Recently I went to a wine tasting party. The theme: Purple.
We were to bring any wine that had purple on the label and any food pairing that was purple. How awesome is that?
We have done wine tastings in the past where there are more specific assignments, such as wines from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, or Italian whites. Choosing a regional category allows you to get a decent sense of the wines from a particular corner of the world...until, sadly yet happily, you have consumed too much wine during the course of the evening, and you somehow forget to carefully taste each wine and intellectually discuss its characteristics with your fellow wine tasters. But you always remember one or two bottles from each night that you will buy again and again.
With no geographical restrictions limiting my selection, only chromatic restrictions, I chose a 2002 Pinot Noir from the Eyrie Vineyards in Dundee, Oregon. I had been eyeing it on the shelf at Binny's for weeks and could hold out no longer. There was only one problem: no purple on the label.
No purple, no problem, no purproblem, I just shaded the label in with a purple colored pencil. I was found out, but who cares. The wine was delicious and I will buy it again!
The purple food pairing was a chicken salad with dill, red (purple) onions, and red (purple) grapes...a unique and refreshing combination of flavors. I wouldn't say that it went fantastically with the pinot noir, but again, who cares.
Chicken Salad with Dill, Red Onions, and Grapes
1 ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper
¼ c. mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip, not the same, it’s not the same)
½ c. red onions, minced or chopped finely
½ c. fresh dill, chopped
3 cups red grapes, cut in half
Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces; salt and pepper them.
Heat a pan with 2 tbs. olive oil. Sautée chicken pieces until cooked through but still tender, stirring occasionally to prevent browning. Set aside to cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare remaining salad ingredients. Assemble them on a plate so that you can admire their raw beauty:
When chicken is cool, dump in medium-sized bowl and stir in mayonnaise, red onions, and dill. Salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold in the grapes so as to not smush them.
Everytime I make this salad, it tastes different. You should add each ingredient to taste, in case your onions are particulary potent that day and you don’t need the entire amount, or the dill is bland and you need more than a ½ cup.
You should also probably double the recipe, because once the salad is gone, you will definitely want more, and there won’t be anymore, and you will be sad. In order to prevent this sadness, make more in the first place, and then you will have more when you want more instead of not having more when you want more.
Charlie wants to know when the next wine tasting is.