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Fort Ross Vineyard

Fort Ross
January 9, 2024 | Fort Ross

2021 Chardonnay & Za'atar Chicken Pairing

Winter 2024 wine pairing: 2021 Chardonnay & Za'atar Chicken

With tangy acidity and lemon flavors coming from the sumac onions and rich creaminess in the tahini sauce, this recipe is ideally paired with our 2021 Chardonnay.


Recipe by Zachary Engel via Food & Wine


Black garlic tahini:

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 medium garlic cloves, grated

3 peeled black garlic cloves (such as CalPAC)

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup tahini (such as Soom)

3/4 cup ice water

Sumac onions:

1 medium-size red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon ground sumac

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Za'atar chicken:

1 (4-pound) whole chicken

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 1/2 tablespoons za’atar

Black Garlic Tahini


Black garlic tahini:

1. Combine lemon juice and grated garlic in a blender; let stand 15 minutes. Using flat side of a knife, smash black garlic cloves on a cutting board, and scrape to form a paste. Add black garlic paste and salt to blender; puree until mostly smooth and black garlic is very finely chopped, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Place tahini in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on high speed until smooth and creamy, 4 to 5 minutes. Decrease speed to medium, and slowly drizzle in black garlic mixture. (Mixture will thicken but will smooth out again after adding water.) With mixer running, slowly drizzle in 3/4 cup cold water until fully incorporated. Increase speed to high, and beat until mixture is smooth, glossy, and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Za'atar chicken:

1. Preheat oven to 450°F, and line a large baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place chicken, backbone side up, on baking sheet. Using kitchen shears, cut along each side of backbone; remove and discard backbone. Flip chicken breast side up, and push down on breast to flatten. Season both sides of chicken evenly with salt. Roast chicken, breast side up, in preheated oven until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 140°F, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating pan after 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the sumac onions.

2. Toss together onion, vinegar, sumac, and salt in a large bowl until onions are well coated. Set aside until ready to serve.

3. Remove chicken from oven. (Do not turn oven off.) Tilt pan slightly to collect rendered juices into a baster or large spoon. Baste chicken skin with drippings, and sprinkle with za’atar. Return chicken to oven, and roast at 450°F until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chicken registers 155°F, 5 to 10 minutes. Let chicken rest 15 minutes before carving. Serve with sumac onions and black garlic tahini.

 Pair with our 2021 Chardonnay »


Time Posted: Jan 9, 2024 at 10:50 AM Permalink to 2021 Chardonnay & Za'atar Chicken Pairing Permalink
Fort Ross
June 6, 2021 | Fort Ross

2018 "FRV" Chardonnay

92 Points - Wine Spectator
Powerful, with savory richness to the mix of intense fresh cut apple and pear flavors. Crunchy acidity fills the finish, which features buttery hints to dried sage and tarragon accents. Drink now through 2025.

92 Points – Wine Advocate
The 2018 Chardonnay Estate has a restrained nose of baker's yeast, Bosc pears, hay and acacia with a nutty undercurrent. The medium-bodied palate is savory with opposing tanginess and a refreshing finish. 

92 Points - Wine Enthusiast
Robust in oak with a light touch of acidity, this estate-grown white is coastal in character, with firm supple tannin and a lasting freshness. Brioche, pineapple and toasted hazelnut combine around a rich note of honey.

91 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
The base 2018 Chardonnay Fort Ross Vineyard is impressive, offering lots of honeyed orchard fruits and white currant fruits as well as some spice and brioche aromas and flavors. It's rich, medium-bodied, balanced, and simply an outstanding effort to enjoy over the coming 2-4 years.

★★★★+ EXCELLENT - Ronn Wiegand MS/MW, Restaurant Wine
Fine and intense in aroma/flavor with notes of white peach, pineapple, roasted nut, lemon peel, and toasty oak; it is a crisp, full bodied Chardonnay. It shows excellent character, fine balance, and a long finish. Best version yet of this wine. Great value.

Time Posted: Jun 6, 2021 at 9:03 PM Permalink to 2018 Permalink