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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Sarmiento

Grouper with sage brown butter and spinach with roasted pine nuts and pecorino, buttered potatoes & 2021 DAOU Estate Semillon

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

My fiends at DAOU Vineyards had given me the opportunity to feature a rare varietal of theirs, the classic Semillon wine, comprised of a grape native to the Bordeaux region.

(DAOU Vineyards - photo courtesy of DAOU Vineyards)

Semillon wines are known to be rather heavy, with low acidity and an almost oily texture, perfect for seafood and light dishes.

I decided to feature another fish dish for this pairing with a popular sage brown butter sauce.

Both sauce and Semillon pairing was a first for Carlos’ Food & Wine.

“Wine is sunlight, held together by water." Galileo Galilei.

Nothing could be further from the truth, especially with this exquisite wine.

Let‘s get cooking!

Menu: Pan-seared grouper with sage brown butter sauce, sautéed spinach with roasted pine nuts and buttered baby yellow potatoes.

Wine pairing: 2021 Daou - Estate Semillon

(Adelaide District, Paso Robles, Carlifornia)

Serves 2



  • 2 3/4 pound grouper filets

  • Sea salt & cracked pepper

  • Extra Virgin Olive oil


  • Package of baby spinach

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced

  • 1/4 cup of roasted pine nuts

  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino Romano

  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil

Sage butter:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 8-10 fresh sage leaves


  • 1 pound of baby yellow potatoes (parboiled, cooked through)

  • Sea salt & cracked pepper

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter



  • Boil baby potatoes until you can run a life through them. Drain and set side.

  • In large frying pan, add butter and heat up on medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  • Add potatoes and finish sautéing for 3-5 minutes until slightly browned outside. Add salt and pepper to taste and carefully mix.

  • Remove from heat and keep warm.


  • In a large frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of extra Virgin olive oil and heat up on medium heat.

  • As soon as oil is hot, add garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add spinach and cook for 3-5 minutes until slits almost about to wilt. Add pine nuts and cheese, stir well and remove from heat. Keep warm.


  • Season steak on both sides lightly with sea salt and cracked pepper. Light cover with some extra Virgin olive oil.

  • On a large frying pan, add 4 tablespoons of extra Virgin olive oil and heat up on medium high heat.

  • Once got, carefully place grouper on the pan, away from you. Sear for 2 minutes each side. Reduce heat to low. Continue cooking fish for an additional 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Butter sauce:

  • In a medium sized pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over low heat. Make sure to keep it low you don’t want to burn it. Once it has melted add sage leaves. Cook over low heat until sage leaves start to brown.

  • Remove from heat.

Serve it up!

This is a simple recipe that is full of flavor, yet can be plated to make an elegant dish.

Place grouper in the middle of the plate. Behind it on a side, place a few buttered potatoes (and some of the garlicky goodness on top of the potatoes).

Next to the potatoes add nice amount of the spinach (make sure to spoon some of the pine nut cheese mixture).

Finally, spoon over and around the fish, the sage butter sauce, including the sage leaves, that make a nice edible garnish. Enjoy!

Bon apetit!

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

About the wine...

2021 Daou - Estate Semillon

(Adelaide District, Paso Robles, California)

This Semillon provides a rare stand-alone taste of this classic Bordeaux white.

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

Tasting notes: The nose is flush with complex aromas of jasmine, acai, vanilla and salted macadamia nut, all complemented by traces of white chocolate and wet stone minerality.

Creamy tropical fruits abound on the palate with accents of peach, lemon and white flower.

The mouthfeel is impressively rounded, expanding into a fresh, impeccable finish.


100% Semillon

Food pairing: Beautiful wine that pairs nicely with sushi, grilled chicken and fish dishes, light dishes featuring cheese, and foie gras.

For more information and to order Daou wines visit:

Special thanks to my friends at Daou Vineyards for this exquisite food and wine pairing collaboration.

(Photo by Federico Nessi)

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