A prairie girl at heart, I love harvest season. The colors of the fields, the trees, the leaves. The signal that the page is turning and a new chapter is about to begin. Some of my best memories from this time of year are friends sharing the bounty from their gardens. Soups, stews, carrot and zucchini cake and of course for those who have had the pleasure “Janice Pie”, with fresh whipped cream. The true sign that fall had arrived is corn by the sack.
What’s better than a bit of prairie corn from Taber, AB and a glass of Chardonnay? Match the weight of your food with the weight of your wine. Take the strongest flavour on your plate and match your wine to that flavour.
Herbs & spices that play nice with Chardonnay are garlic, marjoram, cinnamon, rosemary, saffron, thyme & tarragon.
Chardonnay is a an unusual grape because it does well in a variety of climates from cool to hot. Much like us, the final taste and feel of the wine depends a great deal on where it was grown. Flavours can range from green apples or pear in cool climates to peach with a bit of citrus or a hint of melon to more tropical fruits in warmer climates with flavours of pineapple, star fruit, and banana. One of the places that makes one of the best examples of what Chardonnay should be is Montrachet or Mersault. A wonderful medium style can be found in British Columbia and Ontario, with Soave being a “like Chardonnay” choice to try something new.
A wonderful harvest pairing is sweet corn & pepper chowder.
Sweet Corn & Pepper Chowder
- 4 tbsp Butter
- 2 Sweet (not hot) peppers seeded & diced
- Scallions, trimmed & chopped to taste
- 4 Cups fresh corn removed from the cob
- 3 Cups of cream
- 2 1/2 C of Chicken Broth (bone broth gives the best flavour) (Or Vegetable for vegetarian Chowder)
- 2C Diced potatoes
- 1/2 Chopped Chervil or Parsley
- In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium heat, being careful not to burn it. Add peppers and onions, sautéing until they tender. (4 – 6 min). Put aside.
- Using a blender or a food processer , blend 2 cups of cream and 2 cups of the corn until it is mostly smooth. Add pepper/onion mixture until just blended. (Do not over blend)
- Pour everything from the mixer into the soup pot, add broth. Add potatoes remaining corn and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook gently until the corn and potatoes are tender. (About 10- 12 Min).
- Add remaining cream, salt and pepper and simmer gently until it is heated all the way through. Just before serving stir in chevril or parsley.
- Serve with a dark rye bread or pumpernickel with butter.