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Pairing: Sauvignon blanc with noodle salad


Our Wine of the Week, Floral Springs 2012 Soliloquy Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc ($25), is as bright as a sunny summer day and way more refreshing. On first sip, the cool wine conveys a warmth and suggestion of sweetness, as flavors of Mandarin orange and Asian pear blossom. Following close on the heels of these qualities is a burst of citrus, especially white grapefruit and Eureka lemon, flavors that contribute to the wine's refreshing quality. There are little swirls of smoke and toast, a hint of cool mountain water splashing over polished river rocks and a whiff of something elusive and floral — roses, perhaps, or orange blossoms.

The wine's texture is plush and luxurious, with a mouth-filling richness that will likely win over chardonnay aficionados. The long finish carries a bit of heat, expected in a wine with 14.5 percent alcohol. This quality is key to pairing the wine at the table. You don't want to go with too much spicy heat, as the fire of chiles will turn the wine bitter.

Enjoy this easy quaffer with all manner of seafood, from raw oysters and seared scallops to crab, shrimp, sand dabs and sole. It's richness makes it a possible paramour with wild Pacific King salmon, as well, provided the salmon is dressed lightly. Green summer vegetables — especially green beans, Padrone chiles and zucchini — will welcome the wine alongside.

The wine is also excellent with Thai food, especially noodle dishes, seafood and green curries, provided the heat is not turned up too high. Singapore noodles is a good choice, too. For today's recipe, I've taken inspiration from these Southeast Asian noodle dishes, reworking a classic fiery glass noodle salad to make it compatible with the wine.

<strong>Glass Noodle & Zucchini Salad with Baby Shrimp, Basil, Cilantro and Mint</strong>

<em> Makes 4 servings</em>

4 ounces glass (bean thread) noodles

2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced

? cup fish sauce

6 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 4 limes)

1 tablespoon sugar, plus more to taste

3 cups thinly shredded cabbage

2 small zucchini, trimmed and cut into thin ribbons on a mandoline

1 pound ounces cooked baby shrimp, drained

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh mint leaves

3 scallions, white and green parts, very thinly sliced

Put the noodles in a large bowl, cover them with hot water and let soak for 15 minutes. Fill a large pot half full with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Drain the noodles and cook them in the boiling water until they are plump and translucent, about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse in cool water and drain again. Put the noodles in a large bowl and set the bowl in the refrigerator.

Next, make the dressing. Put the garlic, ginger and serrano into a small bowl and add the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. Taste, correct for sugar if needed and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.

To finish the salad, divide the cabbage among large individual bowls.

Remove the noodles from the refrigerator, add the zucchini and half the dressing and toss gently but thoroughly. Add to the bowls, on top of the cabbage.

Put the shrimp, cilantro and mint into the bowl that contained the noodles, add the remaining dressing and spoon over the noodles and cabbage.

Garnish with scallions and serve immediately.

<em>Michele Anna Jordan hosts "Mouthful" each Sunday at 7 p.m. on KRCB 90.9 & 91.1 FM. E-mail Jordan at michele@micheleannajordan.com. You'll find her blog, "Eat This Now," at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.</em>