TN: Bourgogne Blanc and Rouge with salmon

Friday was surprisingly warm, we decided to grill. Betsy picked up some wild salmon, and at last minte we decided we had enough to invite over a couple of good friends. One drinks only white, her husband drinks mostly red. Thank goodness for salmon.
As they arrived, we munched on inari-zushi, olives,and ume (pickled plums). The 2002 Bonny Doon Ca' da Solo Big House White provided a nice floral backdrop to a melange of flavors. Aromatic, modest acidity, with ripe white fruit. B
The salmon was grilled simply, served with a soy garlic butter dipping sauce. Betsy also had some stir-fried chard, and some Japanese rice (with nori wrappers). With dinner, both red and white Burgundy. This particular bottle of 1995 Domaine Leflaive Bourgogne was the best of 3 (good) bottles I picked up recently, clean pear fruit with a touch of hazelnut, deliciously smoky with a minerally finish. I would have been happy with this if it were a $35 Puligny,much less a $10 Bourgogne (hey, on closeout, but still). B+/A-
And for the red, the 2000 Lafarge Bourgogne. This has put on some wait over the last year or so. The cherry fruit veers closer to black cherry, and the earthy edge has deepened into more a forest floor aroma. Good acidity, nice finish. A-
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
Dale
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Dale Williams
You know me, PN & salmon. I will say that preference is based on my style of eating salmon, fairly rare. Dale
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Dale Williams

I tend to agree with you on that last, although not on the PN with salmon.
I find that it's easy to overcook salmon - as well as many other things. The trick I've found is to allow whatever it is you're about to grill sit awhile at room temperature before throwing it on the grill. If you put food on the grill straight out of the 'fridge it tends to be undercooked inside when the outside is right, and overcooked on the outside if the inside is right.
Tom S
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Tom S
wrote:
I agree strongly with your latter point. When grilling salmon (as well as other things, but let's deal with one thing at a time), one should start with it at room temperature. As to the choice between Chardonnay and PN (or, if you prefer, Bourgogne Blanc and Rouge) it depends on one's personal taste, how the salmon is prepared, and what kinds of spices and sauces are used. With really good quality salmon, e.g. the Copper River salmon that all of us in the Pacific NW eagerly await this time of year, little in the way of spices or sauces is required to prepare a superb dish. With lesser quality salmon, heavier sauces may be appropriate and even something like a merlot or syrah may work very well.
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Vino

I tend to agree with you, but not very strongly - particularly on extolling the virtues of Copper River salmon.
I find Steelhead at ~$8/lb to be usually better than the Copper River salmon I've spent $20+/lb for.
With lesser quality salmon, heavier sauces
Actually, I find homemade, dill-based tartar sauce to be worth the trouble to fix - especially for a slab of the good stuff, roasted over a French oak fire.
"Good stuff" = salmon, sturgeon, halibut, sea bass (any kind) swordfish, tuna, mahi-mahi, ... well, you get the idea.
No heavy red wines, please. Pinot Grigio - maybe.
Tom S
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Tom S
Naoko,
As to the ume, to be honest I made sure I had a LOT of mineral water before venturing to the wine.I don't think any wine on earth (or beer, or soft drink) could stand up to that taste!
The inari-zushi on the otherhand wasn't a bad match with the Bonny Doon. My stepson's grandmother (paternal, she's Japanese) had made these, very good, and the light sweetness played off the florality of the wine pretty well. But I'd stick to reasonably priced wine, the match could be tricky- I wouldn't match to a Condrieu even with its floral nature.
Dale
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Dale Williams
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CR salmon is one of those foods, like fresh bing cherries, that I love but which are available for only a few weeks in the year, so I take advantage of them while I can. I'll agree it's pricey, but the price comes down after the first wave arrives in the stores and the initial hype dies down.
I'll agree that a light homemade tartar sauce would work well. I assume you've tried many of the commercial brands and, like me, found them wanting (with one possible exception). But then any kind of red wine would be out of the question.
I do indeed.
Depends on the sauce one uses. But I would agree that something like CS would not work.
Vino
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Dale and Naoko: I think that there ought to be decent matches with the inari-zushi, if not particularly memorable ones. The main problem, of course, is the rice wine vinegar used in preparing the sushi rice -- but fortunately rice wine vinegar is easier on wine than most others. I'd match a Loire white or an Austrian GV to it with no hesitation.
Mark Lipton
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Mark Lipton
Dale and Mark,
I think I'd try with a Loire or "everyday" priced dry white taking your suggestions. As you say, it is unlikely to be memorable but I like them both so what the heck.
I am going home to Tokyo very soon so I have plenty of opportunity ;) If I remember right, some of Japanese wine critic's mentioned Loire whites go well with yuzu flavored dishes. I might try that too.
Naoko
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Kitty Luke

Please enlighten me on what would be that "one exception" - for when I'm too lazy to make fresh. :^)
Tom S
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Tom S
Mark, Well, the Bonny Doon has most of the white grapes around in its kitchen sink blend- certainly Chenin and SB, unsure re GV.
Naoko, please report back. I would think more SB than Chenin as working with yazu, but that's not based on comparison tastings. I find Sauvignon based Loires and Chenin based Loires so different, I'll be curious what you think. Dale
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