On first sip, you might not identify our Wine of the Week, Groth 2016 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($20), as a sauvignon blanc.
It is richer and fleshier than many, but soon you’ll notice the familiar brightness and the crisp acidity that makes the varietal so food friendly.
This one leans to the tropical side of things when it comes to fruit, with melon, kiwi and pomelo among the most identifiable flavors.
Little bursts of ginger emerge on the wine’s finish, and there’s more than a hint of orange zest, too.
The wine works well with summer foods such as zucchini, green beans, cucumbers and sweet peppers but because of its richness, it also can be paired successfully with fresh corn, sweet onion salads and melon salads.
Today’s dish is inspired by those lovely sparks of orange zest and also by the winery’s director of wine growing, Cameron Parry, who says the wine makes him “crave the sweet and savory tastes of good teriyaki.”
Normally, salmon teriyaki would overwhelm a sauvignon blanc.
But this one, with the round mouthfeel contributed by 21 percent semillon combined with the cooling cucumber upon which the salmon rests, welcomes the richness of both the sauce and the fish.
Slow-Cooked Salmon Teriyaki on a Bed of Cucumbers
Makes 4 servings
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin or dry sherry
1 cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
5-6 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons julienned orange zest
1 tablespoon butter
4 wild Pacific King salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each, scaled and pin bones removed
— Kosher salt
— Black pepper in a mill
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced into half-rounds
4 orange wedges
First, make the sauce. Pour the soy sauce, sherry or mirin and orange juice into a medium saucepan and stir in the sugar, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and orange zest.
Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the butter.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Season the salmon all over with salt and pepper. Set the fillets on a baking sheet, preferably nonstick, and bake for 20 minutes.
Brush the salmon with the sauce several times during the last 10 minutes.
Remove the salmon from the oven and brush with more sauce. Spread a bed of cucumbers on individual plates, set a salmon fillet on top, drizzle with a little more sauce, garnish with an orange wedge. Enjoy right away.
Michele Anna Jordan is the author of 24 books to date, including “The Good Cook’s Book of Salt & Pepper.” Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org