Today we start to feature contributions from my fellow Wine Pairing Weekend (#winePW) bloggers. Sarah from Curious Cuisiniere wisely notes that cooking with wine is a good way to set up a nice pairing. For the first #winePW, Sarah made Wine Grilled Chicken and paired it with Lewis Station Winery’s Oaked Chardonnay. In addition to cooking with wine, Sarah also gets some points for using a local to her Wisconsin winery! The recipe features a variety of fresh herbs, and looks pretty easy to prepare. If you can get a bottle of the Lewis Station chard to duplicate Sarah’s recipe that’s great; but if you’ve come to this post looking for something to make with Chardonnay you have on hand, I’m sure your bottle can be readily substituted. Be sure to check out Curious Cuisiniere for all the recipe details and for many other great recipes and pairings!
My first instinct for salmon is to serve a Pinot Noir, but sometimes the topping or sauce calls for a white. When I made some mango salsa for grilled salmon recently recently, a white definitely seemed to be the call to go with the tropical fruit. I had a white Burgundy I was eager to try, and thought it could potentially work. I wound up being pleasantly surprised at how wonderfully the pairing came together. Get all the recipe details over in my Wine Pairing Weekend 2 post on Cooking Chat: Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa and a White Burgundy.
The Burgundy I chose was the 2012 Guffens-Heynen Macon-Pierreclos Le Chavigne. We got honey and clover on the nose. Nice fruit on the wine–cantaloupe perhaps? Also a touch of honey–the fruit and honey definitely made this taste like summer in a glass. Perhaps most notable was the depth of texture in this wine, providing a great mouthfeel and long finish. This really made the pairing work–the wine had just the right weight to go along with the salmon–not to light, not so big it would overwhelm. The flavors in the salsa flowed seamlessly with the fruit and honey taste of the wine.
I loved the wine, but it’s not the style I tend to expect and seek in a white Burgundy. I typically gravitate toward an austere style with lots of minerality, and don’t expect such ripe fruit as we had in this one. I guess this is just a reminder that great Burgundy can come in different styles! Our pairing worked great, but I would by no means make a general recommendation to pair Chardonnay with this dish–many chards would be too oaky and/or buttery to play nicely with the flavors in the mango salsa. For Chardonnay to work here, it needs to be one that really let’s the fruit shine as our choice did. For a Burgundy, this one from Guffens-Heynen is a good value and worth tracking down–it seems to be available for around $30ish.
These days, if there’s a special occasion (broadly defined) but I’m not inclined to get int a big cooking project, i can always go with my fettuccine recipe. It was the first meal I made for Jodi, on one of our first dates, back when I was a novice cook. It impressed then, and is still tasty today, even if it’s fairly easy at this point.
So we go to this creamy fettuccine recipe fairly often, what wine to serve with it? The creaminess calls for a wine that is pretty full bodied, so that it has the weight to stand up to the creamy sauce. We’ve gone with a red at times, a merlot or something along those lines works. But more often, we go with a chardonnay or other substantial white with this one.
Recently we had the fettuccine with the 2011 Domaine Manciat-Poncet Pouilly-Fuissé. I got flint on my first taste, followed by some nice melon fruit. I also picked up just a hint of lemon. Nice round mouthfeel. That substantial mouthfeel gives the wine weight to stand up to the creamy sauce, and the melon and flint marry nicely with the flavors of the dish. A winning pairing!