It’s Day 2 of the 12 Days of Wine 2021 Celebration!
We are on to another wine from a winery we visited this year and on to another spoonful of goodness to pair with it!
Let’s jump in!
Lone Madrone 2020 Dry Farmed Picpoul Blanc, Willow Creek District, Paso Robles
The grapes for this wine come from the Willow Creek District, the Old Oak Vineyard which is dry-farmed by Cathy and Dave Colmar, with who Neil (the winemaker) has been working for many years.
It spent 7 months on the lees (the dead yeast) which softened it. They made just 129 cases of this wine.
What’s it taste like?
It’s bright without being puckering. You get fresh notes of green apple, lemon, lime, white flowers, lime zest, white peach, lemongrass, and a minerality that is a little salty.
Find it here
Smoked Salmon, with preserved lemon, thyme and ricotta
With a wine this bright I wanted something that would have a bit of fattiness for the wine to cut through. Smoked salmon fit the bill. I topped it with a bit of ricotta with dried thyme mixed in, a slice of preserved lemon and some fresh thyme on top.
Preserved lemon? I searched everywhere for a jar, in gourmet stores around town to no avail. Then I thought, well how hard are they to make? So I looked it up. It’s just lemon cooked in salt water. So I sliced my lemon thinly and tossed it in a pot of salted water (just a little mind you). They cooked down, I let them cool and Voila!
Our little spoons just need a little quarter of a slice to garnish, and it is delicious, bringing the tartness and salinity to the dish.
Recently we returned to Paso Robles for a brief visit. It had been much too long since we had been there, and we didn’t spend long enough and still need to return to explore a bit more. The region has grown and changed much since our early visits. (You can read about our recent visit in Vegas to Paso Robles to Monterey with a stop at Lone Madrone)
Michael scheduled lunch and a tasting for us at Lone Madrone, the winery co-owned by Neil Collins, the winemaker at Tablas Creek. The tasting room is on Adelaida Road and from the patio outside you get spectacular views looking to the North West.
The winery is owned by Neil, his wife Marci, and his sister Jackie. Neil and Marci’s son Jordan Collins now makes many of the wines, with his father.
We settled in and ordered from the menu put together by Chef Jeff Scott. Of course, couldn’t decide and determined with the multiple wines we would be tasting, a cheese platter was our best bet and with the lemon cured olives, 4 types of artisan cheese, a variety of artisan charcuterie, and dried fruit.
The first wine we tasted was this 2020 Picpoul Blanc. I’m a sucker for a Picpoul, so we left with a bottle and thought it was perfect for the 12 Days of Wine Line Up!
Smoked salmon with Preserved Lemon, Thyme & Ricotta
A spoonful of deliciousness that pairs perfect with a Picpoul Blanc
- smoked salmon
- dried thyme
- fresh thyme
- Add 1/2 cup of lemon juice or water to a small pot
- Add 1 tsp of tablespoon of salt
- cook over medium heat to dissolve the salt
- add one lemon thinly sliced into rings
- reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes until the peel is translucent
- Cut one of the lemon rounds into quarters
- Mix a bit of ricotta with some dried thyme
- place the salmon in the bottom of your spoon
- Top with the ricotta mixture
- Place the quarter slice of lemon in the ricotta
- garnish with fresh thyme
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.
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