Haddock with Shrimp and Watercress Sauce … Paired with Verdicchio

Pairing: Haddock with a Shrimp and Watercress Sauce Paired with a 2013 Verdicchio de Matelico

Food:  Having just stopped at a farm stand and purchased fresh sweet corn and green beans, we now must decide what fish (it is Friday, after all!) we will serve with these lovely vegetables. Haddock is always nice and available. How shall we prepare it? Well, my wife and live-in gourmet cook (they’re the same person … in case you were wondering) had recently made and frozen some wonderful watercress sauce. Thaw out the sauce, toss in a handful of already cooked and frozen coldwater shrimp, cook the sauce down a little bit and added a Tbs of cream to thicken it, and pour over the pan-fried haddock. An amazing flavor combination has just been discovered!

Haddock with Shrimp & Verdicchio

Wine:  Verdicchio is widely regarded as an ideal companion to fish. And we concur. This Verdicchio di Matelica is the smaller of the two Verdicchio wine growing zones (the larger being Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi) both in the beautiful Marche region of Italy … the Matelica vineyards located on the eastern slopes of the Apennine Mountains. The Verdicchio grape has been grown in this region for more than 600 years.

Verdicchio di matelica

Tasting Notes:  The color is a pretty golden hue. The aromas are of clover and peach (like walking through the peach orchards of Adams County on a summer day). Flavors of lime, yellow peaches, and some minerality emerge on the palate and continue on the finish. The light taste of lime is a nice companion to the sweetness of the fish and shrimp (as well as the corn in this dish). That sweetness of the corn, salinity of the seafood, and the peppery notes of the watercress, taken together bring out the subtle, perhaps hidden, flavors of this delicate wine.

Other Wines That Pair Well with the Fish:  Soave (Italy), Sauvignon Blanc (California), White Bordeaux (France), Chenin Blanc (South Africa)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Verdicchio: Poached or Sautéed White Fish (Cod, Sole, Haddock), Fish Stew or Chowder, Shrimp, Scallops, Crab

Read About:  https://www.wine-searcher.com/regions-marche

A Source:  www.klwines.com






Provencal Pizza … Paired with a “Stump Jump” Australian GSM

Pairing: Provençal Pizza Paired with a 2012 d’Arenberg The Stump Jump GSM (Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre)

Food:  Provençal Pizza is significantly different from the more traditional Neapolitan Pizza from Italy. Instead of a cooked tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil all typical ingredients of the familiar Italian pizza, our Provençal Pizza is made with fresh tomato slices, oil cured olives, feta cheese, tiny branches of fresh thyme, and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese. It should be noted that ours is not the traditional Provençal Pizza called Pissaladiere. We particularly enjoy our version of this pizza in late summer and early fall when the heirloom tomatoes start appearing in gardens and farmstands. The wonderfully flavorful heirlooms really shine on this pizza. Our crust is made from sourdough, one of our favorites.

Provencal Pizza with Stumo Jump GSMJPG


Wine:  d’Arenberg is probably our favorite Australian wine producer. They make an extraordinary range of different wines (mostly reds) … we’ve had many of them … and they have all been good. And who can resist the cleverly conceived names?!

Back to GSM’s … an abbreviated way of saying Grenache, Syrah (or Shiraz), and Mourvèdre. These are the three principal grapes that make up the red wines from the Southern Rhône wine region of France. These wines include such well known reds as Côtes du Rhône, Gigondas, and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Outside of France, Australia has become one of the biggest producers of GSM blends, along with the United States where they are known as ‘Rhône Rangers’.


Stump Jump GSM

Tasting Notes:  A deep garnet red color. The nose speaks of fruit … blackberry and plum. The palate brings flavors of a dark fruit compote, notably blackberry, black raspberry and black currant … all underlaid by a deep earthiness (that’s the Mourvèdre). That robust earthiness continues on the long finish, and complements beautifully the salty/briny flavors of the olives, feta,and Parmesan in the pizza. An absolutely perfect pairing!!

Other Wines That Pair Well with Provençal Pizza:  Côtes du Rhône (France), Bandol (Provence), Rosé (Provence), Châteauneuf-du-Pape (France), Garnacha (Spain)

Other Food That Pairs Well with GSM:  Roast Chicken, Pork, Mushrooms, Charcuterie, Moussaka (among many others … a very versatile wine)

Read About:  www.darenberg.com.au

A Source:  www.saq.com and www.wine.com


=Pasta with Chicken and Mushrooms … Paired with an Australian Grenache

Pairing:  Pasta with Chicken and Mushrooms Paired with a 2008 Clarendon Hills Kangarilla Grenache

Food:  A simple dish made with whatever type or shape of pasta you like (we’re using gemelli here), whatever mushrooms you enjoy (we’ve got an assortment of sautéed wild mushrooms), cooked chicken meat, a béchamel sauce, and some grated parmesan cheese. We’ve served the dish with cool, sliced cucumber, and a handful of fresh cherries.

A word about wild mushrooms:  Many markets are now starting to sell cultivated “wild” mushrooms (seems like a contradiction of terms). They are quite delicious. If you are feeling adventuresome, you may have an inkling to go off into the wild and forage for wild, edible mushrooms. My advice … DON’T! Don’t unless you are going with a reliable, experienced, knowledgeable companion who knows what to look for and can distinguish between the delicious and the deadly.

Pasta With Chicken and Mushrooms

Wine:  This Clarendon Hills ‘Kangarilla’ Grenache hails from the beautiful McLaren Vale wine region in South Australia. Vineyards were first planted in the McLaren Vale in the early 1800’s. Today wine from this region is considered to be among the best in all of Australia.  Grenache (Garnacha in Spain) grapes are perhaps best known for being one of the three principal grapes used in the iconic French wine, Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Throughout southern France, Australia, and California, Grenache is used in the making of GSM’s (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre), a very popular blended wine. However, in Spain and more and more in Australia, Grenache is grown to make wonderful single varietal wines. And Clarendon Hills makes one of the best. By the way … What is a kangarilla? A cross between a kangaroo and a gorilla??? Hey, Siri …

Clarendon Hills Grenache

Tasting Notes:  Wow … a very special wine. The color is garnet red like the color of bing cherries. Aroma of cherry pie with a shortbread crust, warm and fresh out of the oven. Absolutely amazing! On the palate one gets a hint of earthiness and leather combined with the cherry flavor resulting in a cherry fruit leather taste. Some raspberry overtones play out in the latter stages of the tasting experience with cherry and raspberry lingering through the long finish. The mushrooms help bring out the earthiness in the wine and the fresh cherries served with the pasta … well, you can guess that they help advance the already cherry presence in the Grenache. A great wine … a great pairing!

Other Wines That Pair Well with Pasta, Chicken and Mushrooms:  Pinot Noir (New Zealand), Red or White Burgundy (France), Cote du Rhone (France), Chardonnay (California)

Other Foods That Pair Well with Grenache:  Grilled Lamb or Chicken, Sausage, Turkey, Eggplant

See Photos:  mclaren vale

A Source:  www.wine.com

Caesar Salad (+) … Paired with a Sparkling Fruit Wine

Pairing: Caesar Salad (with some additions) Paired with NV Luckett Vineyards Helena Sparkling Apple and Blackcurrant Wine

Food:  The original recipe for the famous Caesar Salad was created by restauranteur Caesar Cardini  in his Tijuana establishment in the 1920’s. It is composed of romaine lettuce and croutons, with a dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper, parmesan cheese, garlic, and Worcestershire Sauce. A raw egg yolk was then beaten into the dressing. There are dozens of variations that have been developed over the years, and there remains some controversy around the actual creator of the dish. Regardless, it is a fabulous  salad. Our version usually eliminates the egg (though not always) from the dressing, and adds tomato, ham and chicken slices for a more complete meal while retaining much of the delicious flavors of the original recipe.

Cesar Salad with Helena

Wine:  Returning to Nova Scotia, we enjoy another different wine, this time a sparkler from Luckett Vineyards in the bucolic Gaspereau Valley. Luckett’s Helena is a sparkling wine made from sparkling apple wine with blackcurrant added to it. For those who have yet to sample wine made from fruits other than grapes, I say you are a missing a whole other universe of delicious wine, both for pairing with food or drinking by itself. And don’t assume that all fruit wines are sweet. Many are demi-sec or dry.

Luckett Vineyards Helena

Tasting Notes: A lovely bronze color with streams of tiny bubbles. On the nose … one can                        imagine strolling through an apple orchard with the fragrance of fully ripe red apples permeating the air. The palate is a palette (get it?) of ripe strawberries, apples and raspberries. The blackcurrant is finally revealed in the finish. Delicious … one could sip this as an aperitif, a thirst quencher, or as a nice companion to the complex flavors in the salad. Bravo, Luckett … we’re headed down your way to get more!

Other Wines That Pair Well with This Type of Salad:  Ruilly (Burgundy), Champagne or Crémant (France), Chardonnay (Oregon), Rosé (Bordeaux), Soave (Italy).

Other Foods That Pair Well with Sparkling Fruit Wine:  Goat Cheese, Brie, Camembert (as well as other soft cheeses), Indian dishes, Asian cuisine.

Read About:  https://winesofnovascotia.ca

A Source:  www.luckettvineyards.com