Wine Pairings

Some of our favorite recipe pairings….very tasty.

Another great twist to a classic side dish..and perfect for these summer heatwaves we’ve been having! The tough part about this pairing is the zesty flavors. I love zesty, but zesty and wine often fight. However, a rounded California Zinfandel would be fruit forward enough to take on the challenge here.

Zesty Tortellini Salad



1 cup very thinly sliced red onions (or Vidalias)
2 (9-ounce) packages cheese tortellini, cooked and drained*
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 ounces Genoa salami, sliced into thin strips
1/3 cup good-quality red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 heaping tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Soak red onions in a small bowl of ice water for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

In a large bowl, combine the onions, cooked tortellini, bell pepper, and salami. Whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper; toss with pasta until combined. Taste and season with additional vinegar, salt, and pepper if necessary. Stir in chopped parsley just before serving.

This recipe can be made up to 2 days in advance. Add chopped parsley and a few more splashes of red wine vinegar and olive oil before serving, to taste.

I stumbled across this recipe and thought it would be a great one to have in the archives. This will come in handy for holidays, or for any of you who are true meat lovers! It seems that sometimes in cooking, simpler is better and clearly in prime rib, that is the case. With this, I have to go with a Napa Valley Merlot. Cabernet is good too, but Merlot is a bit more subtle and I like that idea.

Get the recipe here from Pioneer Woman.


Prime Rib

There’s nothing like a little ol’ fashioned comfort food. Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, has captured that perfectly in this recipe. I couldn’t help but crave a Syrah for this. But it needs to be a big, bold one to get through the fried exterior of the meat. YUM.

See how it’s done here.


Pan-Fried Pork Chops

Such a simple recipe, but it is SO good. I was drooling with a growling stomach as I was reading the recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Even though I am lactose intolerant, I had to make this. I found that a little less cream and a bit more olive oil works great. This is definitely a recipe that can be adjusted to personal preferences. Your wine for this has to be an unoaked Chardonnay…Australian would be my choice!


Spaghetti with Lemon and Olive Oil



1 pound spaghetti or linguine
3 lemons
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil , plus additional for serving
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup), plus additional for serving
Ground black pepper
Small handful fresh basil or arugula (what I used, deliciously, in a pinch) leaves, shredded


Cook linguine or spaghetti in well-salted water to your al dente tastes in a large, wide-bottomed pot. (You’ll have fewer dishes to wash if you use this pot to assemble the dish as well.)

While pasta is cooking, zest lemons until you have a little shy of a tablespoon of zest. Juice lemons — you’ll have anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon juice.

Drain pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups of pasta cooking water. Dry out your pot, then boil the olive oil, cream, zest and 1 cup of the reserved pasta water together for two minutes over high heat. Return pasta to pot and stir until coated. Add the cheese and 1/4 cup lemon juice and toss, toss, toss everything together. Add more pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, if you’d like your dish a little looser. Quickly taste a strand of pasta and see if you want to add the remaining lemon juice (we did). Stir in basil or arugula and season generously with salt and pepper

This is such a fun and creative dish. I absolutely loved this and couldn’t help but pair it with a Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc…Herbs to go with herbs.

Check out the recipe here from The Kitchn.

Zucchini Boats with Mozzarella and Olives


Yum. Delicious. Spectacular. There are so many good things to say about this recipe…everyone loved it. I used gnocchi as a substitute for the Orecchiette, but either would work well. With this, I was all over a Grenache or a Spanish Garnacha.

Thanks to Smitten Kitchen for this great recipe.

Orecchiette with Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula



2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 small shallots, finely chopped
1 pint mixed red and yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered
Cooked fresh orecchiette (approx. 2 cups dry but I did not measure)
2 cups fresh arugula, de-stemmed, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated parmesan reggiano


Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, adding garlic and shallots, sauteing until soft but not browned. Add chopped cherry tomatoes, cooking for just a few minutes, until they have softened but not lost completely lost their form. Add pasta, reheating it in the sauce and seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the arugula, stirring it until it has just wilted. Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan and, in our case, a glass of Cotes du Rhone.

Over the past few months, I’ve been trying to eat more chicken, so I’ve been looking for recipes that will add a little variety and flavor. Although this dish is simple, it packs lots of flavor. I went with a Sicilian Catarratto with this…light for the cream, yet lean for the mustard.

Let us know what you think, click here for the recipe or see below.

Roast Chicken with Dijon Sauce



3 pounds chicken parts (thighs, drumsticks, and/or breasts), with skin and bones
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup reduced-sodium or sodium-free chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives or the green parts of scallions


Preheat oven to 450°F with a rack in middle. Pat chicken dry and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat oil in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet (if you’ve got a cast iron skillet, it is great here) over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Working in 2 batches, brown chicken, skin side down first and turning once, about 5 minutes per batch. I like to take a lot of care in this step, not moving the chicken until the skin releases itself and has a nice bronze on it, which will provide the best flavor and seal in the most juices.

Return all chicken, skin side up, to skillet and roast in oven until just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter, then add shallots, wine, and broth to pan juices in skillet and boil, scraping up any brown bits, until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cream and boil until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. To thicken the sauce further, turn the heat to high and boil it until it reduces to a consistency you prefer.

Strain sauce through a sieve into a bowl, if you’re feeling fancy (I never am, but if you don’t, you might find some chicken bits scraped up from the pan in your sauce. We don’t mind.) Whisk in mustard, chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve chicken with sauce.

We all have had those moments when we’re invited to parties or BBQs and asked to bring a side dish. But doesn’t everyone get sick of the typical things: macaroni salad, fruit salad, green salad, and how about potato salad? Well here is a perfect recipe to throw a twist on a classic that will impress everyone. Try this lemon basil potato salad paired with a Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. This has hints of herbs and citrus that will match the lemon and basil combination in this.

A big thank you to “Pioneer Woman” Ree Drummond for this recipe.


Creamy Lemon Basil Potato Salad


  • 1 bag (24-28 Ounce) Small Potatoes
  • 2 whole Lemons, Juiced
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Prepared Pesto
  • 1/4 cup Pine Nuts
  • Small Basil Leaves

Preparation Instructions

Boil potatoes in lightly salted water until fork tender. Drain, cut in half, then place in a bowl.

Toast pine nuts in a skillet over low heat until just lightly golden. Remove from heat.

Mix together lemon juice, olive oil, mayonnaise, salt & pepper, and pesto until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as you’d like.

Pour half the dressing over the potatoes and toss to combine. Add more dressing to taste.

Cover and refrigerate the potato salad for a few hours. To serve, sprinkle lots of small basil leaves over the top.

There’s no question in my mind this will blow your mind. It’s the bomb. Can anyone get me a glass of Marsanne? Maybe a Roussanne? Please?

Here’s the recipe from Framed Cooks.

Lemon Chicken with Artichokes

I feel as though this recipe is a classic for many individuals. This particular recipe seems lighhearted enough. The lemon and white wine flavors will mesh well to create a great meal. However, being fried, I want to bring in enough acid in the wine pairing to support that and meld with the citrus tones. I’m thinking a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. There’s nice acid, good citrus…it’ll make this a knockout.

Gaby Dalkin, from “What’s Gaby Cooking”, brought us this great recipe…Check it out here.


Chicken Piccata

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