2 oz Pours: Warm Weather Vibes

Apologies for going radio silent for a bit there. All good things though! I started working part time at the excellent and highly respected Bay Grapea fantastic little wine store and community space in Oakland. Everyone on staff is really knowledgeable and very friendly. The spot has the perfect combo of wine geekery and chill vibes. (You can read more about it here.) Things got busy as I settled into a new schedule, but I’m sure it’s only going to lead to more fabulous wine discoveries.

But now back to wine pairings! With Memorial Day right around the corner, I’m going to dedicate today’s post to some warm weather sips.

Way back in August of last year, I had the chance to go on a press trip to Napa to learn about all the wonderful work being done by Napa Green–a comprehensive environmental certification program focusing on environmental stewardship and holistic management practices. It was also a great chance to sample some beautiful wines alongside some fantastic dishes. A lot of these feasts fell into the camp of warm weather fare, which is happily more and more apropos again.  I thought I’d look back at a couple of pairings.

First up was the Phifer Pavitt Date Night Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2013 paired with a crab salad with melon gazpacho, cherry tomatoes, and shiso. I don’t like melons. Of course the dish was beautifully prepared, but it doesn’t change the fact I don’t really like melons. This stood out to me because the pairing really made a dish that I might have been biased against very enjoyable and the combination was delicious. The wine was fresh and citrusy, but also had rounder stone fruit  and tropical pineapples notes which matched the textures and flavors in the dish beautifully.

Another wonderful tasting memory from this trip was the lovely Rosé of Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 2015 by Long Meadow Ranch sampled at their Farmstead restaurant (which was fantastic!) alongside a platter of warm burrata with whole roasted garlic, estate olive oil and grilled bread. There’s something so beautiful about the simple, refreshing pleasure of a good rosé. The wine and the food worked wonderfully together and kind of made me feel like I was in the south of France–and a summer in evening in the Napa Valley is pretty spectacular in it’s own right.

 I didn't get a picture, but this was paired with the Long Meadow Ranch Rosé of Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 2015.

Now that we’ve been given the gift of (mostly) warm sunny days again, I decided to channel the feeling I got while sipping that rosé in Napa and bring Provence home to me. I put together a beautiful, simple dinner of chicken and roasted veggies and served it with a homemade aioli–which is très Provençal. (Picture up top.) I used this quickie recipe from SeriousEats.com, which made aioli 100% doable on a weeknight. Bonus–I then I had lovely aioli to use on lots of other dishes for the next couple of weeks.

I paired it with a VieVité Cotes de Provence Rosé 2016. Full disclosure, VieVité  sent me this bottle as a sample, but I’ve been familiar with and enjoying their wines for a few years now. The wine had notes of fresh strawberries and watermelon rind, white flowers and fresh herbs, with hint of stone fruit giving a rounded softness to the mouthfeel, and a little bit of saline on the finish. Altogether, I felt transported to St. Tropez for the evening–we were only missing the sea breezes.

Consider this our version of Page 6.  Whether through business, friends, or an average night at home, we get to try a lot of wine. Here, we’ll share little tastes of standout pairing experiences from the many tables we dine at. 

 Have you encountered a magical match at a recent meal? Send them our way and we’ll share them here.



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