With the most recent release of CK Mondavi wines, the Peter Mondavi Sr. family invites wine enthusiasts to take a deeper look at the growers who work the vines. As a family-run winery for more than seventy years now, CK Mondavi cherishes the close relationships they have built up with California grape farmers. “Part of my job is working with our growers, all of whom are American farmers,” says John Moynier, Head Winemaker for CK Mondavi.
To honor these talented, hardworking farmers, CK Mondavi recently released an exclusive Herb Gardening Kit, accompanied by three of the most recent releases—2014 Pinot Grigio, 2014 Sauvignon Blanc and 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. “The wooden box, gardening gloves and seeds represent our commitment to our American growers,” Moynier proudly states. Complete with basil, chives, dill and coriander seeds, the Herb Gardening Kit allows wine enthusiasts to get a taste of farming by planting his/her own herb garden. Most exciting of all, is that once the seeds are planted and sprout, the fresh herbs can be used for a variety of food and wine pairing combinations.
Always gentle, balanced and complex, the newly-released wines make great accompaniments to an array of cuisines, and are perfect for pairing with fresh, spring herbs. The 2014 Pinot Grigio is a very food friendly wine that shines when paired with spring flavors and fresh herbs. The nose of this wine is slightly sweet with notes of honeysuckle and flowers. The palate also boasts honeysuckle, in addition to tropical notes of kiwi and lychee. The small percentage of Moscato (3%) that is blended into this wine gives the palate a kiss of sugar, but that slight sweetness is balanced out by the refreshing crispness and gentle acidity.
These characteristics interact beautifully with a goat cheese crostini, topped with fresh dill and ripe strawberries. First and foremost, the sweet and savory combination of strawberries and goat cheese brings added complexity to the wine. The creamy texture of the goat cheese adds body and weight to the mouthfeel, while the strawberries pick up on the fruit in the wine and provide additional layers of flavors. The dill is a pungent contrast to the wine’s flavors, providing excellent balance; the dill also works to tone down the acidity and pick up on the floral notes in the wine.
There are many simple flavor combinations that can be created when looking to pair wine with dishes that use fresh herbs. Honor the California grape growers—the farmers who make the wine in your glass possible—by planting some herbs this Spring and creating your own delightful food and wine pairings.
For more information about CK Mondavi’s commitment to growers across the state, or to inquire about the Spring Gardening Kit and discover more food and wine pairing recipes, visit www.CKMondavi.com.