Thursday, June 28, 2012

Avocado, Zucchini and Roasted Corn Gazpacho and Spicy Garlic Foam Paired with 2010 Benziger Family Winery Sonoma Coast Wente Clone Chardonnay

There are few things more refreshing on a hot summer day than gazpacho.  And if you are trying to get back into "beach" shape or just eat healthy, it does not get much better than Gazpacho.  Neither of these are motivators for me - I just love the flavor and the feeling of being satisfied that I don't normally have following a bowl of soup.

Gazpacho is rooted in the Southern Spanish region of Andalucia and is traditionally tomato based.  The history of gazpacho in Spain goes back (in theory) to dishes introduced by the unwelcome visits of the Moors and/or the Romans that were adapted to local tastes to form what we know as traditional Gazpacho.  Since these times, creative cooks have introduced a number of variations that resemble gazpacho only from a fundamental perspective - a rustic and substantial cold soup made from uncooked vegetables.  With this long history of adaptation, gazpacho can rightfully or wrongly include any vegetable you can imagine.  Our adaptation (prepared by Chef Sue) takes full license to adapt - and is well worth it!

The principal flavors of this dish come from the creamy goodness of the avocados, texture and sweetness from the corn, added texture and mild flavor of the zucchini, and a touch of piquance from jalapeno.  To this, Chef Sue added a spicy garlic and cayenne foam.  To accompany our gazpacho, Chef Sue made grilled cheese sandwiches layered with goat cheese, gouda, and swiss with zucchini, pepper, and cucumbers mounted between fresh rye bread.  Ah, grilled cheese - a completely distinct discussion for another day.

With the spicy components of this dish, I would not normally choose a chardonnay - particularly one with notable oak, butter, or vanilla flavors that would likely clash with the spicy components.  However, the 2010 Benziger Family Winery Sonoma Coast Wente Clone Chardonnay acts more like a Sauvignon Blanc with crisp acidity, peach, pear, and pineapple flavors, and barely noticeable oak influence although the wine is oak barrel aged for eight months.  This is a truly refreshing Chardonnay that complements the cool refreshing flavors of the gazpacho.  Unlike many wine pairings, we left this meal feeling invigorated - not a common experience.

Based on this experience, and my opinion of the 2010 Benziger Family Winery Sonoma Coast Wente Clone Chardonnay behaving more like a Sauvignon Blanc, I would alternatively recommend a crisp, fruit forward Suavignon Blanc as a good choice.


Avocado, Zucchni, and Corn Gazpacho


  • 2 zucchini, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn, grilled, or oven roasted in the oven with husks on.  Finish under the broiler to add a light char.
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 5 cups cold water
  • season to taste with salt and pepper


  1. Put the zucchini, yellow onion, bell pepper, onion, jalapeno and garlic in bowl of food processor and pulse until the pieces are well chopped and short of being minced or pureed. 
  2. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a large bowl. 
  3. Put 2 avocados in the food processor and pulse to puree while adding 3 cups of water.
  4. Dice the remaining 2 avocados and add to the bowl of vegetables.
  5. Add the avocado puree, fresh grilled corn, cilantro, lime juice, 2 cups of water, and season to taste after gently mixing with a large spoon.
  6. Cover and refrigerate until cold. 
  7. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with cayenne and garlic foam and cilantro garnish.

Cayenne and Garlic Foam


  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 2 cloves diced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 handful of cilantro chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon cream cheese


  1. Add all ingredients to a sauce pan and bring to boil.  
  2. Remove from heat and let cool.  
  3. Strain and pour into a culinary foamer.   Refrigerate for one hour.  If you do not have a culinary foamer, chill, add 1 tablespoon of lecithin granules and create foam with an immersion blender.  Serve over gazpacho.

In vino veritas, buen provecho.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Spicy Chocolate Covered Pork Belly Paired with 2009 Delaplane Cellars Virginia Tannat

This weekend I hosted a birthday party for Chef Sue.  For months I tried to decide how to handle this event - surprise party, rent space at a restaurant, or any of a half dozen other options.  I eventually settled on the idea of inviting a group of good friends to our home and use our wine tasting group formula.  It worked perfectly and we all had a wonderful time.

The format for the evening involved each couple bringing a bottle of white and red wines along with an hors d'oeuvre paired with one of the wines.  With nearly 30 people in attendance, we were treated to some great wine and creative food.

For my part, I made a spicy chocolate covered pork belly and paired it with a 2009 Delaplane Cellars Virginia Tannat.  I started with the idea of chocolate covered bacon, then thought "where can I go with this?"  It didn't take long to substitute pork belly for bacon, and add some cayenne pepper to bring a balance of creamy pork fat, the mild sweetness of dark chocolate, and the piquance of the cayenne pepper.

I started by heating oil in a dutch oven until just before smoking.  I seasoned the pork belly and seared on all sides.  I then added enough chianti and a diced onion to just cover the pork belly and put in the oven to braise for 2 hours at 300 degrees F.  When complete, I cut it into 3/4 inch cubes, cut off the skin, and skewered the cubes with tooth picks.  After allowing to cool for 1 hour, I prepared the chocolate by putting a steel bowl over a pot of boiling water, added 86% cacao dark chocolate, 1 tablespoon of butter and gradually added cayenne pepper while whisking until I arrived at the level of spicy heat I had in mind.  I'm guessing it was about 1 tablespoon.  The cubed and skewered pork belly was then dipped in the chocolate, placed on a piece of parchment then off to the fridge to set the chocolate.  This is best served at room temperature, so remove from the fridge about an hour before serving.

I chose the 2009 Delaplane Cellars Virginia Tannat because it is a big full bodied rich wine with strong tannins and wonderful dark berry flavors accompanied by a wisp of oak.  My mental picture of the wine matched perfectly with my pork belly creation - big, flavorful, chewy and dark.  We were rewarded with a wonderful pairing.  The berry flavors and tannins played magically with the deep rich chocolate and sweet pork belly while the cayenne added a fun overlay of flavor.

Sorry for the photography - with an event for nearly 30 people, I was not in a position to set up my typical lighting rig and camera gear.  Instead, we have to make due with a shot from my iPhone.

Happy Birthday Chef Sue.  You survived another year!  And thanks to everyone who shared in the celebration.

In vino veritas, buen provecho.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Taking Liberties with Stuffed Cabbage Paired with 2010 Crios Mendoza Argentina Rosé of Malbec

One of the great pleasures of cooking is transforming the familiar to something new and (hopefully) excitingly delicious.  I am presently in the midst of a little bender in this regard.  A couple of weeks ago I had a long conversation with my mother that focused on some of the favorite foods of my childhood.  She followed up the conversation by sending me a dozen recipe cards for some of my favorites.  To set the stage a bit, I came from a small farm town in Michigan that was defined by lower middle class, equally divided between those working the fields, and the factory lines in nearby Grand Rapids.

My culinary exposure growing up under these circumstances was limited at best.  Compounding these circumstantial limitations is what I would classify as a challenged culinary tradition.  Before I get all the hate mail from Michigan, please know that my comments are a result of MY experience...I hope yours was better.  Around the U.S., you can go to many regions and expect to be treated with unique and enjoyable local cuisine.  I never had that sense of local tradition in Michigan.  Most dishes of interest resulted from less than remarkable poor immigrant food from the many Dutch, Germans, and Polish.  Unfortunately, my experience told me that many of these traditional foods were either lost or diluted over time.

One of the remarkable gastronomic pleasures in Michigan comes from the abundance of freshwater fish and game.  Trout, salmon, pheasant, wild turkey, venison, etc.. Each of these went under appreciated in my youth.  A shame I try to rectify whenever possible.  One particularly weighty memory from my youth was the smelt run.  In the spring, as the streams and rivers feeding the great lakes warm, the smelt begin their voyage.  At this point in their maturity, they are just several inches long and are caught with nets - otherwise known as "smelt dipping."  This process of netting smelt resulted in drums of fish being brought home and divided among the extended family.  A full day would be devoted to cleaning smelt with the reward of fresh smelt pan fried in butter waiting at the end of our labors.  A fond memory.

Back to stuffed cabbage.  Stuffed cabbage was a common guest at our table that continued when I was eventually married...completely different execution, but the same premise.  Just days ago, Chef Sue and I were out running errands and began to talk about dinner plans.  Stuffed cabbage had been on my mind since the conversation with my mother and I offered it as an option.  We quickly settled on stuffed cabbage but were in agreement with the idea of reinterpreting.

Stuffed cabbage rolls, otherwise known as galumpkis or Gołąbki (Polish), are traditionally served casserole style with a stuffing of ground beef (and/or pork) with a tomato sauce.  Our first modification was to substitute diced NY strip steak (because it was a leftover from a recent grilling extravaganza).  Next we decided to put the tomato sauce inside the cabbage rolls in the form of diced tomato.  The next modification was born from our experience of roti in Trinidad; we used curry for the seasoning of the stuffing along with some diced jalapeño pepper.  Finally the greatest herresy - we dipped the cabbage rolls in flour, applied an egg wash, then bathed them in a mixture of panko and corn meal which was finished off in a jacuzzi of heated oil.  The result was a spectacular melding that one might expect from a Polish-Trini - something I'm not sure that actually exists.  Regardless it was tasty.

While conceiving of this, my mind went directly to "what wine will work?"  As is the difficult case of pairing any spicy concoction, I quickly thought of wines with strong acidity and mild sweetness.  Our chosen day for this preparation was also a hot one, further reinforcing my thoughts of citris acidity and slightly off dry.  I have recently been intrigued by a class of wine for which I have little experience - Rosé.  Over the years, I have not had much interest for Rosé because it reminded my of the wine drinkers gateway drug - mass produced boxed White Zinfandel.  This was only reinforced when I was talking to a winemaker who shared his secrets of Rosé in a moment of weakness.  "Rosé is money!  It is a byproduct of producing my other wines - I used to pour it down the drain.  Now I bottle it, and it is pure profit."  In fact, this is one of the three methods of producing Rosé and is called Saignée.  The other two methods involve reduced skin contact (just a few days) to impart color when Rosé is the primary product, or the less common blending of red and white wine.

In my attempt to eliminate, or at least diminish, my bias against Rosé I decided to forge ahead with a pink pairing.  Wandering the rows of wine I found a bottle that caught my eye.  The 2010 Crios Mendoza Argentina Rosé of Malbec.  I was attracted to this wine for a couple of reasons.  First, just days before I had sampled the 2010 Crios Argentina Torrontes which was fantastic.  Second I was interested in a Rosé made from Malbec.

I was not disappointed with the 2010 Crios Argentina Rosé of Malbec.  This wine has more structure than I am accustomed to with Rosés (which I like), bright fruit flavors with strawberry most prominent, great acidity, and a nicely restrained touch of sweetness.  And best of all, it paired perfectly with the stuffed cabbage.  The acidity and fruit balanced the piquance and curry in the stuffing and mango chutney.  In combination, the experience greater than the sum of its parts.


Spicy Mango Chutney


  • Juice from two oranges
  • 2 mangos diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • water
  1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat adding enough water to cover the diced mango.
  2. Stir occasionally and reduce until thickened.
Stuffed Cabbage

  • Approximately 1 pound leftover grilled steak - or substitute any meat you care to - diced.
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups panko
  • 1 1/2 cups corn meal
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Prepare rice as you normally would.  Add the curry powder to the rice while boiling.
  2. Sautée the onions and garlic until onions are translucent.
  3. Combine rice, meat, sautéed onions, and tomato.  Mix well.
  4. Microwave cabbage (whole) for five minutes.  Peal away leaves that have cooked and encase t tablespoons of the stuffing mixture.  Repeat microwaving procedure until the stuffing is exhausted.
  5. Combine the cream and eggs in a bowl and mix to form an egg wash.
  6. Combine the panko and cornmeal in a shallow bowl or plate.
  7. Preheat vegetable oil in a fryer, large sauce pan, or as in our case - a fondue pot to 375 degrees F.
  8. Roll the stuffed cabbage in the flour, then dip in the egg wash, and finally roll in the panko-cornmeal mixture.
  9. Fry the stuffed cabbage until golden brown.
  10. Serve with the spicy mango chutney on the side.
In vino veritas, buen provecho.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sea Scallops Poached in Citrus and White Wine with a Spicy Grapefruit Reduction Paired with 2010 Hawk Haven New Jersey Pinot Grigio

After spending New Year's Eve with Friends Don and Beth in Cape May New Jersey, we set out on the first day of 2012 to visit several wineries in the Cape May area.  Among our stops, I was introduced to a true gem at Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery. Todd and Kenna, owners of Hawk Haven Vineyard do several things exceptionally well - they produce wonderful food friendly wine, they run a warm and welcoming tasting room where they do an exceptional job of describing the wine and their philosophy behind each wine, and they are really nice people.

Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery is young having produced their first vintage in 2007.  I find the quality of their wines quite amazing given the short time they have been producing.  The food friendly approach to their wines is of particularl interest to me.  For me, this means healthy acidity, a restrained approach which allows the fruit do the talking, and avoiding heavy handed approaches with oak and alcohol.  In other words, their wines are well balanced and begging for a great meal.

When I first tasted the 2010 Pinot Grigio from Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery, I was immediately impressed with the beautiful floral aroma and stone fruit flavors mingling with hints of lemon in perfect balance with healthy acidity.  The acidity was a component of the wine I tucked away in my memory banks with the thought that this wine could standup to a number of bold dishes.  When conceiving my preparation of citrus and white wine poached sea scallops, the 2010 Pinot Grigio immediately came to mind.

This preparation involves poaching the sea scallops in a medley of white wine, orange, grapefruit, lemon and lime juice.  When plated, the scallops are then drizzled with a spicy grapefruit reduction.  Clearly, this amounts to acid, a bit more acid, and a touch of spicy acid to top it all off.  Anything other than the bold acidity of the 2010 Hawk Haven Pinot Grigio would have fallen flat in the face of this aggressive approach.  The pairing was a match made in heaven as the stone fruit flavors of the Pinot Grigio melded with the citrus bathed scallops.

I have to admit some fear that I had gone overboard with the citrus approach to this dish.  I was afraid that the pepper flakes in combination with the citrus juice medley would overwhelm the delicate sweet brininess of the scallops.  My fears were unwarranted.  The dish was wonderfully balanced with layers of flavor rewarding our senses.

Finally, I need to thank Chef Sue for her spectacular role as sous chef.  I came home from work, jumped into the phone booth and transformed from mild mannered cube dwelling suit guy to chef with an acidic attitude.  Upon entering the kitchen, I found mis en place set for my culinary adventure.  Now that is the way to cook!



1 pound sea scallops
2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
Juice from two freshly squeezed limes
Juice from one freshly squeezed lemon
2 cups white wine
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 medium carrot, diced
½ medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 tablespoons freshly ground ginger
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup grapefruit, segmented
Sea salt to taste

Spicy Grapefruit Reduction


¾ cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
¾ cup white wine
zest from ½ lime
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons grenadine
2 tablespoons shallots, chopped
1 teaspoon Yuzu juice
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons butter
Salt to taste


  1. Combine orange juice, white wine, rice vinegar, lemon juice, carrots, onions, celery, ginger, bay leaf, pepper flakes and peppercorns in large pot. Bring to simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. While poaching liquid is cooking, prepare Spicy Grapefruit Reduction: Combine grapefruit juice, white wine, grenadine, lime zest, shallots and rice vinegar in small sauce pan. Bring to simmer and reduce volume by ½. Add butter while whisking sauce. Season with salt, to taste.
  3. To poach scallops, add scallops to poaching liquid and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove with strainer and reserve warm.
  4. To serve, place scallops over grapefruit segments and drizzle with the spicy grapefruit reduction and season with sea salt to taste.
I served the scallops with roasted cauliflower and onions.  Cut a head of cauliflower into bite size segments.  Coarsely chop an onion.  Spread onion and cauliflower over a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt in pepper.  Place in a preheated oven (350 F) for 25 minutes or until edges of cauliflower begin to brown.

In vino veritas, buen provecho.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Smoked Pork Butt Spicy Apple Compote Spaetzle and Bacon Wrapped Sweet Onion Paired with 2009 Frei Brothers Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

For the first time, Chef Sue recently prepared smoked pork butt in our beloved smoker located at our secret culinary lair on the Potomac River.  In short, I was delighted.  I was beyond delighted - every tasty morsel was enough to make my eye roll back in my head deliriously.  Most of this delectable treat was donated to a community event, which left me begging for more.  My begging paid off.

Returning to our secret Potomac lair this weekend, Chef Sue put two eight pound pork butts on the smoker.  This is a time consuming process, but well worth the wait.  And like an impending snow storm, the anticipation is a good part of the fun.  Chef Sue's process involves 24 hours of brining, eight hours in the smoker (one hour for each pound) and basting once per hour while smoking.  The result is other-worldly.

Commonly, smoked pork butt is converted to pulled pork for barbecue sandwiches, but I prefer enjoying this wonderfully tender and juicy meat in it's primal smoked form, treating it like any other large cut of meat and carving off large slabs of mouth melting goodness.  Are you getting the hint that I love this stuff?  I do.  I love pork, and it loves me back.

After the prior weekend's experience with Chef Sues smoked pork butt, I was committed to a wine pairing and sharing this porky love fest with you.  The first task was completing the meal.  Chef Sue and I huddled, threw out a few options and eventually settled on adding a touch of piquance and sweetness with an apple compote, spaetzle, and a bacon wrapped baked sweet onion (is it possible to have too much pork? - I don't think so).

Next I moved on to the wine selection.  My thought process started with a medium bodied wine to match the body of the pork, moderate acidity to balance the fat, and prominent fruit (pork and fruit is a natural combination in my mind), and a touch of earthiness or oak to echo the smoke flavor in the pork.  With this criteria in place, I still had the decision of going red or white.  The balance was tipped in favor of a red when I decided to go in the direction of earthy flavors to add depth rather than oak as a direct mirror of the smoked meat.  I settled on the 2009 Frei Brothers Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

The wine answered my desires wonderfully with rich flavors of dark berries and plum, moderate acidity, and pleasant earthy notes.  The pairing worked nicely, but I have two minor reservations with the wine.  First, I would have liked a touch more acidity.  The winemaker appears to have sacrificed acidity for a velvety smooth mouth feel.  Second, the alcohol content is high and is not hidden behind the strength of the fruit.  Although the pairing was very good, these two aspects make it less than perfect.  We enjoyed the wine and would buy it again, but with the acidity and alcohol levels, I would not intentionally compose another pairing.


Smoked Pork Butt

Ingredients for Brine
  • ½ cup coarse salt
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 24 ounces beef broth
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 5 pound bag of ice
  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot over medium heat and stir until all ingredients are incorporated.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Thoroughly clean a small cooler (small enough so brining liquid covers the meat, yet tall enough to accommodate a 5 pound bag of ice) and add pork butt, pour brining liquid over the pork, then add a 5 pound bag of ice.
  4. Keep in cooler for 24 hours.
Ingredients for Basting Liquid
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir.
  2. Preheat smoker to 200-225 degrees F.
  3. Place pork butt in smoker, fat side up.  Smoking time is 1 hour per pound of meat.
  4. Baste the pork but with a clean rag or brush every hour.
Spicy Apple Compote

  • 1 apple diced 
  • water to cover the apples
  • 1 squirt lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat.  Stir occasionally until apple is tender.
Bacon Wrapped Sweet Onions

Ingredients (per serving)
  • 1 Vidalia onion
  • 2 slices of thick cut bacon
  • 1 pad of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Peel onion and cut one end to provide a flat surface that lets the onion stand on it’s own.
  2. Cut flat the opposite end of the onion, then carve out a small well to hold the pad of butter.  I leave it to you to choose the size of your pad.  I love butter and was generous.
  3. Wrap the onion in two strips of thick cut bacon and hold in place with toothpick(s).  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. We wrapped the onion in foil and placed in a preheated oven (350 F) for about 30 minutes.
  5. Alternatively (and the way we intend to do it next time), place the onions on a broiler pan that should add more texture to the onion.  The process would work equally well on a grill off direct heat.

Ingredients (per serving)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Mix the dough several minutes until glossy. The dough should be wetter than brownie batter but not as wet as pancake batter.
  2. Bring water to boil in a large pot.  Reduce heat so water is just under a boil.
  3. Place a portion of the batter on a cutting board (a smooth glass board works best) and spread until about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.
  4. Using a pastry knife or other flat edge, scrape off the batter, 1/4 inch or less into the water.
  5. Allow to cook until the spaetzle floats.  Remove, keep warm, and repeat with remainder of batter.
  6. Alternatively, you can take finished spaetzle, brown in a skillet with butter and finish with cheese.
In vino veritas, buen provecho.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Butter Poached Scallops Filet of Flounder over Pesto Fettucini Paired with 2008 Koonowla Clare Valley Riesling and 2008 Fournier Pere & Fils Sancerre Cuvee Silex

Just about a year ago, I prepared and posted an article featuring butter poached divers scallops, flounder filet over pesto fettucini.  This meal was a last minute gig and I was not prepared to photograph and did not put much thought into a wine pairing.  Since the original post, I prepared it again, made an appropriate wine pairing, and of course, took care of the photography.

For the recipes, please follow the link to the original post.  In this post, I will talk about the wine selection and the joy of our wine pairing (as well as share photographs of round 2).

In my original post, I recommended a dry riesling.  I stick by this recommendation and believe it to be a good choice.  However, I did not fully follow my own recommendation and decided to take another path.  One of the great things about food and wine pairing is that there is not a single answer.  Wines with completely different characteristics can work with a meal for dramatically divergent reasons.  This time around I chose a 2008 Koonowla Clare Valley Riesling and 2008 Fournier Pere & Fils Sancerre Cuvee Silex.

My choice was made on the basis of the need for acidity to balance the richness of the butter poached scallops and prominent bright fruit to balance the strength of the pesto.  The 2008 Koonowla Clare Valley Riesling answered brilliantly on both accounts with very nice acidity coupled with bright lemon and green apple fruit flavors.  This part of the pairing was brilliant.

The 2008 Fournier Pere & Fils Sancerre Cuvee Silex from Loire France worked spectacularly with respect to the acidity.  This wine is clean and crisp.  However, the fruit was more subdued than the Riesling and was balanced with the minerality one would expect from a Sancerre.  We were very pleased with the less prominent grapefruit flavors balanced with the minerality and how well this played with the pesto.  This was a pleasant surprise that brought smiles around the table.

As we enter the summer months, this is a somewhat rich yet refreshing meal with equally refreshing wines.  I will not repost the recipes here, but encourage you to visit my prior post for the details (butter poached divers scallops, flounder filet over pesto fettucini).

In vino veritas, buen provecho.