Grilled Vegetable & Sausage Pasta … Served with a French Syrah

Pairing: Grilled Vegetables and Sausage Paired with a 2012 Cornas “Les Chailles”

Food:  This is wonderful summertime fare. We make ours with dark green zucchini, yellow summer squash, yellow bell pepper, and red onion. Using multi-colored pasta adds even more color and fun. Season with salt and pepper and toss the vegetables with some olive oil before placing the mix into a grill pan over a hot fire. Keep an eye on it and stir or toss the vegetables frequently so you don’t accidentally blacken them (though we like a little woodsmoke and charcoal flavor … the operative words being “a little”).

Before hand you’ve grilled up some favorite sausage. We like the flavor of bratwurst sausage. After grilling them, slice them up and combine with the finished vegetables, the cooked pasta, some béchamel sauce, and grated parmesan cheese. What a treat to enjoy outdoors on a warm summer evening! And you can make as much as you want for friends, family … or leftovers.

Grilled Veg & Sausage

Wine:  When grilling is a focal point of a meal, we frequently reach for a Syrah, whether from Australia, California, France, or elsewhere. Cornas is an appellation and a village located in the northern Rhone Valley region in southern France. Les Chailles is the name given to the rich, flavorful Syrah grapes from combined named locales in Cornas.

Cornas Rhone Red

Tasting Notes: The nose: Imagine … walking into a leather shop in Florence, inhale deeply … catch that wonderful aroma of leather. Ahh … Then … sneak out the back door (no, you haven’t done anything illegal) and run into a bramble tangle of black fruits and blueberry. Inhale deeply … mmmm. The palate:  A positively beautiful integration of black fruit flavors and soft tannins. Interesting to note that one of us (my wife) tasted fresh fruit, while I tasted cooked fruit (like jam). The background hints of charcoal and parmesan cheese in the pasta play very well with this Syrah.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Grilled Vegetables and Sausage: GSM (Australia or California), Gigondas (France), Pinot Noir (New Zealand), Syrah (Washington)

Other Food That Pairs Well with French Syrah (Cornas): Roasted or Grilled Chicken, Duck, Beef, Lamb or Pork, Mushrooms, Grilled Tuna

View the Beautiful Cornas Wine Region:  Cornas Wine Region

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

 

 

Crab Cakes … Utter Perfection with Condrieu

Pairing: Crab Cakes … Paired with a 2015 E. Guigal Condrieu 

Food: The crab cakes of Northern New England are not like those of the Gulf Coast or the Chesapeake.  Our’s are made from Atlantic Rock Crab or Jonah Crab — two cold water species. Maryland crab cakes are made from blue crabs harvested from Chesapeake Bay while Gulf Coast crab cakes are made from blue crabs harvested (guess where) in the Gulf of Mexico. In Florida one might use Stone Crabs, while crab dishes served on the Pacific Coast might use Red Rock Crabs or Dungeness Crab. They all have their unique flavor and ingredients and flavorings indigenous to the particular region.

The tasty meat from these rock crabs from cold northern waters are not, as is too often done, to be smothered in mayonnaise and cracker crumbs and butter.  Rather, the picked over crab meat here should be handled gently and lightly combined with a little plain yogurt, Dijon mustard, minced onion, and fresh bread crumbs, formed into patties that just hold their shape. Done this way, the delicate flavor of the crab is retained.  Todd English’s book The Olives Table is the source of this and many other fine recipes from his Boston area restaurant. His crab cake recipe is by far our favorite.

 

Crab Cakes with Condrieu

Wine:  The northern part of the Rhone Wine Region in France is home to one of the most highly regarded red wines in the world, Syrah. Hermitage and Côte Rôtie are considered the finest expression of this grape. But we are here to talk about a white wine made in the northern Rhone region that could be, among the many wonderful whites from around the world we have tasted, our very favorite … Condrieu. Condrieu is made exclusively from viognier grapes ripened along a tiny stretch of the northern Rhone River. Many believe Condrieu to be the standard by which all viognier wines should be measured. Count us among those faithful.

Condrieu

Tasting Notes:  Beautiful straw-gold color. Fragrance (like a fine perfume) of mango and honey-suckle. There’s some lovely white flowers there, too. The rich flavor of mango joins vanilla cream and peach on the palate. My lord, this wine is absolutely amazing (!!), and a perfect complement to the crab cakes that have been graced with a dollop of aioli. This is a marvelous wine for a very special occasion.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Crab Cakes:  Riesling (Alsace), Chardonnay (California), Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), Cava (Spain)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Condrieu:  Lobster, Scallops (dredged in curry powder, seared quickly, then lightly covered in brown butter), Mushroom Risotto

Maps and Views of the Northern Rhone Wine Region:  northern rhone region

A Source:  www. klwines.com