Summer White Wines Shine In Yadkin
With memories of last year's summer white wine experience fresh in my memory I traveled to Yadkin County to once again savor the combination of select wines paired with small plates. In last year's experience I can truly say that it greatly assisted me in developing an appreciation and affinity for white wine.
Unlike red wine, the aromas and nuances on the palate tend to be more subtle and refined. I have often heard it said that “white wine exposes the flaws and weakness of the winemaker”. To make a truly great white wine requires skill, creativity and often a bit of luck.
So my expectations were high when I arrived at my starting point, Sanders Ridge Winery located in Boonville https://www.sandersridge.com . I strategically chose this as my starting point since it was the farthest away from my home in Holly Springs and as a result our journey to the remaining destinations would also be on the way back home.
Let’s see what food/wine pairings were featured this year.
Spicy Thai Noodle Salad paired with Dry Carlos-
SANDERS RIDGE WINERY, BOONVILLE
I still remember the heavenly lemon mousse and Viognier combination that we were enticed with at a visit at this location in the past. As a result, I had high expectations for the pairing at our first destination. The Spicy Thai Noodle salad paired well with the sweetness of the dry Carlos. My wife, who by no means is a Muscadine drinker, found the wine subtle and refreshing. The sweetness of the wine helped to offset the spicy flavor of the noodle dish. A slight hint of basil reminded me of the great time I had a few months ago at the Swan Creek Herb Festival.
Devilish Deviled Eggs paired with Kaleidoscope Gold -
RAGAPPLE LASSIE VINEYARDS, BOONVILLE
Our next stop at RagApple Lassie Vineyards featured one of my favorite dishes from my childhood - deviled eggs. The country boy in me loves them and I would be remiss if I didn’t share with you that my sister (not my mother believe it or not) makes the best deviled eggs I have ever had, I guess she got mom’s recipe and somehow improved it. The Devilish Deviled Eggs at RagApple Lassie had a bacon smoky flavor that paired well with the Kaleidoscope Gold that they served (a blend of Chardonnay, Traminette and Viognier). To be honest, these eggs could easily have been paired with a heartier red wine due to their smoky bacon flavor. Fortunately the blend had the structure and body to not get washed away.
Jerk Chicken Summer salad with Stainless Chardonnay-
CELLAR 4201 VINEYARDS, EAST BEND
As a big fan of jerk chicken I was really looking forward to the presentation of this dish at Cellar 4201 and by no means was I disappointed. As a matter of fact, the jerk seasoning was sweet and liberal enough that my wife also enjoyed it. She is not a fan of too much spice or heat. This is the second wood fired grilled chicken dish that I have enjoyed at Cellar 4201 and it looks to me like they have settled on a niche. The mixed salad greens served with the chicken were dressed ever so delicately in a light vinaigrette with a slightly sweet citrus flavor.
We were also pleasantly surprised to receive a choice of unoaked stainless steel Chardonnay or a new release called Sweet Native also made from Chardonnay but much sweeter (almost Sangria like) with rich tropical flavors of mango, peach, lemon and lime. My wife and i much preferred the unoaked Chardonnay with the pairing finding the Sweet Native a bit too sweet but perfectly suited for sangria.
Baklava paired with Traminette -
DIVINE LLAMA VINEYARDS, EAST BEND
This one may very well be my favorite pairing of the entire experience. One of the best versions of the classic Greek dessert Baklava was paired with a sparkling Traminette that would make my friend Bob A (a professed Traminette junkie) very happy. The sweetness of the Traminette paired well with the sweet Baklava and the resulting combination was heavenly. Should I ever cross paths with Bob in the near future I left with a bottle just to seek his expert opinion.
Creamy Coconut Curry Noodles paired with Olde Yattken-
FLINT HILL VINEYARDS, EAST BEND
Our final stop of the day was at Flint Hill Vineyards where Creamy Coconut Curry Noodles were paired with Olde Yattken, a semi sweet blend of Viognier and Chardonnay grapes. Although most would enjoy this as an aperitif or dessert wine selection the sweetness of the wine helped to offset the spicy nature of the curry.
Just in case you are not aware, the tasting room at Flint Hill Vineyards is closed to the public due to a lack of wine to serve so I strongly suggest you call them to confirm their status before planning a visit.
This was not my first time traveling to Yadkin County for wine and small plates. My other trips have been well documented in blog posts located on my web page. I am pleased to see a trend developing. The culinary dishes offered along with the featured wines are continuing to improve both in creativity and flavor.
Dishes offered have always meshed well with the various wines they have been featured with. But when you start offering jerk chicken salad and coconut curry noodles you are venturing down culinary trails usually only experienced in fine dining restaurants. As the bar continues to be raised higher and higher it begs only one question be asked…how long before the Winter Reds ?