Tag Archives: grilling

Grilled Figs Paired with a Sauternes

grilled figs paired with a Sauternes

Passing through the produce aisle at Whole Foods, on the way to pick up a store made dessert, the fresh figs on sale caught my eye. Yes, during the middle of a busy week, I was trying to keep our 20th anniversary dinner pretty simple. But my mind quickly got racing to pairing ideas…a dessert featuring grilled figs paired with a Sauternes sounded worthy of a special occasion, I thought. (we already had a special bottle lined up for our main course…stay tuned for a post about that soon!)

2007 Chateau de Malle Sauternes pairs nicely with grilled figsSo I grabbed the figs and came up with a simple yet tasty recipe, recapped below. Then I headed to the wine shop to grab a bottle we’ve enjoyed before, the 2007 Chateau de Malle Sauternes. 

Ingredients

6 fresh figs, stems trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup honey plus 1 extra tbsp honey
pinch of cinnamon
dash of dried sage
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted lightly (optional)

Preheat a grill to medium high. Combine the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the balsamic and the sugar in a bowl. Gently toss the figs in this mixture, and set  aside while the grill heats up.

Combine the mascarpone with 1 tablespoon of honey in a bowl and set aside.

Heat the remaining 1/2 cup of honey in a small pan on medium heat, and stir in the cinnamon and sage. Once the honey has liquefied a bit, turn the heat to low keep warm while the figs are grilled.

grilling figs to pair with a Sauternes

Grill the figs. If you have a grill pan, use that to avoid losing any figs to the grill. Set the figs skin side down the grill pan, or carefully set them directly onto the grill. Grill about 4 minutes on the skin side, then carefully turn over to sear the other side by grill for about 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove the figs to a plate.

Serve the dessert by adding a tablespoon or two of the mascarpone to each plate. Then place several figs on top of each plate of mascarpone. Finish the dish by drizzling the heated honey over the figs and cheese, and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top if you are using them.

grilled figs with honey and mascarpone

Enjoy with a Sauternes! Sure, a lot of things go well with a Sauternes. But this grilled fig with honey and mascarpone with a Sauternes is definitely a great pairing! The 2007 Chateau de Malle Sauternes has notes of honey and hazelnut, and a super-long, luscious finish. It could be a nice dessert on its own, but pairing the Sauternes with this sweet and savory dessert is a great combination.

If you’re not familiar with Sauternes yet, I encourage you to get acquainted! This wine from Bordeaux is made from a blend of made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes that have been affected by Botrytis cinerea, known as “noble rot”. There is surely a lot of interesting info on the web about it, but the Wikipedia entry is a good starting point.

10 Great Grilling Recipes with Wine Pairings

grilled chicken paired with a viogner. 1 of 10 grilling recipes with wine pairings from Wine Pairing Weekend.

Yesterday on Cooking Chat I put together a list of 20 Favorite Grilling Recipes. That seems like a good resource, but I realized with so many recipes we didn’t get into the wine pairings much.  But I suspect there is also some interest in grilling recipes with wine pairings, so today we share 10 ideas here.

Simply Scrumptious Grilled Chicken with Garlic Basil Butter: Bone-in chicken breasts can be a good value. Many online recipes for them can get a bit complicated; my recipe streamlines the process with tasty results! I served this with a 2012 Domaine de Gournier Viogner, thinking it would work with the chicken as well the side of pesto pasta we had. Serving the chicken with more basic sides, I might opt for a fuller bodied white like a Chardonnay or white Rhone varietal blend.

Grilled Swordfish and Eggplant with Fusilli and Tomatoes I’m a fairly new convert to the virtues of eggplant. Grilling is the key for me. This Sicilian inspired combination was very good, shared for a Sunday Supper event earlier this summer. As part of his Sunday Supper wine picks, Martin from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog recommended serving this with a 2013 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas Rosé. That sure sounds like a great idea to me!

2012 Guffens-Heynen Macon-Pierreclos Le Chavigne white Burgundy pairs nicely with grilled salmon.Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa We love our salmon here! Often I grill it with just a simple soy marinade, but made it a bit fancier with a yummy mango salsa for the July Wine Pairing Weekend event. I served with with the 2012 Guffens-Heynen Macon-Pierreclos Le Chavigne from Burgundy, and was very pleased with the fruit and honey taste in the wine picked up the mango salsa. This is a great bottle and not as expensive as many Burgundies, but you could also serve this with a soft, aromatic white like Viogner.

Grilled Swordfish with Garlic Soy Marinade This simple, go-to recipe for grilled swordfish often gets paired with a rosé . When we posted it on this site earlier this year, we paired it with the 2013 Banshee Rosé of Pinot Noir from Sonoma. You could do other rosés, but go with a pretty substantial one. Regular Pinot Noir works here, too.

Grilled Swordfish with Pineapple Salsa Gotta love salsa! The pineapple in this one gets grilled along with the fish, great flavors. A medium bodied rosé is again the call here, I’d say. The Banshee mentioned above would work well, or about any rosé from Bandol would be a good pairing, I’d say.

Heaven Sent Grilled Pork Chops:  The succulent bone-in pork chops with a simple garlic cumin rub get their name from our nine year old’s reaction to how tasty they are! Consider this one if you’re looking for something that packs a lot of flavor with minimal work. We served this with a 2010 Azienda Agraria La Perticaia Montefalco Rosso from Umbria for our pairing. A nice blend of fruit and spice, with enough heft to work with the chops. I’d say a Garnacha or Tempranillo from Spain would be another good option.

grilled pork chops paired with an Italian red blend.

Cilantro and Lime Marinaded with Chipotle Cream This is one of my all-time favorite recipes, especially served with these Sweet Potatoes with Cumin Sage Butter. This was another Wine Pairing Weekend event pairing, served with the 2009 Le Pousseur Central Coast Syrah from Bonny Doon. This particular Syrah has a finesse and flavor profile that makes it work very well with the dish. You could try other Syrahs that fit the profile, but many would be too over the top. A full bodied pinot could also work.

Grilled Steak with Garlic Cumin Rub  This is another easy option for a low maintenance weekend grilling plan. We went with the 2011 Halter Ranch Syrah from Paso Robles, and its bold flavors are a nice match for the steak. You could try other big bold reds you enjoy with this one, a Cabernet could certainly work here.

Grilled Steak Tacos with Awesome Avocado Chimichurri Sauce: Entertaining this weekend? This is a great way to get your guests some steak without breaking the the bank! A few pieces of beef along with the tasty sauce makes a a great taco. “Awesome” was the operative word for the sauce when we served it to family at a recent gathering. We had this with a Portuguese red blend, and that worked pretty nicely. A zinfandel could be another good option.

Burgers Topped with Garlicky Arugula I had some extra arugula on hand from the CSA awhile back, and came up with this tasty topping for burgers. The spice in it lead me to recommend a zinfandel. I paired it with the 2007 Chatom Vineyard Zinfandel, but you could try any zin you like.

Seared Trout on the Grill with a Tropical Viogner Sarah from Curious Cuisiniere came up with this one for our July Wine Pairing Weekend event. This post demonstrates that cooking whole fish on the grill can be pretty easy, and is especially nice served with a good wine! Sarah served it with the Lewis Station Winery’s Sparkling Waters White, a Viogner with some tropical fruit blended in. A Muscadet comes to mind as another option for this one.

So there you are, 10 ideas for grilling recipes with wine pairings. Lots of ways you can combine grilled food with good wine as you enjoy the weekend. Let us know what tasty pairings you come up with!

A Syrah For Grilled Steak With Garlic Cumin Rub

Grilled steak with garlic cumin rub paired with a SyrahI get to experiment with pairings for this Grilled Steak with Garlic Cumin rub fairly often. The rub packs enough flavor for grownups, but my 9 year old also loves it, so it gets used often! A lot of big, bold reds can work with the meaty dish, but there’s also the spice element to pick up. That gets me going more in the direction of a Zinfandel or Syrah for this grilled steak recipe.

You could do well with any of your favorites in the Syrah or Zin department, but one specific pairing for this grilled steak recipe that has worked very well for us is the 2011 Halter Ranch Syrah from Paso Robles.  It’s got big berry flavors to stand up the beef, and some nice spices to pair with the flavors of the rub. Give it a try or let me know with you come up with for a pairing! (you are going to try this super-easy rub, aren’t you?).

Here on Wine Pairing Weekend, I typically just link over to the original recipes. But if you’re in a hurry, the rub is simply equal parts cumin, garlic powder and salt, and you can add a pinch of cinnamon and/or other dried herb (sage is nice) to vary the flavor.

2011 Halter Ranch Syrah pairs nicely with grilled steak

Grilled Chicken Paired with L’Instant Malbec Rosé

L'Instant Malbec Rosé paired with grilled chickenThe other night I was planning on a quick meal of grilled chicken drumsticks, featuring Stonewall Kitchen Honey Barbecue Sauce and a side of pasta with grilled broccoli. My timing was good for finding a wine pairing for the grilled chicken with BBQ sauce, as I was at Pairings Wine and Food earlier in the day. Ray mentioned they are featuring the Chateau Vincens L’Instant Malbec Rosé in a one-day special this Tuesday, August 5. I suspected the deep colored Rosé would work nicely with our meal, so grabbed a bottle to do a little preview tasting.

I got a fresh taste of watermelon and strawberries on the wine, a refreshing complement to the grilled chicken as well as the pasta, which featured plenty of garlic. This wine is from the Côtes du Lot region of Southwestern France, including the appellation Cahors. We tend to associate Malbec with Argentina, but this area is its original home. The grape is also referred to as Côt Noir there.

I like to make most of my own sauces and dips, but do keep a few things on hand when I need some quick flavor. Stonewall Kitchen offers many such products, and this Honey BBQ sauce is definitely a tasty one. If you happen to be in the Winchester, MA area, you can pick it up at Pairings along with the wine to repeat the pairing for yourself. You can also order Stonewall Kitchen products on their website.

Full disclosure: I’m a long-time loyal Pairings customer–I get most of my wine there.  I’ve just recently started helping them with their social media. I mention the promotion not as part of that work but to help folks that want to find the wine for a good price!

Wine Grilled Chicken with Lewis Station Winery’s Oaked Chardonnay

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!

Wine Grilled Chicken with a Chardonnay for #winePW

photo courtesy of Curious Cuisiniere

Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa and a White Burgundy

Salmon with Mango Salsa and a White BurgundyMy 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.

 

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with a Bonny Doon Syrah for #winePW

Yesterday was the first official Wine Pairing Weekend event! I enjoyed hearing all the great pairings my fellow bloggers came up with for grilled meat. I will post highlights on some of their pairings in the coming days, but first wanted to share about my pairing: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with a Bonny Doon Syrah.

grilled pork tenderloin paired with Bonny Doon Syrah for #winePW.

The pork dish gets marinaded with lime juice, cilantro and garlic and topped with chipotle cream. So I was looking for a wine with some substance and a bit of spice. I picked the 2009 Le Pousseur Central Coast Syrah from Bonny Doon Vineyard. I got a whiff of a summer meadow on the nose, and was struck by the polish on this wine from the first taste. Supple cherry fruit and a bit of leather. The finesse and flavors of the wine worked well with the nuanced smoky and spice flavors of the pork.

Questions for #winePW Twitter Chat

wine glass ready for #winePW chatWe are looking forward to the very first Wine Pairing Weekend event coming up this Saturday, June 14!  The first #winePW theme is “Wine Pairings for Grilled Meat.” We will be holding a live Twitter Chat in conjunction with the event this Saturday 6/14, at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.  Please join us! Simply share tweets with our hashtag, #winePW and follow that stream. We do also have a Twubs page setup as a handy way to view the Chat and automatically add the hashtag. Be sure to check out the great pairing the participating bloggers come up with! You can get an idea of what they are planning by checking out the preview post over on Cooking Chat. I will be hosting this event from my @winePW Twitter handle, and will also be chiming in from @cookingchat.

As you may gather, this is a new website being developed in conjunction with the #winePW event. The idea is to roundup some of our favorite food and wine pairings from the #winePW events and other pairing experiments. We hope over time this will become a handy resource for people to get pairing ideas. This site is new, but I’ve been blogging about food and wine for over 5 years and nearly 500 posts over at Cooking Chat!

We have a few questions to guide the #winePW Twitter Chat. Of course, feel free to share anything on the topic of wine pairings for grilled meats or related themes. When you are responding to a particular question, please start your tweet with the letter “A” followed by the number of the question you are answering.

Q1: What are some of your favorite foods to grill?

Q2: Is there a particular type of wine you tend to choose when grilling?

Q3: What factors do you consider when choosing a wine to serve with grilled meat?

Q4: What is a favorite pairing you’ve enjoyed for grilled meat?

Q5: Any good grilled food & wine pairings you like that might surprise us?

Q6: Does anyone have a good food & wine pairing you are planning to enjoy on Father’s Day?

Q7: Any other insight on grilled meat & wine pairing that hasn’t come up yet?

We hope you enjoy this chat and consider joining us in July to chat about “Refreshing Summer Wine Pairings.” Wine Pairing Weekend is held the second Saturday of the month, so we’re up next on July 12. You can email winepairingweeekend AT gmail.com if you’d like to do a blog post for the next one or with any other ideas or questions.

 

Grilled Swordfish with a Rosé of Pinot Noir

Banshee Rose of Pinot Noir, served with Grilled SwordfishI often go with pinot for substantial fish like swordfish and salmon. I sort of did that this time–served Grilled Swordfish and Garlic Soy Marinade with the 2013 Banshee Rosé of Pinot Noir from Sonoma County.  My tasting tweet on this one simply said “yum!” but I suppose I should attempt to elaborate. This rosé has enough body to stand up to this substantial grilled swordfish, with plenty of good fruit flavor of its own. As you might suspect, it had a nice refreshing quality one appreciates when it’s finally warm enough to get the grill going. I’ve also enjoyed the Banshee Pinot Noir, and have another bottle on hand. But I’m glad I went with the rosé for this first night of grilling, and will save that pinot for a time I have chicken or pork on the grill.

Grilled Swordfish with a side of pasta and baby broccoli