My fella and I are always trying new recipes (usually him more than me). He's taken a few cooking classes in the DC area from L'Academie one of which was for paella (that's a whole other delicious story). One of my first experiences with L'Academie was at Metro Cooking DC (which will be back in early December). Metro Cooking DC is one of my preferred food events in DC.
Recently, the fella and I wanted a simple recipe for inspiration for an easy and tasty weeknight dinner. We went to Epicurious as it's one of our go to websites. We found simple pasta dish with spinach and shrimp. Once he got it started, I knew I had to find the right wine to enjoy his creation with. I reached into our cellar (cellar/closet - apartment living means you make it work) and grabbed a recent acquisition from Old Westminster.
Old Westminster is truly a family affair. Drew (vigneron) and his sisters Ashli (estate director) and Lisa (winemaker) are executing their and their parents', Jay and Virginia's vision of making natural wine in Maryland. Every day their wine is changing people's pre-conceived notions on what Maryland wine as well as passionate young people can do.
In addition to their knowledge and passion, I am always impressed by their transparency. They are incredibly clear with their winemaking and farming methods. They also produce different labels with different colors depending on where they are sourcing the grapes. There's no need to scour a label as it's presented to you.
The wine we enjoyed was the 2016 Pét-Nat Barbera Rosé (currently sold out at the winery). This particular style emerged from France's Loire Valley many years ago and fell out of practice for quite some time. Wine geeks and lovers of natural wine made it popular again and there's good reason why. The wine is still going through fermentation when it is placed under cap. This allows fermentation to finish in the bottle. As yeast converts sugar to alcohol, there is naturally occurring carbon dioxide which adds the fizzy element to the wine. When fermentation is complete, the bottle cap is removed along with sediment and the bottle is recapped. As opposed to Champagne method, which undergoes a second fermentation, this is a one and done situation. It's also the most natural with no additives, sugar, or anything added. The wine was slightly funky with some earthy notes, along with some ripe fruit that came through and the perfect amount of effervescence. It's definitely a must buy if I see it again.