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

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Gazpacho …Enjoyed with a Maori-Made New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

Pairing: Gazpacho Paired with a 2016 Tohu Sauvignon Blanc (Single Vineyard)

Food:  In his 1980 cookbook, Craig Claiborne’s Gourmet Diet, the author and late food writer for the New York Times, puts a low sodium, low cholesterol twist on the classic cold soup from Spain. Gazpacho is a perfect dish to help cool you off on a hot summer day. It can be chunky or smooth, with or without croutons, even sometimes containing a hard cooked egg. Claiborne’s recipe (created in partnership with his long-time collaborator, Pierre Franey) calls for a blend of raw, chopped tomatoes, onion, and cucumber, minced garlic, a little olive oil, black pepper, cayenne, red wine vinegar, and a base of unsalted tomato juice. Add some halved green grapes for an absolutely delicious flavor kick.

Gazpacho w: Sauvignon Blanc

Wine:  Tohu Wines is the world’s first Mãori-owned winery; the Mãori being the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. Though it is a commercial enterprise, Tohu winemaking is infused with Mãori culture and spiritual beliefs. The company comprises more than 4,000 owner-families in the northern region of the South Island of New Zealand. New Zealand is widely regarded for its Sauvignon Blanc, and this Marlborough wine region of South Island produces some of the very best in the world.

Tohu Sauvignon Blanc

Tasting Notes:  Pale gold color with some greenish tint. On the nose, the sensation is of clean, fresh mown grass; plus the smell of Charentais melon and a hint of green apple. The melon and apple carry over into the palate; lush and sweet combines nicely with clean and crisp. The finish follows with the lingering flavor of Granny Smiths. The pairing with the gazpacho is lovely … the clean, cool fruit of the wine balances beautifully with the spicy, pleasantly vinegary taste of the soup.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Gazpacho: Soave Classico (Italy), Riesling Kabinett (Germany), Pouilly-Fumé (France),  Fume Blanc (California)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Sauvignon Blanc: Goat Cheese, Fried Chicken, Oysters, Composed Salad

Maps and views of the Beautiful Marlborough NZ Wine Region:  marlborough new zealand wine region photos

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It’s Mardi Gras … time for a spicy, meaty Jambalaya paired with a cool,crisp SB

Pairing:  Jambalaya and 2013 Sea Fog Sauvignon Blanc from the Napa Valley

Food:  Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a really big deal … parades, floats, costumes, revelry … and food (and drink!) and lots (excess?) of it! This “Carnival” is celebrated in places throughout the world and held on the day before the start of the liturgical season Lent leading up to Easter. Lent is a time observed, in part, by fasting and denying oneself of favorite foods and beverages. So, Mardi Gras/ Carnival is a last chance to consume such favorites, including meat. Jambalaya is one of the most common food traditions during Mardi Gras. Basically it is rice and vegetables flavored with Cajun spices with one or more meats added to it, usually some combination of chicken, ham, andouille sausage, and shrimp. We use all four (gotta get that meat in before Lent!).


Wine:  When one is talking about the Napa Valley wine region just north of San Francisco Bay, the topic is usually the famed Cabernet Sauvignon. And rightfully so … the Cabs here are often the benchmark for the world’s most popular red wine. But, Napa is a great place for growing other wine grapes. Sauvignon Blanc is one of those varieties that often gets overlooked among the vast expanse of Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. Sea-Fog Sauvignon Blanc is made by The Grade Cellars in the Calistoga district in the northern part of Napa. Calistoga is noted for, among other things, its hot springs and spas.


Tasting Notes:  OK … imagine yourself on a breezy day in June, out by the clothesline with the dry sheets billowing in the breeze. Your nose presses up against the sheets as you take them down off the line … and a clean, fresh smell caresses your senses. Nearby, the honeysuckle is in full bloom and you get the lovely honey-scented fragrance of them on the breeze. That’s the best way to describe the nose of this utterly delightful golden yellow wine. The palate extends these clean, crisp qualities added to the gentle flavors of green melon and white flowers. These clean, fresh tastes are a perfect foil to the spicy Jambalaya. Wonderful pairing, but this wine is great, too, all by itself.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Jambalaya:  Pinot Grigio (Italy), Albarino (Spain), Sancerre (France), Chenin Blanc (South Africa)

Other Foods That Pair Well with Sauvignon Blanc:  Fried Chicken, Grilled Shellfish, Raw Oysters, Raw Tomatoes (to name just a few foods that go well with this food-friendly wine)

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Enchiladas and Sauvignon Blanc … Mexico Teams Up with New Zealand

Pairing: Creamy Enchiladas (Enchiladas Suizas) with Chicken, Tomatoes and Green Chile paired with 2014 Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc

Food: Our “go-to” source for Mexican cuisine is Rick Bayless. This recipe for enchiladas is from his cookbook, Mexico, One Plate at a Time. It calls for using shredded leftover roast chicken, but I’m sure any cooked chicken would work just fine. As  Bayless points out, these Enchiladas Suizas “… pay homage to a distant land where cream rules” (i.e., Switzerland). It’s a fairly involved sauce recipe which I won’t try to duplicate here. Suffice is to say, the recipe for the sauce makes a lot and freezes beautifully. The picture below shows leftover sauce from about 6 months ago made into fresh enchiladas. Once you have the sauce, the enchiladas are a snap. Here is a link to Bayless’s recipe for Enchiladas Suizas. It is well worth the effort. Positively delicious!


Wine:  Yes, I know … why wouldn’t you pair this meal with a nice Mexican beer?  It’d be perfect. But this blog is about finding a good pairing of wine with most any meal. And, believe me, the cool, crisp, fresh taste of this Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc will surprise you with how well it goes with the creamy, spicy enchiladas. This wine comes from the Marlborough region of New Zealand which is the northern most part of the South Island. It is the largest wine-growing region in the country, and though they make other wines there (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, etc), Sauvignon Blanc is king. It is often described as one of the best places in the world for growing this grape.  And the price … $10. Terrific!


Tasting:  Pale yellow in color. A delightful, clean, fresh smell on the nose, with clear notes of lemon and grapefruit. A crisp, clean lemon flavor continues on the palate and really works as a terrific complement to the spicy, rich flavors of the enchiladas. On the finish, one gets some grapefruit entering the profile. Very, very nice!

Other Wines That Pair Well with This Food: Gruner Veltliner, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Beaujolais.

Other Food That Pairs Well with This Wine:  Jambalaya, Fajitas, Fish Tacos, Taco Chips and Salsa.

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