After returning home with our bounty, we sauteed most of the mushrooms lightly in butter, and froze them to use throughout the year. That night, we enjoyed the freshly picked Chanterelles with roasted salmon (caught by my father in the White Salmon river), which paired amazingly with the Dampier Pinot Noir. I highly recommend the following recipe from Food & Wine…they suggest Oyster mushrooms, but encourage Chanterelles if they’re available.
One of these reasons, among many, is that the Columbia Gorge happens to share geographic and climatic similarities with the Burgundy region of France. Like the Burgundy region, the Columbia Gorge experiences sporadic weather ranging from unpredictable snow, rain, frost, and even heat. Cathedral Ridge grows their chardonnay grapes on the north side of the Columbia River at Huber (also known as Dampier) Vineyard in Underwood Mountain, WA. Not very far at all from the spot where we enjoyed our bottle of Chardonnay Reserve, a luscious, complex, golden-hued wine.
While this region may share grape-growing qualities with France, the Pacific Northwest experience is truly unparalleled. –AG
Stock up: You have have five months of warm weather ahead!
Also for Valentine’s Day, Cathedral Ridge Winery is offering Twila’s chocolates in both tasting rooms. Pick up some Rusty Red, enjoy some chocolate, and head home to the most romantic spot in town. Cheers!
Step 1: Pour yourself a glass of Chardonnay to fuel your culinary creativity.
Step 2: Salt and pepper the scallops on each side; boil water for pasta (it really should be the fresh kind).
Step 3: Rinse the kale (a bunch or two–it cooks down a lot), separate the leaves from their spines and chop coarsely. Chop a couple of shallots while you’re at it.
Step 4: Fry a few pieces of bacon and set aside.
Step 5: Pan-sear the scallops on high heat, about three minutes each side. Lift out the scallops and set them in a warming oven. Add a couple slices of butter to the juices in the pan; when the butter is foaming lightly, add one of the shallots–and after a minute or two–a few healthy dashes of white wine. A lot of people might suggest “cooking wine,” but for best results, I cook with the good stuff. You really can taste the difference.
Step 6: Heat a little olive oil in a separate pan and saute a bit more shallot. After a few minutes, add the kale and let it cook to a bright, fresh green. Add the fresh pasta to the water that’s been boiling–it only needs a couple of minutes–and you’re ready to go. Add the kale to the fresh pasta (I like a nearly 50/50 ratio, but I am a nerd for kale), add the warm scallops to the top of each plate of pasta, top with a little crumbled bacon, a drizzle of butter sauce, a few sweeps of fresh parmesan, and maybe a dash of cracked pepper. Refill your glass of wine and try to imagine how you could have possibly ordered something better in a restaurant. You can’t. But after dinner, if the hub of activity is still calling your name, there’s always dessert… -AG
The wine judging takes place several weeks prior to the actual festival. The actual festival will take place on April 29, 30, and May 1 in Astoria, Oregon. For more details on the festival ,CLICK HERE! -AG