Cheers To You

An exploration of all things wine with local wine expert Mary Earl.
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Red or white, pick your favorite for this dish

July 5th, 2013 by brynn grimley

Maybe it’s the recent heat wave we just enjoyed, but when it came time for the two of us to get together to talk about what wine we’d pair with Ann Vogel’s Irish Onion Marmalade all we could think about was recommending a sauvignon blanc.

Actually we’ve come up with a couple of wine choices for this dish, depending on what recipe you choose to make — the regular or low fat — and how you plan to serve it.

If you opt for the low-fat marmalade, then we recommend pairing it with sauvignon blanc.

A green-skinned grape, sauvignon blanc is the perfect summer wine because of its crisp, dry character. It’s the perfect refreshment on a hot day — something we all are familiar with after last weekend’s scorching heat.

The grape does well in France’s Bordeaux region, and is a popular wine coming out of Australia and New Zealand. We prefer France’s sauvignon blancs, largely because of their crisp citrus characters over Australian sauvignons, which tend to be more herbaceous.

We also of course love the sauvignon blancs coming out of Washington, many of them exuding similar flavors and acidity as the wines from Bordeaux.

If we were to serve the low-fat onion marmalade here’s how we’d do it: cut up a summer zucchini and apply a dab of goat cheese, then top with the marmalade.

The whole grain mustard in the recipe is a great match for the sauvignon blanc, and here’s a tip, any time you serve goat cheese on crostinis, crackers or anything else, serve it with sauvignon blanc. The two pair wonderfully.

Another nice thing about sauvignon blancs? You don’t have to break the bank to get a good wine. Just head to your local grocery store or wine shop and see what catches your eye. Look for a wine with flavors of citrus and floral notes. Some names to look for: L’Ecole No. 41, Airfield Estates Winery, Robert Mondavi Winery, Chinook Wines, Vin du Lac, Rolling Bay Winery (Bainbridge Island).

If we served the red onion marmalade as part of a main meal, say on top of a burger, then we’d switch gears and instead pair the dish with a red wine. Have fun with this one — pick your favorite red wine and see how it stands up to the pairing.

Don’t have a favorite red? Well almost any blend coming out of Washington would work, but we’ve got a couple recommendations for you.

Look for Washington wines: Maryhill Winery has a good red blend — Winemaker’s Red — that would go well with burgers topped with the red onion marmalade. Hedges Family Estate also has a great, everyday red — CMS — that pairs wonderfully with burgers off the grill, and it’s under $10.

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