Greek Pizza … A Perfect Pairing with Assyrtiko, a Wine Seeming to be Created for Greek Pizza

Pairing:  Greek Pizza (with Feta, Spinach, and Oil-cured Olives) Paired with a 2014 Santo Wines Grande Reserve Assyrtiko Santorini

Food: Surprise! Greek Pizza did not come from Greece! Well, wait a second … let’s qualify that. What has been called Greek Pizza originated in Connecticut in the 1950’s. The Greeks, however, have been making unleavened flatbreads topped with oils, herb and spices for centuries, well before the first pizza (so named and topped with tomato sauce) emerged in Naples, Italy. (see The History of Pizza). So, we can say that our Greek Pizza is more closely related to the “pizza” created in 1950’s Connecticut than the flatbreads that began their life in the bakeries of Ancient Greece or among the working class of early 19th century Naples.

Our Greek Pizza starts with a crust made from white whole wheat flour, water, yeast, and salt. A dressing composed of EVO oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and oregano is brushed onto each individual pie (about a tablespoon of dressing for each 8-inch pie). Some grated mozzarella is mixed in with the cooked chopped spinach and seasoned with granulated garlic and nutmeg. Spread onto the crust. Sprinkle generously with crumbled feta and chopped oil-cured olives. Bake at 490F.

Wine:  When one thinks of Greece, the image that often pops up in our imagination is of white .. very white … white-washed, cube-shaped buildings perched atop or clinging precariously to treacherously steep black volcanic cliffs, all set against the almost surreal blue of the Mediterranean Sea. What you have just conjured up is the real-life Santorini, one of Greece’s Cyclades Islands located in the southern Aegean Sea. It is a stunningly gorgeous place (see video) shaped by a long history of volcanic eruptions over thousands of years. It is also home to some REALLY GOOD WINE and a very productive wine industry despite the harsh geologic and climatic conditions in which the grape vines must thrive. Assyrtiko is considered to be the flagship wine of Santorini and, many would claim, Greece’s most iconic wine. We hardily concur.

Tasting Notes:  A deep gold color. The aroma of a very ripe Charante melon. One can practically smell the luscious sweet aroma from across the room! A little bit of spice and honey can be detected, adding a wonderful complexity. The palate reflects and deepens the honey and melon. “… late summer in a glass.” says my wife … she captures it perfectly. She elaborates … ” on the terrace, warm summer sun slanting though the trees … You’ve just eaten buttered corn on the cob, and then eat a very ripe, sun warmed melon served with spiced honey cakes.” I think she liked the wine. I love how a wine can set a scene or tell a story.

The pairing couldn’t be better. The richness of the wine plays well with the salty feta. It should be noted that the wine was not chilled. It just sat out on the counter, unopened, for hours before we drank it. The room temperature warmth let the complexity and subtleties of the wine shine.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Greek Pizza: Sauvignon Blanc (South Africa), Moschofilero (Greece), Viognier (California), Riesling (Alsace)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Assyrtiko:  Oysters, Taziki and Yogurt Based dips, Hummus, Chicken or Seafood Kebabs, Goat Cheese and Feta Cheese

Maps and Photos of the Santorini Wine Region: Santorini

A Source: www.wine.com

Penne with Tuna and Tomato … Served with a Sparkling Limoux

Pairing: Penne with Fresh Tuna, Tomato, and Herbs Paired with J. L. Denois Lune Vielle de Mars Limoux

Food: Garganelli con Tonna Fresco is chef Cesare Casella’s wonderfully simple but elegant dish that highlights fresh tuna steak with fresh oregano, parsley, garlic, and tomato all tossed with pasta (we like penne). Lightly brown the garlic and herbs in some olive oil. Toss in a generous cup of halved cherry tomatoes and saute them briefly until the tomatoes just begin to soften. Add 1/2 inch cubes of fresh tuna steak and brown them being careful not to overcook the tuna. Deglaze pan with a splash of white wine. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Toss the cooked pasta in the pan with the tuna, and serve.

We never tire of this dish and have been enjoying it frequently for many years. Serve it with a crusty country bread.

Penne with Tuna, Tomato, Garlic, Oregano, Parsley, and Red Pepper Flakes

Wine: The town of Limoux is located in the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region of South West France in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. It is most famous for its sparkling wines; some would say these wines rival the better known sparklers from the Champagne wine region in France … in most every way except price ($15 a bottle is rarely seen in Champagne, but quite common in Limoux). This Blanquette de Limoux is made from a blend of Mauzac, Chenin Blanc, and Chardonnay grapes. And the sparkling wines produced in the Limoux area use the same methode champagnoise or traditionale process by which vintners in the Champagne region make their sparkling wines.

Tasting Notes: The color of beautiful clean straw. It smells of yeasty biscuits almost ready to come out of the oven. On the palate, “fresh” is the best descriptor. Surprising depth for a sparkler with nice minerality. A delicate hint of honeydew melon, and a light touch of salt. As mentioned, this is one of our favorite meals that we have enjoyed many times, but never with a sparkler … always a still, Italian white wine. In a way, this is something like a sparkling version of a Soave or Grechetto or Verdicchio. All are excellent pairings with this fabulous pasta, but the Limoux bubbles add a special little intangible.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Pasta, Tuna and Tomato: Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), Chardonnay (Italy), Soave Classico (Italy), Chablis (France)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Limoux: Oysters, Sushi, Smoked Salmon, Popcorn, Seared Scallops

Photos and Maps of the Limoux Wine Region:  Limoux

A Source:  www. klwines.com

Scallops and Linguine … Paired with a SB/ Semillon Blend from Western Australia

Pairing: Pan Seared Scallops on Linguine Paired with a 2018 Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc/ Semillon Blend (from Margaret River in Western Australia)

Food: We love scallops … cooked very, very simply. Pan searing them in a hot pan coated with barely a sheen of olive oil, for our money, is the only way to prepare them. We are quite content to just add a little seasoning, brown them for maybe two minutes on a side (Note: first halve the raw scallops along its equator, then pat dry). Take them out of the pan, keep them warm, deglaze the pan with a bit of the wine, add a touch of butter, pour over the scallops, and … voila … perfect scallops. For this dish, however, we’ve taken a few more steps. Cook up some linguine (whole wheat is best). Whip up a simple sauce made of milk, flour, grated Romano cheese, salt and pepper. Mix together the cooked linguine (that you first tossed around in the pan that you cooked the scallops in), the sauce that you heated and thickened a bit … and, of course, the scallops. Serve adding some more of the grated Romano and some peas. This is good stuff!! Once in a while it’s nice to gussy up the scallops like this. Even for a purist like me.

Of course our son will only eat scallops raw … that he plucked himself from the seafloor … fresh out of the bay. Now that’s a purist!!

Wine: The wines of the Margaret River wine region in Western Australia are perhaps best known for their European style. The Cape Mentelle wine showcased here could be the twin sister of a White Bordeaux wine in France with the same Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grape composition, and they also share similar terroir. We would be hard pressed to discern the differences between the two wines in a tasting. But there is a decidedly different price point; the Australian wine being much more economical.

Tasting Notes: A pretty pale gold color. The wine has a fresh clean bouquet with hints of honeydew melon and green apple. Light and crisp with flavors of green apple, ripe melon and grapefruit. This dry, crisp wine complements nicely the light, creamy sauce on the linguine and scallops.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Scallops and Linguine: Chablis (France), Meursault (Burgundy), Soave Classico (Italy), Chardonnay (Oregon)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Sauvignon Blanc/ Semillon Blend: Roast Chicken, Grilled Fish (Halibut, Swordfish), Jambalaya

View the Margaret River Vineyards : Margaret River Wine Region

A Source:  www. klwines.com

Chicken Chasseur … with a Classic Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley

Pairing: Chicken Chasseur Paired with a 2013 Belle Glos Pinot Noir (Dairyman Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County)

Food: Chicken Chasseur, also known as “hunter’s chicken”, is a classic French dish that harkens back to the days when a traditional autumn hunt would result in a table laden with the harvested game and wild mushrooms gathered from the forest. The “game” in our version is chicken, but we have also made it with pheasant. Either way, what makes all the difference in the world is the use of a mix of edible wild mushrooms. assuming you are or know an experienced mushroom hunter. Otherwise, many grocery stores are now making them widely available to the consumer. Oftentimes we make ours with leftover roast chicken, along with the mushrooms, some sliced carrots, onions, shallots, a few favorite herbs, and a light brown sauce, all served over noodles. Easy and delicious and absolutely perfect with Pinot Noir.

The mushrooms in this Chasseur are wild chanterelles, field, and bi-color boletes.

Wine: Cool temperatures and fog rolling up the Russian River from the cold ocean water of the Pacific make for ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Indeed, one can make the case that some of the very best Pinot Noir in the world are made in this remarkable Russian River wine region. The river flows south from Mendocino through Healdsburg then turns to the west toward the ocean. The climate gets progressively cooler as the river moves south and west. Belle Glos is widely known for some of the most distinctive Pinots harvested from vineyards throughout the Russian River Valley region as well as from nearby vineyards. This is a classic new world wine – riper, more full-bodied, higher alcohol, and more fruit-centered than old world wines that are noticeably more nuanced (for example, the Pinots from the Burgundy region of ‘France).

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet color. The aroma of sweet, fully ripe black cherries. Evokes a memory of “… sitting on the back porch on a beautiful July day pitting ripe cherries … smelling the bowl of slightly crushed ripe cherries next to you … the juices running down your fingers and hands.” And the wonderful smells of baking cherry cobbler wafting from the kitchen. It’s amazing the imagery that a great wine can conjure up. Wow!

This wine, with its full flavored, fruit forward taste is a perfect example of a New World Pinot Noir, decidedly different from the earthy, slightly acidic, nuanced Old World Pinot Noir such as those from the Burgundy region in France. And cherry aromas and flavors are prevalent throughout New World Pinots from New Zealand, Australia and other non-European countries.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Chicken Chasseur: Red or White Burgundy (France), Chardonnay (California), Chianti Classico (Italy)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Pinot Noir: Cheese (Brie, Camembert, Gruyere), Roast Pheasant or Other Game Birds, Salmon, Rabbit

View the Beautiful Russian River Valley Region: Russian River

A Source: www.wine.com

Burgundian Ham Flan … Lovely with a Pinot Noir from Tasmania

Pairing: A Burgundian Ham Flan Paired with a 2013 Spring Vale Pinot Noir from the Freycinet Coast, Tasmania

Food: Our recipe for Burgundian Ham Flan comes Anne Willan’s first book on French Regional Cooking. Although we have a number of cookbooks on French cooking, this was our first and remains our favorite. For two people, the recipe calls for 2 and 1/2 oz of ham (diced), 1/2 oz prosciutto, 4 eggs, 1 cup of milk, 2 T flour, a pinch or 2 of ground allspice, 1 tsp fresh thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Brush lightly with olive oil an 8 inch baking dish. Distribute the ham over the bottom of the dish. Add the allspice to the milk, and bring it slowly to a boil. Whisk the eggs with the flour until it is smooth. Take the milk off the heat. While you whisk, add the egg/flour to the milk, then stir in the thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour over the ham in the baking dish and place some parsley leaves on the surface of the eggs. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes, until the eggs are set and golden brown. Serve cool or at room temperature along with a simple green salad. Delicious!

Wine: So, let’s be honest, when was the first time you heard the word “Tasmania”? I was six or seven years, old watching a Loony Tunes cartoon on TV. Racing across the screen, chasing our intrepid hero Bugs Bunny was a whirling dervish called … the Tasmanian Devil. Some years later I learned this was a real animal (a marsupial) from a real place … Tasmania. Located 150 miles off the southeast coast of Australia, the island has been gaining well-deserved accolades for its wines. Particularly noteworthy is their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, both still wines and sparkling wines. The Freycinet Coast is not only an ideal locale for vineyards (like the Spring Vale winery), but is also breathtakingly beautiful.

Note: Yes, the classic pairing for this Burgundian dish would be a red burgundy or white burgundy wine. But, as readers of this blog have come to know, Peter’s Picks is all about expanding possibilities when pairing food and wine.

Tasting Notes: Color is dark purple with a very light brownish orange tint. Repeated sniffs of the wine reveals a bouquet of raspberry, blueberry, wild cherry, and black plum. Amazingly, the wine combines the taste of both fresh fruits and fruit jam of the same fruits that describe the bouquet. You could sip this wine all evening … enjoyable with or without the food, but … Pinot Noir and ham is a classic pairing you don’t want to miss.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Ham Flan: Sancerre (Loire Valley, France), Beaujolais (France), Chardonnay (Oregon), Pinot Blanc (Alsace)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Pinot Noir:  White Fish in a Cream and Mushroom Sauce, Pan-Seared Salmon, Prosciutto, Quiche Lorraine

Views of the Tasmania Wine Region:  Tasmania Vineyards

A Source:  www.wine.com

Tourtiere, a Quebecois Tradition … Served with a Red Blend from Washington State

Pairing: Tourtiere (French Canadian Meat Pie) Paired with a 2012 Pendulum Red Blend (from the Columbia Valley in Washington State)

Food: Tourtiere is a traditional French Canadian meat pie dating back centuries and originating in the province of Quebec, likely in the townships of eastern Quebec. Farmers typically slaughtered their animals in late Fall as cold weather began to set in. One of several ways to utilize the fresh meat was in the making of meat pies using the surplus of pork, beef and game. The pies were then frozen before being baked. It is traditional to serve Tourtiere during the Christmas season and at New Year’s. The Tourtiere are deemed best after being frozen for at least a few days, the wonderful flavors of the spices (cloves and cinnamon) used along with some herbs, savory and bay, are enhanced by what we call the “cold cure”.

Our ancient, thoroughly dog-eared, decoratively stained copy of Craig Claiborne’s The New York Times International Cookbook is the source of our recipe for Tourtiere. Ground pork mixed with the aforementioned herbs and spices, along with onion, garlic, and a crust made with lard creates a delicious and authentic meat pie that any Quebecois would be proud to serve.

Recipe at https://wordpress.com/post/fastingme.com/15793

Tourtiere Served with Carrots and Parsnips

Wine: “A kitchen-sink blend of varieties”, says Wine Enthusiast, describing the 2012 Pendulum Red Wine. The winery itself does tell us that their 2012 is made from mostly Merlot (44%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (26%). And the remaining 30% ? That seems to be a secret! It can be great fun trying to figure out the ‘mystery grapes” in a blend like this Pendulum. My wife and I were thinking that maybe Syrah is one of the component varieties. After all, it is a very successfully and widely grown grape in the Columbia Valley wine region of Washington. Or maybe something a little more exotic for the region … perhaps some Sangiovese or Barbera or Malbec was added to the mix. There are dozens of grape varieties grown in this region so Wine Enthusiast seems to be suggesting that likely a lot of different grape varieties go into this delicious blend.

Pendulum Red Blend – 44% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest … who knows?!

Tasting Notes: A dark garnet red (very pretty in candlelight!). A delightful fragrance of cassis (black currant liquor) tickles the nose. Aromas of freshly tilled earth and black cherry are also present. On the palate one gets the taste of black currant and a pleasant mix of spices: nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon. A little hint of cedar and, maybe a tiny whiff of cigar smoke. Black currant persists on the long finish. The pairing of the wine with the tourtiere couldn’t be better. The spices in the tourtiere mirror nicely the taste of the spices in the wine.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Tourtiere (Pork Meat Pie): Gewürztraminer (Alsace), Zinfandel (California), Pinot Noir (Tasmania), Beaujolais (France)

Other Food That Pairs Well with a Merlot/ Cab Blend: Roast Lamb and Chicken, Cold Roast Beef Sandwich, Cheese (Brie, Camembert, Blue)

View the Columbia Valley Wine Region:  Columbia Valley

A Source: www.wine.com

Turkey Leg Confit … Paired with a Robust Zinfandel

Pairing: Turkey Leg Confit Paired with a 2015 Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel 

Food: Confit is most often made with duck , usually the leg quarters. Thanksgiving this year was just the two of us (thanks to the pandemic). Last year we had made a turkey roulade which left us with a couple of uncooked legs in the freezer. Well … why not make turkey leg confit? This linked video is excellent in describing the technique for making this most satisfying dish. We made it the exact same way, but used only sage, thyme, salt and pepper for the seasoning. A delicious way to help celebrate this wonderful holiday giving thanks for all our blessings.

Turkey Leg Confit served with vegetables from our garden.

Wine: The Dry Creek Valley wine region in Sonoma County is home to some of the finest Zinfandel in California. Indeed the case could be made that this area produces the best anywhere. As we have stated elsewhere on this site, Zinfandel was the first wine we really fell in love with, and twenty years later it remains a favorite, frequently served on special occasions . For years, we have viewed Zinfandel as the quintessential American wine perfect for celebrating American holidays. However, DNA testing in the 1990’s at UC Davis ascertained that the Zinfandel grape is identical to the Italian grape, Primitivo. Hmmmm …

And, to further muddy the waters, we know that the Primitivo grape is genetically the same as the Croatian grape Crljenak Kastelanski. So, did the Zinfandel grapes in California originate in Italy or Croatia? Yet another mystery … what are the origins of the name Zinfandel? What we do know is that it is a wonderful wine, with complex fruit and spice flavors that pair beautifully with so many foods. And Ridge Vineyards produce some of the very best Zinfandel, single-vineyard wines (e.g., Lytton Springs) being their signature product.

2015 Ridge Lytton Springs – 74% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane, 2% Mourvedre

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in color. A bouquet of blackberry, black currant, and black cherry. On the palate one gets layers of earth, black currant, spice, and cedar. A pleasant deep “woodsy” taste balanced nicely with the black fruit flavors. The depth of flavors in the wine complements well the richness of the confit. Really nice.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Turkey Confit: Pinot Noir (New Zealand), Cahors (SW France), Saint-Emilion (Bordeaux), Malbec (Argentina)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Zinfandel: Roasted Duck and Lamb, Grilled Beef, Sausage, Lasagna

View the Dry Creek Valley Region:  Dry Creek Valley

A Source:  www. klwines.com

Magret aux Pommeau (Duck Breast with Apple Glaze) … Extraordinary with Cote Rotie

Pairing:  Magret de Canard au Pommeau (Breast of Duck with an Apple Glaze) Paired with a 2011 Saint Cosme Cote-Rotie

Food: Turkey, ham, prime rib … they get all the attention during the holiday season. In our opinion, duck is an under-appreciated, phenomenally tasty meat that can be prepared in many delicious ways. How about just a simple roast duck? That’s what we’ve made for years. Lately, we’ve doing duck confit, my wife’s favorite that we frequently have on her birthday. A recent purchase of a hefty duck we cut up into pieces, the full leg sections were turned into confit (currently sleeping peacefully in their jars of duck fat).

The breasts got the royal treatment in Magret de Canard au Pommeau. Susan Hermann Loomis, in her cookbook, Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin, has a very nice recipe for Duck Breast with Apple Sherry. She describes Pommeau to be like a sherry, but Pommeau is a regional speciality in Normandy made from two parts fresh apple cider to one part Calvados (apple brandy) then aged in barrels for a year or more. Besides cooking with it, we also enjoy it as an aperitif or a beverage to accompany the meal. For this dish, the pommeau is combined with a little apple cider vinegar then reduced to a glaze consistency.

Magret au Pommeau with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus

Wine: Cote Rotie is the northern most appellation of the Rhone Valley wine region of southern France. The Syrah wine produced in this region is world class … muscular yet elegant. You can sense the restrained power of the wine (whoa … watch out … getting a little fancy-speak there!). Although this red wine is primarily made from red Syrah grapes, the wine frequently contains up to 20 percent of the white variety, Viognier. Chateau de Saint Cosme is a wine estate steeped in history, dating all the way back to 1416. The winery’s extensive portfolio of offerings includes wines from both the northern and southern sections of the Rhone Valley. A very impressive list featuring some of the most fabled wines in France.

Tasting Notes: A pretty garnet red. The nose evokes luxurious leather with touches of bramble fruit. The taste … amazing … earthy with a lovely combination of blackberry, black raspberry, cloves, cinnamon, and cedar. Perhaps even some unami flavor, too. The duck’s deep rich flavor is moderated just a bit by the mild apple of the glaze. That richness could overwhelm a lesser wine. The power of the Cote-Rotie matches well the rich flavor of the duck. This is what pairing food and wine is all about. Perfect.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Breast of Duck: Gewürztraminer (Alsace), Zinfandel (California), Pinot Noir (New Zealand), Chateauneuf-du-Pape (France)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Cote-Rotie: Roast Lamb, Mushrooms, Ham, Venison, Rabbit

View the Cote-Rotie Vineyards: Cote-Rotie

A Source:  www. klwines.com

Chicken and Dumplings … Country Fare with Homemade Country Wine (Apple)

Pairing: Chicken and Dumplings Paired with a 2015 Baldwin Apple Wine (Homemade)  

Food: My wife and I have been raising chickens for eggs and meat for over 40 years. The chickens raised for meat are fast-growing hybrids that take about 10 weeks to reach 4-5 pounds dressed weight. The layers are heritage breeds like New Hampshire Reds, Rhode Island Red, and Barred Plymouth Rocks that grow much more slowly and reach maturity in about 4 months. They give us wonderful eggs (5-6 eggs per week) for about 3 years. When they get old and stop producing, it’s time for them to embark on their final destination. At this advanced age they are referred to as fowl, a very positive designation … a bit too tough to eat when roasted, grilled, fried, etc. However, the fowl has an unmatched deep, rich chicken flavor that is ideal for soups, stews or any long slow cooking like chicken fricassee, often called Chicken and Dumplings. If you have no source of an old hen (check with your butcher who may be able to get you one) you can substitute a regular roasting chicken. But … if you can get your hands on some fowl … well, you won’t believe the flavor.

Recipe for Chicken and Dumplings

Cut up a 4-5 pound chicken, including the back, and sauté in butter until well browned. Add water to cover, sliced onion, carrot, celery, 4 pepper corns, and simmer for 45 minutes. If the chicken is old, cook for 45 minutes more. Either way, add 2 tsp of salt at this point.  Cool the chicken and strain the broth. Remove the meat from the bones.  Thicken 2 cups of the broth with flour made into a roux with butter. Put the chicken into a stove-top pan (cast iron if you have it) with enough of the thickened broth to come up 3/4 of the way on the meat. Stir in the vegetables from previous cooking and bring to a simmer.  Make dumplings from flour, milk, celery seed, and baking powder.  Dollop the dumplings on the meat and heat uncovered for 10 minutes. Cover and continue to cook for 10 minutes more. Serve.

Wine: It’s mid-November. The apple harvest season is just about over here in New Hampshire. Among the last apples to ripen are the Baldwins. A few hangers-on cling tenaciously to the now bare branches. An ancient Baldwin stands like an aging sentry still guarding our house. It has seen over a hundred winters. Its gnarled trunk with gaping holes big enough that one can pass one’s entire arm through it is testament to its tenacious resolve to survive. It fruits now about every three years. Small apples but with the unmistakeable sweet sharp snap of a Baldwin.

For 25 years, we’ve been making wine from the fallen gems of this grand old tree, always worried that this may be its last hurrah. Year after year, the extraordinary wine made from its fruit is consistently the finest apple wine we’ve ever tasted. The 2018 vintage is quietly fermenting in the carboy tucked deep into a cool corner of the dining room. And we hope for a 2021 harvest to bring us yet another exquisite, incomparable, and memorable wine from this venerable old friend.

Tasting Notes: A red-gold color (almost a blush in some years). An aroma of clean, fresh, country air and ripe red apple (no surprise there). The flavor is like biting into a Baldwin apple (another surprise!); spicy with notes of mulled cider; a pronounced taste of cream sherry (definitely a surprise!); dry, not sweet … demi-sec. The wine is a perfect complement to the deep, rich flavor of the fowl. Chicken and apples are made for each other!

Other Wines That Pair Well with Chicken and Dumplings: Gewurztraminer (Alsace), Chardonnay (California), Riesling (New York)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Apple Wine: Ham, Roast Pork, Cheese (soft and aged … actually pairs well with a whole bunch of cheeses)

View New England Apple Orchards

A Source: Local Apple Orchards

Miso Salmon … Paired with an Umbrian Chardonnay

Pairing: Miso Salmon Paired with a Falesco 2016 Tellus Chardonnay IGT (Umbria)

Food: We love to exchange recipes with our two grown sons. Unlike their Ma and Pa who live out in the woods of New Hampshire, they reside in large urban settings with access to a tremendous variety of cuisines and ingredients. And they love to cook! Asian dishes are high on their list of culinary adventures. This delicious and very simple Miso Salmon is a recent contribution from the younger son.

Miso, a traditional Japanese seasoning, is a thick paste made from fermented soybeans and the mold koji. Combine 2T of miso, 2T mirin, 1T sake (or sherry), 1T soy sauce, and 1tsp sesame oil. Brush the mixture on an 8 ounce salmon filet. Bake and keep brushing on more of the mixture while the salmon is cooking until done. The result should be a pretty and flavorful glaze. Asparagus and wild rice pilaf make nice accompaniments.

Wine: Unlike its neighbor to the west, Tuscany, which is famous for its world-class red wines, Umbria is a wine region best known for its white wines, most notably Trebbiano Tuscano (known as Procanico in Umbria) and Grechetto. There is, however, growing interest in planting vineyards of other white wines. Chardonnay is increasing in both production and stature, as a blend with Grechetto or as a single varietal. The Falesco winery, located in Montecchio just south of Orvieto, produces some very tasty Chardonnay.

Tasting Notes: A medium gold color. On the nose one can detect layers of honey, tropical fruits and clementines. You can taste quite a nice basket of flavors … peach, clementine, mango, and ripe cantaloupe. There is a light acidity and just a hint of honey that creates a very pleasant, very gentle sweetness to the wine that enhances the fruit profile. That hint of honey also complements well both the sweetness of the miso and the rich flavor of the salmon.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Miso Salmon: Sake, Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wines (e.g. Champagne, Cava, Franciacorta)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Chardonnay: Crab Cakes, Pan-Seared Scallops, Grilled Shrimp, Monkfish

View the Beautiful Umbria Wine Region: Umbria

A Source:  www. klwines.com