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With marathon season in full speed and excitement building for the upcoming NYC marathon, pairing wine with healthy meals has become a great hobby for many of our customers, who have been changing their diets to account for their training, and for their family members and partners who often support the pursuit of fitness goals.
I am myself an avid athlete, racing full Ironman distance triathlons and marathons. While eating a balanced, healthy diet is a major part of my life, I very much enjoy drinking a nice glass of wine too. Since many of our customers share the same lifestyle, I came up with this idea of offering an athlete-oriented meal with some wine pairings for like-minded people.
At this time, I will focus on a late summer meal but will offer other seasonal healthy recipes with wine pairings at later times. One of the most popular meals among athletes are veggie burgers. They provide a high amount of nutrients and are easy to make.
My recipe for 2 large burgers includes: cooked quinoa (2 cups), smoked dulse in pieces (1 cup), corn kernels (2 ears), soaked flax seeds (1 cup), 1 chopped carrot, pumpkin seeds (1 cup), sesame seeds (1 tablespoon), chopped fresh parsley (2 tablespoons), chopped shallot (2 tablespoons), hempseed oil (2 tablespoons), miso paste (1 tablespoon) and 2 sprouted burger buns.
In a food processor, place the pumpkin seeds, dulse, carrot, corn kernels, parsley, shallot, miso and hempseed oil. Pulse until the mixture is ground and chunky. Then, add the soaked flax seeds, sesame seeds and a pinch of salt, continuing to pulse until all the ingredients are combined. Remove from the food processor and place in a bowl with the cooked quinoa. Mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper as needed. Form into patties. With a bit of olive oil, cook the patties in a pan for 4 minutes on each side, or bake them for 10-12 minutes at 400F degrees. Serve on sprouted buns, and add any sauce you may fancy. I like tzatziki or tahini hummus with this recipe. (Recipe courtesy of The Athlete's Plate, Real Food for High Performance by Adam Kelinson).
I then pair these burgers with seasonal produce from the market to supplement their nutritional value. For instance, ratatouille, grilled zucchini, or steamed sweet potatoes would be delicious side options.
With an earthy meal like this one, I like to accompany it with vibrant reds with umami undertones, complex but light rosés, and high mineral, medium bodied whites. No high tannin or very high acid wines for this meal, as you want to enhance the burgers and match their relatively low fat content.
I have gathered a list of delectable wines that will work wonderfully with these burgers. Enjoy and see you running or riding! Caroline Coursant
Oltretorrente has produced a wonderful Timorasso since they were founded in 2010 by Chiara Penati and Michele Conoscenti. The vines, planted in 1996, are tended organically with biodynamic practices and the grapes are vinified simply: the bunches are pressed whole-cluster and fermented with native yeasts in steel, resting on the lees for 8 months to lend texture and complexity. A touch golden in the glass, the wine shows strong aromas of ripe peach, honey, beeswax, and yellow flowers. The palate has some weight with a smooth texture, plenty of acidity, and rich stone fruit over a chalky mineral backbone. Simultaneously rich and crisp this wine would be a great match for more assertive dishes; try it with asparagus and hollandaise, cured cheese, risotto Milanese, honey-basted chicken, or white pizza. Andy Paynter
The Cuvée Aubigue Blanc from Les Fouques is made from 80% Rolle (Vermentino) with 10% Clairette and 10% Ugni Blanc. It's a delicious, full-flavored Provençal white with complex aromas of apple and pear liqueur and hints of dried flowers, almond and herbs. The palate is round and ripe with white fruits, candied citrus and dense mineral and stone flavors with good acidity. A great aperitf or accompaniment to full-flavored fish dishes and asian foods. Certified biodynamic (Demeter), wild-yeast fermentation. (The wine received a well-deserved gold medal at the 2017 Concours des Vignerons Independants)
Tasting Vinica’s Tintilia makes me wonder how this grape ever fell out of favor in Molise in the first place. It seems particularly well adapted to the high altitude vineyards of the region, showing a balance between ripe fruit and fresh acidity. The grapes are crushed at low pressure and allowed to ferment naturally in open top vessels before being held in steel tanks for two years. There is no temperature control at any point, which allows malolactic fermentation to occur naturally over time. The wine has a pleasant herbal tone of green pepper that peaks out on the nose over tart berry fruit, red roses, and moist earth. The palate is quite fresh and marked by bright acidity and soft tannins with a pleasant, earthy finish. This may not be a wine to cellar for ten years but it is a wine that casually conveys a sense of joy and is a carefree food pairing choice. Give it a try with rich pasta dishes, roast pork, stuffed mushrooms or open it at your next summer barbeque. Andy Paynter
I love a good rosé and the 2016 Amanda Rosado from Alfredo Maestro does not disappoint. 100% Garnacha Tintorera primarily from a single vineyard of 60-year-old vines planted on calcareous clay soils at 850 meters altitude in the province of Segovia, this rosé is vibrant, juicy, and packed with a ton of flavors. Displaying a bouquet of wild strawberries, boysenberry, rhubarb and citrus fruit, with some spice and floral undertones, this dry wine is deliciously luscious with its high minerality, great acidity, and medium body. Pair this wine with fun light dishes such as grilled seafood and Asian-inspired meals. Caroline Coursant
"Cherry water and rocks." This is how Monte Bernardi winemaker Michael Schmeltzer first described his 2015 rosé to us, and we couldn't agree more. This blend of Sangiovese (90%) with Canaiolo, Malvasia and Trebbiano comes from the village of Panzano in the heart of Chianti Classico. Certified organic and farmed biodynamically, this is serious and classic Italian rosé, abundant in structure, texture, depth and longevity on the palate. "Cherry water and rocks" is indeed an apt description, and those qualities are interwoven with raspberry, rhubarb pie, an herbal medley, and a faint, pleasant bitterness reminiscent of candied blood orange peel that feels refreshing on the palate. Delicious now, but should have the stuffing to age a few years. Oskar Kostecki
Another delicious wine from the affable and talented Eric Laguerre, from organic Syrah, Carignan and Grenache vines grown on granite soils high in the mountains of the Roussillon. The 2016 EOS Rosé is a bit lighter and brighter than the 2015 with a lighter pink color and subtle aromas of raspberry, rose, peach and earth. The palate is refreshing and dry with hints of raspberry, strawberry, watermelon, almond and stone. Eric's great farming, his natural vinifications and the high-altitude granite terroir produce this lovely, inexpensive rosé. Highly recommended! DL
As the sun goes down and the fogs roll over Tenerife, there is no better pleasure than to sip a glass of Ignios Marmajuelo alongside local shell fish and fresh mojo (Canarian pesto made of herbs, garlic, and plenty of vinegar - email us for recipes!). Marmajuelo plantings are rare. In 2011, Borja Perez Gonzalez recuperated two tiny 20-year-old parcels, perched above the Ignios Baboso vineyard, amounting to a mere 700kg of grapes. The wine is equally unusual, combining forceful salty and savory volcanic island elements - ocean air and smoky soil - interwoven with juicy (dry!) tropical fruits, accented by mellow notes of banana leaf, lemon balm, green almond, and aloe, with long, ashen mineral notes on the finish. The complex braid of flavors is lifted by invigorating acidity. This Marmajuelo displays significant natural tannin and viscosity, endearing it to adventurous cooks in search of special white wine pairings. Ariana Rolich
The 2016 Lombardo Gavi is another fantastic vintage from our favorite producer of Cortese. The grapes are hand-harvest, gently pressed, rested briefly on their skins and then held on the lees 5 months before being bottled. The nose shows bright lemon zest and with a slightly pithy tone and tart white peaches with a distinct note of beeswax and subtle white flowers. It is bright on the palate with crisp acidity but is still mid-weight with a slight leesy quality and a grippy mineral finish. Lombardo’s Gavi would be well suited to fresh goat or sheep's cheese like chèvre, broiled fish, chicken dishes, or citrusy salads. AP
I'm a huge fan of orange wines and I think that Trebbiano Terre Degli Osci from Vinica is stellar. It is produced from a single vineyard interplanted with 85% Trebbiano Toscano and 15% Garganega at 750 meters above sea level, the highest vineyard at the estate. The grapes are foot-trod, destemmed by hand, and fermented in open top containers on the skins for 8 days with daily punch downs. The wine is gently pressed and then held in contact with the lees for 10 months in steel tanks. What I particularly enjoy is that the wine manages to be both unctuous with flavors of honey, rich stone fruit, and lemon curd, but also has bright acidity and a really delicate texture with only 10.5% Alcohol. A slight note of pine resin pervades the wine and gives it a pleasant earthy dimension. I served it with a simple risotto, but it would be a great match for pork and fennel sausage, speck, or sheeps milk cheese. Andy Paynter
From 60 to 90 year-old vines in the hillside vineyards of "les Vedias" and "Tout" in Erome, decomposed granite with clay and gravel - great terroir producing this serious but overlooked wine from the Rousset family. The Rousset Crozes Blanc is outstanding in 2015 and is one of the finest white wine values in the store! It's an intense and delicious Marsanne showing elegant aromas of lemon, stone, dried pear, almond, apricot and hay - really lovely. The palate is dense, mineral and balanced by firm acidity with citrus, pear, grilled almond, anise and herbal flavors, with a long stone and citrus finish. Delicious in its youth, this will benefit from a few years in the cellar and should be quite interesting in 2025. Serve with white meats, full-flavored fish dishes or provençal fish soup and a wide variety of cheeses. David Lillie
A burst of flamboyant flavors, Tío Uco is an exciting young wine from an exciting young winemaker! A native of southern Toro, Alvar de Dios honed his skills working with Fernando García at Bodegas Marañones (a longtime Chambers Street favorite) before returning to Toro to farm family vineyards and acquire others. Tío Uco comes from 25 to 40 year-old, organically farmed vines of Tinta de Toro on a variety of terroirs (clay, limestone, sand, and gravel), destemmed and raised in neutral oak barrels. Aromas are wild and heady, full of fermenting berries, black cherry compote, incense and clove, with a jazzy, light spritz upon opening, dissolving into the fun and full-flavored palate of cassis, cranberry, cola, salt plums, balsamic, wild rose, and bitter herbs on the finish. Substantial and spicy, but light on its feet, this is an offbeat and slightly wild foil to standard-issue Tempranillos. Ariana Rolich
Ruben Parera thrills us with this racy, delicious light-bodied blend of biodynamically-farmed Sumoll, Xarello, and Garnacha Blanca, vinified and bottled with no added SO2 in a liter-sized bottle. Textured and bright, with juicy black cherries, red currant, and crisp pears, sultry hibiscus, and a cool mineral finish. The entire Chambers Street staff has been drinking this chilled red all summer long! Ariana Rolich
This is a fresh and delicious Pinot that we would be happy to drink every night (happily, at $21.99, we could also afford to!). Pure fruits of dark cherry, baked strawberry and raspberry, aromas of violets, along with ripe nuances of Madagascar vanilla bean. The different vineyard selections for this vintage include Arroyo Seco & Antle vineyards and offer a satisfyingly gamey, savory contrast to the silky palate and makes this a distinctive new world Pinot Noir well worth stocking up on.
San Fernando’s Ciliegiolo is a perfect example of how delightful the grape Ciliegiolo can be when made as a varietal wine. The wine comes from a 1.7 hectare parcel of young vines planted at 320 meters on a deep sandy soil over clay. The grapes are fermented with native yeasts over 12 days, rested on the lees for five months, and bottled unfined with only a light filtration. The wine smells of sour cherries, raspberries, woody green herbs, and just a whiff of lavender. The palate is playful, with refreshing acidity and very soft tannins giving the wine a juicy feel. This is an honest, quaffable wine that will pair effortlessly with all sorts of food: try it with caprese salad, cured salmon, soft cheese, salami, braised pork or enjoy it on its own. Andy Paynter
This Rosso is 90% Barbera and 10% Dolcetto. We will drink some on Thanksgiving – we have a miscellaneous crowd of fellow-orphans, and they represent a wide range of taste and interest in wine, or lack thereof. I am not normally a fan of blends from Piedmont, so it’s surprising to me that I love this wine. There is still plenty of old vine Barbera character, but extra vivacity and complexity from the Dolcetto makes it really delicious and interesting. I anticipate it to be a crowd-pleaser, with enough intrigue for wine lovers, easy drinkability for the drinkers, and a very good pick to play well with the crazy range of Thanksgiving flavors. Jamie Wolff
30-50 year-old Blaufränkisch vines from the steep slopes of the Eisenberg DAC, 20-30% whole cluster, foot-trodden in open-top fermenters, and aged for 13 months in used oak barrels. The nose is fragrant with savory herbs, dark plums, and carrots fresh from the earth. This deep earthiness continues on the palate, countered by a juicy acidity, with notes of ripe plum, black cherry, and lightly-drying tannins. - Cari B
Unusually slender for a red wine bottle, the Puszta Libre! bottle shape takes its inspiration from vintage soda bottles, a cheeky nod to how chuggable this wine is; and if that's not enough we are also instructed by the label to "drink cold"! Mostly Zweigelt with Sankt Laurent, fermented in stainless steel and aged in large (600L to 1000L) used oak barrels; fans of refreshing Loire reds, take notice! A touch funky upon first opening, there are black raspberries and dark, ripe plums that take hold shortly thereafter. The palate is juicy with tart red plums, blackberries, green herbs, and delicate tannins on the finish. A delightful option to sip with sunny days in mind! Cari Bernard
Now this is a first: Syrah is pressed like a rosé, then the Cinsault grapes are tossed (whole cluster) into the fermenting juice for 4 - 5 days, without extraction. The wine is then pressed, and kept in stainless steel. My tasting notes provide this information and are then followed by one word: "Yummy." They call it a "wonderful light and fruity summer wine." Combine the two and you get the idea. This is juicy, fresh and very light bodied. Truly a FUN wine, and one that will benefit from a little chill. 11.5% alc. Eben Lillie
Julien Guillot makes this Chenas from purchased, organically grown grapes, with a label (which we wish he would change) designed for the Copenhagen climat conference in 2009. Unfiltered, no added sulfite. The 2015 version of the Chenas "Ultimatum Climat" is a deep and profound Beaujolais that is delicious now but should improve over the next five to eight years. The wine shows aromas of blackberry and red currant liqueur with violet, cocoa and earth lifted by bright acidity. The palate is rich and textured with berry liqueur, earth and citrus, very supple and sappy. The finish is long with earthy black fruits, stone and citrus with firm acidity. This will be perfect with charcuterie, grilled chicken or pork, or cellar for 3 to five years and drink until 2025.
Christian Ducroux' 5 hectare estate has been certified organic and biodynamic since 1985, and has operated as a nearly self-sufficient farm, producing its own fertilizer and compost, and plowing and harvesting almost entirely without machinery. The vines average over 60 years of age and are replaced by massale selection, giving extremely low yields. The 2016 Exspectatio (formerly Regnié) has delightful melange of red currant, cranberry, raspberry and blood orange aromas that darken to plum and blackberry on the palate with earth and saline notes in the finish. It's light and refreshing, an "alive" wine from living soil — a delightful reminder of what Beaujolais tasted like in 1950. Bravo to Christian Ducroux for his beautiful farming and for this complex, expressive natural wine! This is a living, changeable and profound wine of terroir that expresses the incredible farming and winemaking of Christian Ducroux - certainly one of the finest natural wines of France.(Decanting advised, no added sulfur - consume on the day opened.)