Our Wine of Week, Gracianna 2012 Kiwi's Blend Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($28), is bright, refreshing and a bit edgy, like a lithe young girl dressed for the Handcar Regatta. There's plenty of flouncy fruit, especially citrus, around the edges, with a tight core - think bustier - of mineral and meadow grass at the heart of the wine. Racy little ribbons of lemongrass and citrus zest enliven each sip and as you enjoy the pleasing finish you might notice a suggestion of jalapeño, a favorite quality that sometimes emerges in this varietal. Hello there! I'm tempted to say.
The wine is a natural with all but the richest seafood. It's not the best match with wild Pacific King salmon, lobster, sardines or mackerel but almost any other fish will be enhanced when the wine is offered alongside. It's equally good with chicken and pork, outstanding with yogurt-based sauces and soups and a perfect companion to many of summer's foods, from fresh basil and cucumbers to corn, green beans, tomatoes and zucchini.
For today's recipe, I'm revisiting a favorite way to enjoy shrimp, a light tostada without the traditional schmear of refried beans. The ingredients are light and bright, like sunlight, with just a hint of heat and luscious avocado cream to tie it all together.
Shrimp Tostadas with Avocado Cream and Sungold Tomatoes
Makes 4 servings
— Avocado Cream (see Note below)
1 1/2 cups Sungold cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 serrano, seeded and minced
— Kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 to 8 ounces Oregon baby shrimp
— Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoons minced red onion
4 corn tortillas, preferably handmade-style, fried or baked until crisp
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
— Generous handful of salad mix or small lettuce leaves
1/4 Armenian cucumber, quartered and cut in thin wedges