It’s time once again to share the amazingly delicious recipes created by my food and wine blogging colleagues of #winePW. On the second Saturday of each month at 11 am EST on Twitter, we engage in a lively conversation about food and wine pairings around a specific theme.  This month’s host, Camilla Mann (Culinary Adventures with Camilla), has invited each of us to showcase a favorite wine from a local vintner along with dishes featuring foods of the season on Saturday, November 12. Aptly named “The Feast Nearby – Grateful for Local Vintners and Seasonal Foods”, the group’s recipes and wine pairings (see below) promise to be so delectable, you’ll want to create them time and time again. I know I will!

For me, the challenging part of this month’s topic is that I live in Illinois…not exactly a wine region (although the local produce in the area is outstanding). For my contribution, I chose to return to the wines of my home state of Virginia.

During my college days in Richmond, wine from the state wasn’t on anyone’s mind or glass. I was drinking jug “Chablis” from California, Southern Comfort and Coke, or a light beer or two. Now, the Virginia wine industry is in the fast lane and more than a few wines are recognized internationally. I’ve visited wineries around the Charlottesville and Tidewater areas and continue to be impressed. I’m already looking forward to my return in the spring for more swirls and sips!

One of my favorite Virginia wines is Viognier, now recognized as the Virginia State Grape. Originating in Southern France, Viognier is a full bodied dry white wine known for its perfumed aromas of honeysuckle, tangerine, and peach. It’s also cultivated in Italy, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, and of course, various regions in the United States; the flavor profile reflects its unique terroir and winemaker’s style.

For the #winePW twitter chat, I chose Keswick Hommage a Genevieve 2015 Les Vents d’Anges  ($24.95), sent as a sample. Les Vents d’Anges (“wind of the angels”), was created as a tribute to Keswick Vineyards’ owner Al Shornberg’s youngest sister, Genevieve de Beaubien, MD. The intent was to honor her memory with a beautiful wine that reflects Genevieve’s true nature; she is considered “the kindest, most big-hearted and beautiful person inside and out”.

viognier
With every sip, I was reminded not only how much I love Virginia, but how I much I long for its Viognier. This luscious example of estate grown Viognier boasted gentle aromas of flowers, tropical fruit, honeysuckle, and honey. On the palate, I noted lively acidity and mesmerizing flavors of dried apricots, peach nectar, melon, more tropical fruit, minerality, and a hint of herbs. The lingering, vibrant finish on this balanced, complex wine was a delicious complement to the Apricot Spread with Chevre. Genevieve de Beaubien MD would be proud.

The creamy texture with elements of natural fruit and savory cheese on fresh baguette slices and the floral and fruit forward notes of the Keswick Hommage a Genevieve 2015 Les Vents d’Anges created a brilliant harmony. You’ll love this pairing as much as I did.

Apricot Spread with Chevre

Ingredients

  • 2 15.25 oz. cans apricot halves (drained and chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (plus additional for garnish)
  • 32 baguette slices (cut on the diagonal)
  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1 cup chevre ((may substitute blue cheese, brie or another soft cheese))
  • 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts (toasted)
  • freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Directions

Step 1
Place the apricots, vinegar, onion and salt in a medium saucepan.
Step 2
Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring frequently (reduce heat to low towards the end of the cook time to avoid scorching).
Step 3
Stir in thyme and let cool.
Step 4
Meanwhile, brush the baguette slices with walnut oil. Place on a baking sheet and broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned.
Step 5
To serve, top each baguette slice with 1/2 tablespoon of cheese and 1/2 tablespoon of the apricot mixture.
Step 6
Sprinkle with chopped fresh thyme and toasted walnuts.
Step 7
Makes 32 appetizers. Enjoy!

Viognier
 

Cheers! ~ Cindy

Enjoy the following wine and food pairings from the always interesting #winePW crew!

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5 comments

  1. Reply

    Cindy, this looks easy and delicious. I’m a huge fan of Viognier, and can’t wait to try your recipe with a nice, aromatic glass of my favorite white wine! And thanks for all the beautiful photos of Spain. Made me want to jump on a plane and go back!

  2. Reply

    I have never tried any Virginia wines. I will have to keep an eye out. What a great appetizer this spread will make for the holidays.

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