We are smack dab in the midst of grilling season, so I was thrilled when the folks at Pedroncelli sent wines along with a recipe that requires grilling.
If you recall from last time Pedroncelli makes it easy and sends a recipe for pairing along with their wines. No combing the internet and trying to figure out what may go with multiple wines. #Winning
As a family winery that has been in business for over 90 years, the Pedroncelli Family is always focused on the next generation. To that end, they practice sustainable winegrowing and are stewards of their vineyards and the environment beyond.1 So we can all be sure that they’ll be around for the long term.2
2017 Pedroncelli East Side Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County ($17)
The Sauv Blanc has quite the aromatic profile offering up apricot, mango, peach, ripe melon, and orange marmalade aromas along with a hint of sweet spice and floral essence. Highly sippable with lively acid it has flavors of ripe peaches and lemon-lime. Round and smooth with a touch of cream. It strikes a beautiful balance in tongue tingling acidity and juicy ripe fruit. Delish! And this is coming from someone who leans Loire when it comes to Sauv Blanc.
2016 Pedroncelli Sonoma Classico Red Wine Blend, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County ($19)
The Sonoma Classico is comprised of Merlot, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrah. Black fruits, cedar, smoke, and baking spices are front and center when taking a whiff of the glass. There’s also a slight herbaceous quality to it. On the palate, the wine presents ripe black cherry, blackberry, and plum along the same spice from the nose – cloves and cinnamon. Rich and opulent with plush tannins.
As the Pedroncelli family says – “This one is designed for grilling and entertaining. It’s a classic! The classic style invites you to gather round the table as it becomes part of the meal not the centerpiece. It is the sharing of this wine with family and friends that defines it as a classic: Sonoma Classico.”
2016 Pedroncelli Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County ($26)
The third wine was the boldest of the trio. The fruit from this Zinfandel comes from the Bushnell Vineyard which has been closely related to the Pedroncelli family for over 50 years. Deep, intense ruby in the glass. And just to be clear, this is not one of those fruit bomb Zins. One sniff of this and I knew it to be classic Dry Creek Zinfandel. Dominate spice aromas along with vanilla, sweet black plum, and blackberry. On the palate, the fruit, acid, and tannins were in great harmony. That great acid came along with cedar, black pepper, blackberry, and mocha spice. Great structure on this one. I definitely got to spice up my life!
As the Pedroncelli family has its roots in Italy, it was no surprise that the recipe was Italian inspired. In fact, their website is full of recipe gems that pair with their wines. The family wholeheartedly believes in pairing food and wine to bring out the best in both. The recipe this time around was grilled Italian sausages with grilled vegetables (cauliflower, fennel,3and red onion) all topped with a basil gremolada. Total yum!
I was told that they key to this recipe was the cooking wine…the wine you enjoy WHILE cooking. So I did as I was told (it happens occasionally) and popped open the Sauvignon Blanc. It was the perfect choice while battling both the Houston heat and the heat of the grill. The bigger problem was not getting too comfortable with my glass and forgetting all about the grill!
Interestingly enough, I enjoyed all of the wines with the meal. The Sauv Blanc with the grilled veggies was fantastic. It just sang with the cauliflower and the sweet caramelization of the onion. This Sauv Blanc with grilled veggies and I could (almost) became a vegetarian. But it also held its own with the sausage to the point that I’d pair this again with no hesitation. Who knew?!
The Zinfandel was pretty close, but the spice almost competed too much with the meal. I’d go for a burger or ribs with this one. The recipe actually called for spicy Italian sausage so that may have worked too. I used mild because Thing 2 balks at all spice. The slam dunk pairing was the Sonoma Classico. It was just an easy-going, happy marriage of food and wine. And as I’d experienced in my previous tasting, all of the wines over-delivered for their price point.
All of the Pedroncelli wines are available for purchase on their website.
- Pedroncelli is a Certified California Sustainable Vineyard and Winery.
- For more on sustainable winegrowing and winemaking, see my article on Natural Wines.
- So yeah, grilled fennel will now be a regular veggie on my grill. So good!