Lamb Gozleme …served with a Red Bordeaux from Graves

Pairing: Lamb Gozleme Paired with a 2014 Chateau de Landiras Rouge Graves 

Food: Gozleme is a delicious, easy to make, Turkish flatbread, griddle-fried to a golden brown and stuffed, in our version, with a combination of spiced ground lamb, feta, spinach, and tomato. The lamb is seasoned with some onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Fresh mint leaves are a nice addition. Lemon and olives are common accompaniments, along with fresh fruits.

Lamb Gozleme

Wine:  The de Landiras vineyards, located in the southern part of the Graves wine sub-region of Bordeaux is one of the region’s oldest properties, dating back to the 14th Century. What was once 14,000 acres of vineyards in the 1500’s is now but 2 acres with about 40 more acres planned for future expansion. The current owner, Peter Vinding-Diers, has run the operation since 1988, yet his is only the third family to own the property in its 600 year history. The Graves region distinguishes itself in Bordeaux by being well regarded for both its red wines and white wines. This wine is 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and cries out to be paired with the lamb in this dish … a classic combination. And a very affordable Bordeaux at about $20.

Red Graves

Tasting Notes:  A dark maroon, almost black color. The nose reminds one of walking along an old hedgerow with many  types of berries ripening in the sunshine … black current, blackberry, blueberry, and black raspberry. Yes, I know these berries don’t all ripen at the same time. Just use your imagination! On the palate, one gets to taste the flavors of these same berries with the addition of a bit of leather, well-smoothed tannins and just a touch of acidity. And there is a surprising gentleness to this wine that one does not often associate with Bordeaux wines. Yet the complexity and assertiveness of the wine balances nicely with the complexity of the Gozleme.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Lamb Gozleme: Petite Sirah (California), Syrah (Washington), Rioja (Spain), Zinfandel (California)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Red Bordeaux (Graves): Roast Duck or Chicken, Grilled Mackerel or Salmon

Maps and Views of the Bordeaux/ Graves Wine Region:  Bordeaux – Graves Region

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken a la Goudaliere … Paired with a California “Wild Horse” Pinot Noir

Pairing: Chicken Breasts with Pine Nuts, Cèpes and Ham Goudalière Paired with a 2013 Wild Horse Cheval Sauvage Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley) 

Food:  Boletus edulis is widely viewed as one of the best tasting wild mushrooms anywhere, and can be found throughout North America, Europe and Asia. In Italy it is known as porcini, while in France and elsewhere, they are called cèpes. Dried versions of these mushrooms are available in most supermarkets these days, and reconstituted can work beautifully in most recipes. But having them fresh … well, they are truly amazing. Come September, we can stroll out our front door and pick an abundance of cèpes (or King Boletes as they are known here in New England) growing under an old oak tree. Caution: some wild mushrooms are very toxic, so it’s really important to work with experienced mushroom hunters to learn how to identify safe, edible fungi.

The recipe for this chicken dish comes from Paula Wolfret in her outstanding cookbook, The Cooking of South West France. It is made with such signature regional ingredients as pine nuts, duck fat, Bayonne ham, and Cognac. The recipe is here.

Chicken with Cepes and Ham

Wine:  Wild Horse Winery is located in the Central Coast wine growing region of California. The vineyards that produce their Pinot Noir wines are found in the Santa Maria Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area). The cool, maritime conditions that heavily influence this valley, plus the east-west orientation of the valley, create one of the longest growing seasons anywhere. These climatic conditions are ideal for growing Pinot Noir grapes, a finicky grape to say the least. The results are world-class wines.

Wild Horse Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes: Pinot Noir is a well-considered companion for this dish being an excellent pairing for each the key ingredients to the meal … chicken, mushrooms, duck, and ham.

The color is a pale garnet with a nice brownish tinge. Black cherry, leather and earth all combine in a delightful aroma. The cherry flavor that dominates the palate reminds one of the smells (yes, I know we’re talking about flavor here) in the kitchen while in the process of making cherry jam. While cooking down the fruit with its juice and sugar, the taste is more like fresh fruit before it cooks down to the final jelly stage. This wine captures that moment of flavor while still in the fresh fruit state just before it moves into that cooked state. Transformative.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Chicken with Cèpes And Ham:  Red Burgundy (France), Chardonnay (California), Red Bordeaux (France), Barolo (Italy)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Pinot Noir:  Roast Duck, Grilled Salmon, Soft Cheeses (Brie, Camembert, etc.), Pork

Maps and Views of Santa Maria Valley Wine Region:  Santa Maria Valley

A Source:  www.klwines.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pan Seared Halibut Cheeks — Mind-blowing Paired with Roussanne

Pairing: Pan-seared Halibut Cheeks with Mustard Cream Sauce Paired with 2017 Sheid Vineyards Roussanne 

Food:  OK … full disclosure … halibut cheeks are not that easy to come by (the halibut fishery is appropriately a very tightly managed fishery due to the limited stocks). So, if you can find cheeks in a fish market, they can be a bit pricy. We are fortunate to have an acquaintance who is a fisherman on Prince Edward Island, from whom we can purchase a whole fish (30+ lbs per fish). The prized parts of this delicious fish are the fleshy sides of the mouth … i.e., the cheeks. Note: A fine substitute for the halibut cheeks in this recipe, and more readily available, is sea scallops. But if you can score some halibut cheeks (or cod cheeks) … well, it’s quite a treat!

Halibut cheeks can range in size from about an inch and a half to a three to four inch oval. If you are fortunate to live near a good market, you may want to inquire as to their ability to make a special order.

To make two servings, warm 2 tsp olive oil over medium-high heat in a saute pan. Put about 2/3 lb of fish cheeks in a single layer and cook for one minute on one side. Turn them over and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove fish to a warm plate. Turn the heat down to medium and add 1/4 cup white wine and a clove of garlic, minced, to the pan. As soon as the wine has mostly evaporated, add 2 Tbs of heavy cream, some chives, and 1 Tbs dijon mustard, stirring all the while. The cream will start to thicken so put the fish back into the sauce to warm. Serve with rice pilaf and baby beets and their greens.

Halibut Cheeks

Wine:  A couple of years back, my wife and I spent a delightful weekend in the charming coastal village of Carmel-by-the-Sea in California. For wine geeks like us, we couldn’t have found a more perfect locale to sample an amazing array of wines from the Central Coast wine region. The best of the best was the Roussanne made by Scheid Vineyards.

Roussanne is most often associated with the wine regions of southern France, Cotes du Roussillon and the Rhone. In these locales, Roussanne is frequently blended with Viognier, Grenache Blanc, and/or Marsanne to make the signature white wines of these regions. California winemakers have gained worldwide respect for creating New World versions of these cherished French white wines. They also make splendid single varietal wines from each of the aforementioned grapes.

Scheid Roussanne

Tasting Notes: A pale greenish-gold color. Both the nose and the palate show cantaloupe melon, white clover, and a garden of mixed flowers. Some tangy minerality completes the picture. Wonderful! One could sip this all evening all by itself. But as a pairing wine, it is absolutely perfect served with the halibut cheeks. Can’t give too many accolades to this marriage made in heaven!

Other Wines That Pair Well with Halibut Cheeks:  Chablis (Burgundy, France), Viognier (Languedoc, France), Sancerre (Loire Valley, France), Chardonnay (California)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Roussanne:  Smoked Fish, Scallops, Chicken, Risotto

View Maps and Views of Monterey Wine Region:  Monterey County Wine Regions

A Source:  www.scheidvineyards.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey Piccata … Beautifully Matched with a White Tuscan Vernaccia

Pairing: Turkey Piccata … Paired with a 2014 Teruzzi & Puthod Terre di Tufi Bianco Toscana IGT 

Food:  This meal is more commonly known as Veal Piccata, but we like to substitute thinly sliced and pounded turkey tenderloin for the veal. We use the recipe right out of The Eating Well Rush Hour Cookbook (1994). It’s fast, easy and absolutely delicious made with the turkey cutlets sautéed in butter, lemon, wine, garlic and capers. Served with barley pilaf and asparagus … it’s a big hit at our dinner table.

Turkey Picata

Wine:  The Terre di Tufi is produced by the Teruzzi & Puthod winery in the San Gimignano region of Tuscany. This lovely white wine is a blend of 80% vernaccia, 10% chardonnay, and 10% sauvignon blanc … and a rarity in Tuscany, a non-red wine! It’s a full-bodied, dry, crisp wine with a lovely floral bouquet and a pronounced flintiness derived from the stoney soils found in this region. Teruzzi and Puthod is widely recognized as the winery that developed vernaccia as a premier wine in Tuscany.

Teruzzi & Puthod White Tuscan

Tasting Notes:  Color can be described as 18 carat gold. Aroma of white clover with some light fragrance of violet flowers. The flavor profile is a nice tapestry of toasted almonds, mango and honeysuckle. There is a delicate flintiness in the finish. The wine also picks up some citrus notes from the lemon used in the piccata sauce. A good complementary flavor pairing.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Turkey Piccata: Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), White Bordeaux (France), Unoaked Chardonnay (California), Verdiccio (Italy)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Vernaccia di San Gimignano:  White Fish (Sole, Haddock, Cod), Carpaccio, Pasta with Clams in White Sauce, Chicken dishes

Views of the San Gimignano Region:  San Gimignano

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crab Cakes … Utter Perfection with Condrieu

Pairing: Crab Cakes … Paired with a 2015 E. Guigal Condrieu 

Food: The crab cakes of Northern New England are not like those of the Gulf Coast or the Chesapeake.  Our’s are made from Atlantic Rock Crab or Jonah Crab — two cold water species. Maryland crab cakes are made from blue crabs harvested from Chesapeake Bay while Gulf Coast crab cakes are made from blue crabs harvested (guess where) in the Gulf of Mexico. In Florida one might use Stone Crabs, while crab dishes served on the Pacific Coast might use Red Rock Crabs or Dungeness Crab. They all have their unique flavor and ingredients and flavorings indigenous to the particular region.

The tasty meat from these rock crabs from cold northern waters are not, as is too often done, to be smothered in mayonnaise and cracker crumbs and butter.  Rather, the picked over crab meat here should be handled gently and lightly combined with a little plain yogurt, Dijon mustard, minced onion, and fresh bread crumbs, formed into patties that just hold their shape. Done this way, the delicate flavor of the crab is retained.  Todd English’s book The Olives Table is the source of this and many other fine recipes from his Boston area restaurant. His crab cake recipe is by far our favorite.

 

Crab Cakes with Condrieu

Wine:  The northern part of the Rhone Wine Region in France is home to one of the most highly regarded red wines in the world, Syrah. Hermitage and Côte Rôtie are considered the finest expression of this grape. But we are here to talk about a white wine made in the northern Rhone region that could be, among the many wonderful whites from around the world we have tasted, our very favorite … Condrieu. Condrieu is made exclusively from viognier grapes ripened along a tiny stretch of the northern Rhone River. Many believe Condrieu to be the standard by which all viognier wines should be measured. Count us among those faithful.

Condrieu

Tasting Notes:  Beautiful straw-gold color. Fragrance (like a fine perfume) of mango and honey-suckle. There’s some lovely white flowers there, too. The rich flavor of mango joins vanilla cream and peach on the palate. My lord, this wine is absolutely amazing (!!), and a perfect complement to the crab cakes that have been graced with a dollop of aioli. This is a marvelous wine for a very special occasion.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Crab Cakes:  Riesling (Alsace), Chardonnay (California), Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), Cava (Spain)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Condrieu:  Lobster, Scallops (dredged in curry powder, seared quickly, then lightly covered in brown butter), Mushroom Risotto

Maps and Views of the Northern Rhone Wine Region:  northern rhone region

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Fashioned Pork Roast … Paired Perfectly with an Aussie Grenache

Pairing:  Bone-in Pork Roast … Paired with a 2010 Clarendon Hills Grenache

Food:  Sunday dinner in our house is almost always a roast of some kind. Roast chicken, duck, game, turkey, beef, lamb, or pork. Chicken is our most commonly served roast on Sundays since we have raised our own chickens for almost forty years. But, a few times each year, we enjoy a pork roast … a simple bone-in pork seasoned with just salt and pepper and maybe a little sage and thyme. For the uninitiated, a bone-in roast of any meat is always richer and more flavorful than a boneless one, albeit a bit more involving to carve.

One year, along with our chickens and turkeys, we decided to raise a couple of pigs so that we might enjoy our own pork and bacon. What an adventure! Every day, upon my return home from work, Frank and Linc (yes … those were their names!) would run over to the edge of their electric wire fence and stick out their snouts in friendly greeting to me waiting to be scratched and patted. What charming, intelligent … and enormous … animals. I had sworn that I would not get emotionally attached to them. Yeah … right. When it came time to slaughter them, I just couldn’t do it. I retreated to a distant locale, out of earshot, while a neighbor did the deed. And when it came time to “enjoy” some homemade bacon … I lost my appetite. (sigh) So much for that little experiment with self sufficiency. But we still raise our own chickens … they’re not nearly as personable as pigs. And … we don’t give them names.

Pork Roast

 

Wine:  Of the six Australian states, South Australia is by far the biggest wine producer in the country, accounting for half of Australia’s wine production and home to several of the most iconic vineyard locales … Barossa, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra. Red wine is king here … Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon being by far the most widely planted varieties and among the most highly regarded Australian wines. Grenache is a bit lesser known, but gaining considerable “street-cred” in Australia as both a blending wine and a single varietal. Indeed Australia accounts for almost a tenth of the world’s production (behind Spain, France, and the U.S.) Its fine reputation was long ago solidified in southern France, where the grape has a long history in the Southern Rhone wine region, and where Grenache is blended with Syrah and Mourvedre in the creation  of such notables as Côte-du-Rhône, Gigondas, and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In wine-loving Spain, Grenache is called Garnacha. Some historians believe the origin of the wine grape dates to well before the 14th Century on the island of Sardinia where it has been known as Cannonau.

The Clarendon Hills winery is located just to the north and east of McLaren Vale. This winery is widely considered among the best Australian producers of the single varietal Grenache as well as a New World Rhône-style blend traditionally made with the addition of Syrah (called Shiraz in Australia) and Mourvedre.

It should noted that recent long periods of drought, record-setting temperatures, and high winds have ignited extensive deadly fires across Australia that has resulted in loss of human life and wildlife, and widespread destruction of human habitations and ecosystems. Many vineyards throughout the country were also victims of these fires. It is anticipated that it will be many years for the region to recover from this devastation.

Grenache - Clarendon Hill

 

Tasting Notes:  A ruby-red color with a slight brownish tint seen on the edges. We decanted this wine two hours before dining which allowed the bouquet and flavors to really open up. The nose was like a beautiful symphony with the “sounds” of leather, sweet cherry and vanilla sugar playing in concert with one another. On the palate, the same “instruments” (cherry, vanilla, and leather) continued to play, with some earthy notes added. Very light, soft tannins brought it all together. The long, lingering finish continued the leather and cherry. A real Wow! of a wine. Couldn’t stop talking about it. And absolutely perfect with the roast pork.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Roast Pork: Riesling (Germany), Chardonnay (California), Gewürztraminer (Alsace), Pinot Noir (New Zealand)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Grenache:  Grilled Lamb, Sausage, Osso Buco, Mushrooms

Views of the Fire Devastation in South Australia Wine Region: south australia vineyard fires

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Striped Bass … Perfecto with an Italian Chardonnay

Pairing: Grilled Striped Bass Topped with a Watercress Sauce … Paired with a 2014 Felsina Chardonnay 

Food: As a boy, I fished for Striped Bass on Great South Bay and the ocean water off Fire Island, Long Island, NY. I have many fond memories of those fishing trips on my Uncle Lou’s boat battling these mighty fighters. Memories, not so fond, of the arduous task of cleaning and filleting the fish laid out on newspaper on the driveway. Of course eating my fish was almost as rewarding as landing them. Reminders of that day’s successful catch lasted throughout the rest of the year since this fish freezes beautifully.  The striped bass for this dish came from the Harbor Fish Market in Portland, Maine, our favorite market in one of our favorite cities.

The preparation here is a new one for us.  The fish are grilled, then topped with a simple sauce made of fresh watercress, onion, olive oil, and a little fish or vegetable stock.  Some of the sauce also flavors the side of pasta (gemelli here), and the meal is completed with fresh broccoli. If you prefer, just grill or broil the fresh fish, plate it and squeeze fresh lemon on it. Stripers have a wonderful flavor all of their own.

Striped Bass w Italian Chard

Wine:  The  Felsina winery is located in Tuscany, the region most often associated with the famed red wines of Italy … Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Less well known are the wonderful white wines produced in this beautiful countryside … Vernaccia di San Gimignano is perhaps the most widely known Tuscan white wine, but more and more producers are finding that the soils and climatic conditions are well suited for growing the Chardonnay grape. I Sistri is Felsina’s entry into the world of Chardonnay. The winery is located about 10 miles east of Siena near the border of the Chianti wine region.

Felsina I Sistri Chardonnay

Tasting Notes: A pretty light gold color with maybe a slight tint of green. Some peach and other stone fruit (apricot and plum) and vanilla on the nose. Layers of tropical fruit and apple combine on the palate with a delightful creamy mouth feel. Vanilla lingers on the finish. Nicely complements the fish and watercress.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Striped Bass:  White Burgundy (France), Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), Viognier (France), Chardonnay (California)

Other Seafood That Pairs Well with Italian Chardonnay:  Crab, Shrimp, Scallops, Halibut, Arctic Char

View the Stunning Tuscany Region:  Tuscany

A Source:  www. klwines.com