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When you live in Napa, wine is a big part of your life. That goes double for chefs, whose food needs to pair seamlessly with the valley’s varietals. Here, eight especially wine-friendly recipes from star Napa chefs.
1. Roasted Artichokes and Prosciutto
Artichokes are notorious for making wine taste bitter. To prevent that, Michael Chiarello slow-roasts artichoke hearts in extra-virgin olive oil to bring out their sweetness, then serves them with prosciutto, an ingredient that matches particularly well with wine.
2. Easy Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine
"A good sauce is the bridge between the meat and the wine," says chef Ken Frank. When pairing beef with Cabernet, he usually serves a hearty red-wine sauce, like the one on these short ribs.
3. Whole Grilled Chicken with Wilted Arugula
Thomas Keller’s simple, smoky chicken works equally well with Chardonnay or a full-bodied Pinot Noir.
4. Seared Scallops with Cauliflower, Capers and Raisins
Chef Chris Blanchard’s exotically rich sautéed scallops are fantastic with a tropical Viognier.
5. Cabbage Velouté with Poached Pears and Croutons
Christopher Kostow is a big fan of cabbage; when he makes this soup, he uses cabbage juice to amplify the flavor, but it's also great made with vegetable stock. Try it with a good quality Chardonnay that's not too heavy on the oak.
6. Chanterelle Omelets with Fines Herbes Suace
Crisp, acidic Champagne is wonderful with Thomas Keller’s creamy one-egg omelets.
7. Lemony Shrimp Salad
Chef Richard Reddington pairs his light and crunchy salad with a ripe, full-bodied Sauvignon Blanc.
8. Roast Brined Chicken with Raisin and Pine Nut Agrodolce
Pinot Noir is perfect with Michael Chiarello’s extra-juicy, spice-rubbed chicken.