I was debating which wine I should pull out tonight for dinner and 2014 Julia‘s Blend, was the one. Julia’s Blend is a luscious blend of Estate Merlot and California Syrah has aromas of licorice and black cherries. Aged in French oak for 23 months gives this wine character and complexity. On the palate you get notes of cherries and spices. It received 86 points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine (04/2018 Edition) plus two silver medals from the 2018 Toast of the Coast, 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competitions. I take the notes of the wine and think of savory dishes that might pair. This wine has fennel and cherries, a delicious summer red wine. Its fruity yet dry. Enjoy with roasted fennel and pork roast, lamb chops and sour cherry rice or a dried cherry quinoa salad with fennel and red onions.
The weather was kind of weird tonight. I felt like it was kind of cool and breezy during the day and then as the afternoon went on it got kind of warm and humid. When it gets kind of humid in the evening I’m not always in the mood for hot food, so I looked in the pantry to see what was giving me a little bit of inspiration to pair with 2014 Julia’s blend. In the freezer I had a bag of frozen cherries even though they are in season or starting to be in season right now I should say I have not gone out to the market this week so I’m trying to use what I have. Last Friday, when I went to the market, I stocked up on lots of fresh fruit and veggies. I bought carrots, celery, fennel, sweet onions and Nectarines. I really did want to get the cherries, but they were just too expensive last week. So, for tonight’s dinner, I’m thinking a chilled cherry soup. The recipe I have, you can make this dish with either fresh or frozen. But, don’t use canned. I also used 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé in the recipe. It adds acidity but doesn’t give added color to the dish. Usually I would choose the wine I am pairing with to cook with it too, but in this case I didn’t want to the dish to be darker from the red wine.
This is a perfect summer chilled soup to enjoy with a salad or a grilled cheese sandwich.
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 small sweet onion, minced
- 1 medium fennel bulb, chopped small
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup of 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé.
- ¼ tsp Salt, kosher
- Black pepper, freshly ground (I use a mill for my peppercorns)
- 1 pound fresh or frozen cherries, pitted (don’t break a tooth)
- ¾ cup coconut or almond milk (Buttermilk is traditional, but I prefer coconut milk)
- ½ cup sour cream (I used lite, but don’t use fat free. It will make the consistency to thin.)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 3-5 cherries for garnish
- Chopped dill and parsley, for garnish
- In a 3 ½ qt round shallow pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Add the onion, fennel, garlic, salt and pepper and cook on medium heat until they are soft and translucent, 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé continue to cook for about 5 minutes until half the liquid s evaporated.
- Let cool.
- In a food processor, add vegetable mixture, cherries, coconut milk, sour cream, brown sugar and 1/2 cup of liquid from the vegetables to the blender and puree until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour. (I left it in the food processor bowl and stuck it in the refrigerator.)
- Serve soup chilled and garnish with dill, parsley and a few cherries and serve.
- And of course serve it with Reyes 2014 Julia’s Blend or a chilled glass of 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé.