As the current situation with CoronaVirus has us all quarantined, I have been exploring my culinary talents in the kitchen and opting to cook more regularly. It’s a time where I am looking for easy recipes, yet not compromising on the flavors. The somm in me also begins to take over, and the need to find the perfect wine pairing relinquishes my boredom.
Having to cook every meal at home, I am spending more time looking for fun and creative pairings. I was thrilled when Chalk Hill Winery sent me some savory recipes that are easy to prepare and pair beautifully with their wines.
Chalk Hill Estate Winery
Chalk Hill Estate Winery is one of Sonoma’s premier producer of luxury wines. Founded nearly four decades ago, Fred Furth originally purchased the property in the early ’70s with a flyover tour of the property. Fred was a class action attorney and an amateur pilot. Fred flew over the vineyards and saw that it was fog-laden, which he thought would be conducive to making aromatic white wines. After his initial flight, he bought the property in 1972. Fred was passionate about Chardonnay, and till today, Chalk Hill Estate Winery is known for its world-class Chardonnays.
In 2010 the winery was acquired by Foley Family Wines, with Bill Foley at the helm. Bill Foley was immediately drawn to the beauty, the landscapes, and of course the wines. Bill Foley along with his daughter Courtney(winemaker), preserves the nature of the land and honor it by producing wines reflecting its exceptional qualities.
75% of the production of Chalk Hill is dedicated to aromatic white wines, although the unique topography, climate, and geological diversity of Chalk Hill create an environment that allows for a wide range of varietals. The grapes grown on the estate include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Carmenére, Syrah and Semillon. Studious care is given to every detail, from the vineyard to the cellar, to extensive clonal research, and sustainable viticulture practices.
Chalk Hill Wine & Food Pairings
Wild mushroom tartine and harissa spiced lamb chops are simple and flavorful and they pair brilliantly with the Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay and the Chalk Hill Red Blend. The first recipe is a wild mushroom tartine with Brillat-Savarin. If you don’t have Brillat-Savarin, any triple cream brie will be fine. The mushroom tartine is insanely good when paired with the Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay. The mushroom has a hearty richness that balances with the Chardonnay. The Chardonnay is full-bodied and powerful, making it perfect pairing with the creaminess of the cheese.
The Harissa lamb chops are rich and meaty and pair well with the bold flavors of the Chalk Hill Estate Blend. The wine elevates the lamb’s gaminess. The chops are incredibly succulent, so be sure to follow up with a sip of the Chalk Hill Estate Red Blend, a match made in heaven. The fat in the lamb was cut perfectly with the structured tannins of the wine. Delish……
Wild Mushroom Tartine with Brillat-Savarin
Paired with 2017 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay
Time: 20 Minutes
- 8oz Wild Mushrooms, sliced
- 2tbsp Butter
- 1tbsp brandy
- 1tbsp soy sauce
- 1tbsp chives, chopped
- 1tbsp thyme, chopped
- 1tbsp parsley, chopped
- 4oz Brillat-Savarin, or other triple creme brie
- 2 slices sourdough bread
- Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1tbsp olive oil, and mushrooms. Cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes.
Add soy sauce and brandy, reduce by half. Remove from heat, and slowly add in the 2tbsp of butter, stirring constantly to emulsify. Add herbs, and set aside.
Toast the bread over medium heat in olive oil.
To assemble, spread mushrooms over toasted bread. Dot with chunks of cheese.
2017 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay(SRP $42) – This is the wine of choice for the Foley family. Courtney says it is one is her Dad’s favorite. The wine is rich, round, and complex. It’s a cozy, comforting, big chardonnay. The highest quality French oak barrels are used in making this wine. An expressive Chardonnay with notes of lemon, orange, and almond.
Harissa Spiced Lamb Chops with Garlic Yogurt and Minted Couscous
Paired with 2016 Chalk Hill Estate Red
Time: 20 Minutes
- 1 rack of lamb, cut into 6 chops
- 3tbsp Harissa Seasoning
- 2tbsp garlic, chopped
- 1 cup unsweetened Greek yogurt
- 1 cup couscous
- 2tbsp mint, chopped
- 2tbsp parsley, chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
Bring 1 and ½ cups of salted water to a boil, and pour over couscous. Cover and let stand for about 10 minutes.
While the couscous cooks preheat a cast iron pan to medium-high heat.
Toss the chops with the harissa, 1tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Sear the chops for about 2 minutes on each side, and let rest for 5 minutes.
On medium-low heat in a small saucepan, toast the garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil for about 3 minutes, until golden brown. Strain off the oil, and mix the garlic with the yogurt. Season with salt and pepper to taste
Season the couscous with the herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, place three chops on top of a scoop of couscous. Drizzle with garlic yogurt.
2016 Chalk Hill Estate Red (SRP $70) – The Chalk Hill Estate Red is a blend of the best red wines made on the estate. Each grape variety is perfectly matched to the vineyard site. The 2016 Estate Red is a unique blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Merlot. It is big bold and intense with aromas of blackberries, tobacco, and chocolate. On the palate it is rich and savory, making it the ideal pairing with lamb. The tannins are firm and round, balanced with nice acidity, and a smooth long finish. A wine that is drinking beautifully now, but will age beautifully for the next 15 years.