The wines of Pays d’ Oc are from France but they proved their versatility at a tasting on October 28, 2015 at The Lower East Side’s latest Spanish restaurant addition Balvanera. Whites and reds were poured while the downpour occurred outside on this much needed rainy afternoon.
A fresh and crisp Seigneur Jean de Roze Chardonnay 2014 and a Domaine de Nizas Le Mazet Blanc Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier 2014 were served with a savory and pungent setas salteadas, a market mushroom with poached egg in a soy truffle butter and a soft and creamy cauliflower and rice croquettes in a quince puree.
Tender and lightly fried sweetbreads with grape mustard, peppercress and oranges as well as a zanahoria al horno, roasted carrots, queso fresco and oranges as well as escarole and pepitas accompanied a Pierrick Harang La Rousse Malbec 2014 and a Barton & Guestier B&G Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014.
An afternoon asado of housemade chorizo, and strip and skirt steaks that were served with fresh chimi, salsa criolla and papas fritas, as well as ensalada followed, complemented by a Domaine Gayda Figure Libre Cabernet Franc 2011 and a Vinadeis Reserve Sainte Olive Merlot 2013.
A homestyle dessert that could be best described as a Spanish version of French toast topped with strawberries, blueberries and raspberries was perfectly paired with a Domaine de Brau Blanc de Brau Chardonnay and Roussanne 2014 and a Calmel & Joseph Cilla Blanche Syrah 2014. Chardonnay and Roussanne are not a blend you see very often, but it is one that definitely works at least in the Pays d’ Oc, if this vintage is any indication.
However, the highlight among the notable wine selections served at the meal was a floral and delicate Le Mazet Blanc Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier 2014. Soft and fruity with balanced notes of lemon and lime as well as apricot and peach, this vintage had the crispness and salinity characteristic of a number of Sauvignon Blancs as the well as the well roundedness and complexity of a Viognier.