Our Wine of the Week, Davis Bynum 2011 Russian River Valley Jane's Vineyard Garfield Block Pinot Noir ($55), delivers on a promise made long ago, a promise that was implicit in the winery's first vineyard-designate-release pinot noir.
A lot has changed since that time decades ago, but if you pay attention, you can taste a bit of history in this wine. It has the silky texture that has long been a hallmark of pinot noir from Russian River Valley.
There's a familiar delicacy, too, but not so much that anyone would call the wine wimpy.
When it comes to fruit, you'll find Rainier cherries, black raspberries and a bit of Santa Rosa plum, accented by suggestions of black peppercorns.
The wine is friendly at the table, as good with summer tomatoes as it is with roasted wild Pacific King salmon and seared duck breast. Add some earthy mushrooms and the match soars.
For today's recipe, I've taken inspiration from those tomatoes.
I love a good pinot noir with a BLT, and in this dish you'll find all the elements of that sandwich, in a slightly different configuration.
These kabobs make a great addition to a summer barbecue. They can also be served as an appetizer at a more formal dinner or solo on a hot night.
The wine is best at cellar temperature, so if we're in the midst of a heat wave, don't hesitate to chill it down a bit.
Grilled BLT Kabobs
Makes 10 kabobs
30 1 1/2-inch squares of best-quality sourdough hearth bread
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
— Kosher salt
— Black pepper in a mill
10 slices lean bacon
10 12-inch-long wooden skewers, soaked in water for 1 hour
30 cherry tomatoes
4 to 5 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1/3 cup homemade aioli or mayonnaise, thinned with a little warm water or lemon juice, in a squeeze bottle
Put the bread into a medium bowl, drizzle the olive oil over it and toss until the bread has absorbed all the oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Set aside.