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On Sunday, three of us sat sipping Chandon NV Sparkling Ros?($22), our Wine of the Week, at Juilliard Park. Dozens of people danced as great rockabilly blasted from the stage, kids twirled through the crowd, dogs strained at their leashes and everyone seemed blissfully content. It was exactly what summer should be.

The wine fit the occasion perfectly in part because it is so refreshing, with a suggestion of cold watermelon (the part near the rind that isn?t at all sweet), and in part because it has a personality that makes it a pleasing companion with almost anything you want to eat. It went perfectly with our corn on the cob, cherries and nectarines.

The flavors of other fruits weave through the watermelon, suggesting everything from Pippin apples and not-quite-ripe Rainier cherries to white nectarines, Comice pears, Asian pears and strawberries, picked in the morning before the sun has warmed them.

One of the sparkler?s most engaging qualities is a lush texture that some people describe as creamy. Yet creaminess in a sparkling wine is often accompanied by a mouth-filling mousse or foam, a quality I do not love. It is not the case with this wine; rather, it is a concentrated softness, a lushness directly on the palate, contributed in part by the still pinot noir added at ?tirage,? the process that readies a wine for secondary fermentation.

The average consumer still expects that so-called pink wines ? and this one is the loveliest color, like wild salmon that has fed on krill ? will be sweet, a quality that limits the range of foods that can flatter the wine. But Chandon NV Ros?is dry, with a restrained elegance that will educate skeptical palates with a first sip.

Because the wine is so versatile, enjoy it now with summer?s harvest and the foods we like at this time of year ? sliced heirloom tomatoes, gazpacho, barbecued ribs, wild Alaskan salmon and grilled pizza ? but also keep it in mind as fall and winter set in. When Dungeness crab seasons begins, you?ll want to serve this wine with the year?s first crab Louis. Just the thought of that match is so enticing that for today?s recipe I can?t resist a summer version, based on the Oregon baby shrimp that Dave Legros sells at several local farmers markets. Traditionalists, please note: I have taken many liberties.

Summer Shrimp Louis

Makes 2 servings

3tablespoons heavy cream

3tablespoons bottled chili sauce, such as Heinz

?cup mayonnaise, preferably Best Foods

2scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

2teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

?Kosher salt

?Black pepper in a mill

?Pinch of ground cayenne

2medium ripe heirloom tomatoes, trimmed and cut into wedges

2eggs, hard-cooked, peeled, chilled and cut into wedge

8ounces cooked Oregon baby shrimp, drained of any juices that have collected

2teaspoons minced fresh Italian parsley

4 or 5small radishes, trimmed and cut into lengthwise wedges

2lemon wedges

First, make the dressing. Put the cream into a narrow bowl and use a fork or whisk to whip it until it is fairly stiff. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chili sauce, mayonnaise and scallions. Tilt the bowl slightly, add the lemon juice so that it pools in one area and put several generous pinches of salt into the juice; agitate the bowl gently to dissolve the salt. Season with several turns of black pepper and a pinch of cayenne and fold gently. Cover and refrigerate while you make the salad.

North Coast killers on death row


Robert Scully
Age: 58
Year arrived: 1997
Crime: Murdered Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Frank Trejo

Richard Allen Davis
Age: 62
Year arrived: 1996
Crime: Murdered 12-year-old Polly Klaas

Ramon Salcido
Age: 55
Year arrived: 1990
Crime: Murdered seven people, including his wife and two daughters


Jerrold Johnson
Age: 54
Year arrived: 2000
Crime: Home invasion-murder of 76-year-old Ellen Salling

Gerald Stanley
Age: 71
Year Arrived: 1984
Crime: Convicted of killing two of his wives

Arrange the tomato and eggs wedges in a circle on two medium serving plates or soup bowls, alternating tomatoes and eggs; season with salt and pepper. Mound shrimp in the center and spoon the dressing over the shrimp. Sprinkle parsley over everything and scatter the radishes on top.

Garnish with lemon wedges and serve immediately.

Michele Anna Jordan hosts ?Mouthful? each Sunday at 7 p.m. on KRCB 91.1 FM. E-mail Jordan at michele@micheleannajordan.com.

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