Just another Summer Afternoon dominated by Viognier & Butter..

It doesn’t take much to convince the back office folk here at Stolpman to take an afternoon off to enjoy some good summer eats paired with our 2010 Viognier…  & when Brian Evansour resident wine snob & foodie, offered to cook for us, it was a no-brainer to share the fun  (& the recipes!)

The Hosts:  Carol (our direct sales manager) & Alan Blakeboro.  Santa Ynez.  Their lovely house was built for entertaining with multiple decks and waterfalls and creeks.  It was a perfect spot to relax & enjoy some good company.  Thanks guys – for havin’ us!

The Characters:  Well it wouldn’t be a Stolpman party without our fearless leader – Mr Peter Stolpman.  His entourage included Jess – his obviously better looking other half and his soon-to-be in laws – Glenn & Shari Simmons.  Me & Robbie added just the right mix of hipster fun & flare (although we’d never admit to it) and of course – most importantly – our chef for the evening – Mr Brian Evans– armed with his kosher salt, mandolin & what seemed to be multiple pounds o’ butter… ready to awe our palettes with buerre blancs & other epicurean oddities.

The Menu:  This mildly warm, mid-summer evening begged us to indulge with Stolpman’s newest bottling – 2010 Viognier.   It’s crisp, subtle aromatics remained a refreshing focus as the sun set golden over our gathering & this is what Brian chose to pair with it:

Seared Halibut w/Citrus Buerre Blanc (YUM!)

Spinach & Strawberry Salad

Baked Purple Potatoes

Sauteed Summer Vegetable Medley

Here are the recipes-

Seared Halibut w/Citrus Buerre Blanc

–        Halibut (6oz portion per person)

–        1tbsp Vegetable Oil

–        1 tsp butter

–        Kosher Salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Heat Saute pan over high heat. Season one side of fish with salt.
  3. Place fish into sauté pan with the skin side up.
  4. Add oil and butter to pan. Tilt to promote the oils running underneath the fish.
  5. Cook until fish unsticks itself from the pan. Transfer to the oven. DO NOT FLIP FISH.

Bake approximately 5 minutes. The fish is finished when small spots of white begin to emerge from the top of the fish. Remove from pan, and plate with the crust side up. Top with Citrus Buerre Blanc (recipe up next!!)


Citrus Buerre Blanc

– 1lb Butter (cut into small cubes and very cold)

– 2 Navel Oranges (peel and flesh only)

– 1 cup White Wine Vinegar

– 2oz Stolpman Viognier

– ½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream

– Kosher Salt

1. Combine oranges and vinegar in a sauce pot. Reduce until almost dry. Add wine and strain.

2. Return liquid to cleaned sauce pot. Add cream and reduce until cream coats the back of a spoon.

3. Over low heat, slowly whisk in portions of cold butter, not adding more until previous addition is melted.

4. Adjust seasoning with salt. Hold over very low heat to prevent the sauce from “breaking”

Baked Purple Potatoes

–        1 lb Purple Potatoes

–        1 shallot (minced)

–        ½ stick butter (melted)

–        Kosher Salt

–        Black Pepper

  1. Slice potatoes very thin on a mandolin.
  2. Arrange potatoes in a spiral pattern in a round baking dish.
  3. Brush melted butter on each layer and top each layer with shallots. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes. Increase heat to 400 and bake until done.

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

–        1 lb Rinsed baby spinach

–        8 oz Crumbled Feta

–        1 lb Fresh Strawberries (quartered)

–        5oz Candied Walnuts

–        ½ lb Red Seedless Grapes (halved)

–        4oz Marston’s San Pasqual Salad Dressing

  1. Combine all ingredients except dressing. Refrigerate.
  2. Just before serving add dressing and toss.
Just another amazing evening here in our little Santa Ynez Valley with folks I’m lucky enough to call friends – and that like to share a wealth of amazing wines – thanks Pete!, intellectual conversation – I hope it wasn’t the wine talking ;) – and good ol’ laughter!
If you’re inspired to try out one of Brian’s recipes or have created an amazing pairing of your own with Stolpman Wine – Please Share! Email your recipe to kari@stolpmanvineyards.com  The choosen recipe will be featured in our next Food Blog & the ‘chef ‘ will be handsomely rewarded!  Thanks for the read!!