Grilled Chicken … with a Chardonnay From a Napa Valley Legend

Pairing:  Wood Charcoal Grilled Chicken paired with a 2011 Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Chardonnay

Food:  Everyone has a favorite grilled chicken recipe they can’t wait to use as winter lets go and the weather starts getting warmer (and the black flies starting swarming!). For years, our go-to recipe for the marinade-basting sauce was composed of olive oil, ketchup, maple syrup, worcestershire sauce, and chili powder. Good stuff … great with a Zinfandel. A few years ago, however, our younger son turned us on to an entirely different take on grilled chicken with a recipe he invented from bits and pieces found on the internet and through his own experimentation. A chip off the old block!

He combines 2 minced cloves of garlic, 1 T chopped fresh ginger, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 2 T canola oil, 1 T honey, and 6 T fresh lime juice (3 limes). Mix thoroughly and marinate the pieces of chicken (about 3 and 1/2 pounds) for about 5 hrs in the mixture, turning occasionally. Grill over a wood charcoal fire for best results. Fantastic! Works really well with pork, too. Serve it with your favorite potato salad and coleslaw.

Grilled Chicken

Wine:  The Grgich name is legendary in the annals of California winemaking. Mijenko “Mike” Grgich crafted the Chardonnay that won “The Judgment of Paris“, the famous France vs California wine competition held in 1976. The results of this blind tasting done by an all-French panel of wine experts elevated the then little appreciated California wine industry to the world-class status it holds today. Grgich Hills continues this tradition of crafting fine wines with this exceptional 2011 Chardonnay from the Napa Valley.

Grgich Hills Chardonnay

Tasting Notes:  A pretty golden-colored wine with a slightly greenish tint. The sweet smell of ripe cantaloupe melon infused with honeysuckle nectar. One could be content just smelling this lovely wine, but do taste it. The combined flavors of ripe melon and peaches, with a “squirt” of lime juice. I kid you not! The lime notes of both the chicken and the wine all spin together into a marvelous dining experience. Outstanding!

Other Wines That Pair Well with This Grilled Chicken: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Sparkling Wine, Dry Riesling

Other Food That Pairs Well with Grgich Chardonnay:  Crab Dishes, Mushroom Risotto, Grilled Swordfish or Halibut or Salmon

Read About:  https://www.napavalley.com/blog/chardonnay-tasting-napa-valley/

A Source:  www.wine.com

 

Mom’s Tuna Casserole … Dressed Up with Fresh Ingredients and White Burgundy

Pairing:  Tuna Casserole (version 2.0) paired with a 2011 Jacques Bavard Saint-Romain

Food:  Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, I remember a staple of Friday night dinners was tuna casserole. Garrison Keillor’s stories are laced with anecdotes about bringing tuna casseroles to church suppers. The formula for making it usually consists of a can of concentrated Cream of Mushroom soup (Campbell’s of course), a couple of cans of tuna, a generous Tbs or 2 of Old Bay Seasoning, some form of cooked noodles or pasta, and a heavy dusting of fine bread crumbs and grated cheese. Assembled and baked at 400F until golden brown and bubbling on the edges. Still a fine, tasty and quick meal. (Version 2.0) takes it up a few notches and takes a little longer to prepare. Instead of the canned soup, make a simple béchamel sauce and combine it was sautéed, sliced fresh mushrooms. In place of the canned tuna, take a fresh tuna steak (about 6 oz.), cube it (1/2 in. cubes), pan sear the cubes, and mix it into the sauce with the Old Bay Seasoning and noodles. Same crumbs and parmesan cheese topping. Bake until golden and bubbly on edges. Viola!

Tuna Casserole

Wine:  It is fair to say that the word, Burgundy, is probably one of the most widely known wine terms in the world of wine. Yet, only the hearts of true oenophiles skip a beat when thoughts turn to Burgundy. This relatively small wine region in east-central France is where arguably the world’s finest, most exclusive wines are made (though vintners in Bordeaux may take exception to that claim). One often hears of the extraordinary (and expensive) wines of the Cote de Beaune sub-region of Burgundy where one finds some of the rarest and best white wines on the planet. These wines often have the word Montrachet as part of their name. However, there are some quiet backwaters tucked into the remote hills and valleys of this area that produce some very flavorful Chardonnays (all whites in Burgundy are Chardonnays) at very reasonable prices. Saint-Romain is one of these places.  A charming place we were lucky enough to stay in for a few days during our first visit to Burgundy.

Saint-Romain

Tasting Notes:  The bouquet of this pale gold wine is of apple blossoms, green apples and hints of citrus. On the palate one gets Granny Smith apples and honeysuckle. A very pleasant, drinkable white wine by itself or as an accompaniment to food. Flavors are a nice complement to the tuna, mushrooms and the mace and nutmeg added to the béchamel sauce. A real treat.

Other Food That Pairs Well with Saint Romain:  White Fish (Grilled, Roasted), Roast Chicken,  Oysters, Lobster, Trout

Other Wines That Pair Well with Tuna Casserole:  Unoaked Chardonnay, Beaujolais, Pinot Noir,  Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand or California), Dry Riesling (Australia)

Read About:  http://winefolly.com/review/white-burgundy-tasting-pairing-and-french-chardonnay/

A Source:  www.klwines.com

Something to Do with Leftover Lobster

Pairing: Lobster Aromatique and 2012 Marques Casa Concha Chardonnay

Food: I know … who ever heard of leftover lobster? Well, here is a dish and a wine pairing that is worth saving some of that cooked lobster from your summer cookout or clambake. It’s a recipe we found in an ancient copy of the Four Seasons Cookbook. Not sure if the famous Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City even still exists. But their recipe for Lobster Aromatique is simply astonishing. It calls for 2 cups of cooked lobster (for 2 servings), a cup of your favorite béchamel sauce, and the following seasonings: 2 T chopped shallots, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp each of mustard, paprika, cayenne, and curry powder, and 1 T each of lemon juice, minced chives and parsley. Lightly saute the shallots, add the chopped lobster and flame with 1/4 cup Pernod or brandy. Add all of the seasonings to the pan. Mix and add the béchamel sauce and reduce over low heat for 3-5 minutes. Serve warm. You may never again eat lobster any other way!

Lobster Aromique

Wine: 2012 Marques Casa Concha Chardonnay hails from the Llunaras de Camarico  Vineyard in the Limari Valley in Chile. This growing region is one of the northern most wine growing regions in Chile, 200 miles north of Santiago. A number of grapes are grown in the Valley, but Chardonnay is the star. And the 2o12 Marques Casa Concha received numerous accolades from several prominent reviewers highlighting the lovely flavor and the modest price.

Marques Chardonnay

Tasting:  The nose reveals aromas that reminds one of a Spring walk through an apple orchard with the trees in full bloom and white clover growing in the grass. On the palate one gets a mix of fresh apple, peach, pear, and honeysuckle, with hints of lemon. What a lovely wine and a great pairing for this elegant lobster dish. Enjoy!

Other Wine Pairings for the Lobster:  Viognier, White Burgundy, Sparkling Wine

Other Food Pairings for the Chardonnay:  Seafood or Chicken (grilled, roasted, or with a Cream Sauce)

Read More:  http://www.conchaytoro.com/descubre-vinos/fine-wine-collection/marques-de-casa-concha-chardonnay-en/

Sources:  Prince Edward Island Liquor Stores, www.wine.com