Sunday Sips: Bodegas Norton Chard & Sobremesa: A Memoir

Josephine Caminos Oria

It’s Sunday and I am trying to catch up on all the wonderful food & wine books in my collection. This new one was sent to me but the publisher and I have been thrilled to travel through the author’s eyes to Argentina, meet her family, and try out a few of her recipes. I’m working my way through the book and the recipes. I tried her Tortilla Esanola (Potato and Egg Frittata) mentioned in Part Two of the book and it was much better than the other ones I have made. I loved the addition of Smoked Spanish Paprika and the Parsley which I took from my garden. I used my frittata pan rather than put the Tortilla in the oven and in the past I have used the Flip method which she also mentions.

Tortilla Espanola

I loved the author’s descriptions of how much this Tortilla made her feel better when she was distressed for one reason or another. The scene where she ate the one made for company made me laugh as did the fact that she mentions that the Tortilla serves 7 or one, nearing rock bottom. I made the Tortilla for Mother’s day for my Mom.

I also received some wines to pair with this book from Kobrand. The wines are from Bodegas Norton in Argentina. I haven’t been in Argentina in many years. My first and only visit was in 2007 when I went on a pilgrimage l to follow two of my principal hobbies: tango and wine, not necessarily in that order. This was before I became a Mom and my biggest passion of all came into my life – my boy. At that time though, I spent a lot of time learning the tango. I spent five days in Mendoza, traveling through the wine country and discovered that Tuscany in the Andes might be an apt description except for the scale of it all. I was in Argentina with an Italian friend and when people heard us speaking Italian, they were encantada. A large number of Argentinians have Italian ancestry and everyone is happy to speak Italian. It seemed at times that Italy has not 60 million people but almost 100 million people if the Argentinians are to be counted. Even more with all the Brazilians of Italian heritage but that’s another article.

Norton has five vineyards. I believe I visited Perdriel, the original Norton property when visiting Lujan de Cuyo, but can’t locate the pictures so maybe it was in my imagination. They have 100 hectares of between 30 and 50 year old vines and the winery is at 950 meters above sea level. The winery was founded in 1895. The winemaker is David Bonomi who has been with the company for many years. Born in Mendoza to a family of Italian origin, wine has always been part of his family.

The winery is owned by the Swarovski family and Michael Halstrick is the CEO. They are very committed both to sustainability and social responsibility to their communities with an impressive array of initiatives to help worker’s families and the larger community around the vineyards including with educational opportunities.

They sent me a couple of bottles but I have only tried one of them which I paired with the Tortilla Espanola. I’m saving the other one for another recipe from this fascinating memoir.

Chardonnay Reserva 2019

The wine is quite structured with classic Chardonnay notes of apple and pear. It has nice acidity and because of the oak aging, some vanilla notes together with significant minerality. The wine is 100% Chardonnay and spends six months in French oak and then three months in the bottle before it is released. The wine was a great pairing with this Tortilla. It didn’t overwhelm the Tortilla. We spent a long time at the table and it seemed like the perfect way to spend Mother’s day and one that Josephine and her family would have done as well.

I look forward to making other dishes from her book and have just ordered another one of the author’s cookbooks. For more about the author, click here. Her website is very interesting and they have a incubator for food companies. The title of her book is Sobremesa which refers to the time spent at the table after dinner. It’s a time I love and which I appreciate now more than ever. It’s very civilized and the way to engage in many conversations that can’t take place during the day.

2 comments

  1. That Torta turned out perfectly and I’m sure the pairing was lovely. It was a great bottle, in my humble opinion.

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