This week’s “Cogill Wine and Film, A Perfect Pairing” podcast on reVolver Podcasts celebrates culinary perfection as displayed in the new season of “Chef’s Table” on Netflix, paired perfectly with wines from Spain’s Viñas del Vero Secastilla in the Somontano region, a winery I had a culinary adventure in Spain hunting truffles. More on both in our reviews and pairings below.
To listen to the show, click here, or listen through your favorite podcast site, including Spotify, iTunes, IHeartRadio or Google Play.
Also, we are excited to share an exclusive deal with a fantastic new wine website called Wine Access which features hand-selected, premium wines from across the globe. If you are looking for a few great bottles of bubbles to enjoy with this, or any film, Wine Access has offered our listeners an incredible deal of 20% off their already well-priced selections, just by clicking here or going to their website, wineaccess.com/cogill.
I am convinced “Chef’s Table” on Netflix is far and away the finest series of its kind on film or television. From the opening images to the closing credits it examines the culinary life and times of chefs from all over the world.
Some are famous, some are not, but all play a significant role in their communities and culture using culinary skills to feed, instruct, create, influence, and often times flat out “wow” the audience.
Season Five is another reason to celebrate leading off with Christina Martinez, the chef/co-proprietor of Philadelphia Mexican restaurant, “South Philly Barbacoa.” A remarkable, determined woman living undocumented in America, paying taxes, running a business, while courageously speaking up for the rights of others. Her story of survival is remarkable, and then there’s her food.
A delicious, award-winning, lamb barbacoa, prepared with love from a family recipe that is creating long lines in a neighborhood often forgotten. Her preparation skills are meticulous, and when served on a corn tortilla to a willing customer by hand, it’s a testament to kindness, discipline, and culinary excellence.
“Chef’s Table” creator David Gelb hits all the right notes both in the kitchen and in the personal lives of those doing the cooking. The images of life and food are world class, and the series is consistently a thoughtful approach to what is often portrayed as an over the top rock star lifestyle.
If you have never seen, “Chef’s Table,” on Netflix, let me suggest an evening of binge-watching, which can include take out or home cooking with a good bottle of wine. Prepared to be inspired.
In the foothills of the Pyranese Mountains in far Northern Spain, lies the Somontano region, home of Vinas de Vero Secastilla and Blecua. We started the chilly January day, ideal for black winter truffle hunting, with a picnic in their Secastilla vineyard. Surrounded by almond and olive trees, forests of oak trees, wild sagebrush, and woody herbs, and 50-90-year-old Garnacha vines, we sipped earthy, leather and licorice filled wine made from the fruit.
As we set off on our adventure, led by truffle dog Theo, a light dusting of snow began falling, as if Mother Nature knew how to create the ideal storybook setting.
Within minutes of trecking through the garrigue we hit gold, Theo quickly unearthed half a dozen truffles, hidden just below the shallow earth at the base of high oak trees. As we moved through the forest, with determined speed, more and more glorious fungi were found, ensuring a successful evening truffle feast.
And what a feast it was. Truffle mouse, truffle cotton candy, truffle soup layered with freshly shaved truffles, pasta with truffles, fish with truffle, beef with truffle, truffle with truffle….It may seem like that many truffles would exhaust the palate, but the whimsical elegance of each course made the extraordinary evening unforgettable and perfectly ideal.
Though an evening like this will likely never be repeated, the wine Secastilla wine can be enjoyed daily. Made from bush trained old vine Garnacha, aged 10 months in French oak, the earthy wine layers ripe black fruit, dark chocolate and licorice creating a surprisingly light, yet bold wine that beautifully tells the story of it’s Spanish region.