Farmers’ Markets and a Pairing Menu for Friends

Image

In just one week, one of the first rites of the Napa Valley summer season arrives:  the opening of the St. Helena Farmers’ Market.  A beloved small-town institution, the St. Helena Farmers’ Market is a bustling event every Friday morning that brings together local farmers offering produce fresh from the fields, gourmet food vendors and demonstrations by well-known local chefs.  In short, it’s a foodie paradise.

To celebrate the opening of the Farmers’ Market season and the upcoming release our new wines, we invited Chef John Adamson to create a pairing menu that would celebrate the season and be fun to prepare together. Coming from Amici, a winery created and run by friends, it’s fitting that these recipes are designed for sharing and pairing.  Many hands make light work!  You can each tackle a recipe, or divide the tasks and create the dishes together. Either way, it’s an enjoyable, shared experience, and each course pairs beautifully with an Amici wine. So grab your basket and your best friends and toast the arrival of Farmers’ Market season!

Pour yourself and your friends a glass of Amici Sauvignon Blanc and start cracking on our recipe for Dungeness Crab Cake with Lemon Aioli and Spring Greens.  Serve it with a garnish of micro-greens, simply dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and salt. The wine’s lively citrus and tropical fruit flavors and crisp minerality bring out the best in the sweet, succulent crab.

Next up: markets are brimming with spring peas and farm-fresh butter. Put them together in Seared Gnocchi with English Peas, Pancetta and Parmigiano-ReggianoAmici Pinot Noir shows plum and black cherry flavors with a hint of cedar-a perfect pairing with the gnocchi’s earthy notes of browned butter and caramelized pancetta. For a quick and easy dish, you can use any good quality prepared gnocchi, found at many gourmet food markets. For true foodies, break out your potato ricer and try Chef Adamson’s homemade Gnocchi recipe.

For the main course Grilled Herb-Marinated Chicken with Farmers Market Vegetables lets you enjoy the flavors of summer. Fill your basket with fresh herbs and vegetables—parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, asparagus, spring onions and more—and a plump organic chicken.  Marinated overnight then grilled over mesquite charcoal, the juicy, smoky chicken and vegetables are the perfect foil for Amici Cabernet Sauvignon‘s wild berry aromas, supple tannins and dark fruit, toffee and mocha flavors.

Download all three recipes here.

Spring in the Vineyards

The vines are letting let us know that spring has officially arrived.  Stirring from their months of dormancy, they’re optimistically sprouting verdant new growth and seem to be basking in sunny, warm days.

Budbreak on a Rutherford Bench vine.

Budbreak on a Rutherford Bench vine.

Inside the winery, barrels tower floor to ceiling and front to rear, and it feels like we’re bursting at the seams after the blockbuster 2012 harvest.  Yields across California were the largest on record last fall, and that had winery staff across the valley (including ours) scrambling to find space for load after load of perfect grapes coming in.  Tastes from the barrels of the 2012 vintage haven’t disappointed:  these young wines are showing a delightful intensity and depth of flavor.

Assistant Winemaker Bobby has finished up the racking on the 2012s and now he and Joel can turn their attention to working on the 2011 blends, purchasing new equipment and all of the good stuff that comes with preparing the winery for the 2013 harvest.

The rest of us at Amici are busy getting ready for our Spring 2013 new releases and looking forward to sharing some seriously good stuff with our friends.  Spring is in the air!