When you get oak out of the way, a chardonnay, including in our Wine of the Week, Pamela's 2013 Sonoma County Unoaked Chardonnay ($15), will blossom in unexpected ways. Without that foundation of sweet smoke and vanilla contributed by oak, subtle fruit and flower elements emerge early on, with a refreshing finish that can be hard to achieve when the wine spends months in new barrels. There's a lightness to the wine, a buoyancy that keeps it refreshing and expands pairing options.
This wine offers a cornucopia of summer fruit, especially apricot, pear and Granny Smith apple. Hints of honeysuckle and a bit of ripe pineapple round things out as the crisp finish resonates pleasantly.
At the table, the wine is a welcome match with late spring vegetables, including favas and peas, zucchini, and the first tomatoes. It works beautifully with shellfish, especially scallops, and wild Pacific king salmon and is a good choice with pork loin. I find it particularly lovely with these light zucchini fritters, fragrant with cumin. I happened to have some homemade pineapple chutney in the refrigerator and it furthered the match in a delicious way. You'll find that recipe at Eat This Now at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.
Makes 3 to 4 servings
<i>1 pound zucchini, preferably Romanesco, grated on the large blade of a box grater
— Kosher salt
— Peanut oil, palm oil or mild olive oil for deep frying
3 to 4garlic cloves, minced