A propitiously warm Napa evening had me, Vinomaker and the Vinodogs dining outside for what was only the 3rd time this year. A white bean cassoulet, green salad, and garlic bread was just what the doctor ordered after a hot afternoon spent in the vineyard suckering the vines.
We initially paired the cassoulet with a Saddleback Cellars 2008 Pinot blanc, a wine we have enjoyed a lot of lately. Nils Venge, the proprietor of Saddleback Cellars, is perhaps mostly known in these parts for being the first American ever to achieve a perfect 100 point score, given by internationally renowned wine critic Robert Parker Jr. It was OK with the cassoulet. I love this wine just on it's own, but we switched to a Groth 2005 Cabernet sauvignon - the winery at which Mr. Venge was employed when he vinted the 1985 Cabernet sauvignon Reserve that garnered the perfect score.
A French dish paired with French wine varietals on this the most auspicious of days...D-Day; when if it wasn't for our brave British troops, and their stalwart American and Canadian allies, I'd more than likely be sitting here drinking a Gewürztraminer right now!