Get Your Napa Game On: Celebrating #MerlotMe With Tritip and Salmon

Go Team! Go Merlot Day!

When your team is in the World Series or another BIG GAME , you need to watch it on a really nice screen. Better yet with good friends, good food, and good wine!

Because we don’t have TV, we hit up Myr and Charles and they were happy to host us especially since my husband offers to do most of the cooking! He roasted brussels sprouts, seasoned and BBQ’d a tritip and two slabs of salmon, Myr roasted pumpkins and cooked lentils for a salad, and we all contributed to a cheese tray.

Wait– red wine? and fish?

If you think about the the basic rule of thumb that white wines work with white foods, pink wines with pink foods, and red wines with red foods, I would argue that salmon is a very dark pink– and can definitely work with a red wine. In this case, salt and peppered salmon on the grill, succulent and rich, can definitely pair with silky supple easy going merlot, even these two from Napa, but especially the Rutherford Ranch.

And remember– when you drink Napa wine, you are helping the region recover from the fires! (More below!)

Rutherford Ranch Merlot 2015 SRP $26
98 % Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth!

“It just tastes nice!” says Myr as she hustles and bustles around the kitchen preparing dinner and cleaning up after everyone while sipping on a glass of wine.

As the wine opens up, ample fruit floods the nose and the palate. We enjoyed the warm vanilla and spice notes from the oak with the rich, ripe cherries and blackberries. It also offers some herbal notes, more sage than anise.

This wine paired really nicely with the simply grilled salmon, but it also went well with the tritip and the roasted vegetables including the salad. The pomegranates and the wine popped! Really fun combo.

This is an easy going, easy drinking wine that pairs well with a range of foods.  Definitely try it with salmon!

Peju 2014 Napa Merlot $40

We shared this wine last year with Myr and Charles up at Sue’s house. We paired it with foods from France, specifically the Jura region. Unfortunately, it was not a match made in heaven. The Jura wines paired with the food from Jura were amazing. This wine was amazing. Paired with the food? Not so much. Not bad just not exciting. Pedestrian even.

So I was excited to be able to give it another swirl and pair it with foods that would bring out its special qualities.

The color is a lovely burgundy, very typical. The nose offers plentiful dark fruits and berries along with cocoa. The palate shows cherry, plum and more cocoa with anise and cigar box on the lengthy finish.

Some wines lead to analysis, to intellectual pursuits. This wine and with this company and on this night? We found this wine to be very relaxing; it encourages you to enjoy the game.

We preferred it with tritip over salmon, but it works with both.

However, the  real winner was the salad that Myr made with roasted squash, lentils, feta, and greens. This salad could be a meal in and of itself for a vegetarian and without the cheese for a vegan, especially paired with this full bodied wine which brings substance and structure to the meal.

It also was great with the brussels sprouts so roasted vegetables are definitely nice with this wine, again a real winner for vegans and vegetarians who might also appreciate Peju’s green ethics and family orientation.

A Napa Valley Green Winery since 2009, a Bay Area Green Business, and a certified organic winery since 2007, Peju is family owned and run by Tony Peju, his wife Herta, and their two daughters. Tony Peju started the winery in 1982 on a location between Highway 29 and the Napa river with some very famous neighbors.  In 2006, Sara Fowler joined Peju as Winemaker. She grew up working on her family’s 400 acre organic ranch, a ranch that had been in her family since 1884, and she brings that commitment and concern for the land to Peju.

ALSO: Peju is one of several wineries doing what they can to help their neighbors in this time of need. Through the month of October, they donated 20% of the proceeds from all online sales to the Napa Valley Direct Relief Fund to assist those affected by the Northern California wildfires. But here it is November 7, Merlot Day, and the Click here to shop button is still on, so check it out! For more on the fires and what wineries are doing, check this post out. 

Overall, this was a wonderful meal and evening!

May the odds be ever in your favor!

Happy Game Day! Happy Merlot Day!

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