All American Menu: Farmer and Winery Friends #WinePW

July Wine Pairing Weekend Assignment: All American, All French, or Somewhere In Between
I chose “All American!”  I’ve been spending lots of time this year exploring Italian food and wine, but sometimes it’s fun to come home to familiar ground.  Especially this time of year, where we can cook almost the whole meal on the grill.

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Farmer Friends and Winery Friends
As part of our all-American theme, we decided to feature farmer and winegrower friends. Over the last few years, we have enjoyed getting to know some of our local farmers market farmers as we come back throughout the summer to pick up produce, meat and eggs raised locally.  In similar fashion, we’re drinking wines made by friends, all the more enjoyable by that personal connection. First, let’s take a quick visit (click on any photo to start the slide show).

Our Food and Wines for Today
Our meal ingredients come primarily from two of our favorite farmers, Peter’s Pumpkins & Carmen’s Corn, and Sunshine Harvest Farms. You can find them at Mill City Farmers Market, Fulton Farmers Market, or Kingfield Farmers Market, depending on the day and season.

Our wines come from Rulo Winery in Walla Walla, Washington and iOTA Cellars in Eola-Amity Hills section of the Willamette Valley in Oregon. If you’re interested in learning a bit more about our visits, here’s Rulo and iOTA here and here.

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Combine is a Rhone blend of Marsanne, Picpoul, Grenache Blanc, & Roussanne

Rulo Winery “Combine” 2013 ($20 direct from the winery)
25% Marsanne, 25% Picpoul, 25% Grenache Blanc, 25% Roussanne

Eye: Clear, light straw yellow, almost clear at the edge
Nose: fresh, clean, stony & floral scent
Mouth: Medium body, not tart but stony.  Nice persistence in the stony finish.

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100% estate grown Pinot Noir from the Pelos Sandberg Vineyard

iOTA Cellars Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 ($38 direct from the winery at release)
Eye: Dark but translucent, warm red in color.
Nose: Bright red cherries, fresh, winery smell!
Mouth: Smooth, not tart. Leather/cedar component reminiscent of the smell of the winery.


I love easy “one pot” meals on the grill

Wine Pairing Results
Pork represents the best meat for pairing with either white or red wine.  Often, I’ll pick the white as the better pairing.  Today, I chose a simple soy sauce marinade to “up” the umami component in the main dish.  The soy sauce marinade tipped the better pairing over to the iOTA Cellars Pinot Noir.  As always, either the medium bodied white wine or the medium-light bodied red work.  However, the marinade does bend the pairing over to the red side.


Red or white? Both work, but the soy marinade tips the scale over to the Pinot Noir as the best combination.

Wine Pairing Weekend #WinePW
If you see this on Saturday morning, July 11, please join us at 10:00am CDT for a chat on Twitter at #WinePW.  Take a look at what our blogging group has brought together for your July table. Also, join us Saturday, August 15 as we explore Portugal, a land of delicious food and outstanding wines!


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Perfect for a summer evening

Country Pork Ribs & Classic Potato Salad

Classic Potato Salad
Are you interested in lightening up some classic dishes?  I’m a long time subscriber to Eating Well magazine; the focus is on healthy lower calorie eating without resorting to artificial ingredients. The current print issue has a great one page article on Potato Salad many ways.  They offer the basic recipe, two different dressings (creamy and vinegary) with multiple variations.  Unfortunately, the online version separates them into individual recipes, so the mix-n-match flavor is lost.  However, I can wholeheartedly recommend their lighter version of Classic Potato Salad; make it a day ahead if you can!

Country Pork Ribs and Veggies on the Grill


  • 2 lbs. country style pork ribs
  • 2 oz. low sodium soy sauce
  • 4 heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 bunch fresh broccoli
  • 4 young onions
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) (pump sprayer)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Slice the pork ribs into portions
  • Place the pork ribs and soy sauce in a freezer ziploc bag and marinate for at least 1 hour up to overnight in the ‘frig
  • Cut the tomatoes into 8 pieces each
  • Cut the broccoli into trees
  • Spray all the vegetables with a light coating of EVOO, add a pinch of salt and pepper
  • Pre-heat grill to high
  • Grill the veggies for 15 minutes, turning regularly
  • Grill the pork ribs for 10-15 minutes, depending on how thinly cut

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29 Responses to “All American Menu: Farmer and Winery Friends #WinePW”
  1. Great as always Jeff! I typically will lean towards white on pork too, but definitely depends on the marinade and other sides of the dish. Don’t you just love grilling this time of year!

  2. Nothing beats local…how lucky for you that you live in such a wine friendly area.

  3. Wonderful meal and fantastic wines! Photo’s are stunning.

  4. Perry Pelos says:

    Jeff –

    I have decided I want to live at your house…This looks great!



  5. Fabulous. I love Pinot Noir with pork and the Pinot sounds great but I am intrigued by the Rulo “Combine” wine. Very interesting blend, I can almost smell and taste it. Food looks outstanding as usual.

  6. Can I bring Sous Chef and the two Havanese kids over for dinner or a permanent vacation? You really know how to throw a great meal together. And the wine pairings are so intriguing, I’ve not tried either but need to see if I can get them. They both sound like wines we would enjoy.

  7. Um, when is the restaurant/wine bar opening? Very nice pairing!

  8. I enjoy your focus on the local farmers. Intentional or coincidence that one of the wines had the name of a farm implement? I like the sound of the pinot!

    • Thanks, David. Rulo’s logo is a set of grain elevators. They call the elevators “farmer GPS” as the Walla Walla area farmers know exactly where you’re talking about by the name of the nearby elevator.

  9. Great looking post as always Jeff! Isn’t it great when you can do a meal on the grill. I need to do that more. I appreciate your comment about pork in terms of both white and red wines. Great description of the results of your pairing too! Cheers!

  10. We love exploring local wine makers and farmers. It makes such a difference when you can get to know the people behind all the work and the great product. Your meal looks absolutely amazing.

  11. Great recipe and I absolutely love the final picture of the cork on the corkscrew. Very original (I may have to steal it. LOL – but I’ll give credit) Your meal looks fantastic and what a presentation. Great picture.

  12. Jade Helm says:

    I love the farmer connection. I also love seeing the Oregon Pinot Noir. There are several pork and Pinot events in Willamette Valley. Great pairing.

    • Thanks, Jade! Of course, I envy your neighborhood. Local foods AND wines. (And windsurfing at Hood River, snowboarding on Mt. Hood, mtn biking and fly fishing in the national forest. Oops, got carried away there for a minute.)

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