Step into spring with Slow Wines from Troon Vineyard and a menu made from the season's best vegetables.
Spring is the arrival of a new season, long daylight savings filled days, and the new Slow Wine Guide. This is an offshoot of the Slow Food movement that seeks to "prevent the disappearance of local food and cultures," and essentially counteract the shift in modern society to fast food.
Other American Slow Wineries I've featured include:
Per the Slow Food organization, "The annual Slow Wine guide adopts a new approach to wine criticism, taking into consideration the wine quality, adherence to terroir, value for money and environmental sensitivity."
Essentially, it seems like a more wholistic view of wine, as opposed to other certification labels (biodynamic, vegan, organic) or wine reviews that focus on flavor and price. This label seems to blend a combination of all the factors a consumer might consider when purchasing wine.
Troon Vineyard in Southern Oregon has the distinction of having organic, biodynamic, and regenerative organic certifications along with the Slow Wine Snail. They not only are a featured Slow Winery but they won the Snail Prize.
The Slow Food SNAIL PRIZE is awarded to Troon Vineyard whose values (high quality wines, originality, respect for the land and environment) align with the Slow Food movement. Quality-price ratio is another factor that our editors consider."Slow Wine
5 Things to Know about Troon Wines
- Fermented with indigenous yeasts and no commercial yeasts, acids, sugar, enzymes or other additives
- They avoid using new oak barrels "to reveal each nuance of vines grown in our vineyard"
- Located on the Kubli Bench, above the Applegate River in the Siskyou Mountains
- Their bioverse includes a vegetable garden, honeybees, sheep, 2 Great Pyrenees dogs to protect the sheep, and chickens.
- Their winemaking goal is to "express our vineyards rather than winemaking techniques in our wines"
I had the fortune of visiting the vineyard under a blush pink sky for the 2021 Wine Media Conference. Read more about that very memorable and smoke inspired meal here.
Because I'll always associate these wines with a bounteous and beautiful farm setting, I had to pair the two wines I purchased with spring farmers' market vegetables.
Since one is a sparkling and another is an amber wine, I thought it would be interesting to try them with spring bounty that are often called hard to pair: artichokes and asparagus.
2020 Pet tanNat
100% Estate Tannat, 10.5% ABV, $35
Bottle fermented, ultra brut style, whole cluster pressed into stainless steel tanks and finished fermentation in the bottle. Disgorged for less sediment but some tartrate crystals remain.
- almost smells like a red wine and tastes almost like a champagne
- pear colored with a big, creamy small bubbled foam rim
- peaches, pears, kumquats, and bing cherries on the palate
- kind of spectacular with the fresh peaches; becomes deeper and toastier like champagne
- killer with the soy sauce roasted asparagus and walnuts. Deepens into herbaceous, cocoa and caramel notes. Makes me think this would be really good with sushi too
- loved it with the artichoke paella; it starting tasting and reminding me of cava!
- no issues with any of the other food, except the sweetened goat cheese was a mistaken entry on my part.
- reminded me that the flavor of a wine can change so dramatically depending on what you eat with it
2020 Kubli Bench Amber
64% Riesling, 27% Vermentino, 9% Viognier; 13.1% ABV, $35
Fermented on the skins for 3 weeks which adds "tea-like tannins and spice". Aged on the lees for 5 months in neutral French oak.
The label features the dandelion flowers grown on the farm. These flowers are fermented and added to the compost to help the plants and soil access silica which helps cell structure and lets the plant sap flow freely. "In viticulture, silica is beneficial in creating a strong resistance to mildews, specifically powdery mildew."
According to the winery, this is the "most versatile wine in terms of food pairings - the unique combination of fruit with tannin, and structure with acidity means it can complement virtually any dish."
- smells and looks like apricot jam
- texture of cotton candy
- hint of tarragon
- unusual but elegant, gentle acidity, not funky like some orange wines can be
- really good with the red beets and argula salad. Handles the sweetness in the beets and the pepper in the arugula
- another hit with the asparagus and soy sauce. asparagus is not hard to pair!
- to die for with my artichoke paella. (or maybe i had a lot of wine at this point in the evening?) but from what i recall the wine emboldened the flavors in the dish which was essentially just rice and beans
- i wasn't too happy with my last minute sweetened goat cheese entry that came with dried figs and grapefruit mixed into it but with this wine, it all worked together and mixed into a smooth, tart, sweet, well balanced cocktail
To learn more about wineries featured in the Slow Wine Guide, stay tuned for more posts from the Wine Pairing Weekend Writers.
- Cam Mann says "İyi ki doğdun! Turkish Meze, Ekşili Balık, and Donkey & Goat's 2021 Sparkling Grüner & Chard Pét-Nat" on Culinary Adventures with Camilla.
- Martin Redmond offers us a "2017 Prima Materia Sangiovese + Chicken Liver Truffle Ragu Rigatoni" on Enofylz.
- David Crowley suggests "Exploring Slow Wine with Pairings" on Cooking Chat.
- Wendy Klik is "Slowing Down and Enjoying Life with Castoro Cellars Zinfusion" on A Day in the Life on the Farm/
- On Wine Predator Gwendolyn Alley features "Southern Oregon’s Biodynamic Troon Vineyards FIZZante and Vermentino Paired with Pizza"
You can also order the 2022 US Slow Wine Guide here.