Walking through a Latin grocery store the other day we saw aisles and aisles of beans. Latin stores always have beans, but this time there was every bean imaginable due to Lent starting on February 13. Latinos, who are meat based, get creative during this time with beans and fish. Some people will practice Lent every day, some only on Fridays. Some have fish every day, some only on Fridays. There are many Lent traditions. Whatever your chosen tradition, Lent still means that a carnivore society will have to pretend lo be herbivores Here’s the good news, wine is vegetarian. We have a few wines that we think will make this Lent season more palatable.
Ceja Rose`: This wine is going to pair well with everything, but we added it specifically for those of you who enjoy fish. This rose` is dry, so the acidity will play well with the fish. However, it also has a little barrel age to it which gives it a nice round mouth feel, meaning it’s great with ceviche or with a delicious grilled salmon. Because it’s light, it will do okay with salsas as long as they aren’t too hot.
Cesar Toxqui Viogner: At the beginning of the year we did a vegan experiment for 3 weeks. Three weeks with no meat (not even fish or eggs) was a long time for us. We missed meat. We found some in this viogner. This viogner, to me, has a distinctive umami finish. Umami is a taste that is meaty, sort of like soy sauce. It’s a savory sensation on the palate that I have an affinity for and more people seem to be talking about it. If you are missing meat, crack open some of this viogner. It will go lovely with anything made with cheese, roasted vegetables, bean stews, and roasted fish (but not ceviche)
J. Wilkes Pinot Noir: This pinot will go great with vegetarian empanadas, especially the traditional kind that include cinnamon and raisins. It will also lend itself well to lentils. We don’t suggest this with salmon, although people always think of pinot and salmon, because this pinot has a lot of spicy notes such as cardamom and cinnamon. However, if you create a lent dish other than empanadas that includes raisins and olives, this is the wine for that dish.
Aurora Vinedos Petite Sirah. Sometimes you just need steak. Petite Sirah is the steak of wine . It’s big and meaty. It’s warm and comforting. Sometimes, when we want a steak, we just have a glass of petite sirah instead. The perfect Lent pairing for this wine is cotija cheese and olives. The saltiness of the cheese and olives will tame the tanins leaving with you something that will give the meat eater in you some satisfaction during this season of fasting.