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.
<strong>Grilled BLT Kabobs</strong>
<i>Makes 10 kabobs</i>
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.
Fry the bacon until it is not quite crisp and still completely pliant; drain on absorbent paper.
To make the kabobs, put a skewer through a slice of bacon, spearing it through the lean part near one end. Push it down about 1? inches from the tip of the skewer.
Add a bread cube and then pierce the bacon again, so that it is folded over the bread.
Add a cherry tomato and fold the bacon over that.
Continue until you have 3 cubes of bread and 3 cherry tomatoes, each separated by a fold of the bacon, on each skewer.
Grill over a medium charcoal fire or on a stove-top grill, turning to grill the bread on each side.
Toss the lettuce with a little salt and spread over a large serving platter. Set the grilled kabobs on top of the lettuce and squeeze a little aioli over each one.
<i>Michele Anna Jordan hosts "Mouthful" each Sunday at 7 p.m. on KRCB 90.9 & 91.1 FM. Email Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll find her blog, "Eat This Now," at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.</i>