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Posted August 2nd, 2013 in Dinner, Food and Wine Pairing

Perfect for Every Meal- Quinta do Ameal Loureiro


Perfect for every meal- Quinta do Ameal Loueiro

People put a great deal of emphasis on “Food and Wine Pairings” these days.  Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming…you don’t want the food to overpower the wine and vice versa, you want everything to complement each other, each person eating has different tastes so you want to be sure the wine is to their liking, etc.  If you google “food and wine pairings” there are a million different websites that come up, each with countless ideas of recipe suggestions.  So who do you trust? And which recipe do you choose?

I found myself in this decision-making struggle the other night.  It’s summer and I wanted something refreshing and easy drinking.  I decided to go with the Quinta do Ameal Loureiro, which is from Vinho Verde Portugal.  This is definitely NOT your average Vinho Verde.  The first thing that comes to mind for most people when they hear “Vinho Verde” is the inexpensive, slightly sparkling, very low alcohol wine.  The Quinta do Ameal is anything but that.  This is a high quality, still, expressive, and delightful white which would completely change your opinion on Vinho Verde.  One of the best things about this wine is its versatility.  You can really pair it with anything, including: spicy food (to counteract the heat), any type of seafood, pasta dishes, chicken, and it’s even great on its own.  I decided to pair it with Fettuccini Carbonara.  I had never made this dish at home before but I was craving some fresh pasta and felt it would go nicely with the Quinta do Ameal.  The Loureiro is zesty, fresh, the mouth has citrusy lemon, some notes of fruit.  It has great finesse and a nice persistent length to it.

The dish was a total success and the wine was the perfect complement to the meal.  It definitely pleased both of our palates.  So next time you can’t make a decision on what wine to drink, go for the Quinta do Ameal, it definitely won’t let you down.


Fettucini Carbonara Recipe from www.foodnetwork.com

***I substituted Fettucini for the Spaghetti noodles

1 pound dry spaghetti
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure that the spaghetti will be hot and ready when the sauce is finished; it is very important that the pasta is hot when adding the egg mixture, so that the heat of the pasta cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm (as they say in Italian “al dente.”) Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Add the pancetta and saute for about 3 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Toss the garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to soften.

Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat. Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen.) Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency. Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt. Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Pass more cheese around the table.


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