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Some Chicken Dishes More Fun if You Imagine Foghorn Leghorn Reacting to the Preparation, Bloggers Find

Posted by on April 8, 2013

Have either of us ever mentioned that Grape Envy Guy loves to gill?  We have?  Well, let me reiterate it again.  GEG loves to grill.  Because of that, whenever the weather allows some of our menu planning centers around what can be grilled.  This sometimes lead to some great meals, but the grilled/smoked flavors can be tricky when it comes to wine pairings (at least with white wines).  I have had some success with a few, however, so I thought I’d share two of these triumphs with you.

atwater riesling

First, I want to talk about what we paired with the bottle of Atwater Vineyards Riesling Bubble we picked up when we were in the Finger Lakes in July.  As soon as I tasted this wine, I wanted to pair it with fish tacos.  Sometimes one of us gets instant food pairing inspiration when we taste a wine.  We usually try these pairings out, but they don’t always work.  In this case, however, I was fairly pleased with the results.

GEG cobbled together a fish taco recipe from a few sources since we both have some very specific ideas about what should be included with them after years of living in the southwest.  He also made a nectarine salsa to go with them.  The fruit for the salsa could have been riper, and the taco recipe needs a bit more tweaking, but it was still a satisfying meal.

As for the wine, it offered lots of fruit on the nose, mostly white stone fruit, along with a light hint of yeast.  On the palate, apple and peach flavors dominated, and the lightly fizzy nature of the wine was just what I was looking for.  It was fun and refreshing, and the peach flavors in the wine worked really well with the fruit salsa we paired with the tacos.  Score 1 for me!

naked mountain chardonnay

Now, that first pairing probably doesn’t surprise you, but this second one might: beer can grill smoked chicken with the ’08 Naked Mountain Winery barrel fermented chardonnay.

So here was my thought process – I knew the bird would be a bit smoky given the cooking method.  I also knew the flavors wouldn’t really hold up to a red wine (and we’re also short on light reds in our house anyway).  Given that, I started thinking of chardonnays.  When I perused our inventory, and saw this bottle from our last visit to Naked Mountain, I thought I’d take a risk – and it worked! Score 2 for me. :-)

The wine offered crisp apple and some butter notes on the nose which was joined by some sweet vanilla on the palate.  It worked surprisingly well because there was a hint of smoke in the wine.  I love it when things work out – now if only it could happen more often.

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The Some Chicken Dishes More Fun if You Imagine Foghorn Leghorn Reacting to the Preparation, Bloggers Find by Swirl, Sip, Snark, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

9 Responses to Some Chicken Dishes More Fun if You Imagine Foghorn Leghorn Reacting to the Preparation, Bloggers Find

  1. ted marks

    thanks. love the Atwater riesling with fish too.

  2. VAWineDiva

    Thanks for visiting our site, Ted

  3. Ed

    Not a huge fan of Riesling or sparkling wines but I bet a nice Guner would work as well.

    If you visit Atwater, check out the Syrah. Really nice cool climate version most years I’ve had.


  4. VAWineDiva

    Next time we’re able to taste at Atwater, we’ll definitely try the syrah – as you know, we were pretty white-focused this summer. Thanks for the recommendation.

  5. Ed

    You’re welcome. We’ve become fans of cool climate Syrahs and there are several good ones in the area some years. I suspect the 2012s will turn out nice!

  6. VAWineDiva

    good to know…

  7. Jordan Harris

    Sorry if I offend some with a sweeter option :) but some off-dry Rieslings work beautifully with a lot of grilled foods like most fish, poultry and pork. Especially if it is from a place like the Mosel where there is often a smokey minerality that ties it all together. The sweetness balances the intensity, ripping acidity can cut through the oiliness or fats and it is refreshing anyway. I love me some Spatlese on hot summer days arouund the grill.

  8. Ed

    Exellent point. We’ve had some awesome semi-dry Rieslings from the Finger Lakes that were great with food.

  9. VAWineDiva

    Jordan – we don’t turn up our noses at a hint of the sweet. We’ve definitely found that it can work well with some of the foods we enjoy. As for wines from the Mosel, they’re something we need to look into, learn about, and taste. You’ve got me intrigued, however (and you had GEG at “grill”).

    Ed – we’re right with you on the Finger Lakes Rieslings. While I tend to gravitate towards the dry, acidic, mineral-heavy options, I’ve definitely come around to some off-dry options for some food pairings.

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