Saturday, August 16, 2014

Regional Meal

If one believes in horoscopes then the stars aligned for a regional meal yesterday,  and it wasn't my local region - it was the Pacific Northwest.  An e-mail blast from a local market alerted me that they had just received a shipment of late run, Columbia River salmon at an attractive price.  As luck would have it I had just finished reading a recipe in the New York Times for a smoke cooked salmon and had resolved to try it the next time I saw a good price on fresh salmon.

Wondering through the wine department after picking up two center cut pieces of the fish I noticed that the staff was marking down some wines and one of them was a 2010 Ponzi Willamette Valley Pinot Noir from Oregon.  The wine somehow fell into my basket. 

Arriving home the fish received a dry rub of brown sugar, salt, pepper, mace and allspice and went into the refrigerator for five hours.  The rub was wiped off the fish and it was air dried for a few minutes and received a very light coating of oil.  It was cooked over indirect heat on the grill using oak as the primary wood, and the roiling smoke did most of the cooking.  Less than ten minutes later dinner was served.

The wine was a bit tart on the first taste.  That soon faded as the salmon became involved.  The body was light and the flavors were bright cherries and berries.  A bit of tannin kicked in at the end, but it was the fruit and tartness of the wine that really waltzed around the mouth with the salmon.  Interestingly, the wine was a blend of eleven different vineyards, so it was quite regional in and of itself.

A good meal that will be repeated.

2010 Ponzi Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.  13.6% alcohol and $20.

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