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:

Pasta with Chanterelles and Artichokes … Paired with an Okanagan Pinot Noir

Pairing: Linguini with Chanterelles and Artichokes Paired with a 2014 Quails’ Gate Okanagan Valley Pinot Noir

Food:  A few years back, I was doing some work with schools in Southern California. I found myself with a free Sunday and decided to take a drive into the hilly wine country east of Santa Barbara. I took a leisurely lunch at a charming little bistro set in a landscape of rolling vineyards stretching out in all directions. Their Special of the Day was this simple Linguini with Chanterelles and Artichokes served with a glass of locally sourced Pinot Noir. Mmmmm … delicious. Enjoyed it so much that I came up with my own version of it. Frozen artichokes (not canned) work best as preparing fresh ones is a bit time-consuming. Sauté the artichokes and mushrooms in some butter while the pasta cooks. Deglaze pan with some of the wine and a stock reduction. Toss in the almost cooked pasta with a little bit of the pasta water. And, a Pinot Noir is excellent with it.

Linguini with Chanterelles & ArtichokesJPG

Wine:  A first for me … first opportunity to sample a wine from the Okanagan Valley wine region of British Columbia. Wines from this region are becoming more and more available in the U.S. and elsewhere in Canada.The Okanagan Valley has become a significant wine producer in Canada, second only to the long-established Niagara wine region in Ontario. The Quails’ Gate Pinot Noir that we are drinking with today’s selected pasta meal is produced in the Kelowna sub-region of the Valley.

Quails' Gate Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes:  A pretty, medium garnet red. Aromas of cherry and black currant on the nose. A satiny tannin core draped with fresh bing cherry flavors … a classically light and elegant Pinot Noir. Nicely balances the delicate taste of the chanterelles and artichokes.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Chanterelles/ Artichoke Pasta:  Côte du Rhône (France), Rully (Burgundy), Saumur-Champigny (Loire), Pinot Noir (California), Pinotage (South Africa)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Pinot Noir: Salmon, Baked Ham, Dishes made with Bacon, Roast Chicken or Duck (among many other dishes)

Take in the Beautiful Viewsokanagan valley

A Source:  Prince Edward Island Liquor Agency Stores