Celebrating St. Supéry on Sauvignon Blanc Day
Today, May 7th is Sauvignon Blanc Day. We have enjoyed quite a bit of Sauvignon blanc in our glasses this spring. This one from St. Supéry in the Napa Valley comes with a story that we will get to shortly.
This is also the month for Middle Eastern Food & Wine Pairings with the #WinePW Crew. I was excited to tie in this Sauvignon Blanc with my community-style Middle Eastern dishes.
You can join us for a conversation on Middle Eastern Food and Wine Pairings on Saturday, May 8th at 8 am Pacific time on Twitter. Just follow and use the hashtag #WinePW to join the conversation. You’ll find links to all of my colleagues’ articles below.
What to include in our Middle Eastern feast?
When I think of middle eastern food I am taken to my days right out of college when my palate expanded and falafel and hummus became a regular part of my life.
I was excited to get back to these flavors and create a meal (mostly from scratch) with dishes meant to share at the table. Meze if you will.
The Middle East covers a large area and multiple countries. Hummus likely came from Egypt and spread across the Middle East where chickpeas are abundant.
Tzatziki you will of course find in Greece, but there is a variation in Turkey known as Cacik.
Naan is known in India and comes from the old Persian word for bread. It can be found in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikstan, and Iran.
Falafel’s origins are contentious, Israel claims it as one of their national dishes, Palestinians think of it as an Arab specialty. In Lebanon and Yemen, they also claim to have invented it.
It most likely originates from Egypt and was likely first made with fava beans and it is from those beans that it takes its name.
Baba Ghanoush is of Lebanese origin. Whew, so that is quite the gastronomical trip around the Middle east.
These were the dishes that would grace my table today. I will leave the tabouleh for another day, although it would have been lovely with the Sauvignon Blanc.
What wines pair with a Middle Eastern Meze?
If you want to search for a Middle eastern Wine to pair with these dishes I would suggest perhaps an Emir from Turkey, which is a fresh white wine with notes of green apple and lemon and sometimes a mineral note or a Narince which can be crisp and saline.
Or perhaps a Merwah from Lebanon (which may be a version of Semillon).
My colleagues with Wine Pairing Weekend are bound to have many more suggestions!
Less far afield you could go with an Albairño from Spain or an Assyrtiko from Santorini in Greece.
Our Sauvignon blanc was a good pairing as it picked up on the garlic and lemon in many of the dishes. The falafel worked with the acid in the wine as did the creamy baba ghanoush and of course the green cucumber notes in the tzatziki again just called for a Sauvignon blanc.
Simple Easy Dishes?
I thought of this as a simple meal, that would not take much time to whip up. Well, I was partially right.
Each of the dishes were fairly simple, but…I was making several of them.
This ended up being an afternoon in the kitchen, going from one dish to the next and back again but it was all well worth it.
I started with making the naan. It is simple, just water, sugar, yeast, oil, flour, salt, and yogurt. Mix it up and let it rise for an hour. I found my recipe at Rasa Malaysia
Then there were eggplants to roast for the Baba Ghanoush, hummus to make with my recipe from Inspired Taste
Cucumbers needed to be shredded and drained for the tzatziki with a recipe from The Mediterranean Dish
Then back to the Baba Ghanoush now that the eggplant was roasted and cooled with another recipe from The Mediterranean Dish.
Now it was time to toss together the falafel. I did cheat, and I picked up a box of falafel mix. While these drained after frying, I cut and rolled my naan and fried it up in the rod iron skillet, topping it with a brush of clarified butter.
I added a dish of feta and olives and some almonds to finish off our table.
These are community dishes, meant to be eaten with your hands and to be shared. Which leads me to our wine.
If you have visited Napa Valley you may have visited St. Supéry. They sit on the east side of Hwy 29 in Rutherford. I remember visiting one early morning, more than a few years ago before the tasting room was busy.
We had the space to wander and enjoy an exhibit on wine aromas and then take up all the attention of the gentleman running the tasting room, who was so generous with his knowledge. These are fond memories, and it reminds me that I need to get back and visit again.
Dollarhide Ranch Vineyard
Around the winery, you will find the St. Supéry Rutherford vineyards, but they also have vineyards in the northeastern hills of the Napa Valley. East of Howell Mountain before you reach Lake Berryessa you will find Dollarhide Ranch.
The elevation here runs from 600 to 1,100 feet with 7 different soil series and some unique microclimates.
The Dollarhide Vineyard is full of biodiversity, with over 1,500 acres and only 500 planted to vines. Far from the main roads in Napa the ranch, the property has 7 different lakes and they encourage wildlife corridors and bird corridors. Much of the native wildlife and plants have not been disturbed.
They mention ducks, geese, egrets, owls, bees, foxes, otter, and largemouth bass among other animals who call the ranch home.
They also have 1,200 heirloom fruit trees on the property (if you get to the St. Supéry tasting room you can pick up preserves!)
St. Supéry Sauvignon Blanc 2019 and the story of the 2020 vintage
Sauvignon Blanc I received from St. Supéry in Napa Valley was their 2019 Vintage. It is delicious and brighter than most California Sauvignon Blancs, with notes of lime zest, grapefruit, floral notes, and a bit of wet stone. SRP is $22 abv is 13.5%
(I found this available on wine.com).
*This wine was received as a media sample. All opinions remain our own.
But here is where the story comes in.
They have released their 2020 Vintage of this wine. The Sauvignon Blanc is the only wine they produced from the 2020 vintage. It was just the second day of harvest with the fires converged on the Dollarhide Ranch.
Neighbors pitched in helping the team to protect the ranch with firebreaks, bulldozers, and water trucks.
The grapes for the 2020 vintage Sauvignon Blanc were harvested before the fires. Once the fires began they could not guarantee that the grapes they pulled in would not have smoke taint. They made the decision not to bottle any of the post-fire wine.
The amount of Sauvignon that they had already picked amounted to 2% of the normal vintage.
The 2020 vintage is available in their tasting room. $5 from each bottle goes to the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund. They do this to honor the neighbors who came to their aid and made this wine possible.
This is where we return to the idea of community and our shared dishes. Humbly eating with my hands and sharing food while enjoying this wine, seemed right.
The #WinePW Crew
I am so excited to see what the Wine Pairing Weekend Crew has put together. A shout out to Wendy of a Day in the Life on the Farm for leading us into this exploration.
While I didn’t find a Middle Eastern Wine, I expect that in these peices my colleagues have written, I will find new wines to explore and new dishes to try…
- Pinny of Chinese Food and Wine Pairing is Drinking Serious Wine from Israel’s Domaine du Castel and Eating Causal Israeli Food
- Nicole of Somm’s Table is “Indulging My Lebanese Cravings with Chateau Musar Jeune Rouge”
- Susannah of Avvinare shares Israeli Wine From the Judean Hills and Tabbouleh Salad
- Terri of Our Good Life talks about Kofte Kebabs and Ben Ami Cabernet Sauvignon: a BBQer’s Bliss.
- Andrea of The Quirky Cork visits Lebanon and Syria, a Crossroads of Wines and Flavors
- Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla is sharing Man’oushe + Château Musar Lebanon Jeune Red 2017
- Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm made up a Mezze Platter with Middle Eastern Wines
- Jane of Always Ravenous is “Pairing Middle Eastern Flavors with Wine”
- David of Cooking Chat is serving Sesame Free Hummus with Wine from the Middle East
- Gwendolyn of Wine Predator shares So Africa’s Organic Reyneke Syrah and Chenin Blanc with Instant Pot Persian Lamb Shanks
More wine and food pairings
- Tea smoked tuna and roasted beets with an aromatic plating paired with a Utopia 2017 Pinot Noir
- Yakima Valley AVA – Blends of friendship and history with wines from Eight Bells and Pearl and Stone Co.
- Priorat DOQ in Spain’s Cataluna region and Franck Massard’s 2015 “Humilitat”
- Alloro – Stunning Wines from Oregon’s New Laurelwood District AVA
- Rueda and Verdejo just keep rolling with the #1 white wine in Spain
- Groth 2019 Estate White – This Beautiful Inaugural Vintage Kicks it off in Style
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.