Pineapples, avocados, honey, and citrus.
What are four things when combined made up one of my recent dinners and wine selection?
A little play on the game show Jeopardy. Thing is that they all combined not out of purpose but by chance. Let me explain….
A recent sale on a fish called Petrale Sole started the whole thing as I decided that I wanted something a little lighter and still refreshing. The fish itself is nice but it was the sauces and accompaniment that made it stand out. First the sauces. I love sauces! They can do so much for a dish; brighten it, give it more depth, add a savory element so many things. I just so happened to make a very large portion of a simple avocado sauce. Nothing fancy mind you, avocados, garlic, cilantro, lemon and lime juice, some sriracha for heat and S&P. Whip that up in a blender and voila, avocado sauce. Now I also wanted a little sweet to offset that heat. Just so happens I had just bought some fresh pineapple slices. Once again, the pineapple, lime juice, a little brown sugar, rice vinegar (for a little more pop), garlic and red pepper flakes (I do like a little heat, too bad I live in Chicago). Blend that concoction as well.
A simple prep for the fish, salt and a great garlic peppercorn rub I was given and have used for many years, was all that was necessary for the fish. I had some rainbow (not sure if that’s what they’re called) carrots that I gave a quick roast to as well.
Carrots on the plate, fish as well and then a slathering of the two sauces. As I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m not artistic. So the picture of the food was done with as much of an artistic mind as I could muster. After the pictures where taken, there tended to be A LOT MORE sauce on the dish!
Before I actually started dinner, I did think a little about what I wanted to drink. Recently I’ve been drinking mostly reds, so I wanted to change things a bit and go with a white wine this time. Not so out of place given I’m having fish. I hadn’t even given any thought about using the wine I chose for a “Wine of the Week” segment as I knew it would be nice, but wasn’t sure since I hadn’t had the winery brand in a long time.
So I grab a
ZD Chardonnay California 2016
Interesting fact: ZD Wines come from the initials of the founding partners’ last names, Gino Zepponibut and Norman deLeuze. It also symbolizes the term “Zero Defects,” an acronym for the quality control program Gino and Norman worked under while designing rockets at AeroJet, a rocket propulsion manufacturer in Sacramento. Focusing on the areas of Sonoma and Napa, the winery makes wines predominately focusing on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
What was also very interesting, and totally unexpected, was just how well the wine would pair with the food. As I first opened the wine I could smell the fragrances of fresh pineapple and citrus. This followed along on the palate as, again, pineapple, citrus, and a slightly honeyed note filled my mouth. The distinct flavor of vanilla, from the American oak aging, also was present. Click here for the tech sheet.
In most cases, I will say that I’m a little bit more of a French Oak person when it comes to Chardonnay. The earthier more mineral aspects tend to be a better fit for food, BUT, in this case, everything was in harmony. I don’t think I could have found a better wine for the food, and it was just a coincidence that I put the two together. Even a visually impaired squirrel finds a nut once in a while. I used a politically correct term in that last sentence, although after checking, the term “blind” is okay to use, you can never be too cautious I say.
If you go out looking for the wine, 2016 might still be out there. Expect to pay $40 or maybe a little more. The winery is on the 2017 Vintage, but I don’t believe it has yet to be released to the general public outside the winery. They also have a Reserve Chardonnay that uses grapes from their Certified Organic Vineyards in Carneros. Some extra months in that America Oak tops the wine off in the $70 to $80 range.
For now, I’m keeping this one in mind the next time I’m using a pineapple sauce!