The weather in the Berkshires this past weekend prematurely got me into fall, and this week’s menu certainly reflected it. After an exciting and promising meeting last night (more on that to come!), I came home to a steamy house and a commitment to making a hearty Austrian-inspired meal of paprika chicken, greens, and buttermilk mashed potatoes to pair with a bottle of Zweigelt I received last weekend.
This particular Zweigelt is actually called ZVY-GELT and is produced in lower Austria by Meinhard Forstreiter. It is promoted and sold by Monika Caha Selections, the same portfolio that also promotes Grooner, which I tasted at the Newport Wine Festival a few weeks ago. When a blog friend in the wine industry contacted me to see if I wanted to sample the ZVY-GELT, I of course said yes. Not only did I love the Grooner, but have had an obsession with Austria since I was a child!
I started out dinner by opening the ZVY-GELT and pouring myself a small glass. Immediately I noticed an earthy nose on the wine, something a little funky similar to another grape common to Eastern areas in Europe, Blaufrankish. It turns out that similarity comes from the fact that Zweigelt was actually developed as a cross between Blaufrankish and St. Laurent.
While I sipped, I got to work coating free range, hormone-free chicken tenders in Greek yogurt and paprika, the paprika my nod to Austrian cuisine.
And I chopped up some multi-colored potatoes for my buttermilk mash.
And chopped garlic and bok choy, my substitute for the more traditional cabbage, for my sautéed greens.
I baked the chicken at 350 degrees right there in the yogurt and paprika until it was cooked through. As always, the yogurt marinade made it moist and juicy, and the paprika added a sweet, smoky, flavorful kick.
For the potatoes, I simply boiled small chunks of potatoes until they were nice and soft, then mashed them with a few grinds of sea salt and then slowly drizzled in buttermilk (still left over from my chilled avocado soup from the Alaska Seafood dinner!). Once they were nice and creamy, I was done.
For the bok choy, I simply chopped a few heads of baby bok choy and 3 cloves garlic, added a drizzle of olive oil, and heated it all in a skillet until the greens were warm. The garlic didn’t even brown which made this healthy side dish VERY flavorful and delicious. Ever the 5 year old, I mixed my greens and mashed potatoes Delish.
Though the ZVY-GELT had a pretty powerful nose when first opened, it had some lovely soft fruit flavors and was a nice, light red wine which went well with the juicy chicken.
It was fun, as always, to try a new wine, especially from a portfolio with the fun flair that Monika Caha Selections adds. It makes the wines even more intriguing and most importantly, approachable.
I can’t wait to open the bottle of Grooner next; I already know I love it, and it will be even more fun to prepare a meal to go with it. Or order sushi, one of my favorite Grüner pairings.
Am I the only one completely bummed about the lack of natural light by the time I get home to cook dinner? I am not looking forward to having dark photos again!
Bloggers, do you ever get more joy out of cooking a meal than eating it? I have found myself recently spending an hour or more cooking, then just wanting to rush through eating to get the process over with so I can get back to work! Who knows. . .
Don’t miss my Whole Grains Month giveaway of a copy of The Oldways Table!