Hubby and I just finished dinner – a pan-grilled pork chop (about 9 ounces each) and fresh spinach with garlic and olive oil, enjoyed with (well, actually we started while the chops were cooking) the 2011 Line 39 Sauvignon Blanc. I discovered Line 39 after reading about the 2010 vintage Sauvignon Blanc at The Reverse Wine Snob. Now, it’s a wine I’m never without, at least as long as the 2011 is in stock in my city, and I’ll try the 2012 when available. It’s my go-to white when I have guests pop-in for a surprise visit, a wine for aperitifs, great patio wine and tonight just perfect with my pan-seared (and pan finished) pork chops.
While the Line 39 website highlights grapefuit “aromas,” I get a fresh and appealing mix of fresh fruits, not too sweet, a tad of grassiness, and after the first taste, beautiful ripe pineapple flooding into the nose with the touch of minerality necessary for this varietal. Nicely balanced with citrus on the palate (lime prevalent), and a very fresh and lively finish. I find it budget friendly at $11 or under and one of those wines most everyone can appreciate and enjoy.
So with pork chops tonight (which finish crispier than the above photo), the Line 39 was perfect. I buy thick chops, two to a package at Wal-Mart (turn up your nose if you wish – but, you know, they don’t get any better than these chops we have had so many times). There are two to a package, at a little over 1 lb., perfect for this empty-nester house. The weather isn’t conducive to outdoor grilling right now, and to tell the truth, they are as good prepared indoors as they are out – maybe better.
I use a stove top grill pan with a little Pam, season the chops with olive oil and Cavenders, and yes, I use Cavenders Greek seasoning on about everything – can’t find anything better, although I have a pantry full of pork rubs. I sear both sides on fairly high heat, then lower the fire. It takes about 30-40 minutes to reach about 160 deg F. These “Wal-Mart” chops are always perfect, and melt-in -the-mouth tender, but there is a secret: I place each chop on the plate on top of a small dab of garlic butter (I know, terrible for the heart) and then just the teeniest dab on top while hot. The flavor is amazing. When I’m feeling particularly health conscious (when I have a lemon available, I add a squeeze of lemon juice to the plate, in place of the garlic button and a quick squeeze on top of the chop.
Fresh spinach sauteed with garlic and olive oil complete our meal (a squeeze of lemon also nice here), because I’m not really eating much bread these days – you know that Wheat Belly story. I believe it, although I dearly love bread, but really do not miss it with chops, hearty spinach and my glass of Line 39 Sauvignon Blanc.
Line 39 is located on the 39th parallel in Lake County, California, adjacent to Mendocino County, north of Napa and Northeast of Sonoma. It is owned by Cecchetti Wines, with Roy Cecchetti the president and CEO. I remember Roy from his early partnership with brother-in-law, Don Sebastiani.
Visit The Reverse Wine Snob for great finds. Jon Thorsen daily thumbs his nose at wines over $20.00. He doesn’t sell wine. He is a wine lover and a consumer, with a mission to find good wine that doesn’t break “the bank.” I think you’ll love his site – today he’s talking about “Awesome Austrian Pinot Noir.”