May 17, 2011

Balsamic Mushroom Linguine with Virginia Chardonnay

Sometimes I am just in the mood for something vegetarian. A dish where some fresh, seasonable vegetables are the star. The last few weeks, I have found green onions to be really tasty. White button mushrooms are cultivated year-round and looked good that day at the store. As a sauce, some reduced balsamic vinegar and veggie broth would be nice over some linguine pasta. Throw all of those things together, and voilĂ , here was a quick and healthy pasta dish.

A recipe for a similar dish can be found here, well, except for the fact that I changed almost every single ingredient… but seriously, the one important extra step that I did was to reduce the vinegar before using it (to avoid the pungency), and to add some broth to make more sauce.

I was really hungry that day and as time was of the essence, I could not do much prior research as to which wine would pair well with balsamic mushrooms. So I just grabbed a bottle I had been wanting to open for a while. It was the 2008 New Kent Winery Chardonnay from Virginia.

I have to admit, that I am not a big fan of Chardonnay in general. On the rare occasion that I find one which I like, it’s usually one that has spent no or very little time in oak barrels. Such is the case with the New Kent Chardonnay, which is in a fruit-forward style. It has aromas of apple and tropical fruit, and the taste has great citrus notes and a lovely acidity.

I found it to be a wonderful match with my pasta dish. I had been worried about the interaction with the acidity of the balsamic vinegar in the food, but it turned out to be very harmonious. My research “after the fact” came up with pairing suggestions for lighter reds, such as Pinot Noir, and I tried that the next day with some leftovers, and honestly, the Chardonnay had worked much better! Maybe I should just go with my gut feeling more often, rather than to over-think the issue…

By the way, the New Kent Winery is definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in the area, sort of halfway between Richmond and Williamsburg in Virginia. The tasting room’s architecture is very impressive, and any winery that makes me want to buy their Chardonnay is worth a special mention and kudos in my book! Final verdict: an amazing combination!

No comments: