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.
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.
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