Last week Sizzleworks hosted a winemaker’s dinner featuring Jill Noble of Couvillion Winery of Walla Walla . These dinners at Sizzleworks feature Washington winemakers whom I know and have grown to admire. Their wines are very special and I like to work with the wines and the winemaker to create a menu that will complement and showcase the qualities that I find in the wine.
The challenge of developing a menu to showcase great wine turns loose my creative juices and frequently results in a special recipe, or what I call a signature dish (noted by CLD), for the occasion. Saturday was such an event and , if I do say so, the meal was spectacular, blending fabulous wine with a a variety of autumn flavors.
The first course was to be served with Couvillion’s 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, with flavors of pear, pineapple and citrus, and a wonderful crisp finish. I wanted so show off the pear and apple notes in this luscious wine, while utilizing the bounty of our own northwest. So, I put together sweet pears, tart Granny Smith apples, Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar for a bit of salt and richness, hazelnuts from Holmquist’s in Lyndon to add nuttiness and crunch, a bit of white balsamic vinegar to balance the flavors, and then encased the lot in small golden brown phyllo beggar’s purses. It was the epitome of autumn, on a plate and in a glass.
Iâ€™ve been to Jillâ€™s winery in Walla Walla for a private tasting. Itâ€™s a bit out of town and they serve by appointment only, but I would strongly recommend that when you next visit Walla Walla , that you make an appointment and visit! In the meantime, Jillâ€™s wines can be found at Peteâ€™s Wine Shop.