Roasted Salmon and Winter Vegetables … Lovely with a Pinot Noir

Pairing: Roasted Salmon and Winter Vegetables Paired with a 2012 Greywacke Pinot Noir from New Zealand

Food:  Simple, seasonal and low in calories … what could be better? Oh, yeah … it’s delicious, too. For this dish, fry up a little bacon then remove and chop. Toss some cubed carrots, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cherry tomatoes in the hot bacon fat. Place vegetables in a roasting pan and roast in a 450F oven for ten minutes. Make some room in the pan for the salmon filets, and reduce temp to 400F for 5-10 minutes until done. Plate up and sprinkle generously with chopped bacon and grated Parmesan cheese. To see more details and nutritional values of this meal, go to A great site.

Salmon Roasted with VegetablesJPG


Wine:  Marlborough, located in the northeastern part of the South Island of New Zealand, is by far the country’s largest wine producer. The region is best known for its Sauvignon Blanc which is the grape that put New Zealand on the wine map. Indeed New Zealand has become famous for making among the best SB in the world. But, the country’s Pinot Noir (most notably Marlborough and Central Otago) is rapidly earning a gold star reputation competing favorably with some of the world’s finest wines. Kevin Judd, founder of the Greywacke winery, earned his stripes with his wonderful Sauvignon Blanc, and now is rightfully gaining a loyal following for his Pinot Noir. For those interested, Greywacke is the geological name of the rock type of the river stones that are in abundance in the soils of the vineyards.


Greywacke Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes:  Lovely garnet color. The nose evokes earth and leather, but most apparent is the aroma of hedgerow jam heating on the stove. Wonderful wild cherry and vibrant, sweet tannins are most present on the palate. The sweet char on the roasted vegetables bring out the full flavor profile of the wine. The crumbled bacon and grated cheese on the salmon do their magic to complement the wine. A great pairing.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Roasted Salmon:  Chardonnay (California), Savenniéres (Loire Valley), Pinot Grig (Oregon), Chenin Blanc (South Africa)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Pinot Noir:  Beet and Goat Cheese Salad, Roast Duck, Mushrooms, Grilled Tuna, Rabbit   … and many, MANY other foods

View the Stunning Marlborough NZ Region:  marlborough new zealand

A Source:






Roast Leg of Lamb … Perfection with a Saint Julien

Pairing: Roast Leg of Lamb Paired with a 2000 Château Lagrange Saint Julien Bordeaux

Food:  We don’t eat that much meat. Seafood and chicken are the more common  proteins we consume. However, when we do eat meat, lamb is our absolute favorite. And we are most fortunate to be able to buy our lamb from a farmer with a small flock just down the road from us.  The flavor and texture of grass-fed lamb can’t be beat. We remove the meat from the bone in one piece, flatten it out, generously spread a  mixture of olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper, and roll and tie up the meat. Then rub more of the oil and herb mixture onto the outside of the trussed meat. Brown the rolled meat thoroughly on all sides in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat on the cooktop. Place on a rack in a pan and roast in the oven at 325° F until the interior temperature reaches about 135° F for medium rare meat (about 45 minutes for a 3 lb roast). Baste every 15 minutes. Let stand for about 15 more minutes while you finish the vegetables (roast potatoes and beans) and gravy. Serve. My … that is extraordinary.

Roast Lamb with Saint Julien.

Wine:  Even though  a number of wines pair nicely with roast lamb (see suggestions below), one could make the case that red Bordeaux was created with lamb in mind. Saint-Julien is one of four renowned wine villages that comprise the Medoc wine region of Bordeaux. It is located on the “left bank” of the Gironde River Estuary where the soils and proximity to both the estuary and the cool Atlantic breezes combine to create almost ideal conditions to produce the perfect wine. At least that’s what winemakers there would say, but given the price some of these wines command, others might share that same view. Château Lagrange is made mostly from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, but also contains Merlot and Petite Verdot.

This wine was a generous present a while back from my oenophile brother. He gave careful instructions to leave it in our cellar for several years to let it mature properly. Well, we drank it this weekend. What a gift! Thanks, Bro!

Saint Julien Bordeaux

Tasting Notes:  Medium purple hue (lighter and browner due its age -18 years old). Fragrant aroma of blueberry and leather. A very complex and layered flavor of black currant, blueberry and hedgerow (service berry, lingonberry, and cranberry), all structured with leather, smoke, and some tannin. Note: this wine benefited from decanting it 1 and 1/2 hours before dining. This allowed the strong tannins inherent to this wine to dissipate a bit and allow the complex fruits to be more present. We were still sipping it hours after the meal was over and the flavor was even better. An amazing wine and perfectly matched to the flavor of the lamb, garlic and rosemary.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Roast Lamb: Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile), Rioja (Spain), Hermitage (France), Zinfandel (California)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Red Bordeaux:  Roast Chicken or Duck, Steak, Pheasant, Venison, Blue Cheese

More About:  Guide to Saint Julien

A Source:





Chicken Spaghetti … Paired with a Croatian Red

Pairing: Chicken Spaghetti Paired with a 2010 Bibich Riserva 6 Red (from North Dalmatia in Croatia)

Food:  Craig Claiborne’s The New York Times Cookbook, published in 1975 was a must-have resource to many of us cutting our culinary teeth during that time period. Not only is it filled with fabulous recipes, but also with wonderful stories and anecdotes. The recipe for Chicken Spaghetti comes from childhood memories growing up in rural Mississippi where his Dad raised chickens which they ate at most every dinner. This recipe for a non-turkey Thanksgiving dinner, simply called My Mother’s Chicken Spaghetti, which we adapted for this meal. You can see his recipe if you click on the link. A bit complex, but well worth the time. We shortened the time considerably using previously cooked stock, meat and mushrooms, but still important to have it sit 4 hours. Heavenly.

Chicken Spaghetti

Wine:  It’s so much fun and rewarding to sample wines from lesser known regions of the world … in this case from Croatia. The Bibich Winery is located in Skradin in the Northern Dalmatia region of the country. It is made from equal amounts of three grape varieties all indigenous to this part of Croatia, namely Babíc, Lasin, and Plavina. All of these grapes are genetically related to Zinfandel (Crljenak Kastelanski) which explains the familiarity in the flavor of the Riserva 6 being quite comparable to a California Zinfandel.


Dalmatian R6 Red

Tasting Notes:   A deep maroon color. Enticing nose of sweet black cherry and blackberry with fragrant whiffs of cinnamon in the background. A wonderful flavor of dark fruit jam (mostly cherry and blackberry, but hints of other dark berries) with lovely cinnamon and black pepper lingering on the finish. Goes beautifully with the chicken, pork, beef, and mushrooms in the dish. A splendid pairing wine in all respects, but also nice as a sipping wine.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Chicken Spaghetti:  Zinfandel (California), Pinot Noir (New Zealand), Côte du Rhône (France), Garnacha (Spain)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Croatian Red Wine: Roast Chicken, Roast Pork, Seared Tuna, Braised Rabbit

Views and Maps of the North Dalmatian Region:  north dalmatian wine region

A Source:




Turkey Pie …Enjoyed with a Beaujolais

Pairing: Turkey Pie Paired with a Louis Jadot 2012 Morgon Château des Jacques (Beaujolais)

Food:  It’s wonderful that great meals can be created from what is rather negatively called “leftovers”. It has that connotation of a warmed up, dried out replication of a meal eaten seemingly ages ago. Why not create something new and delicious from that “old meal” had at Thanksgiving? In this example, we are cutting up the cooked turkey, combining it with the peas and carrots, incorporating the remaining creamed onions for a nice cream sauce, and topping the newly named “pie” with a mixture of leftover mashed potatoes and stuffing. There … you’d hardly recognize it as Thanksgiving from three months ago. Important ingredient … a freezer! Just add your imagination.

Turkey Pie with Morgon

Wine:  Beaujolais is a French wine region located just south of the famed Burgundy wine area. Unlike Burgundy, however, which is focused on growing mostly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, Beaujolais is one of the few wine-producing regions of the world focused on just one grape variety, Gamay. The best wine produced in the Beaujolais region comes from one of ten vineyard areas designated “cru” of which Morgon is one of them.

Morgon Beaujalais


Tasting Notes:  A delightful, light-bodied wine with a medium garnet color. Aromas of blueberry and red raspberry drift up from the glass. Those dark berries also tickle the palate, but what’s that other taste … hmmm … I’d say red plum and maybe cherry. A very pleasant wine that doesn’t overwhelm one with its fruit and pairs nicely with the turkey, potato, onion, pea, and carrot flavors of the turkey pie. Sounds like the elements of a Thanksgiving dinner. Why, yes … there it was hiding in the freezer. Wine pairing to dress up leftovers! It also pairs well with Aunt Kate’s chocolate cake for dessert. Gotta love it!

Other Wines That Pair Well with Turkey Pie:  Pinot Noir (New Zealand), Chardonnay (California), Zinfandel (California), Crémant d’Alsace (Sparkling Wine from Alsace)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Beaujolais:  Charcuterie, Tuna (grilled), Gilled Cheese Sandwich, Hamburgers, Sausages

View Maps of the Beaujolais Region:  Beaujolais wine region

A Source:





Valentine’s Day Dinner … Tournedos Rossini … Elegant, Romantic, & Delicious

Pairing: Tournedos Rossini Paired with a 2012 Robert Oatley Finisterre Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir

Food: Filet Mignon is synonymous with elegance and romance. And Tournedos Rossini is … well … a breathtaking presentation of this prime cut of beef. And it’s ridiculously simple to make once you’ve got the ingredients. But first, some brief historical notes … the dish is indeed named for the acclaimed 19th Century composer, Gioachino Rossini, who is most often credited with the creation of the dish. Given his famed love of good food, that claim is certainly believable.

Our recipe is based on the notes outlined in the cooking tome (i.e., doorstop), Larousse Gastronomique, originally published in 1938, and encyclopedic in its scope of culinary knowledge. To serve two (you and your sweetheart), sauté two 1.5 to 2 inch fillets of beef in some butter about 4-5 minutes per side for medium rare meat. Remove from the pan and keep warm in a 200° F oven. Lightly sauté in butter two slices of baguette, two thin slices of foie gras, and a handful of fancy mushrooms. Remove the bread, foie gras and mushrooms and keep warm while you deglaze the pan with Madeira wine. The original recipe calls for foie gras and sliced truffles. What? You don’t keep these staples on hand in your pantry? (Sigh) … OK … we substitute chicken liver pâté for the foie gras and morels or porcini mushrooms for the truffles. Both mushrooms are available in dried form in most supermarkets these days. When using chicken liver pâté instead of foie gras, just gently heat up the slices without melting them. Assemble the tournedos by placing each fillet on top of a toasted piece of baguette. Put the pâté atop each filet, then cover with the mushrooms and reduced deglazing liquid. This is an extraordinary meal to serve that special someone. Or, plan on making it together. Sure beats dining out!

Tournados Rossini

Wine:  Finisterre comes from the latin word meaning “end of the earth.” In Roman times, Cape Finisterre on the far western coast of Spain was considered the farthest point west of the known world, hence the “end of the earth.” But, we’re talking Australia here, mate. And that can be argued is the “end of the earth”, at least to us blokes here in northeastern U.S. Mornington Peninsula is a cool, maritime wine growing region just south of Melbourne on the southern coast of the land down under. The cool climate here is particularly well suited to making excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Not as well known as those wines of Western Australia, but well worth seeking out.

Oatley Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes:  A beautiful, light-bodied wine with a pale garnet color. A gentle fragrance of dark and red fruits, along with the very pleasant hint of red earth. These aromas carry over wonderfully to the palate with the most pronounced flavors being red currant and wild cherry. The fruit is nicely balanced with a core of acidity that adds an Old World element to this New World wine. A delicate wine that pairs surprisingly well with the more assertive flavors of the beef, pâté, and mushrooms.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Tournedos Rossini:  Red Bordeaux (France), Red Burgundy (France), Barolo (Italy), Meritage (California), Merlot (Italy)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Pinot Noir: Mushrooms, Roast Chicken, Prime Rib Roast, Roast Duck, Grilled Salmon or Tuna

Maps and Views of Mornington Peninsula:  Mornington Peninsula Wine Region

A Source:




Greek Pizza … Served with Unoaked Chardonnay

Pairing: Greek Pizza … Paired with a 2014 Chehelen Unoaked Chardonnay

Food:  We are always experimenting with different toppings for our standard pizza shell. Lately our shell is made from sourdough. If you haven’t tried a sourdough crust, you are missing something grand. For our Greek topping, we first combine 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 Tbs red wine vinegar and 3 Tbs lemon juice. Mix in a large pinch of dried oregano, then brush the mixture on top of the crust (NOTE: after brushing four pizzas you will have enough leftover for future pizzas or to make an accompanying salad). Next combine 10 oz of spinach (cooked, drained, and patted dry) with 1 and 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella (it is pizza after all!), 1 tsp of granulated garlic, and a pinch of grated nutmeg. Spread this mixture on top of the pizza shells. Finally crumble 3/4 cup  of feta cheese on top along with some seeded oil-cured black wrinkled olives. Bake in a hot 450F oven. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. This all makes enough for four 8 to 10  inch personal-size pizzas.

Greek Pizza

Wine: The temptation here is to pair the Greek pizza with a nice Greek white wine. Perhaps an Assyrtiko. But, being adventurous souls (and currently lacking said wine in our cellar), we chose an unoaked Chardonnay from Oregon. The clean, bright taste of an unoaked Chardonnay unadorned with oak that much of Chardonnay today is made, proved to be a lovely companion to the Greek pizza. Oregon has become one of the go-to places for Chardonnay. Although Chehalem Wines is best known for its extensive line of premier single vineyard pinot noirs, their Chardonnays are becoming more and more well regarded.

Chehalem Unoaked Chardonnay

Tasting Notes:  A pale gold color. The smells of  ripening cantaloupe is intoxicating on the nose, while cantaloupe and peach are both present on the palate. The salty elements of the pizza bring out the gentle sweetness of the wine. And the finish is long and very nice.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Greek Pizza::Assyrtiko (Greece), Albarino (Spain), Beaujolais (France), Sauvignon Blanc (California), Soave (Italy)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Unoaked Chardonnay: Trout, Grilled Shrimp, Pork, Grilled Salmon

Views and Maps of the Willamette Valley in Oregon:  willamette valley

A Source:  www.






Chicken Crepes from Brittany … Paired with a Roussanne from Savoie

Pairing: Chicken and Mediterranean Vegetable Crêpes Paired with 2012 Domaine Les Cantates Roussanne (Cru Chignin Bergeron)

Food:  Crêpes made from buckwheat flour are traditional in Brittany, France. We mix a little all-purpose flour in with the buckwheat flour so that the cooked crêpes aren’t quite so dark in color. The filling is made from bite-size pieces of chicken meat cooked in with the Mediterranean vegetables (eggplant, zuchinni, tomatoes, and garlic) with a little water, and seasoned with herbes de provence (basil, rosemary, lavender, tarragon, and thyme). It’s important to pour off most of the remaining liquid before stuffing the crêpes with the filling so as not to make the crêpes soggy.

Crepes with Roussanne

Wine:  From Brittany in the far western, coastal region of France where our buckwheat crêpes originate, we travel all the way across France to the easternmost part of the country to select a wine from the mountainous Savoie wine region. Domaine les Cantates cultivates its vineyards in the Chignin Bergeron “cru”, or village, where it grows the Roussanne grape. Roussanne originated in the Rhône region south of Savoie, where it is most commonly combined with Marsanne and Viognier to make a terrific white blend. California and Australia are increasing their acreage of Roussanne, for both the white blends and single varietals that have become more and more in demand.

Roussanne - Vin de Savoie

Tasting Notes:  Pale gold in color. Aromatics of green melon and white clover are both present on the nose. The taste is reminiscent of a very ripe, rich green melon, like a honeydew, along with peach. Those same flavors linger on the finish. That melon/ peach flavor is a lovely complement to each component of these chicken buckwheat crêpes.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Chicken Crepes:  Pinot Blanc (Alsace), Chardonnay (Italy), Champagne (France), Chassalas (Switzerland)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Roussanne:  Ham, Pork, Poultry, Smoked Seafood

View the Beautiful Savoie Region of Alpine France:  savoie

A Source:  www.