When you think of Argentinean wines, Malbec almost always comes to mind. For more than a decade, Malbec has been ruling the terroir of the country, predominantly in the region of Mendoza.
But, as the popularity of Argentinean wines has soared, so too have the varietals of wine being produced. Pablo Ranea, chef and sommelier, hails from Mendoza and shared his knowledge of the vast, and evolving, world of Argentinean wine with our students and alumni this past June. Throughout his career, Chef Pablo has been at the forefront of food and wine pairing, and we were lucky to have him return for his third demonstration at ICC.
After the demonstration, we sat down with Chef Pablo to get his recommendation for the perfect summer pairing. As it turns out, while Malbec may be the most popular wine, Torrontés is the country’s special grape. Argentina grows three varietals of the grape—Riojano, Sanjuanino and Mendocino—and is different than the Spanish Torrontés.
This aromatic white wine, with sweet floral aromas and flavors of white peach and lemon zest, pairs extremely well with Asian and Indian cuisine as it cuts through spice and bold flavors with its citrus notes. If you’re looking for a specific bottle of Torrontés, Chef Pablo recommends Susanna Balbo’s barrel fermented bottle.
Below, Chef Pablo shares his recipe for a crisp, citrus infused vegetable salad that pairs perfectly with a bottle of Torrontés. You won’t be disappointed with this refreshing summer pairing!
Meyer Lemon, Celery and Asparagus Salad
For The Salad
- Shaved Asparagus, raw and sliced thin on a mandolin
- Shaved Celery, raw and sliced thin on a mandolin
- Shaved Green Apple
- Meyer Lemon supreme
For the Vinaogrette:
- 1/4 Cup of Meyer Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Cup of White Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup of Olive Oil
- Prepare asparagus and celery by shaving them thinly on a mandolin.
- Slice the green apple.
- Prepare the meyer lemon supreme. Supreming is a technique that removes the membrane from citrus fruit so it can be served in slices!
- Mix the meyer lemon juice and the white wine vinegar together. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, which emulsifies the vinaigrette and brings everything together.
- Toss the shaved celery, asparagus, meyer lemon and green apple together with with vinaigrette.
Feature image from Chef Pablo’s June 2019 demonstration