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Pairing: Zucchini Fritters with chardonnay

  • River Road Pamela's 2013 County Unoaked pairs well with zucchini fritters. (Shutterstock)

When you get oak out of the way, a chardonnay, including in our Wine of the Week, Pamela's 2013 Sonoma County Unoaked Chardonnay ($15), will blossom in unexpected ways. Without that foundation of sweet smoke and vanilla contributed by oak, subtle fruit and flower elements emerge early on, with a refreshing finish that can be hard to achieve when the wine spends months in new barrels. There's a lightness to the wine, a buoyancy that keeps it refreshing and expands pairing options.

This wine offers a cornucopia of summer fruit, especially apricot, pear and Granny Smith apple. Hints of honeysuckle and a bit of ripe pineapple round things out as the crisp finish resonates pleasantly.

At the table, the wine is a welcome match with late spring vegetables, including favas and peas, zucchini, and the first tomatoes. It works beautifully with shellfish, especially scallops, and wild Pacific king salmon and is a good choice with pork loin. I find it particularly lovely with these light zucchini fritters, fragrant with cumin. I happened to have some homemade pineapple chutney in the refrigerator and it furthered the match in a delicious way. You'll find that recipe at Eat This Now at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.

Zucchini Fritters

Makes 3 to 4 servings

1 pound zucchini, preferably Romanesco, grated on the large blade of a box grater

— Kosher salt

— Peanut oil, palm oil or mild olive oil for deep frying

3 to 4garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 teaspoons cumin, toasted and crushed

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

— Black pepper in a mill

1 large pastured egg, beaten

— Mint sprigs or Italian parsley sprigs

— Whole-milk yogurt, creme fraiche or chutney

Put the zucchini into a strainer or colander, sprinkle with salt, toss and let sit for 30 minutes.

Use your hands to press or squeeze out the liquid from the zucchini, so that it is fairly dry.

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