Borrowing some more inspiration from Mario Batali, my bride and I put together another of his recipes, the Funghi Marinati which involves marinated and grilled shiitake mushrooms with spinach, red onions, Anaheim chiles and lemon zest.
It produces a lively fusion of properly prepared purplish/pink onions, lime-green colored Anaheims and lightly sautéed spinach leaves that is distinctly balanced in color and flavor by the earthy, marinated mushrooms.
There’s some delicate flavors in the mix here, namely greens. And then there’s some mild pungency from the red onions and peppers, along with the heartiness that the mushrooms provide. It’s not an easy pairing so look for a white wine with versatility like a Grenache Blanc blend from the southern Rhone. A second superb choice is a French Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre in the Loire Valley. The dry, clean finish of a Sancerre, with its grapefruit and citrus flavors, plays nicely with the zest in the dish. We pulled out a bottle of the Pascal Jolivet Sancerre. Probably the most readily accessible Sancerre in the States, the Jolivet is generally one of the more affordable ones as well. Plus, it’s a slam dunk when it comes to versatility in salad type pairings.