Moules à la Marinière and 2017 Reyes Amber Chardonnay

Moules à la Marinière and 2017 Reyes Amber Chardonnay


I knew that I wanted to write about a specific wine this week, but I didn’t know how many different things I could share about this fabulous new wine. So, next week will be about this wine but a different angle. I am sure you had enough of the suspense…. it’s the 2017 Amber Chardonnay. The style in which it is made fascinates me.  Every time I share what Amber is, I reminisce to when I read my first article about “Orange” wines back in 2013. Trying to find a store that carried one, so I could try it, was very difficult. Seven years and 4 vintages later, many wineries have produced their style and made it available to purchase.

Three years ago, a friend and I went to Solvang and as we were wine tasting, one winery mentioned that they had a skin-contact white wine. I was captivated to try it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t what I expected by their description. It was a Pinot Grigio, with an orange hue, it had a very light nose with notes of strawberries and marzipan. Technically it is an “orange” wine but tasted more like a fruity rosé. They aged the wine in stainless rather than oak that we use. The French oak creates a complexity that makes this our Amber Chardonnay delicious.

Just a few weeks ago, we bottled our newest vintages of wine including our 2017 Amber Chardonnay. It was aged in French oak barrels for 24 months. This Estate Chardonnay has well-balanced acidity with evolving layers of complexity.  It is a skin-contact white wine with notes of apricots, kumquats, honey and whispers of orange blossoms. These notes are the signature of this extraordinary “Orange” wine. Enjoy this wine chilled with Mussels Marinière, shrimp scampi or Pecorino Romano cheese.

When I was writing the label to this wine, I was reading a book about a food critic that visits the French countryside. All through the book, the story was based upon a restaurant and its Mussels Marinière. Or as Julia Child called it, Moules à la Marinière.  I remember as a child sitting in front of the television watching Julia Child with my notebook taking notes as she cooked. I am the worse note-taker ever, yet I still have them, and I can understand what I wrote all these years later. All of this has made me want to enjoy a bowl and which I did…and made me think that it would be a great pairing with this fabulous new wine.




  • 2 lbs. mussels, cleaned
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • ½ shallot chopped finely
  • 1 cup 2013 Renaissance by Reyes Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh (or ½ if dried)
  • 4 parsley sprigs
  • 3 thyme sprigs leaves removed and chopped (about 1 tsp)
  • 4 Tb butter, unsalted
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Sprinkle flour in a bowl with cleaned mussels with about a cup of water and toss gently. Set aside.
  2. In a 3 ½ qt pot, bring the butter, shallots, herbs and salt and pepper to a boil. Allow to reduce slightly (about 4-5 minutes).
  3. Add 2013 Renaissance by Reyes Sauvignon Blanc and continue to cook for 5 additional minutes.
  4. Rinse mussels well then add the mussels and close lid on the pot.
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the mussels all open. If there are any closed mussels, discard those.
  6. Serve the mussels in wide bowls. Use a ladle to spoon mussels in bowls first, then use the ladle to pour wine sauce over the mussels.
  7. Garnish with chopped parsley and freshly ground black pepper.
  8. Serve with 2017 Amber Chardonnay and crusty French bread.