It always amazes me how creative people are when it comes to cooking. Exploring the adventures others have with their cooking provides me with inspiration to think in new ways with my meal preparation.
This is just one of the reasons I love creating wine and dine posts. More importantly though, I love the opportunity to feature the amazing meals others are creating and expand upon their work by providing wine pairing ideas. And with that, I’ll cut my heartfelt commentary so we can get down to more important things, like food and wine!
Fall arrived with force this week in Seattle. I say this with no negative connotations. I say it with excitement because it means dishes like Cauliflower Potato and Leek Soup by Making Thyme For Health can be consumed with a smile. It is the perfect dish to beat the cold.
The flavor profile of this soup is wonderful, and the best part in my opinion? No dairy! As a household that must endure both members being lactose intolerant, any way that we can reduce our dairy intake is welcomed. The pureed veggies in this dish are a great way to create the creamy smooth texture that we miss so much when attempting to eliminate dairy from our meals. I will admit here, as you will see with many of our recipes, we cannot resist the temptation of dairy, but we sure make attempts, and dishes like this make it much easier to envision a dairy free life. An amazing recipe and one we look forward to continuing to make through the Fall and Winter.
The Wine Pairing Suggestion: Rotie Cellars Northern White ($28)
A few years ago we stopped at Rotie Cellars during release weekend in Walla Walla, WA. This was our first encounter with the wines of Sean Boyd. We have been huge fans ever since. Sean has an intriguing story on how he entered the world of wine. He had a non-traditional trajectory into starting his winery, but all of the necessary skills and knowledge to be an insanely amazing winemaker. He has quickly grown Rotie Cellars into a winery to be followed and one I can easily see attaining cult status in the near future.
Rotie Cellars is solely focused on wines of the Rhone. This includes some of the well known Rhone varietals such as Syrah, Grenache, and Viognier. It also includes some of the less known Rhone varietals including Marsanne and Rousanne. The Northern White is 100% Marsanne. It is characterized by flavors of stone, citrus and honey dew. A perfect fit for our Cauliflower Potato and Leek Soup. This wine’s price point may stretch beyond what you normally would spend on a white wine, but it is one of those instances where it is definitely worth it.
The Side Dish
With Thanksgiving just a week a way, featuring a Green Bean Casserole seemed like a natural thing to do. That, and when I saw the image of this recipe, I couldn’t resist showcasing it. Look at this recipe – it provides all of the steps for making the full casserole from scratch! No canned “cream of anything”, no pre-fried onions. This is legit. And that cream sauce. oh delicious cream sauce. This is exactly what I was talking about above where I find myself incapable of denying the consumption of cream.
How to Feed a Loon not only does a great job with their photography, they make what could have been an involved an overwhelming recipe easy to approach by breaking it down in to digestible (pun intended) steps.
I’m ready for Thanksgiving to arrive so I can throw this out on the table and hear the oohs and aahs.
The Wine Pairing Suggestion: Rotie Cellars Southern Blend ($40)
Let’s stick with the Rhone varietals for this dish, and take it one step further – let’s stick with Rotie Cellars. This time we’ll transition to the red varietals and swap from the Northern Rhone Style, to the Southern. So what does that get us?
Rotie Cellars 2012 Southern Blend is 65% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah. You’ve likely heard of these varietals before, but not likely in this order. Syrah is definitely the most well-known of the Rhone red varietals, but it takes a back seat here as supporting actor. This wine lets the Grenache do the heavy lifting, the Mourvedre make a major appearance and Syrah provide a solid base, but without taking the front seat.The outcome? Delicious red fruit notes with a strong presence of spice. You’re going to have a smile on your face after taking a bite of the casserole and taking a sip of this wine. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
The Main Course
Hold up. Scroll back up a tad and look at these Pulled Pork Sandwiches one more time. This is a Sunday afternoon dream meal. I mean, imagine it is half time during your favorite NFL team’s game and grabbing a plate of food with one of these Sandwiches on it… Euphoric doesn’t come close to how I would be feeling.
These Pulled Pork Sandwiches pack a powerful flavor combination. And that’s a good thing. I’ve been keeping an eye out for a dish like this that would be able to stand up to a Washington Zinfandel. It’s going to be a match made in heaven. So let’s get down to identifying the wine so you can cook up these delicious sandwiches, open the bottle and enjoy your Sunday afternoon in a state of bliss.
The Wine Pairing Suggestion: Two Vintners Stonetree Vineyard Zinfandel ($30)
Zinfandel is not seen on a regular basis in Washington State. Only a few areas of our state grow it properly, and even then, it takes a winemaker who knows what they are doing with it to produce something delicious. Luckily for us, Stonetree Vineyard does possess the right placement and conditions to grow Zinfandel well, and Morgan Lee of Two Vintners has proved his skill with producing delicious Zinfandel year after year.
This wine is going to be a perfect match for your Pulled Pork Sandwiches. The spice and jammy fruit you expect from a Zinfandel are abundantly present, while at the same time not being overly extracted to the point of feeling like you need to chew through the wine. Sunday afternoon can’t get here fast enough.