We have to admit we were getting a little punchy. Not from the wine, mind you--of course not--but from all of the sensual descriptors of the wines we were tasting and the rather raucous ideas we were developing about food pairing. It all happened during our return visit to the Boekenoogen Winery Tasting Room.
Here are some of the wines we tasted, some of the pairings that the winemaker suggested and the creative, bordering on wacky, thoughts that ventured forth from us...
~The 2008 "Stainless Fermented/Barrel Aged" Chardonnay was bright, fruity, and very easy drinking. The pairing suggestion was to serve this with crab cakes or lightly seasoned pork tenderloin.
~The 2008 "Barrel Fermented" Chardonnay was suggested as a match for bleu cheese or salmon sautéed with lemon and capers. We could see either with this nicely balanced wine.
~The 2009 Santa Lucia Highlands Estate Chardonnay,
a new release was citrusy and green appley and had, according to the wine's description, "a long sensational finish." Okay. Now we're talking.
~The 2010 Bell Ranch Vineyard Estate Viognier was a fun, crisp, sweet-nosed white which "begs for Asian and seafood pairings, especially shell fish."
Now we were really getting inspired and wanted to explore some pairings of our own.
~The 2008 Santa Lucia Highlands Estate Pinot Noir Dijon/Pommard Clone Blend was our "Pick of the Day"--light and versatile with everything from "cheese to duck," as our server suggested. Oddly enough, MK could see it drizzled over a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We'll try it soon and get back to you on that.
~Finally, the 2009 Santa Lucia Highlands Estate Syrah, another new release, was suggested as a good accompaniment to rosemary lamb or chicken with sun dried tomatoes and pesto. Since it had slight hints of smoky bacon--really--we thought this could be part of a "Breakfast of Champions," a late breakfast, of course.
Can you tell we enjoyed ourselves at this friendly wine venue? Candace, our server, was a delight, very knowledgeable and we really liked the variety and quality of the wines. Can you also tell we're thankful that there are professionals handling the food/wine pairings?
If you'd like to learn more about Boekenoogen wines and their Carmel Valley wine tasting room open daily from 11-5 (their patio is great for those warm weather days) check out their website at http://www.boekenoogenwines.com/. Let us know what creative pairings you come up with. And we'll let you know how our pairings fare.