Martellotto Winery – Holiday Food and Wine Pairing Guide

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Whether you’re preparing a feast for a group of loved ones or making a meal for one, make it extra special and elevate your meal by pairing your food and wine.  For this blog post, I partnered with Martellotto wines to give you three delicious food and wine pairings using some of their top holiday wines:  2018 Melodeon Chardonnay, 2017 Le Bon Temps Roule Pinot Noir, and 2018 La Bomba Cabernet Sauvignon.

Martellotto Winery sources their wines from California’s central coast and are known for having vibrant acidity and bright fruit.  Greg, the winemaker, intends to provide wines that are consistent, of value and represent each grape varietal to their fullest.

I’m excited to share with you the dishes we paired with each bottle; I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.  As an added bonus, click on the link on my Home page and use the code listed on the banner to get $20 off your purchase of $100 or more through Martellotto.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the pairings!

Note:  All recipes serve two people.  Good substitutes for the jasmine rice would be quinoa or brown rice and baby spinach or watercress for the arugula.

2018 Melodeon Chardonnay and Baked Lemon Butter Tilapia

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Let’s talk about the wine first.  After swirling the lightly chilled, golden Chardonnay in my Burgundy glass, butter and oak came through initially on the nose.  The palate had medium + acidity with pear, oak and some baked apple on the palate.  Spiced baked apple lingered on to the finish of each sip.  With this kind of wine, I felt pairing it with a white fish would be best, especially in a butter sauce.  Below is the recipe we used for our meal.

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Ingredients for fish:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more, to taste
  • 2 tilapia fillets (approximately 6 ounces each)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup capers
  • ¼ cup green onions, green part only
  • Dusting on paprika on top after cooked

Ingredients for sides:

  • 1½-2 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 2-3 cups arugula
  • ¼ sliced kalamata olives
  • Dusting of Manchego cheese
  • Drizzle of olive oil and apple cider vinegar (for salad dressing)

Directions:

  1. Cook rice according to package instructions.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F.  Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together butter and lemon juice and set aside.
  4. Season tilapia with salt and pepper to taste and place in the prepared baking dish.  Drizzle with butter mixture.
  5. Place into oven and bake uncovered until fish flakes easily with a fork, approximately 10-12 minutes.
  6. While the fish is cooking, combine the salad ingredients (arugula, olives and cheese) and toss together.  Drizzle with olive oil and apple cider vinegar and toss again.
  7. Plate fish on a bed of rice and sprinkle with capers and green onions, serve the side salad and enjoy with your glass of Chardonnay!

I felt this pairing worked well together.  I loved how the butter and lemon on the fish complemented the buttery crispness of the wine.  The saltiness of the capers balanced nicely with the acidity of the wine while adding visual appeal.

2017 Le Bon Temps Roule Pinot Noir and Mediterranean Chicken

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Our next meal was paired with the Pinot Noir.  The wine was a beautiful pale ruby color in my Burgundy glass, and had raspberry, strawberry and red cherry on the nose with a hint of spice.  The palate had medium tannins and acidity with raspberry, strawberry and lavender, as well as a hint of spice.  Strawberry lingered onto the finish for quite some time.  I was torn what to pair with this wine as many dishes do well with Pinot Noir, the deciding factor is the boldness of your Pinot.  Given this isn’t too hefty of a Pinot, chicken was a good option.  The recipe we paired with the wine is below.

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Ingredients for chicken breasts:

  • ¾-1 pound organic chicken breasts
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Mediterranean spice blend (see recipe below)

Mediterranean Spice Blend:  Combine all ingredients in a seasoning shaker:  3 tablespoons dried rosemary, 2 tablespoons ground cumin, 2 tablespoons ground coriander, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and ½ teaspoon salt.

Ingredients for sides:

  • 1 Persian cucumber
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 3 tablespoons crème fraiche
  • 1 lemon (to be juiced over chicken and salad)
  • Drizzle of olive oil (for top of salad)
  • 1 green onion
  • 1½ - 2 cups cooked jasmine rice

Directions:

  1. Chop cucumber and tomato for a side salad and drizzle with olive oil, green onions, spritz of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Combine the crème fraiche and some lemon juice, to taste, being mindful not to make the consistency too liquid.
  3. Cut chicken breasts into nugget-size pieces and sprinkle the Mediterranean spice blend onto all sides. Place seasoned chicken into a saucepan or cast iron skillet.  Add chicken stock and cook until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Serve the cooked chicken over a bed of rice.  Sprinkle paprika, green onions and lemon juice on top of the chicken.  Drizzle the crème fraiche sauce over the chicken and onto the tomato cucumber salad and enjoy with your Pinot Noir!

I loved how the cinnamon from the Mediterranean blend paired with the wine.  The baking spice elements in each married deliciously together, and the low-fat content of the chicken breast paired nicely with the wine since it was lower in acidity and tannins.

2018 La Bomba Cabernet Sauvignon and Wagyu Sirloin Cap with Garlic Butter

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The final pairing had to be a classic:  steak and Cabernet Sauvignon.  We decided to get a little fancy and use a cut of Wagyu for this pairing, but feel free to use whatever cut you prefer.  The Cabernet had a medium + ruby intensity in my Bordeaux glass.  The nose had bold, fresh black cherry that was prominent, followed by some spice and vanilla.  The palate had medium + acidity and tannins with more of the same flavors as the nose, in addition to a little black pepper.  Let’s see how this classic combo held up.

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Ingredients for the steak:

  • 10 ounces of Waygu sirloin cap
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Coarsely ground salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Ingredients for sides:

  • 1½-2 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 2-3 cups arugula
  • ¼ avocado
  • Dusting of Manchego cheese
  • Drizzle of olive oil and apple cider vinegar blend for salad dressing

Directions:

  1. Let steaks rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Dab dry and then season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (avoid having it smoke).
  3. Carefully place the steaks in the heated oil and cook approximately 4 minutes per side.
  4. Reduce the heat to low-medium and add the butter, garlic and thyme. Spoon the butter over the steaks until they reach the desired doneness.
  5. Transfer steaks to a plate, wrap in foil tightly and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  6. While the steaks are resting, heat rice and dress and serve the salad.

The tried and true classic held true with this meal.  The marbling of the steak was just the right amount of fat for the acidity and tannins in the wine, making for a melt in your mouth kind of meal.  The fattiness of the avocado in the salad also went nicely with the wine.

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I hope you find these pairings a sure-fire hit for your meal at home.  If you give any of them a try, please share, I’d love to hear about it.  Don’t forget to click the link on my Home page and use the code listed on the banner to get $20 off your purchase of $100 or more on your next order at Martellotto wine.  Cheers and keep sipping delicious Central Coast wines!

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