Looking for the perfect wine+food combination this tempestuous time of year? Bayernmoor Cellars Estate Chef Tori Barr has you covered.

In our first stretch of spring, we may find ourselves toggling between choosing wool sweaters or light jackets, rain boots or tennis shoes, firing up the grill or hitting an easy soup in the blender. For these confused weather moments, it seems like the only choice that ends up being obvious is uncorking a Chardonnay to bring some balance back into our routine.

What makes Chardonnay the natural choice? The answer is simple. It’s a wine hearty enough to keep you warm yet still bright enough to keep you looking ahead to the sunshine of spring. And, as for the mode of cooking, who doesn’t want to lean into soup season for as long as possible?

Let’s start with choosing the right wine.  Bayernmoor Cellars 2017 Columbia Valley Chardonnay is a well balanced, lightly oaked, minimal malolactic fermented wine with all the right amount of winter citrus notes. The owners of Bayernmoor Cellars, Kim and Larry Harris, describe it best, “This is a wine crafted to be equally enjoyed on a hot, summer day as well as paired with your favorite cold weather recipes.”


Now, the soup. Let the velvety textures of the blended sweet corn chowder hold hands with the creamy finish of the wine. Savor the fine thread of citrus between the two. And most importantly, enjoy the process of pairing them together. 

If, in the event you can’t make it all the way out to Woodinville wine country to put Bayernmoor wine to the test, pick up any your favorite, not too oaky, not too fruity, well balanced Chardonnay — Columbia Valley AVA seems to have this down. A more accessible alternative could be a L’Ecole No. 41 Chardonnay.

CREAMY CORN CHOWDER paired with Bayernmoor Cellars 2017 Columbia Valley Chardonnay

Recipe by Tori Barr, Estate Chef at Bayernmoor Cellars

Ingredients:

8 ears of fresh corn OR 2 pounds frozen corn, 1 cup reserved. 

1 large onion, diced

6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

4 celery ribs, sliced

Zest of 1 lemon

1 cup 2017 Bayernmoor Cellars Chardonnay

3 cups good vegetable broth

1 ½ cups full-fat coconut milk OR heavy cream 

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 fresh bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

Chives and sour cream to garnish

Directions:

In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil and butter. Once butter has melted, saute onion, celery, garlic and lemon zest with salt and pepper until onion becomes translucent, about 7 minutes. Add Chardonnay to deglaze the pot and let simmer for a few minutes. Then, add the stock, coconut milk, bay leaf, potatoes and corn and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes become tender. Turn off the heat and discard the bay leaves. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend on high until creamy, taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Transfer the soup back into the pot and mix in the reserved cup of corn. Keep warm until ready to serve. Garish with a dollop of sour cream, chopped chives and pepper. 

About Tori

Tori Barr is a back-of-house native with a passion for people. Before becoming chef at Bayernmoor Cellars in Woodinville, Wash., she worked at various wineries to immerse herself in the art of pairing food and wine.