Skip to main content

Markham Vineyards Estate Merlot 2015 + Poached Salmon Salad with Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette and Some Chocolate #MerlotMe #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Markham Vineyards, one of the #MerlotMe event sponsors.
Complimentary wine was provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.
However, all opinions expressed here are my own.

We are inching towards October. It means the air has a little bit of a chill in the morning. It means apples are at the market in full force. It means I have braises and stews on the brain. And it means the start of #MerlotMe month. Yep. An entire month filled with Merlot-food pairings made all the more fun with the samples of Merlot from all around that keep appearing on my doorstep!

Besides getting to play with food and wine, I love that every year I receive wines from winemakers that I have never tried before. This is the perfect case in point. I received a bottle of the 2015 Estate Merlot from Markham Vineyards* this time around.

In My Glass

From their Yountville Estate Vineyard, the vines here were taken from the famed Three Palms Vineyard where Merlot was first cultivated within the Napa Valley. Retailing at $55, this bottle is composed of 75% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7% Cabernet Franc.

Heady aromas swirled in this glass - from ripe cherries to bitter chocolate - and it was the color of a rich, sanguine ruby. So pretty!

On My Plate

The winemaker suggested roasted duck, morels, and potato gratin. And though I love all of those - think Braised Duck Legs with a Vanilla Bean SauceVinegar-Braised Chicken Thighs with Crisped Morels, and Tartiflette - on the day that I planned to pour this, the mercury topped 100 degrees here on California's central coast. We don't have air-conditioning here and I begin to wilt at about 70 degrees anyway. So, I decided to keep my oven and stove time to a minimum and opted to poach some salmon and make a vanilla bean vinaigrette to drizzle over the entrée salad.

  • organic salad greens
  • blanched green beans
  • sliced organic tomatoes
  • crumbled queso freso
  • olives (I used pitted kalamata)
  • toasted, salted pecans
  • organic blood oranges
  • poached salmon (I poached in olive oil like this one)
  • vanilla bean vinaigrette (my recipe here)

Arrange the salad elements on individual serving plates and let diners drizzle the vinaigrette as they wish! 

+ A Sweet Treat

Despite the rigid structure and prevalent tannins, the espresso and chocolate notes gave this wine an almost silky impression. So, after dinner, Jake and I decided to pour a second glass to try with some chocolate. I had a coffee-caramel bar from Trader Joe's. We both thought the chocolate softened the wine considerably and were impressed at its versatility. I was getting almost a marzipan sweetness while he said it learned more towards buttery brioche. Pretty intriguing, I will say!

Find the Sponsor
on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram

*Disclosure: I received compensation in the form of wine samples for recipe development and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.


Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Lamskoteletten op zijn oud-Hollands for #TheBookClubCookbookCC

Here we are at April's #thebookclubcookbookCC event. It's hard to believe that we only have three more months in this year-long journey to explore - and cook from -  The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors  by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.* Judy, Vicki, and their publisher,  Tarcher-Penguin ,  have provided the hosting bloggers with copies of the book plus copies to giveaway each month of the project. Woohoo. Incredibly generous. This month Sarah at  Things I Make (for Dinner)  has selected  Girl With a Pearl Earring  by Tracy Chevalier.** Click to read  Sarah's invitation . She shared the recipe for Griet's Vegetable Soup, but invited us to find inspiration in any of the pages. On the Page... While the boys were playing around the lake during our week in Tahoe earlier in the month, I stayed by the fire and finished this book in one sitting. Loved it. photo by R

Pistachio Dukkah for #HandCraftedEdibles

In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, we are sharing recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones, or things to serve at holiday parties. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule:  here . This week, we are "going nuts" and sharing all sorts of recipes with nuts. Think spiced nuts or nutty fruit cake or whatever floats your nutty boat! Here's what we're posting this week... Amy's Cooking Adventures  shared her Salted Chocolate Cashew Butter Cookaholic Wife  cooked up Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds Making Miracles  made Honey Roasted Almonds Christmas Tree Lane  posted Crockpot Spiced Nuts A Day in the Life on the Farm  wrote about the Easiest Nut Brittle in the World Sew You Think You Can Cook  prepared Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds Culinary Adventur