I always go overboard with the basil in our kitchen garden. We have 5 plants, 3 varieties for two people! How different do the various types taste? Tonight, we did a basil tasting.
We made little skewers of cherry tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar and sunflower oil.
Did you know that basil’s aroma is a close relative to anise/black licorice? Next time you taste basil, think about anise and you’ll agree! Relative to normal basil, the purple basil (Dark Opal) was quite a bit milder. The variegated basil (Perpetual Pesto) was very peppery. Of course, they were all great in the classic Caprese combination.
The Caprese skewers were very nice with a crisp white Favorita wine from the Piedmont region of Italy. Favorita is either the same grape or a very close relative of Vermentino. Favorita is not easy to find, but you could pair these skewers with any nice, bright white wine. Savignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, or unoaked Chardonnay would all be just right.
Pasquale Pelissero Favorita 2012
You’ll need to search a bit to find a Favorita wine. I bought this one earlier this summer on my Barolo weekend in Italy. We’re “in training” for a week long return to the Piedmont this fall, so we’re spending time with as many Piedmont wines as possible.
Eye: Light lemon yellow
Nose: Floral, unique nose
Mouth: Medium body, good acidity. Bright and a bit mineral. This wine was aged in stainless steel only, no oak.