Editor's Note: With our May issue devoted to local wines, Angela Ortmann is dedicating this month's Quite the Pair columns to St. Louis-area restaurants that serve them.
Chandler Hill Vineyards' Spinach Strawberry Salad
Many of our local wineries offer more than just tastings, events, live music and tours. Their full-service restaurants should not be overlooked, not to mention the opportunities to pair dishes with their wines.
Among the ever-growing vines, one cannot help but have an appetite for lighter fare filled with fresh produce. Without being overly complicated, a dish like Chandler Hill Vineyard’s Spinach Strawberry Salad pleases the senses in freshness, flavor and texture and opens itself up to plenty of pairing possibilities.
THE WINE PAIRINGS
2010 Chandler Hill “Lone Oak” Vidal Blanc, Mo., $8.50 by the glass
Deciding to start on the drier side of things, I first tasted the Vidal Blanc. A Missouri grape that can see both dry and off-dry styles, the Lone Oak is clean and crisp with notes of apple, citrus and herbs. If I were going to compare it to a more worldly varietal, I would tell you to conjure up the senses to that of a Sauvignon Blanc. Paired with the salad, the wine gives a fresh, spring lift. As I have mentioned before in previous pairings, high-acid white wines go very well with higher-acid foods, such as berries, goat cheese and tomatoes, so this match was an easy find from a reliable rule of food and wine pairing.
2009 Chandler Hill Riesling, Wash., $8.50 by the glass
One of the unique attributes of Chandler Hill Vineyards is that they not only make local wines, but they also produce wines on the West Coast, which makes for a fun and interesting twist to visiting the winery for a tasting. With two Washington State Rieslings on the menu, I tasted both, one dry and one slightly sweet. While both were a delicious addition to the meal, I found that the sweeter of the two topped my list. Tropical fruits are in full force and give a rounded balance to the tart-like salad. The wine also highlighted the candied walnuts, giving a nudge toward the underlying sugary nature.
2011 Chandler Hill Chambourcin Rosé, Mo., $8.50 by the glass
With the presence of strawberries in any dish, it would be difficult to pass up a possible pink wine pairing. This estate rosé, produced from 100-percent local variety Chambourcin, is the first from Chandler Hill. A job well done, as this dry-styled wine shows fragrant bright berry with subtle touches of floral and herbal notes. The light drinking wine does not overpower the greens but does have enough body to hold up to the chicken. Accentuating the fruit, the rosé also gives just the right amount of acidity to cut through the goat cheese and complement the tomato vinaigrette.
Chandler Hill Vineyards, 596 Defiance Road, Defiance, 636.798.2675, chandlerhillvineyards.com
STLwinegirl Angela Ortmann gained a passion for all things epicurean by working in the luxury restaurants and hotels of St. Louis and San Francisco. Through her event and consultation business, she is dedicated to enhancing your food and wine experience.