Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Skeleton Key Red from Texan William Chris Vineyards and Pork Tongue Red Cabbage Salad in Kimchi Mayo are for fun-loving tasters!

Balanced and Textured Skeleton Key Red Blend sources the best grapes from Texas grower community and is a perfect wine for pork tongue red cabbage salad tossed in kimchi mayo
By Pinny Tam

Open-mindedness and curiosity are probably the most important characteristics of adventurous eaters and drinkers. These fun people,  including myself, have heard so many rumors about certain foods and wines – how they do or don’t taste like, but still don’t want to jump to a conclusion until they personally taste them. After all, tasting is believing! Well, if you are open-minded and experimental with your taste buds, I like to welcome you to the world of Texas great wines, specifically William Chris Vineyards’ Skeleton Key Red. To tap on the adventurous spirits, I pair this red blend with pork tongue head cheese cold cuts atop a bed of red cabbage in kimchi mayo. Are you ready to experiment with these “new” food and wine?
Community vineyards that supply grapes to William Chris Vineyards 
Can a cowboy state really make great wines? Yes, it can! Among the New World winemakers, the Texans, who are even newer newbies from the American winemaking regions, have even more to prove. However, with talents, hard work and winemaking knowhows, Chris Brundrett, the winemaker in William Chris Vineyards, was honored by Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2018 as a winemaker that is changing the face of American wine. The secret to success in William Chris’ wines stems from the quality grapes and the trust they place on their Texas grower community which brings forward the best grapes they need for each vintage.

The Skeleton Key Red is a mega blend that truly showcases blending of the best fruit of the Texas community - 56% Cabernet Sauvignon from Narra Vineyards of Texas High Plains AVA; 17% Merlot from Granite Hill Vineyards of Bell Mountain AVA; 15% Zinfandel from Paka Family Vineyards, Texas High Plains AVA; 12% Sangiovese of Narra Family Vineyards. Sourcing different grape varietals for the wine not only produces a balanced and textured blend as evidenced in the Skeleton Key Red, but the use of grapes from various farmers also translates into greater production capacity and more support to Texas farmers. The oak ageing of this wine includes 20 months in a blend of 30% new French oak and 20% new Eastern European. The right amount of oak gives this wine a hint of vanilla richness that doesn’t mask the fruit at all. On the palate, the dark fruits are pronounced, layering a light touch of graphite and tobacco. This wine is robust and fuller in body, but it still retains the bright acidity that I think a heavy salad makes perfect sense.
Pork tongue slices, drizzled with reduced sweet soya sauce, is atop a bed of lightly blanched shredded red cabbage and sliced carrot, tossed in kimchi mayo
Please don’t be scared when I say pork tongue head cheese. This is just another term for a terrine made out of pork tongue. If you haven’t tried pork tongue before, you are really missing out. This soft, chewy, meaty and lean pork protein is sought after by new, trendy causal gourmet joints and is used in tacos, ramens, and gourmet sandwiches. From a local Polish grocer nearby, I got two types of pork tongues, one with blood and one without. 
Pork tongue with blood is atop julienne Spanish radish and red cabbage salad
I like the one with blood a lot as the pork tongue was enriched with an extra layer of metallic flavor. The regular tongue was super nice too especially it was accompanied by a bed of shredded red cabbaged that is blanched and tossed with kimchi mayo
To accompany the pork tongue with blood, the salad has shredded red cabbage and julienne Spanish black radish. Spanish radish is spicy and I recommend to blanch to reduce the sharp taste. You can substitute Spanish radish with regular red radish. 
Julienne Spanish radish
The Skeleton Key Red pairs nicely with these heavy salads as its graphite and tobacco notes accentuate the porky taste of the tongue. The acidity of the wine thrives on the creamy, sour kimchi mayo, making the red cabbage salad rich blasted in flavors. Who knows eating interesting food and drinking cowboy wines can be so fun, delicious and yes...rewarding to your adventurous soul!

Disclaimer: the wine was a sample. Ideas and opinions are mines.

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