Dec 8, 2014

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Pair This: Keeler Estate Chardonnay with Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Saturday is my favorite day of the week.  It’s when my husband (Joe) and I, along with our two boys who are 9 and 11, spend valuable time together simply enjoying life.  During the summer months our Saturdays are spent outside – grilling up big lunches and dinners on the back patio with a chilled glass of wine in hand, in between long walks along the Willamette River and hiking adventures spent discovering the many waterfalls that surround our hometown of Eugene, Oregon.  The hikes and walks become even longer during the Fall months when the leaves of the Willamette Valley turn to glorious vibrant hues of orange, red and yellow, and our meals together are split between grilling and cooking indoors and watching college football – Go Ducks!

Keeler Estate 2012 Chardonnay called for some creamy mushroom pasta

Keeler Estate 2012 Chardonnay called for some creamy mushroom pasta

Now that it’s December, our Saturday walks and hikes become shorter, and more time is spent indoors – baking cookies, listening to Christmas music and watching movies together while comfort food simmers in the slow cooker.  If it’s not beef or pork simmering in the slow cooker, I love cooking pasta dishes with cream based sauces and pairing them with some of Oregon’s many amazing Chardonnays.

The 2012 notable Keeler Estate Chardonnay

The 2012 notable Keeler Estate Chardonnay

Although I drink Oregon Chardonnay year round, I especially love it during the fall and winter months because it’s a bit more rich and complex in comparison to Oregon’s other fine white wines.  Biodynamically farmed Keeler Estate Vineyard, located in the Willamette Valley’s Eola-Amity Hills AVA, produces an extremely notable Chardonnay.  When I was interviewed earlier this year by Jessica Yadegaran of the California based newspaper, San Jose Mercury News, I had recently discovered just how amazing the Chardonnay was when I tried their 2011 Estate Chardonnay.  I raved in my interview, “They’re certified biodynamic and their wine, to me, truly reflects the terroir of that area.  The 2011 Estate Chardonnay ($25) is unbelievable. I think Oregon is really refining chardonnay in a lot of ways.  Keep an eye out for them.”

Creamy Mushroom Pasts with Roasted Garlic Toasts - delicious with  the Keeler Chardonnay

Creamy Mushroom Pasts with Roasted Garlic Toasts – delicious with the Keeler Chardonnay

Keeler Estate’s 2012 Chardonnay is pure bliss, just like the ’11 was.  The variation in vintage is of course evident; 2012 was a much warmer year than 2011.  But much like the 2011, the 2012 is beautifully balanced with vibrant acidity and a lush mouthfeel.  Tropical notes of pineapple and grapefruit are highlighted by zesty Key lime and Meyer lemon notes.  A crisp, refreshing and vibrant entrance mellows mid-palate, adding delicate finesse through and through – an absolute gem of a wine.

Key ingredients for a stellar wine and food combination

Key ingredients for a stellar wine and food combination

After pulling the cork on the Keeler Chardonnay yesterday afternoon (a Saturday), the very first sip had me yearning for a cream based pasta dish.  So I whipped up a very basic Creamy Mushroom Spaghetti dish using a Rachel Ray recipe that’s been a staple recipe over the years that I tend to tweak with my own style.  Ingredients included fresh sliced mushrooms, shallots, minced garlic, fresh thyme, heavy cream and my most favorite EVOO on earth: Frantoio, from Oregon’s Red Ridge Farm’s Oregon Olive Mill.  The Chardonnay and the pasta together were out of this world delicious! 

With the pasta and Chardonnay perfectly aligned, I had to throw some Roasted Garlic Toasts into the mix using the Olio Nuovo I received from Oregon Olive Mill – which I also drizzled over the top of the finished pasta dish.  Not sure what Olio Nuovo is?  I’ll be writing about that next.

I love it when food and wine pair perfectly

I love it when food and wine pair perfectly

Check out: keelerestatevineyard.com and redridgefarms.com.  To read more about Red Ridge Farms, check out my Best of Oregon piece by clicking here.

For more Oregon Olive Mill recipes and ideas, visit my Oregon wine writing friends’ Mary Cressler (Vindulge) and Jade Helm (Tasting Pour) websites:

Learning About Olive Oil at the Oregon Olive Mill (Vindulge)

New Year’s Resolution: Use the Good Stuff (Tasting Pour)