I am on vacation this week with my family in San Diego. Last week I shipped six bottles of wine to my Mema (who also lives in San Diego) to keep until we got here. I shipped a 2001 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005 Etude Oakville Napa Valley Cabernet, 2006 Bianchi Pinot Noir, 2010 Saddleback Rose of Sangiovese, 2011 Navarro Eldezwicker and 2011 Bouchaine Pinot Gris. So far, on day three, we’ve drank three of them. The Edlezwicker makes a great beach wine, slightly sweet and very light. And the Pinot Gris was served as a pre-dinner wine last night, also light and fruity with a medium body. The Corison, however, was served with family dinner with some very special people: MM (visiting from his new home in Orange County), Mema and Pop pop (my mother’s parents).
My mom cooked up a delicious meal of stuffed peppers, roasted asparagus, and braised chicken thighs with black olives. I also made a mixed green salad with ciabatta croutons, sunflower seeds, cherry tomatoes (from Pop pop’s garden), parmesan, lemon, and olive oil. She got the recipes for stuffed peppers and the chicken from Panini Girl, who also happens to be her best friend and my “god mother.”
My mother has made the chicken a few times before, and she originally learned the recipe on her trip to Lucca with Panini Girl. The key is to use bone-in thighs because the flavor is much better than boneless. It’s a delicious dish when made correctly, so just follow Panini Girl’s recipe. The stuffed peppers and asparagus made great sides, but it was the Corison that was surprisingly the best match for the chicken.
I purchased this bottle a few weeks ago at the Corison winery in Napa Valley. After tasting several fantastic Cabernets (the wine Kathy Corison is known for) of different vintages and vineyards, I decided to splurge on the 2001 Napa Valley, knowing I would bring it to San Diego to share with my father. Because this chicken dish is so full of flavor, an aged Cab was actually the perfect pairing. The flavors of cassis, tobacco and black olives in the Corison perfectly complemented the flavor components in the chicken (especially the olives). I ended up drinking the majority of the bottle, but made sure that each person had a taste. I wish I had more!
I’m looking forward to tasting the other three wines that are left. Stay tuned for more pairings and tasting notes…