a Sunday Dinner + Wine Pairing

holiday season menu inspiration

featuring Riesling from Pacific Rim

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If there's one thing we love to do as a team, it's plan a menu. I think one of the reasons this time of year is my most favorite, is because it's when we start planning and collaborating on all the details of our holiday gatherings, large and small alike. Apart from our annual Friendsgiving tradition, it also seems that around this time we take Sunday dinners a bit more seriously. Thoughtfully planning a full meal from cocktail to dessert feels really classy, but doesn't have to be as daunting as it sounds. 

As we've been focusing a lot more on sustainable practices lately, particularly in the kitchen, we were so excited at the opportunity to team up with Pacific Rim to talk about riesling that's sustainably produced in the Pacific Northwest, and how to pair them with a seasonal menu. As people who appreciate wine and all that goes along with it, I wanted to share some info about their practices below!


via Pacific Rim Winery

At Pacific Rim, we’re committed to walking the walk regarding sustainable practices —no corporate “green washing” here. We believe that making beautiful wines should not compromise the beauty of our planet.

  • Banned hard herbicides + heavy watering

  • Winery built to optimize efficiency for electrical and water usage

  • Exclusively use wild yeasts

  • Transitioned to Lightweight Glass

  • We compost 100% of our pomace weight
    (a bi-product of grape crush)


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I've been stuck on figs, buckwheat and burrata lately (I used figs in a buckwheat porridge earlier this week that is a major fall breakfast upgrade), and was so excited to incorporate them again into a full vegetarian focused meal with these different rieslings. Keeping the menu simple, but elevated was our vibe here. We wanted it to be easy to throw together for a holiday gathering with friends, or something for a cozy night in that you'd like to kick up a notch. We're starting you off with a scotch + riesling cocktail that sets the tone for a fall flavored menu. Followed by a pear and burrata salad, a buckwheat and butternut squash bowl, and for the grand finale? Fresh figs over ice cream with toasted walnuts and a drizzle of dessert wine on top. You really can't go wrong here. 

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Lemony Scotch + Riesling Cocktail


1 oz blended scotch whiskey
3 oz Sweet Riesling
1 dash angostura bitters
1 dash lemon juice
1 lemon wheel, for garnish
 

  • In a rocks glass, combine whiskey, riesling and lemon juice with ice, stir until chilled.
     
  • Garnish with a dash of bitters and lemon wheel.

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Pear + Burrata Salad

serving size for an individual portion
 

1 pear, sliced thinly
1 4 oz piece burrata cheese
1 cup field greens
shallot vinaigrette, recipe to follow

  • To assemble, scatter greens on serving dish in a circle shape.
  • Place burrata in center and arrange pear slices in a fan shape around cheese.
  • Dress lightly with shallot vinaigrette. 

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Shallot Vinaigrette

1 shallot, finely minced
3 tbs cup champagne vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

  • In a small non-reactive bowl, whisk to combine the shallot, vinegar and olive oil.
  •  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

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Buckwheat + Butternut Squash Bowl

serves 2

1 cup buckwheat groats
1 lb butternut squash, cubed
8 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup parsley leaves, roughly torn
1 tbs butter
2 tbs olive oil, divided
salt and pepper

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Toss squash with 1 tbs olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 12 minutes, flip and continue cooking an additional 10-12 minutes. Remove and set aside. 
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. When butter is bubbling, add buckwheat groats and toast, stirring continuously for about 5 minutes.
  • When groats are toasted, add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook undisturbed for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with fork. Set aside. 
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tbs olive oil until shimmering. When hot, add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Add butternut squash and buckwheats groats, tossing to combine.
  • Add parsley leaves, season with salt and pepper and continue cooking until warmed through, about 3 minutes. 
  • Serve warm, and garnish with additional parsley leaves. 
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Figs + Cream

serving size for a *generous* individual portion
 

3 scoops french vanilla ice cream
2 figs, halved
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
Vin de Glaciere Riesling,
or similar dessert wine for topping

  • To serve, plate ice cream and garnish with walnuts and figs.
  • Drizzle with dessert wine and serve immediately.  
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