Pinot Grigio wines, with their crisp fruity character, pair notoriously well with bright vibrant appetizers—together, they make a great start to a summer meal.
Carl sourced the grapes for Allegro’s 2019 Pinot Grigio from the Erie region, from Kris Kane of 21 Brix Winery. We taste all kinds of light fruit in the wine: pears (Carl), peaches (me), oranges, apricots, lemons. It’s been over a decade since Allegro released a Pinot Grigio wine, and it’s really nice to have it back.
One of the most popular dishes on summer picnic tables is also Caprese salad: the alchemy that is fresh tomatoes + fresh mozzarella + basil, often dressed with a balsamic glaze, a drizzle of olive oil, and/or fresh basil pesto. I love Caprese salad, and I look forward to the first fresh tomatoes to arrive in our CSA box (from Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative) in June, so that I can bring these tastes back together.
Since Caprese salad is such a classic, it can be fun to bring little twists and variations to it. In our family gatherings, we have both an “I love fresh tomatoes” contingent and a “Never tomatoes” contingent, though we all love mozzarella and basil. One way to deal with this set of diverse tastes is to put away the salad bowl and instead put together an array of Caprese salad skewers, each with its own lively character. They can be assembled quite quickly and kept in the fridge until happy hour.
In the skewers pictured here (from left to right), I made the following combinations:
• Tomato, mozzarella, and basil with a balsamic glaze (reduced on the stovetop for 30 minutes)
• Tomato, mozzarella, and prosciutto (which is a great addition, though it can skew a bit salty for wine pairings)
• Tomato, mozzarella, basil and Italian olives (Castelvetrano)
• Mozzarella and roasted cherry tomatoes (tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted for 12 minutes in a 400 degree oven)
• Mozzarella, basil, and pepperoni, dotted with fresh pesto
• Tomato, mozzarella, and basil, with fresh pesto