How does summer transition into fall where you live? In Dallas the heat of summer remains well into September. In fact it was almost October before our daytime highs dropped below 97° F. As a foodie I get a little jealous watching those of you in cooler climates begin preparing meals with squash, pumpkin, and fall spices such as sage. My time is coming but as of this dinner preparation it was not here yet. So today I offer you a truly outstanding wine paired with a light and delicious transition meal.
The Wine: Earlier this year I was blessed to receive my first wine sample shipment of Grgich Hills wines. As you know from their reputation and my previous articles, Grgich Hills crafts extraordinary wines. Mid-summer I received a bottle of their latest Fume Blanc. I had just reviewed several Sauvignon Blanc wines so I decided to hold this one for bit, which was not necessarily a mistake because the wine was going to blow my socks off whenever I decided to open it.
2014 Grgich Hills Estate Grown Dry Sauvignon Blanc – Fume Blanc, Napa Valley, USA: This wine poured a glistening golden yellow into the glass; fresh and bright aromas of citrus, tropical fruit notes of pineapple and papaya, fresh picked herbs, and crisp minerality fill the glass; the texture is creamy and smooth on the palate, almost like a Chardonnay but with a totally different flavor profile; long acidity coats the palate with a hint of marcona almonds, wrapped in a soft spice that lead to a zesty finish; this was a very high quality, stand out wine; though it was crafted of 100% Sauvignon Blanc it was unlike any other SB I have ever had; a true gem of a wine; I think the touch of oak treatment (80% 900 gallon French oak casks; 20% neutral French oak, with 6 months on lees in neutral oak) really add a depth of elegance and texture to this wine that is impressive; 14.1% ABV; SRP $31 direct from Grgich Hills; or click here to find near you.
The Food Pairing: When I received the latest edition of Cooking Light Magazine I was thrilled by the number of delicious recipes. There were many that were leaning more fall than the Texas temperatures; however, there were also quite a few transition recipes for those of us who are still experiencing summer temps. Typical Sauvignon Blancs pair well with poultry, seafood, shellfish, and vegetarian cuisines so I assumed the Grgich Hills Fume Blanc would pair with the same style of cuisine.
My Choice: The truth is for this food and wine pairing I chose the food before I chose the wine. I knew my family would enjoy the Lemon-Herb Risotto with Shrimp and Haricots Verts recipe. The recipe called for ¼ cup of dry white wine, like any good risotto recipe. In looking at the recipe I knew it would be a perfect pairing for the Grgich Hills Fume Blanc. Creamy risotto with Meyer lemon juice and zest, fennel, fresh thyme, haricot verts, and shrimp ~ all perfect pairings for traditional Sauvignon Blanc; not to suggest the Grgich Hills Fume Blanc was not traditional, it was just exceptional!
The Results: Blown Away! Not only did the wine blow me away; I had no idea the texture of the wine would be so creamy yet vibrantly crisp and acidity at the same time! Can you imagine a better pairing for risotto?! Seriously; WOW! This was an amazing food and wine pairing. Even my husband said it was too good for a weeknight. Additionally, I paired the wine the following night with a totally different meal that included beef/lamb patties on a bed of arugula, topped with homemade tiziki sauce, black figs, EVOO, and Balsamic vinegar. A completely different meal with different flavors, textures and weight. You know what? The wine still worked! Well done Grgich Hills; well done!
More about Grgich Hills from their web site:
“Every day do your best, learn something new, and make a friend.” -Miljenko “Mike” Grgich
Miljenko “Mike” Grgich first gained international recognition at the celebrated “Paris Tasting” of 1976. The Paris Tasting served notice to the world that the California wine industry was on the move, and it laid the groundwork for the creation of Grgich Hills Cellar. Today, we remain committed to making distinctive wines with quality, consistency and longevity. We treat each of our different wines as a special child, carefully nurturing their development and character. Our pride and joy is our Chardonnay, an elegant example of the varietal displaying rich flavors and exquisite balance. As a complement to the Chardonnay, we also produce a refreshingly crisp Fumé Blanc, a rich and spicy Zinfandel, a Cabernet Sauvignon with tremendous depth and complexity, a lush and richly fragrant Merlot, and a luscious dessert wine named “Violetta,” in honor of Mike’s daughter, Violet.
Committed to natural winegrowing and sustainability, we farm our five estate vineyards without artificial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, rely on wild yeast fermentation and use our passion and the art of winemaking to handcraft food-friendly, balanced and elegant wines. In keeping with our goal of sustainability, the winery switched to solar power in 2006. As Mike often says, “From our vineyard to your glass, naturally!”
To learn more about Grgich Hills Estate and view their entire portfolio of wine please visit their web site or revisit my articles Grgich Hills Estate: Crafting Iconic Wine and Grgich Hills Merlot: Sipping an Icon. The 2014 Fume Blanc was sent to me as a media sample, all gushing is my own.
My Song Selection: Elegance and sophistication is what the Grgich Hills 2014 Fume Blanc is all about. It made a typically average weeknight meal very special. I’m adding an additional layer of class with a little Count Basie and his Orchestra! It is not only great risotto stirring music but pairs great with the wine!
What is your latest food and wine pairing?
Get your own bottle of 2014 Grgich Hills Estate Grown Fume Blanc and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!