Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 25

BlancS for carnitaS

D

riving three miles north, bottles of bubbles
clinking in the far back of the SUV, we arrive at
Carnitas El Momo. It looks closed, but we slip
past the shuttered trailer parked at the curb
and up a narrow alley to a tan awning. Inside, we're standing with an extended family in their makeshift kitchen,
an alter with a crucifix as tall as the soccer trophy on one
side, caldrons bubbling with pork in lard on the other.
While her abuela stirs the pots, one of the young women
shepherds us inside to a large table, a sunflower-patterned
plastic cloth on top, a wide-screen TV on the wall roaring
with soccer. Plates piled high with carnitas land in front of
us-pork tossed with carrots and topped with onion and
cilantro, garnished with whole pickled jalapeños.
"Ahh, it burns! It burns so good," our production director, Vivian Ho, cries delightedly from the end of the table,
the juice from a burst jalapeño greening her napkin.
"This calls for something Southwest," says Greene, eyeing the mounded pork and carrots. Moneymaker pulls out
a Gruet Blanc de Noirs. It's a dry, toasty wine that amplifies
the spice with its lemony flavors.
Then, there's the wine from one of California's newest
wave of sparkling wine producers, Thomas George. The
Russian River Valley 2014 Sparkling Blanc de Blancs is
boldly chardonnay, tasting like green apples with plenty
of refreshing acidity that stands up to tacos, plus a ciderlike character that pairs with the pork.

OFFAL, AL PASTOR AND
BLANC DE BLANCS AT
LEO'S TACO TRUCK.

Sparkling & Spice

W

e end the afternoon
in Mid-City, at Leo's
Taco Truck. By now,
the entire editorial
team-from both coasts-is in
tow. Leo's is known for tacos al
pastor, and we order those, plus
an assortment of others, from
chorizo to buche (a cornucopia
of offal from the pig's digestive
tract), carnitas, tripas and cabeza
(beef head). Each of the meats is
served on two small, white corn
tortillas.
It's the tripas, crisply fried
with a sweetbread-like texture, as
well as the chorizo, that earn our
attention here. Roederer comes
out again: "The earthiness of the
chorizo and the red fruit of the
L'Ermitage Brut Rosé is really
right," says Tara Q. Thomas.
Then we bring in an Easterner:
the Hermann J. Wiemer 2014
Seneca Lake Back to Zero Blanc
de Blancs. Its peachy richness and
hints of salinity jibe with the fatty
meats-the fruit, the acidity and
the texture of the bubbles with
the al pastor-make this one of
Moneymaker's favorite pairings
of the day. "The warm spice of the
al pastor contrasts the roundness
of the Weimer," she says. And the
texture of these bubbles is cleansing, too. "Tactilely, it adds a lot."
It's in that acidity and the texture of the bubbles that many

of the sparkling wines have performed so well. Before we started,
we thought sweetness might work
with Mexican spice-from cilantro to red onion to jalapeño. But
it's been the lean, high-acid, fruitforward sparkling wines that have
shone best.
"People will drink a soda with
tacos, but I think sparkling wine
goes better," muses Greene. "It's
cleansing, fresher-more refreshing than a sweet soda. You could
make the argument for beer, but
at the end of a day like this you'd
be bloated and full."
Do it over again, and we'd
drink local, seek out sparklers
that are fruit-forward though low
in residual sugar, possibly wines
with longer lees contact; and
maybe older wines, whose bubbles aren't overly gruff, that don't
rough up the spices, but refresh
the palate instead. Like today,
we'd eat on the cheap-plates
piled in chivos and buche; ceviche
on tostadas; carnitas under fireroasted jalapeños and tortillas al
pastor-throwing our money at
American sparkling wines to pair
with them.
"Well, my favorite still remains
the Poseidon," says Greene, and
L'Ermitage Rosé to go with it. The
rest of us long for another Dixie
cup of goat broth, though we're
still looking for a tumbler of the
right American bubbles to wash it
down. n

WINE & SPIRITS

AUGUST 2019

25



Wine & Spirits - August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - August 2019

Contents
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 1
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 2
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 3
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 4
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 6
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 7
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 8
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 9
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 10
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 11
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 12
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 13
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 14
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 15
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 16
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 17
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 18
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 19
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 20
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 21
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 22
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 23
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 24
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 25
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 26
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 27
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 28
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 29
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 30
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 31
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 32
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 33
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 34
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 35
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 36
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 37
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 38
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 39
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 40
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 41
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 42
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 43
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 44
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 45
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 46
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 47
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 48
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 49
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 50
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 51
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 52
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 53
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 54
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 55
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 56
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 57
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 58
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 59
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 60
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 61
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 62
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 63
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 64
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 65
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 66
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 67
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 68
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 69
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 70
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 71
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 72
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 73
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 74
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 75
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 76
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 77
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 78
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 79
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 80
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 81
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 82
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 83
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 84
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 85
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 86
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 87
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 88
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2020winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2018_winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2017winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2016winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2015winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2014winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2013winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2013fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2012winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/fall2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/drm_test
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201110
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com