Our Favorite Wine Duets!


Our Favorite Wine Duets!

Plus, spring wine pairing tips from the Far Niente Kitchen, just in time for outdoor brunches and evenings by the fire pit.

To celebrate the longer days and the slow thaw of winter, the Far Niente Kitchen has shifted its focus from wintry greens and rich braised meats to bright spring wine and food pairings. Although Chardonnay is our default “go to” wine for spring sipping, as day turns to night, we often find ourselves transitioning to wines that are rich, ripe and red.

We find that Chardonnay makes an elegant companion to a variety of red wines, from our estate-bottled Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon to Russian River Pinot Noir from our sister winery EnRoute. The elegant “duets” below offer the best of both worlds. To complement them, we came up with some of our favorite spring food and wine pairing tips for each.

Far Niente Estate Bottled Chardonnay + Far Niente Estate Bottled Cabernet = The Far Niente Classic.

This versatile take on Smoked Trout Crepesis one of our favorite ways to do weekend brunch, especially when paired with the textured flavors of our Far Niente Chardonnay. The recipe’s sauce gribiche is also dreamy atop fresh spring asparagus and roasted potatoes. Making a double batch is rarely a bad idea. Chef’s Note: The richer flavor of wild trout (versus farm-raised) pairs especially well with our Chardonnay.

We’re only just beginning to see the first ramps of the season, but we love the strong aromatics these “wild spring onions” give to this super-tender Braised Rabbit Menu. Although rabbit meat is lean, the red-wine braise in this recipe draws out the meat’s rich layers. Served with wilted mustard greens and white beans and drizzled with red wine reduction, it beautifully complements the succulent fruit of ourFar Niente Cabernet Sauvignon.

Nickel & Nickel Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay + Nickel & Nickel Copper Streak Cabernet Sauvignon = Something to Saveur

For those days when spring just doesn’t feel spring-y, we love this fragrant Basil-Coconut Soup with Roasted Lobster. The creamy skewers of lobster knuckles are seasoned with a Japansese seven spice called shichimi togorashi and finished with a quick squeeze of lime juice. It somehow manages to be both fresh and decadent, and it pairs gorgeously with the Nickel & Nickel Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay! We serve ours with crispy kale, which is a great way to use up the last of your overwintered greens.

We love how effortless and crowd-pleasing these Beef Filet Sliders are for weekend get togethers! Here at the winery, we grind the trim of our larger roasts and steaks for the beef, and you can easily ask your butcher to do the same. The easy-to-make mini-burgers pair deliciously with the full body and lingering fruit of Nickel & Nickel's Copper Streak Cabernet Sauvignon.

EnRoute Chardonnay, Russian River Valley “Brumaire,” + EnRoute Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, “Les Pommiers” = a Dynamic Duet.

Sometimes you feel less like cooking and more like enjoying the gorgeous weather. That’s when a dozen (or two) freshly shucked oysters, a squeeze of lemon and our favorite Russian River Chardonnaycome in handy. To really kick your spring relaxation plan into high gear, just add a picnic blanket, a warm beach, and this super Chardonnay-friendly three-ingredient salad: butter lettuce with spiced pumpkin seeds and fresh avocado, topped with a bright citrus vinaigrette.

When rains threaten to ruin your beach vibes, we like to whip up theseAsian-inspired Butter Lettuce Cups with Duck Confit Salad and serve them in bamboo baskets. It’s a delicious way to bring a touch of the tropics indoors. Plus, the rich duck meat melts on your tongue and brings out the beautiful fruit and earth flavors of EnRoute’s flagship Russian River Pinot Noir ,“Les Pommiers.”

2010 Far Niente Cabernet, Oakville, Napa Valley

For more recipes and wine pairing tips, explore the full Far Niente recipe archive. Or enjoy these mouthwatering ideas from the Nickel & Nickel Kitchen.

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