Monthly Archives: October 2011

Lemon Chicken Loves Unoaked Chardonnay

If you haven’t tried unoaked chardonnay before – shame on you.  It’s a whole new experience in Chardonnay. Chardonnay haters love it because it is not rich and buttery like its traditional relative.  Dedicated Chardonnay lovers still like it for its white peach and lemon flavors.  Red wine drinkers even enjoy it because its crisp and refreshing, like a tall glass of water.

If I haven’t sold you yet, let’s talk about how easy Unoaked Chardonnay is to pair with food.  It is a true white wine in that it does pair best with poultry. But, good news!  You don’t have to shy away from a little bit of fat like you would with a traditional Chardonnay.  Go ahead – leave the skin on and throw some butter into the mix – it can only help!

And my last piece of advice; if you’re looking for a satisfying, affordable Unoaked Chardonnay to try – go with CC Chardonnay: I Will Not Drink Bad Wine. It’s a great starter to bring you into the wonderful world of Unoaked Chardonnay.

2 chicken breasts, skin on
3 teaspoons light butter, softened
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 lemon, segmented
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons corn starch
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 medium head orange cauliflower (about 3 cups)
4 cloves garlic, grated
2 shallots, diced
¾ cup nonfat milk
1 teaspoon chives, minced
Salt/pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Mix 2 teaspoons light butter and rosemary together in small bowl.  Lift the skin of the chicken and gently rub the butter mixture between the skin and the breast. Lay the skin back down and generously salt and pepper the entire outside of the chicken breasts.

Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes in 500 degree oven to brown and crisp the skin. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and continue to cook, about another 5-7 minutes, depending on size.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add cauliflower. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes.  Drain.

In a separate medium pot, add remaining teaspoon of butter, shallots and garlic. Season with salt/pepper. Cook until soft and translucent. Add
cauliflower and milk.

In separate batches, puree mixture until smooth. If needed add more salt/pepper and milk until you get the consistency you like.

In a blender, add lemon segments, EVOO, honey, corn starch and paprika. Blend until smooth and frothy.

Top cauliflower puree with chicken, then with lemon sauce and chives. Eat up!


CC Chardonnay: I Will Not Drink Bad Wine

Bordeaux the new Napa? Napa the new Bordeaux?

It’s no secret that while Bordeaux’s temperatures have been rising, California has been struggling for sunny days. I hadn’t thought much of France’s weather conditions, since we have been so focused on Napa given our recent trip until the topic was brought up by Juelle Fisher, Fisher Vineyards, at a recent tasting we had with them. The discussion was that if France endured warmer temperatures similar to typical Napa weather, and vice versa would we experience a stylistic flip-flop in Cabernet from the two regions?

As most of us know, there is a lot that influences the style and flavor of a finished wine: land (most importantly), grapes/clones, viticulture, winemaking, climate, and weather. So would a change in weather conditions change a wine so much that it actually reflects another region all together? I would venture to say no, but it would make an impact. How interesting would it be to see a fully-ripe, higher alcoholic Bordeaux and a restrained, complex and earthly Napa Valley Cabernet? The French (and more likely British) would surely freak out but it is full to imagine.

Yes, the weather situations in both regions are going to present growers and winemakers with problems they have only read about. Each region will have a different approach and different technologies to correct those problems, but I do expect that the 2010 and 2011 vintages from both regions will be a unique spin on the typical styles that is sure to interest the curious wine consumer.

Wine Not? Spring Mountain, Napa

I’ve dug up a video from our trip out to Napa at our visit to Barnett Winery. Here we talk about the differences in vineyard management on a hilltop/mountain vineyard versus being down in the Valley. Some beautiful views on this one! And as a sidenote, we just brought in Barnett’s Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which can be found here and here!