Review: Cono Sur Viognier and a recipe…

Cono Sur Viognier, perfect summer drinking

This wine is an absolute delight to drink, light, floral and dry with a lingering finish and hints of melon.  According to the winemaker we should be tasting “intense aromas of apricot, peach and melon” – while we didn’t quite identify all the flavours, all in all it was very drinkable and we loved it.  It also works well as a wine spritzer (wine and sparkling water) which I’m a big fan of in summer, especially if I’m settling in for a long afternoon.

This is an ideal wine to partner with spicy asian cuisine, shellfish and seafood.  We enjoyed this on a lovely warm evening alongside spicy barbequed chicken wings and it was perfect.   We would definitely buy this one again, say hello to summer in a glass!

Now, if you look at the Cono Sur bottle, you’ll notice it has a bike motif. This represents the bikes that are used for getting around their vineyards, encouraging healthy, environmentally-friendly travel.   Cono Sur have several sustainability initiatives in place including designing and using ‘lightweight’ glass bottles that use less glass, resulting in a lower impact on the environment without affecting the quality of the wine.  Cono Sur we like you even more!

RRP £6.99 in Morrisons, Oddbins and Waitrose.

The kind folks at Cono Sur have put together a delightful vegetarian tart and slaw that is sure to impress and matches the wine perfectly.  I have to admit I haven’t made this yet, so if you do give it a go let me know what you think!

Tomato and Chargrilled Courgette Tarte with an Apple, Fennel and Blue Cheese Slaw

Tomato and Courgette tarte - perfect with Cono Sur Viognier

For the tarte:
500g (1lb 2oz) quality, shop-bought puff pastry
Flour, for dusting
8 ripe tomatoes
2 courgettes
1 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
Good handful of rocket leaves
A drizzle of light, runny honey
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
4 tsp balsamic vinegar

For the apple, fennel and blue cheese slaw:
1 apple
1 bulb of fennel
10 peeled hazelnuts crushed
4 little gem leaves shredded
10 basil leaves shredded
75g of gorgonzola
50ml of double cream
A little warm water

Prepare the apple, fennel and blue cheese slaw before assembling the tartes.
1.       Start by peeling and finely slicing the apple and fennel. Then cut the slices into thin sticks, placing the apple sticks to one side.

2.       Mix the apple, hazelnuts, gem leaves, basil and fennel in a bowl.

3.       Next, make the dressing by softening the gorgonzola with a spoon. Mix in the double cream and thin with warm water if necessary.

4.       Pour the blue cheese dressing into the bowl and mix until all the ingredients are coated in dressing

5.       Now it’s time to start on the tartes. Firstly, make the pastry discs for the base of the tartes. Cut a small slab of the puff pastry and roll it out until it is roughly 3mm thick and large enough to yield a disc of pastry about 14cm in diameter. You’ll need to make 4 discs, one for each serving.

6.       Prick the discs all over with a fork to help keep the pastry flat during cooking. Put the discs on a plate in the fridge for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180◦C /Gas Mark 4

7.       Get two baking trays and layer one with baking paper, cut to the size of the tray. Place the 4 pastry discs on the layered tray, then cut another layer of baking paper of the same size and place on top of the discs. Place the second tray on top of the paper and finally, place a weight on top of the top tray, then cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown, round and flat.

8.       Cut the tomatoes crosswise with a sharp knife into slices, 3mm thick and lightly drizzle with honey

9.       Finely slice the courgettes on an angle and cook them in a griddle pan until bar marked

10.   When the discs are cooked, remove from the oven and lay them out. Sprinkle each with grated parmesan, then carefully lay slices of tomato and courgette on top of the cheese and set aside for around 30 minutes.

11.   Before serving, put the tartes back in the oven for a further 6 – 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, top with rocket leaves dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil as desired and serve with the slaw spooned on top.


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