Today’s Wine Wednesday features a Washington vineyard committed to sustainable and organic winemaking process: Snoqualmie Vineyards.
A wholly-owned subsidiary of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Snoqualmie Vineyards within three distinct growing regions of the Columbia Valley: the Wahluke Slope, Horse Heaven Hills, and the Yakima Valley. The ECO wines are produced from certified organically grown grapes from a certified organic facility. The Columbia Valley wines are high accessible wines that are fruit forward and very versatile everyday wines. The Reserve wines are the higher end wines, where winemakers take the best of each vintage, varietal and terroir to create these robust, bold wines.
The ECO wines and Columbia Valley wines retail for around $10; the Reserve wines retail for around $20. These are fantastic wines, my friends. I brought the Gewurztraminer to Bunco night and my friends and I enjoyed it: it wasn’t too sweet, which is always my concern with a Gewurztraminer, but was nice and crisp; it turned out to be a great wine for a hot day. On another hot evening, I enjoyed the Sauvignon Blanc with a dinner of homemade kalbi (Korean Short Ribs) and white rice. Sauvignon Blanc is something I would normally enjoy with seafood, but the crisp apple and delicate finish actually worked really well with the kalbi.
I won’t deny that I was quite surprised when I tried them, as I am usually a little suspicious when wines are priced so low. But, I liked them so much that I picked up more at the store soon after.
Urban Bliss Pick: Whistle Stop Red
My pick for the best everyday wine from Snoqualmie: 2010 Whistle Stop Red.
This Bordeaux-style red blend is rich with dark berry notes but slightly sweet and extremely smooth.
At just $10, it is the perfect wine to serve at almost any dinner party, to bring as a hostess gift, to give as a thank you gift to a friend, colleague, or client, and to even drink on its own. It is also, as the picture above depicts, an excellent wine to indulge with some fine Swiss chocolates.
Cooking with Wine
My philosophy is that you have to taste the wine with which you are cooking to ensure the wine you choose will enhance your dish with the correct flavor balance. If that means having to go through a couple of bottles with good friends beforehand in order to get to the right wine, well, so be it. The things we do for proper cooking, right?
Well, lucky for my liver, one sip of the 2012 Snoqualmie Chardonnay and I knew it would be the perfect dry white wine to use when cooking with white fish like cod. I got a great deal on some cod earlier in the week and was eager to make a simple, light dinner. The Chardonnay had a light citrus taste with a mild oak finish. Delightful.
Somehow, I am the only person in my family who lives fish. My son will eat fresh fish & chips if I make them, but that’s it. So this recipe calls for two filets, which will feed two adults (or, one for dinner with leftovers for lunch). You can easily double the recipe or even triple it for a dinner party.
Simple Lemon with White Wine Cod Filet
You start by simply brushing each cod filet with olive oil, then gently patting it around all sides with a breadcrumb mixture.
I lightly pan fry the fish in a skillet with additional olive oil, white wine, and sauteed garlic for a few minutes, and then finish it off in the oven for a nice, slightly crisp outer coating.
So easy. VERY delicious. As soon as I took a bite, the words “OH MY GAWD THIS IS GOOD!” came tumbling out without warning. That good.
I enjoyed this dish thoroughly, with a side of wile rice and some garlicky green beans, which I sauteed in the same pan as the fish after I transferred the fish to the oven.
This would also be great with some sauteed asparagus with almonds.
And, of course, a glass or two of the Snoqualmie Chardonnay.
- 2 small 4-6 ounce filets of cod or other white fish
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 2 minced garlic cloves separated
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Snoqualmie Chardonnay or other dry white wine
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Prep a baking pan with either a Silpat/silicone mat, or tinfoil with cooking spray.
- In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, parsley, 1 teaspoon garlic.
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 teaspoon garlic and saute about 1 minute. Add lemon juice.
- Using a paper towel, pat each fish filet dry, then carefully coat in the bread crumb mixture.
- Slowly add wine to the skillet and let wine cook off for one minute.
- Gently add each filet onto the skillet and saute for about 3 minutes. Do not flip the fish!
- Turn off the heat. Transfer fish to prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes. The outside crust will be slightly golden.
Do you cook fish often? If so, what is your favorite fish recipe?
Disclosure: Thanks to Snoqualmie Wines for providing me with a complementary set of wines to try for this post. As always, all opinions and photos are my own. I only write about products, services, and events that I personally enjoy and support, and think that you will, too!