Howard's Wine Pick of the Month:
Howard's Wine Pick of the Month: Sonoma Cutrer Sonoma Chardonnay 2009
Distinct aromas of ginger and lemon zest are joined by toasty coconut, melon and caramel alongside a mineral, flinty cedar chest oakiness overlaid by notes of honeysuckle. Well-balanced with a solid acid backbone, the wine is rich and medium-heavy with a broad, yet firm, mid-palate. The long, lingering finish displays a touch of spice and lively acidity. Flavors of lemon, apple, pear, pineapple and cantaloupe, Sonoma's full cornucopia of fruit, join a nutty, spicy, lightly oaky profile. Fermented in oak and undergoing complete malolactic fermentation, the wine shows a mature influence by older vines and promises to evolve over time, bringing joy to both winemaker and those lucky enough to savor a glass. Pairing tip: A great complement to poultry, shellfish and vegetables. Ideal with goat cheese or sheeps' milk cheese.
Recipe: Tarragon Chicken Breasts with Crab and Asparagus 1/2 lb. thin asparagus, trimmed 1 cup chicken broth (canned or homemade) 2 tbsp. Sonoma Coast Chardonnay Salt and pepper to taste 2 tbsp. shallots, minced 1/2 tsp. anise seed 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved and pounded flat 1 tbsp. fresh tarragon, minced 1/2 lb. fresh crabmeat 1 tbsp. unsalted butter 1/4 cup heavy or whipped cream
Combine the chicken broth, Chardonnay, salt, pepper, shallots and anise seed in a non-reactive skillet over high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Add the asparagus and simmer until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove and set aside in a warm oven. Reduce the heat to low and add the chicken breasts to the liquid. Cover and simmer for 7 minutes or until the breasts are done. Remove the chicken breasts and keep them warm with the asparagus in the oven.
Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid in the pan to a boil until it becomes sauce-like and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add the crabmeat and cook just a minute to heat through. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter, cream and fresh tarragon. To serve, arrange the asparagus on a warmed plate. Place a chicken breast on top of the asparagus. Place a piece of crab on the chicken and spoon sauce around the plate. Serve immediately. Serves 4From Sonoma Cutrer's web site