Chardonnay … Versatility is Thy Name

Two Pairings:  Fish Timbales one night and Pizza the next night … Both Paired with a 2012 Dutcher Crossing Chardonnay Stuhlmuller Vineyard Alexander Valley

Food: We are creatures of habit. On Fridays we always seafood (perhaps a remnant of my Catholic upbringing). Saturday is always homemade pizza (the origin? … maybe because it was easy to eat on your lap while the family watched Star Trek – Next Generation … or some other long repressed memory). Anyway, we enjoy a gazillion different ways to prepare both seafood and pizza so the pattern is never boring. Back to the food …

Our fish timbales are made with mackerel and haddock, poached or sautéed or broiled first. A white sauce is made with shallots, cooked and chopped spinach cooked together in cream (and some mashed white beans). Season with salt and pepper. The cooked fish is flaked and added along with a small beaten egg to the sauce. Divide the fish mixture into two six-ounce buttered ramekins. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Unmold the ramekins onto warmed plates. We like to serve the timbales with chard that has been sliced into 1 inch pieces, cooked in a little olive oil and water, then seasoned with salt, nutmeg and garlic powder.  (Bonus:  our fish timbales are 290 calories each!).

The next night is pizza … Instead of tomato sauce, the unbaked pizza shell ( we continue to enjoy our sourdough pizza crust) is covered in pesto sauce with cooked chicken, chanterelles, red or orange bell pepper, bacon, red onion, and grated mozzarella cheese. The recipe we use is from Flavors of Prince Edward Island:  A Culinary Journey. The recipes in this cookbook were provided by the PEI Association of Chefs and Cooks. Wonderful cookbook … great pizza.

 

 

Wine:  My wife and I typically drink a bottle of wine over two meals. So … here’s the dilemma … what wine will pair nicely with a seafood dish one night and with some recipe for pizza the following night? And, of course, what do we have on hand in the larder and cellar? The fish we have in the fridge really needs a white wine. Even a lighter weight red would likely overwhelm the fish. So … what white wine will also go well with what pizza?

Well, Chardonnay is not one of most widely planted grapes and one of the world’s most widely drunk wines for nothing. Many different style, grows in many different regions. France, Italy, California, Oregon, Australia, New Zealand … to name just a few. Being a guy who ‘marches to a different drummer”, “swims against the tide” (you get the picture), I would normally not be inclined to go along with the masses, many of them who only drink Chardonnay (you … hiding there in the back … you know who I’m talking about). But, come on … the Dutcher Chardonnay is really, really good … and I think ideal for these two meals. Go for it! Perfect!

 

Dutcher Chardonnay

Tasting Notes:  Lovely yellow-golden color. The nose carries delicious scents of fresh orange slices and orange blossom. Flavors detected include honeysuckle, honeydew melon, and orange zest, with hints of spice (coriander and mace). The wine’s ability to both quietly refresh the delicate tastes of the fish timbales while at the same time assert itself to enhance the rich, complex flavors of the pizza is positively magical. An exceptional wine we have enjoyed time and time again.

Other White Wines That Pair Well with both Fish Timbales and Pizza with Pesto, Chanterelles and Chicken: Verdicchio (Italy), Soave (Italy), White Rhone-Style Blend (California), White Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Rhone Valley, France).

Other Food That Pairs Well with a New World Chardonnay:  Clam or Corn Chowder, Mushroom Risotto, Chicken in Cream and Morel Sauce, Smoked Salmon Omelette.

Read About:  http://winefolly.com/review/chardonnay-wine-guide/

A Source:  http://dutchercrossingwinery.com

 

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