It’s Quesava Time! Wines To Pair With Naturally Gluten-Free Poppers
November 2, 2020
I’m no stranger to food restrictions. I’ve been gluten-free for a decade and mostly planted-based for nearly two years. Those food paths have inadvertently made me a more curious and adventurous foodie. While I love a good session in the kitchen, sometimes we need something easy. That’s how I discovered Quesava a couple of years ago while living in Vancouver. It seemed to be one of the few products that ticked both boxes and also wasn’t overly processed or manufactured. Quesava prides its food on being wholesome and naturally gluten-free thanks to the vitamin and mineral-rich cassava root dough. Today, we’re going to combine my love of food and wine and showcase the perfect wines to pair with Quesava!
A LITTLE ABOUT QUESAVA
Quesava’s entire product line centres around the use of cassava flour. Cassava, also known as Yuca or Manioc, has been a diet staple to native South Americans for more than 5,000 years.
In 1999, Quesava used it to make their first product – Brazilian Quejos buns. More than two decades later, they proudly offer a range of delicious ready-to-go, cook-at-home foods.
GARLIC & 3 CHEESE CHEESE POPPERS
Cheddar, Sardo and Asiago make up the 3-cheese blend in this popper. It’s rich and savoury with very subtle garlic flavours. Cook instructions are simple; options include oven or microwave. I prefer a combination of both! First, pop these in the oven for the initial defrost and to warm throughout then give them a quick 15-seconds in the microwave to soften even more and add a melt in your mouth sensation.
Why It Works: My go-to for cheese-dominant foods is always sparkling wine. The natural high acidity and mouth-tingling effervescence help cut through the richness of the cheese. Baked mac & cheese? sparkling wine. Cheese pizza? sparkling wine. Nachos? sparkling wine, people!
While the Quesava 3-cheese popper isn’t super gooey or intensely cheesy, it’s still the dominant flavour and balances nicely with the heightened elegance of the Cava. Made from 67% Macabeo & 33% Parellada and aged a minimum of 30 months on lees, the light touches of biscuit and floral mingled nicely with the subtle garlic and light seasoning of the cheese popper.
Available in: BC, AB, MB, ON, QC
SWEET POTATO VEGAN RAVIOLI
In the ten years I’ve been eating gluten-free, I can’t recall a single time I’ve been able to eat ravioli. It’s not one of those things that often found on restaurant menus. And I wasn’t about to make it myself! So thank you Quesava for allowing me to indulge here.
Silky smooth sweet potatoes are the first ingredient on the list, making the ravioli nice and plump. Mixed with onions, cilantro and garlic – these are super savoury little pillows.
Why It Works: The filling of the ravioli is on the richer side, so I chose a wine that has complexity and depth to match. St. Francis Sonoma County Chardonnay is aged for six months in French oak with some bâtonage during the process (stirring of the lees by hand).
St. Francis Winery is named after St. Francis of Assisi, who was the patron saint of both animals & ecology. They pride themselves on making their wines as natural as possible. Their winemaking process is vegan while their vineyards are 100% certified sustainable.
Available In: BC, AB, ON, QC
CHEDDAR STYLE POTATO VEGAN PEROGIES
These cheddar style perogies use Daiya cheddar-style shreds in the filling, making them entirely vegan. Two kinds of cooking instruction are provided, I opted for the pan-fry to give them a bit of crunchy texture on the outside.
Why It Works: In addition to classical music played throughout the vineyard, Winemaker’s Cut uses a fully organic and vegan approach to its vineyard and winemaking practices.
This is one of the province’s top rosés of the year, made from majority Cabernet Franc and a touch of Syrah. The bright berry and vibrant stone fruit flavours contrast nicely with the comforting flavours of the perogies. The flavour combination is lively and invites another bite, or 10.
Available In: BC (currently sold out at winery)
3 PEPPER FIESTA CHEESE POPPERS
The base for the 3 Pepper Fiesta Poppers is the same as the 3 Cheese Poppers: Cheddar, Sardo and Asiago. However, with the addition of fresh jalapeños peppers, yellow peppers and red peppers – the Fiesta Poppers certainly pop! The pepper adds a layer of flavour, it certainly kicks without leaving a lasting spicy burn. This balance allows for the cheese flavours to not disappear either.
Why It Works: I wanted to pair the Fiesta Popper with a wine that has a certain amount of intensity and structure to stand up to the pepper spice. The Catena Vista Flores Appellation Malbec does not disappoint. The grapes for this 100% Malbec come from vineyards that sit at an elevation of 3,600 ft. The cooler temperatures at higher altitudes help maintain the acidity in the grapes. It also slows the ripening process and in this instance, produces a nicely balanced wine.
There’s a depth to this wine, brought on by 12 months in French oak (35% new). Mocha and smoky nut notes add to the bright and concentrated black fruit flavours.
Available In: BC, AB, SK, MB
WHERE TO BUY QUESAVA PRODUCTS
You can find Quesava products widely available in Vancouver, Victoria and the Okanagan in addition to their surrounding areas. The Store Finder page on their website is the best tool to use to their food where you live.
In Calgary, I called around to a couple of stores to get my hands on all of the products. Visit Quesava.com for all availability across Western Canada.