Summer is now in full swing, as most of us are hitting those high 80 and 90 degree days. No better time than now to pull out a refreshing wine from the Alsace area of France. I was lucky enough years ago to make a trip through that lovely countryside tasting my way from vineyard to vineyard. A trip that I would never hesitate to repeat. I fell in love with their wines before I made the trip, but my journey enhanced that love. You cannot miss a bottle of wine from Alsace as they are bottled in those beautiful slim tall bottles, that sometimes are hard to fit in the frig. As like all the other French wines that I have enjoyed, their pricing has went up the ladder also. But in digging around Sam's Wines on my Chicago trip, I came upon one that still had a low price tag of $11.99.
Into my cart went a bottle of Gustave Lorentz 2006 Pinot Blanc Reserve from Bergheim, France. I figured last night was a perfect evening to open this chilled wine, as it was shady, but quite toasty on the deck. On unscrewing the cap, a pleasing bouquet of fresh fruit, not so much citrusy, but just refreshing fruit escaped. Following up on the palate was that same fresh fruit but it was so clean and soft! No heavy acid in this one and the alcohol volume was 12%. At this price, I would recommend this little beauty for sipping on these hot summer nights!
I made an easy summer pasta salad the other night that I want to share with you. It was so easy and would pair up with just about anything you might put on the grill. Also would be great for a nice light lunch. Here ya go!
1 cup spiral pasta
1 cup of lima beans, I used frozen
1 15.5 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and chopped
1 6 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and diced
4 oil packed sun dried tomatoes diced
About 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
Shredded mozzarella cheese for sprinkling on top
Cook pasta according to directions. The last few minutes of cooking, toss in the lima beans if they are frozen. If not frozen, add to artichoke hearts and red peppers putting all these in a big bowl. Stir the dried tomatoes and pesto together in separate bowl then add to the peppers mixture. Season with salt and pepper, add the drained pasta and lima beans, toss well. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and serve. I served at room temperature but did have leftovers that tasted great the next day. I did add a little more pesto the next day to give it a little extra flavor. And hey, if you like it with more tomatoes or pesto, have at it. It seems one of those salads you cannot mess up.
And since you are seeing, limes, etc. next to my wine, I was making a butter, cilantro and lime juice mixture to pour over veggies that I was putting into packets for the grill. These foil packets consisted of zucchini, yellow squash, green onions, red pepper, a few broccoli florets, a few hot pepper flakes, salt, pepper and my butter sauce. Toss on the grill for about 15-20 minutes and "Oh, so good"!