We are in the throes of summer and July is the month that at least for me is the quintessential summer month, it’s also the month that America celebrates it’s Independance on July 4th and the French celebrate Bastille day on July 14th. What better way to mark both holidays than with an American/ French food and wine pairing. Michelle@Rockin Red Blog invited me to participate, I was thrilled but a little scared, I’ve done plenty of posts utilizing the expertise of the wine experts but have never actually done this myself. There can be any number of combinations, American food French wine, American food and wine etc….. I chose a classic French dish that is light and IMHO perfect summer fare, Salade Nicoise, and I thought it would be fun to pair with both an American and French wine.
Salade Nicoise is a delicious combination of assorted vegetables, olives, hard boiled eggs and tuna or anchovies, the salad is dressed with a vinaigrette and I will serve with a fresh baguette and wine of course. Really no recipe is needed but I will give you the breakdown of what my salad consists of:
3 thick tuna steaks
1/2 lb haricot vert with only the stem end removed
4 hard boiled eggs
2 beets roasted
1/2 lb small new potatoes cleaned and roasted
olives- nicoise olives preferably or kalamaata works also
young french radishes
Coat the potatoes in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. At the same time roast the beets, clean well, drizzle with olive oil add a sprig of thyme and wrap in foil. Roast for 30-40 minutes. Clean and trim the haricot vert, place a saucepan filled with water on high heat to boil, add a tbs of salt to the water. When it comes to a rolling boil add the green beans and boil for 8 minutes. Immediately drain and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and the beans will retain their lovely green color. Make the hard boiled eggs. Clean the radishes and tomatoes. Prepare the tuna last, mind you all of this can be done ahead of time and assembled the day you are going to serve the salad.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbs white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dijon mustard
scant tsp of honey
Place everything in a lidded jar and shake to combine.
Heat fry pan with a little olive oil on Medium high heat (make sure it’s sizzling hot). Season the tuna steaks with salt and pepper (be generous with the pepper) Sear the tuna 3-4 minutes on each side (depending on thickness mine were about 1 1/2 inches thick) and immediately remove from the fry pan. Let sit 10 minutes and slice.
Arrange the vegetables and egg artistially on a platter, add the tuna slices and serve the vinaigrette on the side.
American Wine- Finger Lakes region of New York State
Dr Konstantin Frank – 2013 Dry Reisling,
French Wine- NV Montaudon Grande Rosé Champagne – Reims, France
50% Chardonnay, 35% pinot noir, 15% pinot noir (red)
Why I chose these wines:
I love wine and enjoy with my food but I am not a professional at wine pairings. I thought about what I was serving and what I would like to have with it, both the dry Reisling and Rosé Champagne came to mind. I did a little research and found that my instincts were pretty good. I thought the Reisling, especially this particular one from upstate New York is clean, crisp, and it would be a great match with the tuna.
When considering the Rosé Champagne one usually thinks in terms of desserts or something sweet but Rosé and specifically Rosé Champagne is excellent with many and varied savory dishes from grilled meats to a Nicoise Salade. The Champagne also has a lively acidity and I felt that would be important when considering what to pair with this dish.
Both wines were amazing and they were the perfect compliment to the salad. I first tasted the Reisling which is nicely dry, just the slightest hint of sweetness almost undetectable. It is a very distinct wine that was delicious with the meal. It’s very well balanced in both acidity and mineral content.
The Rosé Champagne is I think one of the best I have had. It’s a delicate champagne, a gorgeous deep pink, effervescant, crisp, fruity, slightly sweet and beautifully balanced. It went so well with the salad. I served ice cold. This Champagne would be fantastic with anything including dessert.
If I had to pick one that was my favorite (and thats a tough one) I would have to say the Rosé Champagne wins my vote. I already ordered 2 more bottles.
It was an honor to be invited to participate in this with so many great bloggers most of whom are experts and really know their stuff when it comes to the intricacies of wine. Please check out their posts by clicking on the links below:
A Day in the Life on the Farm: “An American Feast for #WinePW”
Confessions of a Culinary Diva: “Provence Style Pan Roasted Chicken with Rose”
Cooking Chat: “Gruyere Cheeseburgers with a Bordeaux”
Culinary Adventures with Camilla: “Tapenade-Topped Sablefish + Cave de Saint-Roch-les-Vignes Côtes de Provence Rosé”
Curious Cuisiniere: “Cherry Clafoutis paired with a Cremant Rosé”
Dracaena Wines: “Discovering the Truth About Bastille Day with #WinePW”
ENOFYLZ Wine Blog: “Independence Day at Ridge Vineyards Zins and Blends #winePW”
Food Wine Click: “All American Menu: Farmer & Winery Friends”
Grape Experiences: “Wine and Dine: Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Blanc Cotes du Roussillon and Salade Niçoise”
Pull That Cork: “Domaine de Bila-Haut and Cobb Salad for #winePW”
Rockin Red Blog: “Celebrating America & France with July #WinePW”
Tasting Pour: “Steak with Mushroom Cognac Sauce, Patriotic Potatoes, and Bell Wine Cellars Cab Sauv #winepw”
Vino Travels: The Alchemy of Hunt Country Vineyards Paired with Braised Beef Short Ribs
Please join us this morning at 10 am CST on Twitter for a fun and lively discussion on our American and French food and wine pairings at #WinePW. Also, join us Saturday, August 15 as we explore Portugal, a land of delicious food and outstanding wines!