Tag Archives: pesto

Sauvignon Blanc Paired with Pesto

A Taft Street Sauvignon Blanc paired with pesto

A classic: Sauvignon Blanc paired with pesto.

What makes it a classic? Here’s how the 2012 Taft Street Sauvignon Blanc worked with the pesto I made for the August Wine Pairing Weekend.

I get grassiness and grapefruit on the nose of the wine. I take a sip, and get peach, cherry blossoms, and mineral undertones. I eat a couple bites of the linguine, getting the garlic bite and saltiness in the pesto along with the freshness of the basil and acidity from the tomatoes. A lot happening on the palate. More wine. The crispness of the Sauvignon Blanc refreshes, cleansing the palate to be ready for another burst of flavor from the pesto. The makings of a classic pairing!

Ready to try this classic pairing for yourself? Typically on this site I link over to where you can find recipe details. But my pesto recipe is so simple (yet so good) that I’ll go ahead and re-share it right here:

Taft Street Sauvignon Blanc paired with pesto for #winePW 3Cooking Chat’s Basil Pesto Ingredients
2 cups fresh basil leaves, rinsed and tightly packed
4 cloves garlic
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp pine nuts

The Method: Have a food processor at the ready. Rinse the basil and pluck the good leaves from the plant, add to a measuring cup. I use up all the basil I’ve gotten. If I wind up with more than two cups basil, I scale the recipe accordingly and have more pesto on hand. If you have extra basil and a school age child on hand, enlist them in the process of calculating the recipe proportions, keep those math skills sharp over the summer! Put the basil into the food processor, and give it a quick whir to begin chopping the basil and make room for the other ingredients.

Next, add the garlic, and hit that food processor button again to get the cloves chopped up with the basil.

Add the remaining in ingredients, and then puree to get everything well combined. Open the food processor, scrape the sides to get bits of garlic and basil that haven’t been incorporated, then give the processor a final whir. Presto, you have tasty pesto! If you’re going to be eating within the next hour or so, just leave the pesto out. If you’re making in advance, refrigerate, but take out an hour before serving to bring the pesto to room temperature. Serve over hot pasta.

Wine Pairing: Well, we already covered Sauvignon Blanc being a classic to pair with pesto.  Want to go in a different direction? I’ve also had luck pairing Prosecco with pesto, and Picpoul with pesto is also very good, if you want to try a lesser known wine with your pesto.

a classic pairing: Sauvignon Blanc with basil pesto

Farfalle and Pesto Paired with Prosecco

Prosecco makes a nice partner for classic basil pestoLooking for a wine pairing for pesto? Sauvignon Blanc is a classic pairing, as I wrote about in my post for #winePW 3 (click through for the recipe as well as wine pairing details), but a number of other wines can work well with it, too. Having made a big batch of pesto last weekend, I’ve had a chance to do some experiment.

One nice option is sparkling wine. Too many people think of sparking wines only for celebrations, when in fact it’s a great wine with many foods. I had picked up a bottle of Ca’Furlan Prosecco Cuvee Extra Dry from Pairings Wine & Food recently, and figured that would be good to try when we had farfalle bowtie pasta tossed with leftover pesto.  The Pairings tasting description for the Prosecco, “Honeysuckle bouquet with a hint of sweetness; fresh and minerally fruit with nice bubbles...” gives you the idea that this could work well with pesto. It cleanses the palate, in similar fashion to the sauv blanc, getting you ready to enjoy the next flavorful bite of the pasta.

Like many Proseccos, this is a nice affordable choice in the bubbly category–it can be had for around $10. Grab a bottle for your next batch of pesto!

During our #winePW chat Saturday, Jeff from foodwineclick and Jen from Vino Travels had a number of good ideas about Italian wines to try with pesto. They were talking still whites, so I’d forgotten to mention that I’d had this Italian bubble just a few days before! I’ll have to pick up on their suggestions next time I make a batch of pesto.

A Rosso di Montepulciano for Grilled Steak with Orzo and Kale Pesto

Orzo Salad with Kale Pesto served with steak, paired with a Rosso di Montepulciano.

Typically I pair our wine to go with the entree. I consider the type of meat or fish and how it is prepared, paying attention to ingredients in any sauce or rub. But sometimes there are two distinctive items being served together, which was the case for us the other night. I was making Orzo Salad with Kale Pesto as part of a #SundaySupper virtual picnic theme. While this dish could be a main course, in this case I was serving it as a side dish along with some Grilled Ribeye with Garlic Cumin Rub.

2011 Tenuta di Gracciano della Seta Rosso di MontepulcianoPesto has a distinctive kick that tends to have me choosing a white such as Sauvignon Blanc or Picpoul. But serving the orzo dish along with steak, I wanted to pair a red that would work with the beef as well as the pesto. I thought a good Italian red might fit the bill, given pesto’s Italian roots. I went with a 2011 Tenuta di Gracciano della Seta Rosso di Montepulciano, which supplied enough depth to work with the steak along with some finesse to go with the orzo salad. This is a great quality wine for under $15!

 

Lamb Sliders with Provençal Pesto Paired with a Languedoc Red

Lamb Sliders with Provencal PestoThis pairing started with the wine. I wanted to prepare something for our #LanguedocDay gathering that would go well with the hearty red wines from the region. I came up with this recipe for Lamb Sliders with Provençal Pesto with these wines in mind.

The lamb sliders probably would have gone pretty well with any of the Languedoc reds we had that evening, but I would up pairing it with the 2009 Campagne De Centeilles, a 100% Cinsault from Minervois, a Languedoc AOC. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have too many 100% Cinsaults! Cinsault is more commonly used as a blending grape, but this wine shows it’s potential to be very good on its own. This wine definitely had that garrigue thing going on–its aroma and taste had the fragrance of wild herbs like rosemary and lavender. These elements made it a great match for the minty pesto. Definitely a pairing I recommend!

Pesto and Picpoul-de-Pinet

Picpoul de Pinet pairs nicely with pesto.Picpoul might not be one of the best know grapes. However, this white varietal native to the Languedoc area of France is very food friendly. I particularly like the Saint-Peyre Picpoul-de-Pinet. Picpoul is known to go well with seafood, but I’ve come to enjoy the way it works with pesto, too. Sauvignon Blanc is the most common pairing for pesto, but give the Picpoul & pesto combo a try for something new! More on this pairing in this Cooking Chat post. As you an see, this is not a new idea! Blogged about it back in 2010, and still come back to it as shown in the photo below.