summer pairings

jun 2020

Summer bounty is perfect for my favorite kind of cooking. The produce is bright, colorful, and packed with flavor, requiring minimal intervention . For summertime recipes, I take the same approach I take to winemaking - let the ingredients speak for themselves.

To talk really simply about pairing there are two ways to go about it, matching flavors or contrasting them. In general I like to pair things that are similar, so maybe thinking about pairing based on the body of a wine and the heaviness of the food. Lite salads with light body, zesty wines or rich stews with medium-full bodied wines that have more cooked fruit or savory flavors. 


One of my favorite dinners I made this summer was what I called a spring roll salad which I paired with our 2019 Roussanne pet-nat. This salad had a lot going on with cold rice noodles, shaved cabbage, cucumbers, fresh herbs and a ginger-citrus dressing. The Roussanne that year had a lot of tropical fruit and citrus flavors that paired perfectly with this bright, aromatic salad. Perfect for those sweltering evenings when the last thing you want to do is go anywhere near a stove.

Green bean salad was another hit with my family, and a lifesaver when you have too many beans to handle. The salad comes together in minutes and is a great as a main course or a rockstar side dish at the barbecue. However you have been warned: it must (repeat MUST) be consumed with the 2019 Grüner Veltliner. Non-negotiable.

Spring Roll Salad

Rinse the green beans well and then pick the stem ends off. Quickly blanch them in salted water for 1-2 minutes and then shock them in cold water. Set them to drain for a few minutes while making the dressing.

¼ cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2 Tablespoons wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 small shallot finely minced
1 tsp stone ground mustard (or dijon mustard)
1 tablespoon raw honey (or other unrefined sugar)
1 healthy handful fresh tarragon leaves, picked and roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients with a whisk or in a blender if you like. Toss the beans in the dressing and serve or allow them to marinate for an hour or two before serving cold.

Green Bean Salad

Rinse the green beans well and then pick the stem ends off. Quickly blanch them in salted water for 1-2 minutes and then shock them in cold water. Set them to drain for a few minutes while making the dressing.

¼ cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2 Tablespoons wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 small shallot finely minced
1 tsp stone ground mustard (or dijon mustard)
1 tablespoon raw honey (or other unrefined sugar)
1 healthy handful fresh tarragon leaves, picked and roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients with a whisk or in a blender if you like. Toss the beans in the dressing and serve or allow them to marinate for an hour or two before serving cold.

pairing, recipe