A Taste of the Napa Valley
Anyonewho likes wine knows the name Mondavi. But fewer people know the other Mondavi –Peter Mondavi, brother of Robert Mondavi, the famed Napa Valley vintner who put California wines on themap. Their father Cesare Mondavi bought the first winery in Napa, Charles Krug, in 1943. Years later whenRobert Mondavi left to start his own winery a few miles down the road, Peter remainedat Charles Krug. Today Peter is still running the winery along with sons PeterJr. and Marc. I visited with Peter Mondavi, Jr. at the winery on a beautiful Septemberday and tasted some of their delicious wines (the 2008 Sauvignon Blanc and the2006 Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon were standouts). They’ve been busyreplanting vineyards and shifting the focus to Bordeaux-style blends. The lineup of CabernetSauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel is made from grapes grown right on their 850acres. The expansive tasting room is welcoming, surrounded by vineyards and thehistorical buildings, with knowledgeable staff who love nothing more than totalk wine. Don’t miss it on your next trip to Napa. Besides the tasting room you can orderthe wines online or find them in fine wine shops and select restaurants.
Peter Mondavi, Jr.’swife Katie is an accomplished cook and parted with a true wine countryrecipe, Salmon and Pasta (serve with the Charles Krug-Peter Mondavi Family NapaValley Chardonnay, of course).
Katie Mondavi’s Salmonand Pasta
Makes 4 servings
4 tablespoons extra virginolive oil
1 - 2 lemons, sliced thinly
1 bunch of green garlic or green onions, washed, trimmed and sliced into1” lengths (or 1 small onion, sliced thinly)
1-1/2 to 2 pounds salmon filet, cut into four equal portions
1 cup Charles Krug-Peter Mondavi Family Napa Valley Chardonnay
8-10 ounces pasta of yourchoice
1/3 cup green or blackolives, or a mixture, pitted and quartered
salt and pepper
Olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven to 375ºF and bring a pot of salted waterto boil for the pasta.
Drizzle half the olive oil into a baking dish just large enough to hold thesalmon, but not too big. Set aside four lemon slices for garnish. Layerhalf the remaining lemon slices and half the green garlic (or onion) in thebottom of the dish. Add the salmon atop the lemon and green garlic, thenlayer the remaining lemon and green garlic over the salmon. Season with saltand pepper and drizzle with the remaining olive oil.
Add chardonnay so that it comes about halfway up thesalmon. Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the salmonis just cooked through.
About 15 minutes before the salmon is done, cook pastaal dente in boiling water. Drain and keep warm.
Remove salmon pieces to a warm plate and quicklystrain poaching liquid, reserving the green garlic or onion. Boil theliquid in a large skillet over high heat until it is reduced by half. Gentlytoss the liquid with the cooked pasta, olives, reserved green garlic, and saltand pepper to taste. Divide onto four plates, top with salmon and servegarnished with lemon slices and a drizzle of olive oil.