The wine lover's fish: we netted 5 favorite pairings for wild salmon, plus a simple recipe you can use to test our findings at home.
This rich white Rhone has the heft to stand up to meaty salmon, and its flamboyant flowers and stone fruit aid and abet the fish's wild side.
Alban 2009 Viognier (Central Coast; $24). Jasmine perfume followed by a rush of peach punched up with lime zest and minerals.
Cline 2010 Viognier (North Coast; $12). Crisp green apple and white nectarine softened with honeysuckle, honeydew, and a touch of mango.
Holly's Hill 2010 Viognier (El Dorado; $20). Long and bright, with white peach, tart apricot, Asian pear; honeysuckle, and lime.
A touch of butter and a smidgen of oak with the apple, pear, and citrus of Chardonnay work magic with rich, silky salmon.
Antica 2009 Chardonnay (Napa Valley; $35). Lean, earthy apple, pear, grapefruit, minerals, and toast.
Dutton-Goldfield 2009 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay (Russian River Valley; $35). Creamy lemon, spicy Asian pear, time zest, and a hint of vanilla.
Paul Dolan 2009 Chardonnay (Mendocino County; $i8). Fresh, bright apple and citrus with the barest touch of caramel.
Color alone makes the West's dry pinks an irresistible match for salmon. But rose's bright berry flavors and racy citrus also play beautiful foil to the fish.
Doyenne 2010 Rose by Dank Cellars (Yakima Valley; $23). Spicy red berries and watermelon, with a whiff of gardenia.
Etude 2010 Rose (Carneros; $20). Like rain on red earth, with bright Rainier cherries, watermelon, and a nosegay of violets.
Tramonto 2010 Rose of Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley; 05). Racy raspberries, watermelon, and minerals edged with rose petals.
This light-bodied, high-acid wine offers tart red fruit and warm spices that create a complex pairing with the sweet, earthy fish.
Domaine Drouhin 2008 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley; $40). Forest, leather; and earth under intense black cherry fruit.
Lange 2009 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley; $22). Bright red fruit--cranberry, rhubarb--contrasts with darker leather and loam.
Masut 2009 Estate Pinot Noir (Mendocino; $40). Long, silky, and full of gentle berries and dried cherries over fall spices and violets.
The lush, velvety tannins of this southern Rhone red mirror the texture of salmon, while its spicy cherry character stands in as a great sauce.
Austin Hope 2009 Grenache (Paso Robles; $35). Lush black cherries, warm spices, and licorice.
Milbrandt 2008 "The Estates" Grenache (Wahluke Slope; $25). A sweet hit of vanilla is followed by smoky spice and plush raspberries.
Ridge 2005 Lytton Estate Grenache (Dry Creek Valley; $28). Sexy black fruit and cedar set off by pepper, leather, and a little cocoa.
Wild salmon with grilled sweet onion and corn relish
SERVES 4 | 40 TO SO MINUTES
1 large sweet onion, peeled and sliced 1/2 in. thick 2 shucked ears corn About 21/2 tbsp. olive oil, divided 1 cup halved small cherry tomatoes (quartered if larger) 1/4 cup slivered basil Leaves, plus sprigs 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges About 1 tsp. kosher salt About 1/2 tsp. black pepper 4 pieces boned wild salmon fillet (6 to 8 oz. each and 1 to 11/4 in. thick), rinsed and patted dry 1. Heat a grill to medium-high heat (400[degrees] to 500[degrees]). Run a metal skewer through each onion slice to hold it together. Brush onion slices and corn generously with oil. 2. Lay onion and corn on cooking grate (close lid if using gas) and grill, turning as needed, until lightly seared with grill marks--the onion on both sides, the corn all over-10 to 12 minutes total. When cool enough to handle, chop onion and cut corn kernels from cobs. 3. Mix onion, corn, tomatoes, slivered basil, lemon juice, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a bowl. 4. Brush salmon pieces on both sides with oil. Sprinkle flesh sides with salt and pepper. Lay flesh side down on cooking grate (close lid if using gas) and grill, carefully turning once with a wide spatula, until just opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), 9 to 10 minutes total. 5. Mound relish on plates. Lift salmon off skin with spatula and set alongside relish. Garnish with lemon wedges and basil sprigs. PER SERVING 412 CAL., 33% (135 CAL.) FROM FAT; 50 G PROTEIN; 15 G FAT (2.8 G SAT.); 20 G CARGO (2.6 G FIBER); 606 MG SODIUM; 109 MG CHOL.
BY SARA SCHEIDER | PHOTOGRAPHS BY JEFFERY CROSS
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|Title Annotation:||Wine in the West|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2011|
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