Whether an appetizer is an introduction to your meal or is your meal, appetizers tease your palate with bursts of flavors. I paired the Arínzano Gran Vino Chardonnay with a smoked salmon spread. The combination of smoked salmon, crème fraîche, lemon, and basil worked nicely to compliment and contrast the texture and flavors in the Chardonnay. To pair appetizers with wine, try to identify what flavor bursts stand out then, consider a wine that has flavors that compliment or create an interesting contrast to those flavors.
When I was searching for an appetizer to pair with the Arínzano Gran Vino Chardonnay, Georgeanne Brennan’s Smoked Trout Pâté from her latest cookbook, “La Vie Rustic” was my starting inspiration. Brennan’s Smoked Trout Pâté is fresh, flavorful, and a bit special just like the elements of the Arínzano Gran Vino Chardonnay. I did substitute a mild smoked salmon for the smoked trout to compliment the rich complex texture of the wine and I swapped out tarragon for basil, thinking tarragon may be a bit overwhelming in flavor for the Chardonnay. The creaminess of the crème fraîche complimented those elements in the Chardonnay. Finally, the citrus juice and zest were linear components that echoed the wine’s nice acidity but also, created a contrast to the fatty salmon and rich crème fraîche.
It’s summer, the perfect time to enjoy a few appetizers and some wine out on the deck. So, try your hand at pairing some appetizers with wines that echo similar flavors but, don’t forget to try pairing contrasting flavors – like sweet with spicy or rich buttery with higher acidity. Cheers to the #lazydaysofsummer.
Smoked Salmon Spread
- 1/4 lb. mild hot smoked salmon
- 6 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 1 tablespoon minced basil + for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- freshly ground pepper
- Break smoked salmon into pieces.
- In a medium bowl add all the ingredients and mix together.
- Put spread into a small ramekin or bowl, garnish with more minced basil or small basil leaves.
- Serve with sliced baguette or crackers. Can be refrigerated for up to 4 days
The wine samples were provided by Gregory White PR as part of #winestudio, an educational program organized by Tina Morey. Join the #winestudio conversation Tuesday at 9pm EDT on Twitter.