Summer Produce Pairings
Zucchini-and-Pepper Gratin with Herbs and Cheese
Pairing: 2008 Niedermayr Pinot Bianco
This unoaked Pinot Bianco, marked by white peach, green almond, mixed herbs and a touch of yeasty lees on the nose, is wonderfully crisp and refreshing. The bright citrus flavors show intriguing hints of menthol.
Angel Hair with Green-and-Yellow-Tomato Sauce
Pairing: 2009 Boutari Moschofilero
Boutari's take on the Moschofilero grape is light and perfumed, with bright lemon and melon flavors laden with minerals. This is one of the more well-distributed Greek whites.
Open-Face Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches
Pairing: 2005 Finca Allende Rioja
Owner Miguel Ángel de Gregorio learned to make wine from his father, who worked for the esteemed Marqués de Murrieta. This wine is decidedly more modern than Murrieta's, featuring a full body, chewy tannins and mocha, charred oak and sour cherry flavors.
Grilled Green Bean Salad with Lentil Vinaigrette
Pairing: 2010 Château d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé
French rosés, such as this bottling from Provence, are a popular source of refreshment all over the globe.
Skillet-Roasted Spiced Okra
Pairing: 2006 Baumard Savennières
Vanilla and marshmallow notes infuse the ripe melon and nectarine flavors in this finely balanced, unoaked wine; almond and butter touches fill out the finish.
Angel Hair Pasta with Red Pepper Pesto and Basil
Pairing: 2009 Shaya Old Vines Verdejo
A great value, this Verdejo was sourced partially from vines between 75 and 112 years old. It's classic and pure, with quince, ginger and citrus flavors, tons of lemony fresh acidity and chalky minerals.
Eggplant, Chickpea and Tomato Curry
Pairing: 2008 Spy Valley Wines Envoy Pinot Gris
Pinot Gris takes on a rich, plush quality here, thanks to partial fermentation in oak and malolactic fermentation. It is packed with wonderfully ripe flavors of poached pear and figs, while notes of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg add complexity to the creamy, full-bodied palate.
Grilled Broccoli and Bread Salad with Pickled Shallots
Pairing: 2008 Didier Dagueneau Silex Pouilly Fumé
Didier Dagueneau, the prodigiously bearded wildman of the Loire, made some of the best Pouilly-Fumés and Sancerres ever. He died when his ultra-light plane crashed in 2008, but his son, Benjamin, has kept the wines at the same level. This lovely Sauvignon Blanc, with its minerally grapefruit-peel scent, is his first solo vintage.
Sardinian Stuffed Eggplant
Pairing: 2008 Argiolas Perdera
Monica, the grape in this juicy red, came to Sardinia with either the Spanish or the Saracens—historians are still arguing the matter centuries later.