Peri-peri Shrimp & Farro, Fava & Celery Leaf Pasta With 2010 La Spinetta Vermentino

Peri-peri Shrimp & Farro, Fava & Celery Leaf Pasta With 2010 La Spinetta Vermentino

After the off bottle of Brégeon Muscadet on Monday, we followed it up with another favorite wine, the 2010 Casanova della Spinetta Vermentino, only to find it making the rounds of the end of the party, saying its good-byes and exchanging phone numbers. Shame. With pasta al limone and an avocado-kumato-corn salad last year, this one told us that vermentino can some of the more interesting, graceful and pretty stuff on the planet.

Food: Shrimp in peri-peri sauce and farro pasta with fava beans, celery leaves, mint and pecorino.

Jamie Oliver's peri-peri sauce is magic. You make that. It's a Portuguese-inspired wonder. Shrimp, unfortunately, has left our "I want that!" world. Had it one too many times in the last year so these kinda just sat there, unattended, while we drug baguette through the sauce.

The star here was the farro pasta with the fava beans, celery leaves, mint and pecorino. Freshy-fresh but also earthy and a little brooding. Celery leaves are the truth, really. It's like white pepper and fancy weeds had a baby. Touch of sheepy pecorino floating around in the pasta. Fava's springy hit here and there. Tons going on and tons to like. June 4 is the date for the Lincoln Square Farmer's Market, BTW. Fava bean explosion starting then in our house.

Good, fine, even lovely meal at times. We ate well overall here.

Wine: 2010 Casanova della Spinetta Vermentino Toscana IGT ($20 - Binny's)

Loved everything about  this wine less than a year ago. Starting to fade now. This is only the second vintage of vermentino for La Spinetta. We'll be keeping up with every vintage but it's nice to know where the line is w/r/t age. Like the rest of the vermentino world, keep it young. Very young.

Oxidizing fruit but enough life to like what it had to offer. Aging knees, wonky back, can still run a mile but the second mile is a bit laborious. We got much of what we saw a year ago - rosemary, pine, lemon, grapefruit, minerals - just all of it came in a fat-bottomed and tired form.

Such is life.

Pairing: Meh, part deux

Strike two on the week. Better than Monday's Muscadet swamp water in every way, just nothing particularly inspiring to note. A second bottle opened to see what it would do, the 2010 Quinta do Alqueve Fernão Pires ($10 - Binny's), that weird and wholly Portuguese grape grown south of the Douro and north of Lisbon, showed better by bringing a bracing limey acid and wet sweater quality to the freshy, yet brooding flavors in the pasta. That was the real wine of note with this pairing. At $10, it's a winner for what it is.

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    Christo P. Ney

    Love wine. Love it more with food. Having food without wine is like eating in black and white compared to vivid colors. Done right, it takes a meal out of the realm of mere consumption to a place of memory. Wine is made to be drunk with food so let's do it - one pairing at a time. "A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine" - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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