Three Wine Picks From The Greens List (for Every Budget)

–with Mark Cartland, Wine Director, Greens Restaurant

I am often asked to select two or three different wines from different price categories so a guest has an opportunity to choose a wine that fits both their palate and budget.  Because I only select wines for Greens’ list that I believe are a perfect fit for our cuisine, guest preferences, and company principles, choosing three is always a tall order, but choose I must!  

Under $40
Kruger-Rumpf ‘Estate Dry Riesling’ 2014, Nahe, Germany $36 –  Before you rule out all Rieslings as “too sweet”, you should know that Germany now produces more dry Rieslings than sweet ones!  And when I say dry, I mean really DRY. In fact, this delicious and affordable gem on our list tastes more like an exotic Sauvignon Blanc than its sweeter cousins. And because it has Riesling in its DNA, it is tremendously friendly with a wide range of spices, sauces, and flavor profiles.  

Under $60
Do Ferreiro Albariño 2014 Rias Baixas, Spain  $54 –  This is a classic dry, white wine from Galicia, the beautiful and lush “Emerald Coast” of Northwest Spain. Albariño is the star grape of the region and in the hands of the best producers, makes a rich, savory, and citrusy wine that pairs with a wide range of cuisine. Do Ferreiro is the benchmark producer of the region, and in my opinion, no one makes a better Albariño. I think of it as everything a Sauvignon Blanc wants to be and a little bit more!

Under $100
Scherrer Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Alexander Valley, California  $81 –  I love to support local winemakers, particularly when their wine is as good as Fred Scherrer’s iconic Cabernet Sauvignon. Grapes have been in Fred’s family for over a hundred years; in fact his first wine was made from Zinfandel grapes planted by his grandfather in 1912! The 2013 Scherrer Cabernet embodies the finest qualities of Sonoma: softer, rounder tannins, a beguiling mix of dark and red fruits, and a hint of tobacco and earth to round out the finish. There were only 130 cases made of this wine so drink up while you can!  

Warm Spiced Almonds

Make these spicy almonds for a tasty snack or a little bite before a meal. There’s just the right amount of spice and heat here–toasted cumin, paprika, and cayenne–and very little oil. If you don’t have yellow mustard powder, add an extra pinch of cayenne. They are best served warm.

Makes 1 cup
6 ounces whole almonds, about 1 cup
1 teaspoon olive oil or vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cayenne pepper and yellow mustard powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl toss the almonds with the oil, cumin, paprika, salt and 2 pinches each of cayenne and mustard powder. For spicer nuts, add another pinch of cayenne. Roast them on a baking sheet until toasted and fragrant, 1- to 12 minutes. Serve warm or cool and store in an airtight container.

Tip: These keep exceptionally well so make them ahead of time. If they lose crispness, put them in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.

Recipe from Everyday Greens by Annie Somerville