While taking a quick break from winegrunting last Sunday, I stopped by Planter's Ridge's table at the Halifax Seaport Market. It had been a while since I enjoyed their Chardonnay, and as luck would have it, they happened to be offering samples of said wine. The last time I had a bottle of this wine was sometime shortly after the "Liquid Gold and Buried Treasure" event we hosted at the Italian Canadian Cultural Institute of Halifax back in October 2016. Indeed, it had been too long since I had savoured this outstanding Chardonnay - it is a cross I must bear - after all, there are so many amazing local wines to drink, and I try to vary what I drink, for research purposes, of course. Thus, that early Sunday afternoon, a little taste to remind me of how good it is was all it took for me to bring a bottle home and get my creative juices flowing and to have me fantasizing of what I would pair with my rediscovered gem.
This chardonnay is a blend of 33% Stainless Steel and 67% French Oak aged in barrels for 8 months. On the nose it has complex aromas of coconut and ripe green apple accompanied with hints of passion fruit and guava. The barrel ageing gives it a buttery body, while the varietal itself and the stainless steel aging give it a citrusy balanced acidity and earthiness on the palate. This Chardonnay was the Gold Medal Winner at the 2016 Atlantic Canada Wine Awards for single varietal white wine.
Planter's Ridge recommends pairing this wine with lobster, crab and shrimps with butter, roasted chicken and turkey, or grilled and roasted salmon. While all these recommendations sound fabulous, I was more in the mood for something unconventional. The thought of beef stroganoff kept dancing in my mind. Typically, given the red meat and sour cream, it gets paired with a light red. However, I have never been a fan of the sour cream and red wine pairing, thus I decided that this lightly buttery, yet still crisp Chardonnay would be a lovely pairing with a Stroganoff... but not just any Stroganoff. . .
While I chose to complement the creamy buttery wine with the smoothness of sour cream, I thought it may be appropriate to create a contrast with the elegance of the wine, thus I opted for the "Poor Girl's Stroganoff." The beef chuck was replaced with ground beef and all he other ingredients remained the same. Served over eggs noodles, a side of greens, and some local jazz, the wine was divine.