable by Wines of Chile.

The mystery of the wines we were going to sample unfolded, as our first course was served. Alejandro explained that the Kalfu Sauvignon Blanc we were going to sample is a 2013 Kuda Sauvignon Blanc from the granite-ladden, loamy clay region of the Leyda Valley. The hand-picked grapes were picked early in the morning and were transported to the vineyard where the best grapes were selected for 12-14 hour maceration. After fermentation the grapes were aged on lees for three months followed by battonage

 2013 Kuda Sauvignon Blanc:
Aroma> Obvious pineapple, grapefruit, herby, citrus  scents with a mineral overtone.
Palate>>Crisp acidity with a summer freshness that was clean, citrusy and well balanced.
Ageing>Up to four years in ideal conditions.
Price: $18
Distributor>> Aviva Vino

The second wine poured at the meal was another Sauvignon Blanc, the 2013 Sumpai. Winemaker Alejandro Galaz explained that the grapes for this wine are from two distinct yet different areas in Chile. The first area is located 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the Longomilla district in the Huasco Valley. The soil is an alluvial chalky mix of clay and sand.

The second Sauvignon Blanc grape comes from the cool climate Nicolasa section, also located near the Pacific Ocean. The grapes from both areas are hand-harvested in the early morning hours and then transported to the vineyard. The 2013 harvest was marked by cooler than usual weather conditions paired with constant sea breezes. There was little rain during the ripening period, helping create a healthy and vibrant crop.

Initially, the must underwent a cold maceration for 6-8 hours, protecting it from the air. Slow, constant cold temperature fermentation draws out the aromas and expressions of the wine. Fermentation takes place for five months over lees followed by battonage.

2013 Sumpai Sauvignon Blanc
Aroma> Mineral overtones laden with wet, chalky, peppery aromas abound.
Palate> Concentrated, complex, well-balanced wine with a crisp apple tart citrusy structure and a long, acidic finish.
Alcohol> 13%
Ageing>  Up to five years in ideal conditions.
Price> $22
Distributor> Aviva Vino

According to Galaz, the Nicolasa vineyard in the Huasco Valley is located in the world’s driest desert, the Atacama Desert. It is only 13 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The vines are influenced by the waters of the Huasco River, salty soils, cool coastal breezes, chilly nights, fast winds and long desert summers, resulting in unique conditions for grape maturity. Contrast that to the Leyda Valley, which is located only 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean and close to the Maipo River. The vines face the ocean with its morning fog and cooling breezes.

Both wines were interesting and wonderful in their own way. The Kuda 2013 was crisp and acidic, a perfect wine for all types of seafood. I would venture to say that you could use this wine as an aperitif.

The Sumpai 2013 is an elegant, complex wine that goes beyond seafood. The perfect balance of its structure, ample minerality and chalkiness on the palate make this a wine worth remembering.

Philip S. Kampe

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Jambalaya, a party recipe using Imperial Spanish White Chorizo, the 'Secret Ingredient' by Philip S.Kampe

A Recipe for Jambalaya by Philip S. Kampe

Are you tired of serving the usual food each year at your family get together or party?
Why not consider making serving homemade Jamabalaya?

According to ‘Food History’, Jambalaya originated in southern Louisiana. The Cajuns lived near the bayou where food was scarce, as opposed to the agriculturally richer part of the state.

The word Jambalaya is said to be a compound word, Jambon from the French, meaning ham and Aya, meaning rice in African. The pronunciation is jum-buh-LIE-uh.

Common belief is that it originated from the Spanish Paella, which has also has been transformed into a dish called Spanish rice.

In the past, Jambalaya was always made a bit differently each time it is made because the ingredients changed due to seasonality. 

Today, with the numerous markets in every area of the world, it is easy to pick-up all the necessary ingredients at the same time. One ingredient that stands out in my jambalaya is the 'Imperial Spanish White Chorizo' ( that I use. Visit the website if you can't find it locally.

Jambalaya can be made with (separately or all together) ham, chicken, sausage, fresh pork, shrimp, mussels, clams and oysters, to which is added rice, onion, celery, peppers, spices and other ingredients.
Starting with church fairs, which were the largest public gatherings at the turn of the century, Jambalaya emerged from small quantity indoor cooking to become the ideal dish for outdoor cooking over a hardwood fire. Big black cast iron pots made preparation so easy and economical for church use that Jambalaya was rapidly adopted for political rallies, weddings, family reunions and other affairs.

Today, in Gonzales, Louisiana, area cooks have created the ‘Jambalaya Festival and World Champion Jambalaya Cooking Contest’.

Gonzales is the Jambalaya Capitol of the World.

My family has made Jambalaya for over sixty years.

I am originally from New Orleans and would love to share our adopted family recipe.

What to drink with Jambalaya? Beer, Sangria, Chianti or a lightly oaked Chardonnay.
(Remember, all ingredients can be purchased locally)

INGREDIENTS for 6-8 people:
3 cups long grain rice
3 cups chicken broth
4 tbs. olive oil
3 tbs. butter
1 pound Imperial White Spanish Chorizo
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 pound medium to small peeled shrimp
1 pound of fresh mussels or clams
1 large scallion sliced
1 large onion diced
2 cups diced celery
2 large peppers (red, yellow or green) cored and diced
3 large tomatoes diced and seeds removed
4 cloves of diced garlic
3 jalapenos diced with seeds removed
2 tbs. dried oregano
2 tbs. dried thyme (fresh if you have it)
4 bay leaves
1 can tomato tomato paste
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Tobasco sauce
½ cup of parsley
1 lemon juiced
Zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large pot, sauté pan or paella pan over medium heat.

Add a tbs. of oil and add the Imperial white chorizo and sauté for five minutes.

Take out of pan and set aside. Add the chicken to the same pot and cook until brown on all sides.
Do not overcook.

Remove chicken and add butter and rest of oil.  Lower heat and add onions, celery and  pepper to the pot and cook until translucent. Add the tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos, oregano, thyme and tomato paste and stir.

Cook 5 minutes and add chicken broth.  Bring to a broil and add rice, sausage, chicken, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Stir.

Lower heat, simmer and cover for 20 minutes.

When finished take off lid, turn off heat and add shrimp, mussels or clams, lemon zest and lemon juice, parsley, scallions and cayenne pepper. When heat is off, stir and cover for 15 minutes, making sure after 15 minutes that the shrimp are cooked.


                                                              Philip S. Kampe