Winner Declared in the Backbone Pinot Gris Recipe Pairing Contest

August 15 2013


Last fall we released a special Pinot Gris called Backbone, made from a blend of 5 top vineyards in the Willamette Valley. We posed a challenge to our members: create a recipe to pair with this wine. We received many incredible submissions – it was clear that our members are as passionate about food and wine pairing as we are. Picking a winner was no easy task, but in the end member Pam Spettel rose to the top. We were swayed by her story (Pam and her husband Scott were married at King Estate in 2010), her photos, her thorough instructions, and above all, her delicious creation.

Executive Chef Ben Nadolny prepared her recipe on video.  Click below to play, or watch on YouTube.


Curried Salmon Cakes with Mango Chutney
A recipe adapted by Tower Club Member Pam Spettel

Nearly three years ago, King Estate became a part of our family.  Our small wedding was held there, and we were truly made a King and Queen for the day. We still reflect on the thoughtful, specialized attention we received from Autumn Brown, Elizabeth Allcott, Catherine Davidson, Tobi Sovak, the chefs and each ancillary staff member who made our celebration one that is still talked about our friends and family as memorable. Our ten-ten-ten (October 10, 2010, at 10 a.m.) wedding couldn’t have been a more flawless, beautiful, day.

We still visit King Estate frequently, and enjoy the wines, the wonderful cuisine, and the attentive, professional staff. We have never once been disappointed, and are delighted to have such a high quality place to dine, celebrate, and relax in our area. That King Estate employs sustainable practices and environmental responsibility only makes it that much better.

Since King Estate provides a “backbone” of sorts to our family, it is with great joy that we submit this recipe for the Backbone pairing contest. We think that the curried salmon cakes and mango chutney synergistically highlight the wine’s tropical overtones and crispness. Hopefully you will as well.   – Pam

Mango Chutney
2 Cups peeled and diced fresh mango
Zest of one lemon (save the rest to juice)
2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger-root
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2/3 cups rice vinegar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a non-alumninum saucepan over medium heat. Turn the heat down and simmer until the liquid becomes thick and syrupy, approximately 30-40 minutes. The chutney keeps in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks, and yields 2 1/2 cups.

Curried Salmon Cakes
1 (1 1/4 lb) skinless salmon filet, cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 T minced Italian parsley, fresh
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, fresh
3 T mayonnaise
1 egg, beaten
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 T shallot, minced
1/2 cup apple, peeled and diced (granny smith or braeburn work well)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp Madras curry power
salt to taste (1/2 to 1 tsp)
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Gently combine all ingredients, mixing until uniformly combined.

Place panko bread crumbs in a large plate or pie plate. Form about 1/3 cup salmon mixture into cakes. Carefully coat each cake in panko crumbs. Rest the cakes in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes.

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat until simmering. Place salmon cakes in skilled and cook with moving until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip cakes and cook until second side is golden brown, another 2-3 minutes. Serve.

Yields about 8 full-size cakes, enough to serve 4 people. Serve with King Estate Backbone Pinot Gris!

The 2012 vintage of the Backbone Pinot Gris was recently released. Classic and Ultimate members will be getting this wine in their summer release.