WINE & FOOD
Everyone that has been here for a while has probably wondered where the "Corkscrew" part of my blog has fit in? I've had so many posts for Baking & Desserts lately, that the wine topic has taken a back seat. I should just split my blog into three sections, and I may do that at some point in time. But for now, I want to share a dinner that we had recently.
In an earlier post, I showed a photo of Marinated Grilled Salmon. I've had some inquiries as to how I prepared this delightfully moist and delicious fish. I have a confession to make. I cheated and used a package mix and then folded it up in a foil pouch! That's it! A very simple but elegant meal! So easy in fact, that you could whip it up during the week and have it on the table in no time flat. This menu is also elegant enough for company when paired with a great bottle of wine!
Amador County Viognier
John and I have been to California three times, two of which have been in the same area. Calaveros County and Amador County, both known for their exceptional Big Red Old Vine Zinfandels, hold a very special place in our hearts. We prefer bold reds over whites, especially from California, but there are some exceptional whites coming out of the Sierra Foothills as well.
Consider the Viognier, (pronounced Vee-on-yay), it pairs very well with spicy foods such as Thai and sushi and is also a perfect fit with grilled fish and chicken. We've had some real horrible Viognier in the past, but that doesn't scare us easily when it comes to wine. Some Viognier can come off a bit too sweet, which John likes, and I like it semi-dry. But once in a while you find that very special Viognier that is so balanced and luscious, it knocks your socks off and makes you scream inside!
Sobon Estate 2006 Amador County Viognier is made with organic grapes from their own vineyard. It's barrel fermented in French and American Oak. We bought a bottle to drink while we were staying in Murphys California, and sent another one home with 11 other brothers and sisters all nestled in their super-duper wine crate. I wish we sent home 6 bottles! It was a bittersweet moment as the last drop of wine fell from the bottle that night!
When I saw that the alcohol content was 14.4%, I knew this was going to be an awesome wine and precisely why we bought it! WOW! The aroma was complex and even though the notes said peach, I detected hints of apricot and flowers ~ couldn't tell you which ones, but it was pleasantly floral. It was rich and full ~ not like what I would expect from a thin, bland Viognier ~ and the finish lasted quite a while on the palate. It had a chardonnay mouthfeel, but it was intense and fruity. I knew I had chosen the right entree for this exciting wine!
- Sobon Estate 2006 Amador County Viognier, slightly chilled
- Tossed Organic Mesclun Salad with Sun Dried Tomato Dressing
- Toasted French Bread
- Marinated Grilled Salmon with Yellow Peppers, Sliced Onion and Red-ripe Tomatoes
- White Jasmine Rice
Sun Dried Tomato Dressing:
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 4 large sun dried tomatoes, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Place all ingredients except the parsley in a blender and pulse until you reach the desired texture.
Fold in chopped parsley.
Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Marinated Grilled Salmon
- 1 package McCormick Grill Mates Zesty Herb Marinade
- 3 Tablespoons oil
- 3 Tablespoons Vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/2 pounds Atlantic Salmon, skinned and filleted
- 1 large onion, sliced thick
- 1 large colored pepper, sliced
- 6-8 small tomatoes (not cherry tomatoes), halved
- Place the marinade ingredients into a large, quart size Ziploc bag and swish around to mix.
- Rinse the salmon and slide into the bag and seal. Turn the bag over a few times, making sure the marinade coats the fish on all sides.
- Let the salmon marinate in the bag, refrigerated, for 30-45 minutes.
- In the meantime, slice onion, peppers and tomatoes and set aside.
- Turn your outdoor grill on high heat and close the cover.
When the salmon is ready, slide it out onto a very large piece of heavy duty foil.
Arrange the vegetables on top of the salmon.
Fold up and seal the foil into a neat "package", crimping the sides up so that the marinade and juices don't leak out.
Place the foil pouch on the grill rack, close the cover and lower the heat to medium.
- Meanwhile, following directions on the package, put your jasmine rice on the stove to cook. White Jasmine rice normally takes 20 minutes after it comes to a boil.
- Grill the fish for 20-30 minutes. Depending on your grill, this may take more or less time. Check the fish once or twice during grilling, being careful not to burn yourself with the hot steam that will escape the pouch. The salmon will be done when it just starts to flake. DO NOT overcook. The salmon will continue to cook a few minutes longer inside the pouch.
That's it! If you time it right, you should be toasting your company with an excellent bottle of Sobon Estate Viognier with your salad and bread, while the fish is on the grill and the rice is in the pot. Better yet, have another bottle of wine waiting in the wine cooler to have with dinner.
Cleanup is a breeze as there are no fishy pans to wash, just throw away the foil and put the dishes in the dishwasher. All in all, a perfect pairing, if I do say so myself! And as Julia would say, "Bon Appetit!"
Sobon Estate 14430 Shenandoah Rd., Plymouth, California 209/245-6554