An update on falanghina
One of my first blog posts was about falanghina (see: Falanghina and three dishes). It is perhaps the most popular post to date with my readers. I’ve been drinking falanghina a lot lately and been working with different food pairings and I decided it was high time to post an update.
This time, I have a 2015 I Cacciagalli Aorivola. I Cacciagalli is a new winery that grows its grapes using biodynamic farming. Once the grapes have been hand picked, the approach to winemaking is also quite natural – using wild yeasts, keeping the wine unfiltered and unclarified.
This wine is divine! It’s crisp and mouth-watering, yet quite smooth. It is a citrussy wine, which makes it a perfect match for seafood. Citrus and seafood go so well together but I find that squeezing lemon directly on the food ends up overpowering and masking its delicate flavors. So whenever I can, I try to pair seafood with citrussy wines and skip the lemon juice all together. I do, however, like adding lemon zest to seafood, which adds depth to a dish without drowning out the rest of the flavors.
I got two dishes lined up for the Aorivola. First is a classic Breton style fish soup. I absolutely love this soup and can eat it everyday. It has a mix of seafood, tomatoes, and lots of herbs.
I served the soup with some crostini that I topped with crème fraiche. The soup already has herbs in it but I also added some fresh herbs, which I find always works well with falanghina.
Now for the second dish. Shellfish overall goes really well with falanghina. In my original post, I found that out of the three dishes, the clams, packed with a variety of herbs, were the best pairing. I’ve since discovered that shrimp is especially delicious with falanghina. And you can go ahead and add garlic to make it a scampi because falanghina can really handle garlicky flavors (it can be tricky to pair wine with garlicky foods – look for wines high in acidity and avoid oaky ones).
Scampi is so easy to make. Just throw together some garlic, chili, parsley, lemon zest (which not only adds depth but also complements the citrus flavors in the wine) and call it a day.
The scampi was a fantastic match to the falanghina and worked really well with the dish’s garlicky, herby flavors. The lemon zest was a great touch and really complemented with wine well. If you don’t have falanghina, savignon blanc or another aromatic and crisp wine would also be a great match with the scampi.