It often seems that half the joy of wine is the cooking that goes along with it. The word “inspired” easily comes to mind. The Cru is always making excuses to visit the local farmers markets during the warm months. The magnitude of vegetables and fruits presenting themselves at their peak gives us the irresistible urge to spend as much time in the kitchen as humanly possible. We can’t get enough! Most times, there is no plan and we simply allow the produce to take over using the best supporting ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs, and crusty bread from one of our local bakeries. Simple cooking is best during these months where the produce shines best.
Right now, we are loving leafy greens; collards, kale, swiss and rainbow chards.. We love sauteing these greens with good olive oil, garlic, and a squeeze of lemon. Sometimes, these stemmy greens are perfect with a light sear on the grill. These work beautifully with the peppery Cabernet Franc.
Tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers are in abundance right now! Tomatoes are always in our kitchen whether for a panzanella salad, roasting, or served with salt, extra virgin olive oil, and crusty bread. Eggplant is perfect for roasting or grilling. Endless varieties of peppers are available for stewing, pureeing into sauces, or fresh in a salad. All three of these ingredients shine well as additional ingredients on a sandwich, spread onto a pizza, or used in the Provencal dish, ratatouille. Sangiovese is the best wine to go with tomatoes hands down! Montepulciano, Grenache, and Mourvèdre go rather well with these vegetables—in both rosé and red forms. We see these grapes as Mediterranean Basin varieties and love them this time of the year.
Corn and squash have infinite capabilities and work well with other ingredients. They both love being on the grill with herbs and butter. Both can be found in a seasonal pasta dish in our home. We especially love pureed corn with ricotta or mascarpone as a filler for tortellini in a silky butter sauce with basil. Corn even finds itself into our savory desserts. Grenache Blanc is a variety we absolutely love with sweet summer corn!
Creeping into our presence are the abundance of peaches, cherries, and blueberries. We love to use these in a French galette or in a savory salad with—you guessed it—more summer produce. We love these fruits with Chenin Blanc—either dry or off-dry—both work well.
If it isn’t clear, our kitchens have been seeing a lot of us recently. The joy of chopping fruits and vegetables—yes, the joy!—can only be remedied further by a glass of wine at our sides. Tempt us with an open window and some sick beats blaring on shuffle. A particular style of wine will fare well with seasonal produce. It should be lean and snappy, textured yet light, bright and complex.
This is a love letter to wine as something beyond a simple beverage. Grapes are part of nature’s bounty just as much as the fruits and vegetables we mentioned. Isn’t it fantastic that we can enjoy these labored fruits together in one meal?
See below for details of our favorite local Farmers Markets.
- Saturday 8am-2pm
- Sunday 10am-2pm
Blue Ash Farmers’ Market Summit Park
- Wednesdays 3:30pm-7pm
Hyde Park Farmers’ Market Sundays on the Square
- Sundays 9:30am-1pm
Loveland Farmers’ Market 205 Broadway Street
- Tuesdays 3pm–6:30pm
Northside Farmers’ Market Hoffner Park
- Wednesdays 4-7pm
Madeira Farmers’ Market Madeira Silverwood Presbyterian Church
- Thursdays 4-7pm
Sayler Park Farmers’ Market Nelson Sayler Memorial Park
- Tuesdays 4-7pm