Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oregon Pinot Noir with seafood a great match

One of the best combinations for a meal is seafood and wine specifically red Pinot Noir; Oregon Pinot Noir.
There are many white great grapes that go with seafood. Chardonnay of course; but also Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc, Albarino, Chablis and Gruner Veltliner, Bordeaux Blanc’s to name others. But this article is about Oregon Pinot Noir and it's good seafood pairings such as Cod or Salmon, Trout or Shrimp Scampi. The kind of seafood one can grill on a cedar plank, cook in a clay pot or sear in pan.
A good Oregon Pinot Noir for example; Domain Serene, Rex Hill, Chehalem, Archery Summit, Elk Cove( they have a smashing Pinot Gris as well), Benton Lane and another great one Domaine Drouhin(of the French Joseph Drouhin family); are just truly scrumptious.
The bulk Oregon Pinot Noir wine production takes place in Willamette Valley and stretches from the Columbia River in the North of the state down through the middle of the state. Like the growers in Burgundy France; Oregon’s top wine makers can produce quality crops even in marginal years. Oregon is not only about Pinot Noir but as in French Burgundy and French Alsace; it has key grapes like Chardonnay or as the latter, Pinot Gris. Oregon has the right microclimates for Pinot Noir which is few and far between throughout the world(Australia and New Zealand are others to take nore of). It has taken 30 or 40 years but Oregon USA is truly matching the quality of the French Burgundy wines.
A good thing to remember is to serve your Pinot Noir at room temperature. Just like your Zinfandel and Petite Sirah; Pinot Noir is best at room temperature. When you do this the supple earthy flavors have the chance to caress the palate.
Moreover, herbs and seasoning such as Rosemary, Thyme, citrus rind and dill often complement good seafood along with some fresh greens or steamed Spinach or Kale. An infusion of these can be a very tasty experience as well. Combining the herbs with the veggies in a pot and grating some orange peel along with a handful of cranberries, pour in a bottle of wine and simmer it down. Grill or pan fry your fish with salt and pepper and when done place the stewed veggie mash on top of your fish or seafood by the side of some white rice or scalloped potatoes makes for a top notch meal with you Pinot. By the way bring a dollop of Oregon Blue or Triple Crème cheese along for the ride.
Another tasty treat is to take a bunch of mushroom and chop it up and grill it with just drizzle of grapeseed oil and throw in some bacon; while it simmers and the bacon is done to your liking, pour about a quarter of a cup of heavy cream and fold it in and cook it down in low heat.
Alternatively grilled or poached Wild Salmon with salt, pepper and thyme to taste; sauté shrimp or wild sea scallops come together with a squeeze of lemon making an unyielding companion to Oregon Pinor Noir.
It’s not hard to compliment delicious Oregon Pinot Noir.

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