We have an annual spring tradition with our dear friends Cindy and Robert: Greek food and wine! Zorbas is a local Greek restaurant owned and operated by Pavalous Guiatas. Zorbas’ mission is simple: to serve authentic, home-style Greek food from family recipes. Eating at Zorbas is like dining at a friend’s house; the atmosphere is energetic because the restaurant is always full of happy patrons and a friendly staff.
Zorbas is BYOB; therefore, it is one of my favorite restaurants for wine and food pairings. Tonight’s wine selections are Ferrari Carano’s 2011 Chardonnay from Sonoma County and Michael David’s 2011 Petite Petit from Lodi; both perfectly paired with our meal.
Ferrari Carano 2011 Chardonnay: This is a quintessential California Chardonnay. It meets the nose with an array of apples, pears and citrus. On the palate those same flavors follow through with crisp green apples, pears, and citrus of lemons and limes. This full body chardonnay also hold flavors of vanilla, butter and oak making it a versatile wine that would pair well with chicken, seafood, quiche, salad and grilled artichokes.
The Ferrari Carano 2011 Chardonnay is the perfect pairing with Zorbas’ delicious hummus. The creaminess of the whipped garbanzo beans coupled with a hint of lemon and butter married beautifully with the flavors offered by the wine. We followed the hummus with one of our all-time favorites: The Avgolemono Soup that is made with creamy chicken and rice with a hint of lemon. Due to the lemon and butter creaminess of the soup we knew the Greek classic would be perfect with the chardonnay and we were right!
The 2011 vintage is comprised of 100% chardonnay grapes from Alexander Valley (80%), Russian River Valley (11%), Carneros (6%), and Dry Creek Valley (3%). The grapes are cold pressed for two days in stainless steel tanks then moved to barrels for fermentation. The wine is aged in 35% new French oak and 65% older French oak for 90% of its malolactic fermentation before it is sur lie aged and stirred every two weeks until blending. It contains 14.1% alcohol. This wine is widely available for $19.97 to $28 a bottle. Visit Ferrari Carano’s web site to learn more about them and see their portfolio of wine.
My Song Selection: My song pairing for Ferrari Carano 2011 Chardonnay is Blues Traveler’s Run Around. The harmonica’s melody and up tempo delivery feels fresh and approachable, while at the same time having depth in meaning. The chardonnay is also fresh and approachable; however, the fullness of the wine and soft undertones give it a complexity that moves beyond the first sip.
Michael David 2011 Petite Petit:I will tell you up front: I love this wine! “Like elephants whose size is imposing, Petite Petit is large!” It begins with the seductive dark purple color that hugs the glass. The bouquet bursts with dark fruits of blackberries, blueberries and black raspberries. On the palate this wine coats the inside of the mouth. The flavors of the berries explode, closely followed by a hint of sweet vanilla as well as black pepper and licorice.
The Michael David Petite Petit pairs perfectly with Zorbas’ Original Gryos Platter, comprised of Chicago style Gyros sliced off the rotisserie broiler, served with Greek rice, tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, onions and soft warm pita bread. The Petite Petit married well with the bold, pepper of the lamb. This wine is not a wilting flower; it will overwhelm food if not paired well. Twice I have had it with lamb and both times it was divine. I would also recommend buffalo burgers and Moroccan flavored beef dishes.
The Petite Petit is comprised of 85% Petite Syrah and 15% Petite Verdot. It is aged for 12 months in French Oak and contains 14.5% alcohol. The Petite Petit is not hard to find, most wine stores and grocery stores in my area sell it between $14.99-$19.99. Go to Michael David’s web site to learn more about them and see their portfolio of wine.
My Song Selection: The Song I have paired with Michael David’s 2011 Petite Petit is Led Zepplin’s Whole Lotta Love. Simply put, this song just brings it! From the beginning of the song to the end Zepplin holds nothing back; even as the instrumentation takes us into a trance, we know the ride is not over, Zepplin is just offering us a minute to catch our breath…then off we go again. Led Zepplin brings a Whole Lotta Love & Petite Petit brings a whole lotta red!
Get your own Ferrari Carano 2011 Chardonnay AND Michael David 2011Petite Petit and let me know what song you would pair with these two good wines! Cheers!