Posts Tagged ‘Chardonnay’

Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque…instantly a reminder of a fresh autumn day of bright fall colours, crisp air, low sun … and a full belly warmed by the perfect wine that is crisp like the air yet toasty warm.

The wine journey starts in the old world region of Burgundy, France where white wine is Chardonnay. We step into the most southern region of Burgundy, the Maconnais. Here lies the small limestone and clay plot of St Veran, near to the prestigious Pouilly-Fuisse appellation.

Chateau-Fuisse, St. Veran 2010, 13.5 abv. pours a simple pale clear yellow colour offering no hint to the lovely sensory experience that follows…

A crisp nose of apple mingling with distant notes of warm cooked applesauce, hints of mineral flint, lime blossom, honeysuckle and sweet orange tantalize a further investigation.   The palate does not disappoint bursting with the acidity of tangy granny smith apples which quickly and gently soften with hints of vanilla, honey, and touches of baked custard finishing with surprising persistence.  This white cuts through the creaminess of the soup and pairs elegantly with the spices and apple ingredients.

For the creamy buttery toast this soup beckons, we paired a classic new world Chardonnay. The tasting takes us to the Alexander Valley in northern Sonoma County, California, USA, where the valley at the foothills of the Coastal Range Mountains is a mere 30 miles from the Pacific Ocean.

Souverain Chardonnay 2009, 13.9 abv offers such style.  It pours a light golden yellow with a viscosity that says savour me slowly.  The nose offers no surprise with big vanilla bean, French vanilla ice-cream, apple- vanilla custard with hints of lemon, peach and apricot a distant breeze beneath.  The palate has a rich and creamy texture much like the nose. It mingles with stone fruits and buttered toffee rounding out the warm spices of the soup that carry us to a long satisfying finish.

Both whites, impressive for under $28 CAD or less than 20 Euro must not be over chilled for full sensory pleasure. Toss the roasted pumpkins seeds on the soup  to further develop the wine`s potential to tease.



Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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I find it hard to get excited about cooking in the kitchen when the thermometer outside registers more than 30 C.   Unfortunately, I never lose my appetite, even in the heat, so that means I need to get a bit more creative on how to use fresh ingredients or pre cooked foods.

In my neighborhood in Amsterdam there is an amazing smokehouse.   Frank’s Smokehouse is renowned in the Netherlands for all their products from several types of smoked fish, salmon, trout, halibut and mackerel to meats such as smoked duck breasts, chickens and if you ask nicely they will do a whole turkey for you!

One of my favourite cheats for a fast meal is smoked fish, trout.  I always marvel at how beautiful my little trout looks when I place it on the cutting board.  The skin still shows the colors of the rainbow even though it’s been thoroughly cooked.

One whole smoked trout served cold satisfies two people nicely in a salad and the lovely smoked flavor pairs wonderfully with raw shallot, chives, tarragon, chervil, lemon – well I could go on but I think you see the potential.

Wine Pairing

I can’t help myself this dish deserves a beautifully chilled glass of buttery chardonnay.  Try and select a lightly oaked Chardonnay so it doesn’t compete with the smoke flavors of the trout.

This little recipe is a fast and easy lunch or dinner.  Enjoy!


1 whole smoked trout, skin removed, filets off the bone and pin bones removed

10 whole white skinned baby potatoes

5 black peppercorns

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tsps. salt

1 tbsp. chopped tarragon

2 tbsp. chopped chives

1 tbsp. minced shallot

3 cups mache (if you can’t find use butter or bibb lettuce)


2 tsp. white wine vinegar

1/8 cup sunflower or canola oil

Salt and pepper


  1. Slice the potatoes into 1 inch rounds, skin on and place in a pot with cold water.  Add the peppercorns, bay leaf, thyme sprigs and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil and then cook for 10 minutes.  Test for doneness then strain out water and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking.  Set aside.
  3. Cut or break the trout filets into bite size pieces and set aside.
  4. Assemble the vinaigrette – to the vinegar add the salt and pepper then whisk in the oil to emulsify
  5. Toss the warm potatoes with half the chopped tarragon, chives, shallot and vinaigrette.
  6. Place the mache in a salad bowl and add the remaining half the chopped tarragon, chives, shallot and vinaigrette.  Toss ingredients together to evenly coat the leaves.
  7. Assemble the salad by placing the half the mache in each bowl, top with dressed potatoes and half the trout.
  8. Season with a little more salt and pepper if desired.
  9. Take out to the terrace with a glass of wine and enjoy!

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