Are you like I am? Typically I am a red wine drinker, but as soon as the summer solstice strikes midnight, my palate changes and I am ready for a palate quenching crisp and bright white wine or even a lip smacking chilled rose. So you sit down on the deck, uncork a chilled bottle and you just want to relax. Maybe turn on a little music? You're in luck if you are drinking a wine from Abeja. It's important to know, like with good food, wines from Abeja are meant to be paired with music.
As long as I can remember John Abbott's wine making career in Walla Walla, he has set the benchmark on quality wines. During his tenure at Canoe Ridge, I remember his wine tasting notes, not only made suggestions for food pairings, but also music pairings. John's wine notes haven't changed since he joined forces at Abeja, either. Here is a suggestion of food and music from John's tasting notes of his recent Abeja Chardonnay - 2010:
We have had some delicious Cajun staff lunches during harvest ... which along with these autumn days, have me thinking about soups and alligator - maybe an odd combination. The potatoes are fresh and delicious right now. We dig them straight from the garden, and make a simple potato-based garden soup. Alligator (if you can find it) is also nicely suited for Chardonnay. You can prepare it many ways and one that comes to mind is picatta – fried, with tomatoes and capers. We haven’t tried it in soup yet, but I’m pretty sure winter and an alligator stew are both in our future.
Given our harvest lunch scene, it follows that we have been listening to Cajun and Zydeco. Clifton Chenier, Wayne Toups, and Doug Kershaw are all musicians that we have enjoyed. - - John Abbott, winemaker
I am totally down with this food, wine and music pairing - - all except the alligator. However, since I understand that alligator tastes like chicken, perhaps a chicken picatta would be a better pairing for me with the Abeja's Chardonnay.
The fruit sourced for this vintage came from the Conner Lee Vineyard at Othello and Abeja's estate, Mill Creek Vineyard. After the fruit was treated to 100% French oak (40% new oak) and a 100% malolactic conversion, the result is a great pairing for a classic French chilled potato and leek soup - vichyssoise.
The nose shows off pears and brings to the palate other orchard fruit such as apricots and white peaches. The crisp and bright acids are a match for the tangy alli - - chicken picatta's reduction sauce made from browned butter, lemon juice, capers and even a splash of Abeja's Chardonnay to round it all out.
Whether I am sitting on my deck or dining on this fine food pairing, I am ready for sipping on Abeja's Chardonnay while listening to Buckwheat Zydeco and his accordion wailing out "Waitin' on my Ya Ya ... "