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Wine Education with Ross

Ross Bouchard, General Manager

Ross, General ManagerWine Words:

Wine Diamonds – Grapes are a unique fruit in the sense that they contain a natural acid, called tartaric acid.  This acid is what gives the wine its liveliness and brings out the fruit flavors in the wine.  From time to time these acids can become saturated in the wine and precipitate out (fall out of solution) and accumulate in the bottom of the bottle in the shape of crystals that look like shards of glass.  These “wine diamonds” are perfectly natural and harmless.  They are actually the acid salts of the tartaric acid, also known as cream of tartar.

When you pour the wine off these “tartrates” you can get a close look at them.  You can actually taste them if you want; they will dissolve in your mouth just like table salt would.

Most wineries, like ours, cold-stabilize the wine prior to bottling to force the precipitation of these tartrates, to minimize the number of diamonds in our bottles.  Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll see some accumulate on the cork as you age the wine then open them.  Now you know!

Seven Birches Crab Mac-n-Cheese

Perfect with a glass of Riesling!

Seven Birches Crab MacBaby Spinach – 2 oz
Old Bay Seasoning – 2 tsp
Heavy Cream – 4 fl oz
Gemelli Pasta – 6 oz
Grated Parmesan – 2 oz
Panko – 2 Tbs
Light Cream Cheese – 1 oz
Shredded Cheddar Cheese – 1 oz

Bring 4 cups of water with 1 Tbs of salt to a boil then add pasta and cook until al dente (aprox. 10 min.).  Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.  Drain pasta and set aside.  Coarsely chop spinach.Drain any liquid from crab meat.
In the pot used to cook the pasta, combine 1 tsp Olive Oil, spinach, crab, Old Bay and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium low heat.  Add cream, cream cheese, pasta, 1/2 of the grated parmesan and reserved pasta water.  Stir until cream cheese is melted and the sauce has thickened (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and add cheddar cheese and remaining parmesan cheese.  Stir until combined.

Transfer pasta mixture to a casserole dish.  Top evenly with panko.  Place under broiler until golden brown (aprox. 2-3 minutes).  Keep an eye on the casserole to make sure it does not burn!  Remove from broiler, lightly cover and let rest for 3-5 minutes.

Serve with a glass of Seven Birches Riesling and enjoy!