"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Light and Crisp Dinner Salad with a Refreshing French White Wine on a Hot Summer Night

Today was a hot day around the San Francisco Bay Area (80s in Oakland). So, I decided that today was a "no cooking" day, unless it was grilling.  Unfortunately, Patrick's allergies were killing him today. And, he is my grilling man. I didn't want to torture him by making him grill outside.  We decided to just do something simple - like a salad - for dinner.

While I was browsing the wine isle at Costco today, I noticed this French white wine that captured my attention.  It's the 2009 Guy Saget Vouvray Marie de Beauregard [http://pasternak-wines.simpleflame.com/pdfs/Marie%20de%20Beauregard%20Vouvray%20Chenin%20Blanc%202009%20product%20sheet.pdf].  This is a 100% Chenin Blanc wine.  

Chenin Blanc is a white wine grape varietal from Loire Valley, France [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chenin_blanc]. Because Patrick and I are both red wine drinkers for the most part, our challenge often is to find a white wine that we enjoy drinking on hot days like today, and that is versatile and goes with different kinds of food.  As I do with most wines (and foods), I like to try new white wines and see what I like and do not like.  So, I decided to try a bottle of this wine, which was about $12.00.  I figured it must be decent because it received a rating of 91 points by Wine Spectator [http://m.wine.com/catalog/details?productid=73443.]  

We both actually loved it.  This wine is a well-balanced, semi-dry white wine.  It has notes of honeysuckle, sweet dried fruits (like persimmons and peaches). It reminds me of a cross between Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.  It is rich like a Chardonnay, with a subtle taste of almond.  But, it has the perfect amount of acidity.  It has a mildly sweet honey taste, which makes it that much more delicious.  It has a smooth, long lasting finish on the palate, making it really enjoyable.  

While at Costco, I also decided to pick up a package of "Chinese Chicken Salad" kit.  That comes with roasted chicken, sliced almonds, wonton strips, crispy noodles, and sesame dressing.  Hey - didn't I say today was a "no cooking" day? You need those every once in a while.  Of course, I like to modify things and put my own spin on it. So, I decided to make my own "light" vinaigrette dressing with sweet Meyer lemons, olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, sesame seeds, and salt and pepper to taste.  I also put a handful of dried cranberries and seasoned the salad with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.  It was a delicious and light meal -- perfect for a hot evening.  And, paired with a glass of the Vouvray, it was a wonderful and refreshing meal.  We sat out on our patio for dinner.  There are two giant redwood trees next to our patio, which help bring a little bit of shade to the eastern side of our patio.  The trees also are home to these beautiful and melodic blue jays/blue birds.  So, it was enjoyable to hear the birds chirping and see them fly around us.  As the sun set, the cool evening air started coming in, and the night sky was as clear and crisp as can be.  It was one of those days that reminded me of how lucky and grateful we are to live in the Bay Area.

I hope you had an enjoyable and relaxing weekend with your family!

Until next time . . . Cheers! ZinAdel

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