Ryme Cellars Vermentino “Hers” & Fish Tacos

The latest Co-op Newsletter had a good looking recipe for fish tacos, and we thought it was worth a try.

Fish Tacos!

The tacos feature a black bean, cucumber, and tomato salsa, which is a little different from the usual slaw based topping.

You start with all the fresh ingredients

Salsa ingredients and the helpers

OK, just the ingredients

After you chop all the vegetables and mix in the beans, you’re ready for the dressing.  We like our dressings a little lighter on the oil, so we cut the oil to 1/2 of what was called for in the original version.  If you prefer your dressing less tart, you might add a bit more olive oil.  One more addition we made was some fresh jalapeno pepper.  We like the salsa to taste fresh but to also have a bit of heat.

The salsa tastes really fresh and light

The fish are dredged in a chili based rub before going into the skillet.  We used tilapia, perch, and some mixed calamari & shrimp.  The fish only takes a few minutes in the skillet.  The chili rub gives the seafood a nice savory character; not really spicy hot, just savory.

Briefly cook the seafood in the skillet.

We paired the fish tacos with Ryme Cellars Vermentino “Hers”.

The Vermentino is a beautiful light yellow-green.

Ryme Cellars is a really small winery in Sonoma, CA.  I found out about them in an online article written by a wine writer who has similar interests to mine.  They sounded interesting, so I ordered a few bottles of their wine.  Ryme is a husband and wife team, and one of their wines comes in both “his” and “hers” versions.  This Vermentino is the “Hers” version and is described as bright, clean, and aromatic.  It was fermented in old neutral barrels and retains all the brightness and acidity possible.

Vermentino is a new grape for us, so our initial notes compare it to other varietals we have had more experience with.  Here are my notes on tasting the wine:

  • Color is a light yellow-green.  You can tell it’s unfiltered, as it is a little cloudy – great!
    Aroma is fruit and not quite floral, maybe a bit herbal?  There’s also a flinty side to the aroma.
    Flavor is really nice, reminds me of Sancerre or Chablis.  A little like a French Sauvignon Blanc in that it has some flinty characteristics.  Dry, crisp, but still a little fullness from fruit.  Nice!

Ryme Vermentino is unfiltered, so the wine is just a touch cloudy.

The tacos were great, as was the wine.  As a pairing, it worked nicely; had the tacos been really spicy, the wine wouldn’t have worked so well.

The Vermentino was a nice match for the chili coated fish and the fresh salsa.

Recipe, adapted from one originally published in The Mix, our local co-op newsletter.

Fish & taco shells

  • 1 lb of white fish of your choice, or add shrimp, calamari, whatever you like.  I could really enjoy all calamari here.
  • Corn tortillas

For the salsa

  • 2 cups canned black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded & diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 2 Tbs olive oil – use more if you like a richer dressing
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the rub for the seafood

  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander

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