Monthly Archives: September 2011

Wine Not? Warm Summer Days, Cool Summer Nights

What exactly does the phrase, “warm summer days, cool summer nights” mean? While we were in California, we experienced the coastal fog that can often bring some regions from an afternoon high of 85 to a nightly low of 55. But that wasn’t enough for us. We wanted to explore what elevation can also do to this severe temperature differential. What did we find? About a 15 degree difference from the coast and just 4 miles into the mountains and wilderness (even though we were 1,000 higher!) Plus it was an excuse to get a hike in. Disclaimer: I’m not in as good of shape as I use to be, hence the out-of-breathness at the top of the hike.

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Deconstructed Paella with Sauvignon Blanc

Here is a “cooking with wine” rule I hate – the only white wine you can cook with is a dry Chardonnay. Wrong! Cook with whatever wine you like to drink and build your recipe around it. My favorite white wine has always been Sauvignon Blanc and a favorite meal of mine is Paella – so let’s put them together. What’s stopping us? This paella has a “Jackie” twist to it with lots of smoked paprika and pineapple.

I love that the Murphy Goode ‘The Fume’ Sauvignon Blanc was predominately fermented in stainless steel to keep it crisp but then thrown into some French and American barrels to add the depth oak always brings. A perfect balance!

Ingredients
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, grated
1 cup jasmine rice
1 tablespoon tumeric
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 ½ quarts chicken stock
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 lb hot chorizo sausage
1 medium onion, diced
½ cup Murphy Goode Sauvignon Blanc
1 lb mussels; cleaned
1 lb shrimp; peeled, deveined and tails removed
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
1 tablespoon fresh chives, diced

Rice: Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to small pot. Add garlic, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add rice, turmeric, 1 tablespoon each smoked paprika and salt. Toast in pot for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 2 cups stock, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until rice is cooked.

Rice Cakes: Once rice has cooled, add egg and form 4 patties, 1 inch thick.  Pour panko into a shallow bowl. Press each rice cake into panko to create a crust. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to a non-stick pan over medium heat. Cook rice cakes until panko crust becomes golden brown and rice cakes heat through.

Stock: Add remaining olive oil to a large pot. Add chorizo, cook until brown.  Add onion and remaining garlic, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Cook until onion softens, 3-4 minutes. Add wine to deglaze pan.  Add remaining chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

Add mussels and shrimp, cover and continue to simmer until cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Just before serving add pineapple. To plate pour stock over rice cake and top with chives.

Murphy Goode ‘The Fume’ Sauvignon Blanc: http://www.decantedwines.com/sku01871.html

Wine Not? Wooden Valley, Napa

We’re continuing our travels throughout Napa County and while visiting one of our favorite vineyards (Hestan Meyer) yesterday, we found a little pocket that we never knew existed. Wooden Valley, although not a recognized AVA, is a unique microclimate housing a few vineyards that specialize in Cabernet (another one you might know is Altamura). The temperatures are much warmer (it was 95 vs. 85 yesterday) than Napa Valley itself. Take a look…