Sauvignon Blanc Pairing – Green Papaya Salad and 2013 Steven Kent “Lola” Livermore Valley

This is a great Sauvignon Blanc pairing – a great dish with a great wine. Chef Julie of Unexpected Chef and our Resident Chef has crafted a delectable green papaya salad that pairs perfectly with the 2013 Steven Kent “Lola” Livermore Valley…

Green Papaya Salad_SKWThe wide world of ethnic dishes can be challenging when it comes to wine pairing. Many times a server will suggest an ice cold beer when it comes to the flavors of Latin America or the Pacific Rim. But here, more than ever is a time to look to ingredients such as cilantro, mint, fish sauce, lime as well as shellfish and cooling vegetables such as cucumber and avocado.

Those culinary flavor profiles match well with the refreshing characteristics of Sauvignon Blanc. California’s Livermore Valley wine region produces many fine wines with a delicate balance of fresh fruit flavor and tartness that are a perfect match for many international dishes with these ingredients.

I tasted the Steven Kent “Lola” 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Livermore Valley with friends over Memorial Day weekend. We all loved the clean crisp style of the wine. Those flavors immediately made me think of some wonderful, fresh tropical Thai salads. I knew the characteristic funkiness of the fish sauce balanced with palm sugar and lime in my green papaya salad would go together really well. Here is that recipe. Although Thai cuisine sometimes is mistakenly classified as excessively spicy by some, not all Thai dishes are hot.  In this dish, I aimed for balance and refreshment over heat level. For that reason I think this is a great pairing, and hope you will agree.

Green Papaya Salad

Serves 4-6

Print1 oz. palm sugar, grated (brown sugar can be substituted)

1 key lime or half of a lime(cut into pieces)

3 garlic cloves

1/2 of one Serrano chili (seeds removed)

2 oz. green beans cut into 2″ lengths

1 tablespoon pomegranate

1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce

2 cups peeled and shredded green papaya

6 grape tomatoes cut in half

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped unsalted peanuts

Combine palm sugar, lime pieces, garlic and Serrano chili in mortar and smash down to make a paste with the pestle. Alternatively, you could pulse this combination in a food processor. If using mortar and pestle, add green beans and bruise them with pestle by pounding several times. Pound the papaya as well, several times.  Add fish sauce, pomegranate molasses, papaya and remaining ingredients into a large bowl. Stir vigorously to mix.

Add tomatoes and toss. Garnish with chopped peanuts. Serve with Steven Kent “Lola” 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Livermore Valley.

JulieHoskins~ Chef Julie Hoskins has a cookbook obsession, is a lifelong “foodie” and has cooked professionally for over a decade. As a long time resident of California’s wine country, she enjoys working with winemakers and creating dishes to highlight their wines. Many of her favorite ingredients, such as vegetables, shellfish and fresh herbs allow her the license to create parings to highlight and contrast many varietals. Her constant passion for good food and wine has provided her many opportunities to meet with winemakers, wine enthusiasts and other “foodies” and understand  the balance of flavors that make good wine and good food exceptional. You can find her recipes and articles in numerous publications and websites. Chef Julie is the founder of Chic Le Chef Catering in Hidden Valley Lake, California, and host of “The Culinary View” radio show on KPFZ 88.1 FM and blogs at She teaches culinary classes and wine pairing education and can be reached at julie “at”

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