Chicken with Prunes and Chiles, paired with Pedroncelli Winery Springtime Sips!

Hello Friends,

Getting together with friends online for virtual cooking and wine tasting is always a blast. And no one does it better than the good folks at Pedroncelli Winery. They totally rocked a chicken dish that called for chile peppers and prunes (yes, I said prunes) as key ingredients. Initially, I found the duo interesting, if not odd; I thought the flavors would surely collide. Boy, was I wrong! The dish was delightful and I’ve already made it a second time.

The recipe turned out great. I grilled my chicken on a pellet smoker. Not pictured are the bed of cauliflower rice, house salad, and a generous spoonful of sauce over the bird.  

This thoughtful dish came with a dash of history about the wrinkly fruit featured in the recipe. As Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ed St. John said, “prunes replaced grapes because prohibition ended wine for a while.” Ed went on to add that “Dry Creek Valley was once proud to be called ‘The Buckle of the Prune Belt’. After prohibition, which lasted from 1920 to 1933, it was decades before wine grapes made a comeback in the 1970s. But as the California wine industry matured and gained global respect and credibility, vineyards throughout the state flourished and never let up. 

Pedroncelli Winery was founded during prohibition in 1927. To get by, the family farmed wine grapes which were later sold to home winemakers. They were one of a few producers to remain intact after the repeal of prohibition in 1933.  Still family owned and operated, Pedroncelli just last year celebrated its 90th anniversary in the wine business and farming in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley. The winery offers rock-solid quality for the money year in and year out and should be on your wine radar.

The two wines below, both under $20 each, paired wonderfully with the Chicken with Prunes and Chiles dish. You can find the recipe here on Pedroncelli Winery’s website. If you’re in a cooking and sipping mood this warm weather season—and I know you will be—try your hand at the dish and enjoy the wines reviewed below. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did and so will those you invite over! 

Pedroncelli 2017 Friends White

Pedroncelli 2017 Friends White (SRP $13): This is a delightful, food-friendly refresher to welcome the warmer months. It’s a great choice for picnics, the porch or patio, cookouts, and more. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminer, this wine is highly aromatic, showcasing inviting notes of bright citrus fruit, lemongrass, and lovely floral tones. The aromas extend to the palate, sharing the floor with a lively, dancing acidity. There’s a smidgen of sweet fruitiness that will partner well with moderately spicy ethnic cuisine. Overall, a real crowd pleaser that’s tasty, satisfying, and affordable. Region: Sonoma County, California. Other info: ABV 13.6%, screw cap enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

Pedroncelli 2017 Dry Rosé of Zinfandel

Pedroncelli 2017 Dry Rosé of Zinfandel (SRP $17): The winery has made this rosé for a remarkable 64 vintages. It’s produced from 100% estate Zinfandel fruit, picked with the sole purpose of crafting a dry, crisp rosé. Expect freshness, juiciness, and savory qualities in the glass. It’s brimming with bright summer red berry fruit, citrus blossom, and a dab of peppery spice on the back end, with an insistent pop of acidity throughout.  It has just enough oomph to stand up to a wide range of foods. This rosé is a personal favorite of mine while grilling, and later with a plate of barbeque and all the fixings. Region: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California. Other info: ABV 13.8%, screw cap enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

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