It is hard to imagine it is already spring. Where has the time gone? For some it has felt like spring for a while. Others are still waiting. Here in North Texas we are actually enjoying a moment of spring. Tulips and daffodils are blooming while the rest of the flowers are still preparing for the show. I meet each spring with hopes it will last for many months and the temperatures will warm up slowly. Some years I am rewarded for my optimism, other years the temperature soars into the 90°s (32°C) by April. No matter your current spring predicament Pedroncelli has three wines to help you welcome spring.
If spring still has you suffering through the cold, nothing warms you up from the inside like a hearty meal and a good bottle of red wine. Pedroncelli’s Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect wine to pair with spring temps that range from cold to warm enough for steaks on the grill.
2015 Pedroncelli Three Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley USA ($20): 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec; medium+ ruby, medium aromas of black cherry, black currant, black berry, black raspberry, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, violets, toast, licorice, vanilla; a smooth wine with medium tannins and medium+ acidity, lots of spice on the palate, structured with a medium+ body and medium finish; well over delivers for the price. Click here to buy this wine.
The Pedroncelli Dry Rosé of Zinfandel is another perfect transition wine for spring. This is not a white zinfandel. This wine is dry. Although it is a rosé, the Zinfandel gives it a bit of body to add to its crispness. It is a versatile food wine that can take you from salads and quiche to burgers and steaks. This is a wine to have on stock.
2015 Pedroncelli Dry Rosé of Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley USA ($17): medium fuchsia; medium aromas of Cherry Jolly Rancher, orange blossom, savory dried herbs, strawberry; dry with a hint of sweetness coming from the natural qualities of the Zinfandel grape, medium+ acid, crisp and refreshing, medium body and finish; a great food wine. Click here to buy this wine.
Last year was the first time I tasted the Pedroncelli Friends White Blend and I loved it. I was so excited to have received another media sample of it this year. This is THE WINE of spring! It is crisp and refreshing, a true crowd pleaser. It pairs great with a wide variety of foods and is a great base to a killer cocktail. What more could you ask. Buy a case, thank me later.
2017 Pedroncelli Friends White Wine Blend Sonoma County USA ($13): a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer; pale lemon-green; pronounced inviting aromas of lemon peel, lime zest, jasmine, ripe nectarines and apricots, pineapple, grassy notes; a kiss of sugar upon entry that quickly fades to mouthwatering high acidity, super refreshing; stands up beautifully to spicy cuisine or just to sip and enjoy. Click here to buy this wine.
The Food: If you have been paying attention you know each time Pedroncelli sends me wine they include a recipe for pairing with one or more of the wines. I typically follow the recipe, more or less. The Pedroncelli recipe suggestion was Chicken with Prunes and Chiles by Florence Fabricant of the New York Times. I simply could not wrap my palate around prunes and chiles. Therefore, this time I took the recipe as inspiration of a style they were suggesting but actually made a different recipe. In fact, I made two!
My Choice: I wanted to keep with the chicken and prune theme but wanted a different recipe. I was making this dish on a cold, rainy night while we were watching March Madness. Spring was 3 days away but it felt more like late fall or winter outside. Furthermore, I look for any excuse to use my Tagine. Therefore, I chose to make Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Prunes. But that’s not all. I also made a new favorite: Whole 30 Orange Chicken with Cauliflower Rice. And I had to make my favorite wine cocktail; the Friends. 75
The Results: Just as I hoped, each pairing worked beautifully. The Three Vineyards Cab had notes of warm baking spice that were an ideal accompaniment to the spices in the Chicken dish. Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and turmeric danced together across the tongue in a warm and satisfying meal. It was delicious!
I discovered the Orange Chicken in January and have already shared it once. It is so good, light, and easy. After I made it the first time I had been anticipating my kids return home for spring break to make it again for them. The devoured it and my son did not even realize the “rice” was actually cauliflower. I also knew it would pair beautifully with the Friends white blend and the Dry Rosé of Zinfandel. It is slightly sweet with a touch of red pepper heat; both wines worked well.
I made the Friends 75 the night I made the Tagine chicken. We sipped our cocktails while the chicken cooked, watching March Madness.
Two great meals, three great wines…what more could one ask! Happy Spring!