Sauv Blancs & Snacks

Warmer weather and longer days call for picnics, late nights on the porch, and time spent with friends. International Sauvignon Blanc Day was last week and we were inspired to pair some snacks and sauv blancs perfect for slow afternoons and breezy nights.

Wine and cheese go together like peanut butter and jelly. For our first snack and sauv blanc pairing, Sauvignon Blancs pair brilliantly withsofter cheeses—goat’s milk, yogurt, crème fraiche. Beloved Green's Radish and Crème Fraîche crostini are a simple, light snack that look lovely on a plate.

RADISH & CRÈME FRAICHE CROSTINIS & Reyneke Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blancs are often described as “herbaceous” or “vegetal” so it makes sense that they would pair nicely with vegetarian dishes. Try pairing the Sauv Blanc with dishes that allow a little more of the wine’s acidity to shine through. This green goddess hummus from Cookie and Kate is a flavorful twist on the classic snack. 

GREEN GODDESS HUMMUS & Cono Sur Bicicleta Sauvignon Blanc

In addition to vegetable dishes, Sauvignon Blanc is a nice match for white meats and seafood like prawns, tilapia, and more. This grilled shrimp with melon and pineapple salsa from Eating Well smells and tastes like summer.

GRILLED SHRIMP WITH MELON & PINEAPPLE SALSA & Mohua Sauvignon Blanc

Like we mentioned, Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with vegetables and pairs well with cheeses. No surprise, it pairs well with vegetable AND cheese dishes. These Asparagus and Goat Cheese Mini Quiches from Southern Living are wonderful for brunch (who says bloody marys and mimosas are the only brunch beverages?) and store well. 

ASPARAGUS & GOAT CHEESE MINI QUICHES & Domaine Delaporte Sancerre

Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most versatile white wines available. Perfect for the warmer weather, the variety of Sauvignon Blancs on the market-- Old World and New World-- mean you have plenty of options. 

Pink & Provençal

Like we've written about before, rosé has become a staple in wine racks and on wine lists across the world. One of the reasons it is so popular is its versatility. Rosé finds itself somewhere in the middle between red wine and white wine. 

Mark Oldman said it best
"To achieve rosé nirvana, follow my 'Rosé Rule of P': serve it with anyting pink–lobster, shrimp, ham, pork–or anything Provençal–such as bouillabaisse, salade Nicoise, or grilled sardines"

We've rounded up a few recipes for you- both pink and Provençal- and a few of our favorite rosés- also pink and (mostly) Provençal. 

Thai Chicken and Watermelon salad

Fresh red berry and orange pith aromas of the La Vieille Ferme Rosé pair nicely with the chicken and pucker salad dressing-- plus what's could be more summer than watermelon and rosé?
Photo: Food & Wine

Crisp Tomato, Zucchini, Eggplant and Bread Gratin

This August Kesseler Rosé made from Pinot Noir works well with the juicy tomatoes and late-summer vegetables of the gratin. 
Photo: Photo: Food & Wine

Strawberry, Balsamic, and Goat Cheese Salad

Another classic spring and summer combination- strawberries and rosé. This light, refreshing salad works is the perfect lunch with a glass of well-balanced, elegant Miraval
Photo: Sweet Paul Magazine

Salmon Niçoise Pasta Salad

A twist on the classic French Niçoise salad, this salmon Niçoise pasta salad would be perfect for a picnic with a bottle of Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rosé.
Photo: Coastal Living

Best-ever Chocolate Raspberry Brownies

Finally, who doesn't love a little bubbly? Try these chocolate raspberry brownies with this Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé from Domaine Michel Briday.

Eat, Drink, and be Malbec

Since Monday was Malbec World Day, keep the celebration going and try one of these tasty recipes with your favorite Malbec.  

 

One simple technique for pairing food and wine is to practice regional pairing. Having Italian food? Try an Italian wine. This certainly isn’t the only way to pair food and it’s not foolproof, but it’s a good template. 

Since Malbec has really flourished in Argentina and become the signature varietal for the country, what better recipe to start with than steak—an Argentinian staple. At peak beef consumption in 1956, Argentinians consumed 222 pounds of beef for every man, woman, and child.  Now Argentina hovers around roughly 120 pounds of beef per capita (compare that to US consumption rate of 79.3 lbs per capita and the fact only ten countries in the entire world consume 50+ lbs per capita).

SKIRT STEAK WITH CHIMICHURRI SAUCE

Photo: epicurious.com

Photo: epicurious.com

Continuing in our homage to beef-fanatic Argentina, GRIDDLED GAUCHO STEAK WITH BREAD-AND-BASIL SALAD is another excellent pairing with Malbec. 

Photo: foodandwine.com

Photo: foodandwine.com

Moving away a little bit from the idea of regional pairing (but sticking with the carnivore theme), try a quintessential American cheeseburger. The lush Malbec will really bring out the flavors of this FAKE SHACK BURGER.

Photo: smittenkitchen.com

Photo: smittenkitchen.com

While instinctually Malbec and meat go hand-in-hand, don’t be afraid to try a vegetable dish, like this SWEET POTATO, BLACK BEAN, SPINACH QUESADILLA

Photo: womensday.com

Photo: womensday.com

Finally, one more veggie recipe for those not so Argentinian in their meat consumption habits. This AUBERGINE STEW from Jamie Oliver is a great meat alternative.

Photo: jamieoliver.com

Photo: jamieoliver.com

Malbec World Day: Fast Facts on a Unique wine

  • April 17 is officially Malbec World Day!
     
  • Why April 17? On that day in 1853, with the support of Mendoza’s governor Pedro Pascual Segura, a bill was submitted to the Provincial Legislature for the foundation of a Quinta Normal and a School of Agriculture. The bill was enacted as law by the House of Representatives on September 6th, 1853.
  • Malbec has a history dating back hundreds of years. It was served at the wedding of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Henri II. Happen to have forgotten their anniversary? We have you covered. 1152 (over 800 years ago).
     
  • Was once known as "black wine"...for fairly obvious reasons. Malbec is one of the darkest wines you can find. TintoNegro literally means Black Wine.
TintoNegro 

TintoNegro 

  • While you might associate Malbec most closely with South America (and Argentina in particular), Malbec traces its origins back to France and was once the most widely planted grape in the country and found in many Bordeaux blends.
     
  • In 1870,  phylloxera destroyed vineyards in France and ruined the Malbec vines in Bordeaux. This same pest has never taken hold in Argentina. 
Cahors, France

Cahors, France

  • By the end of the 19th century, viticulture had boomed in Argentina (in part thanks to Italian and French immigrants) and so did Malbec, which adapted quickly to the varied terroirs of Argentina. 
     
  • Now Malbec only accounts for about 10,000 acres in Cahors and about 100,000 acres in Argentina. Malbec can also be found in countries throughout the world including the US and New Zealand, but Argentina has nearly 70% of all acres of Malbec in the world. 
Ernesto Catena

Ernesto Catena

  • Malbec vines are very sensitive to weather and pests (like phylloxera). They've thrived in high-altitude Argentina. 
     
  • Argentina is now the 5th largest wine producer in the world. 
MAAL

MAAL

  • Argentinian Malbecs are fruit-forward, plummy, and velvety with prominent new oak.
     
  • French Malbecs have more structure, firmer tannins, an inky dark quality, and are earthier. 
     
  • BOTH have essential Malbec flavors of blueberry, cherry, and plum.