Here I begin with a Labouré-Roi Meursault Les Chevaliers 2007. So what does that mean? It means it is a beautiful white wine from Burgundy, France, and it is a Chardonnay. This wine comes from a famous wine village, Meursault, in the southern part of Côte de Beaune and is one of the best for white Burgundies.
This Meursault Chardonnay differs from those of California in that it is softer and nuttier in flavor, rather than being fruitier, bolder, and having strong oak flavor. It has a creamy texture but not overly buttery and this is brought on by long oak aging. After having it with this meal, I understood why it is suggested to age a bit before opening.
So with this information in mind, I wanted to come up with a dish that would carry its weight with this wine. And after taking a trip to Whole Foods (always love to go there and can spend a pretty penny on any given trip), I found a great Salmon that not only delivered but also exceeded my expectations. With the Salmon I decided to make a beurre blanc sauce infused with lemon zest, capers, and dill. Little did I know that this sauce would end up being what bridged the wine with the salmon, making a perfect pairing. A better match, I could not have asked for.
In preparing to make the sauce, it called for wine, and the light bulb turned on for me here. Use the wine you’re going to drink! After opening the bottle, pouring some in a glass, and waiting a few minutes for it to breathe, the beautiful aroma that came from that glass was amazing. I couldn’t wait to use it and then drink it with the meal. If you don’t know much about beurre blanc, you must understand that it is a delicate sauce, and one that requires a little patience and time to make. As I was contemplating this while making the sauce, it dawned on me that this wine was also made the same way…. with patience and time. And both carry the same body and weight, along with the salmon. Seemingly dense but lighter, rich, and perfectly balanced. The salmon I chose to lightly pan fry on both sides with little seasoning. I wanted the purity of all elements of the meal to stand out. Not to mention the texture of slightly crisp salmon with a tender flaky center, against that delicate sauce was extremely pleasing to the palate. I want to make it again just thinking about it. The lemon, dill, and caper flavors complemented the salmon so well. And taking a sip of that wine with this dish… I am just glad I was sitting down, it was that good. I knew it was meant to be.
In a sauce pan, reduce wine and lemon juice by ¾. Have patience for this, you don’t want a runny sauce. Add cream, and reduce by half. Reduce flame to low and slowly add butter, stirring until incorporated. Add capers, zest, and herbs. Keep warm and off heat while cooking the salmon.
The Salmon is very simple. I had two 6oz portions and lightly seasoned them with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan, heat about 2 tsp of olive oil and when shimmering, lay the salmon in the pan away from you. Shake the pan gently so the salmon doesn’t stick to the pan. This allows for a perfect sear and keeps it from falling apart. Also, use another utensil when flipping the fish to guide it in the pan. This also helps keep the fish intact. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, for a medium doneness. Plate with sauce and enjoy!