Mojito Marinated Grilled Chicken w/ 2019 Vista Sauvignon Blanc Reserve

KISS. Keep it simple stupid!  Do you know how many times I heard that when I was in Basic Training at FT. Jackson, SC.?  Let me spare you the mystery.  The Army was/is world class in dropping its instruction to the lowest common denominator! Enter this recipe.  No need for fancy bells & whistles.  No obscure ingredients.  No elaborate prep.  No detailed cooking steps with intricate heat levels. Assemble the marinade, put the key ingredient (chicken breasts) into a storage bag. Throw it in the fridge.  Done.   In short, what are we looking at here?  It’s the perfect I’ve-played-18-holes-today,-had-a-swim-and-what’s-for-dinner? recipe! Meaning?  Put the marinade together in the morning and forget about it.  Go about what you do.  Tend to the roses.  Walk the 7 mile loop in your town.  Visit your bank account.  Take a hot shower as necessary. Give 5 minutes of thought to the choice of sides — in my case it’s grilled sweet corn and a tomato & cucumber salad!  It’s summer!

Even though my first allegiance is to White Burgundy, my go-to white wine is Sauvignon Blanc.  I love the wine on its own merit, but  more importantly, Sauvignon Blanc is the “Swiss army knife” of wine when it comes to putting a glass alongside a diversity of food.  Fish? Check! Salads? Check! Veggie dishes? Check! Grilled chicken? Check!! For Sauvignon Blanc I lean to the Loire Valley’s Sancerre or Pouilly Fumé.  But I wanted to give the Vista Reserve from Napa a test drive.  Why?  Because Vista’s Grant Long is a gifted winemaker!  I have greatly enjoyed any number of his Pinot Noirs and Cabernets.  And the 2019 Reserve doesn’t disappoint.  Fresh.  Flavorful without being opulent. Clean, dry finish.  Perfect with my grilled chicken.  And, P.S. a fabulous value at the price.

Vista Sauvignon Blanc Reserve ’19 (Napa, CA)
This Sauvignon Blanc opens with alluring aromas of melon, boxwood, gooseberry, citrus and guava. A full and lively palate of green apple and lemongrass balances this wine’s tropical and lime zest notes with crisp acidity that gives way to a soft landing  finish.

{For the video take on the wine, copy into your browser}


6 ounces of Tanqueray Gin
½ ounce of Noilly Pratt Dry Vermouth
3 blue cheese stuffed olives
2 chicken breasts
1/3 cup white rum
1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp pretzel salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
Fresh lime juice

1. Put gin and vermouth into a glass pitcher, fill with ice, stir vigorously while incanting, “You who know all, thank you for providing us juniper and all the other obscure ingredients responsible for creating this sacred liquid!” Strain into a pre-frozen Martini glass of admirable size.  Skewer the olives on one of those tacky cocktail swords, place in glass. Immediately begin consuming.  Now you can begin the food prep, and the cooking!

2. Pound the hell out of the chicken breasts to a uniform thickness

3. Put all the ingredients (with a good squeeze of fresh lime juice added) into a ziplock bag and with great vigor, stir them up so that all the chicken is coated with the marinade. Put it into the fridge.

4. Marinate for at least 4 hours.  Or overnight.

5. For grilling, 5-7 minutes on each side should do, depending on the thickness of the breasts.

6. Plate, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and garnish with mint leaves.

n.b. For my grilled corn, I husk the corn, apply a serious coating of garlic butter, and wrap the cob in tin foil.

This entry was posted in Sandy's Table. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *