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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Sarmiento

Linguine with mussels in a white wine-chili cream sauce and 2019 Domaine de la Riviere Chardonnay

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Fusion cuisine doesn’t get any better than combining the best of France with Italy.

Melding seafood with white wine, fresh herbs, citrus and spices with some pasta, just lifts the spirits.

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Pairing this dish with a delicately French-influenced Californian Chardonnay seals the deal.

Let‘s get cooking!

Menu: Linguine with mussels in a white wine-chili cream sauce.

Wine pairing: 2019 Domaine de La Riviere - Next Door Neighbor Chardonnay

(Russian River Valley, California)

Serves 4


  • 1/2 box of linguine pasta

  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili flakes

  • 1 red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped

  • 2 cups of white wine (preferably a dry white wine)

  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream

  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)

  • 1/2 cup of Italian parsley, finely chopped

  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

  • 2 pounds of fresh mussels, thoroughly washed (discard those that are open)

Optional: Freshly grated mild cheese like Grana Padano and fresh Italian parsley for final garnish.


  • Melt butter in a large pan or skillet (make sure pan/skillet has a lid which will be later used. Sauté onions, garlic, red chili and red pepper flakes until soft.

  • Add white wine and simmer until reduced by about two thirds. Add cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

  • Add mussels and cover pan. Reduce heat to low and let mussels stream until cooked (8-10 minutes).

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions.

  • Remove mussels from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in lemon juice, zest and parsley.

  • Once pasta is cooked, drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl and toss with mussels and sauce.

Serve it up!

This eye-catching dish merits individual servings.

To elegantly plate this meal, scoop a generous portion of pasta and mussels into large, deep bowls. Add a few extra mussels if you like and garnish with some fresh Italian parsley and very lightly dust with some Grana Padano cheese.

Bon appetit! Enjoy!

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento) About the wine…

The 2019 growing season in the Middle Reach Neighborhood started out wet and cool but finished with warmer conditions in the back half of the season.

2019 saw less prevalent morning fog compared to previous years, which led to slightly warmer days and greater length of sun exposure.

A frost event during March slowed budbreak and rain events in early May, during flowering, impacted cluster formation, resulting in shatter that reduced harvest yields by 15 to 20 percent. While yields were down, the shatter resulted in highly concentrated fruit and excellent quality.

Growing conditions from June through harvest were ideal, allowing our vines to catch-up from the slow start and develop to their full potential. Harvest started on August 22nd for Rosé and finished on September 26th with a Chardonnay pick.

The wines hand crafted in 2019 show impressive quality, highlighted by fine acidity, abundantly concentrated fruit, vibrant color and well-balanced elegance.

2019 Domaine de La Riviere - Next Door Neighbor Chardonnay

(Russian River Valley, California)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Tasting notes: The 2019 Next Door Neighbor is Domaine de la Riviere’s richest chardonnay that exhibits aromas of bartlett pear and white flowers giving way to flavors of yellow apple, baked pie crust, lemon peel with a hint of vanilla.

Barrel aging has softened the youthful acidity adding layers of silky minerality. This wine should age graciously.


100% Chardonnay



Barrels: 42% New French oak

Barrel Aging: 11 months

Cellaring Time: 7-10 years

Food pairing: Great with mild, buttery and creamy dishes. Delicate poultry and seafood plates. Light salads with toasted nuts. Sweet vegetables such as butternut squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and corn.

For more information, visit:

2019 Domaine de La Riviere - Next Door Neighbor - Chardonnay

(Russian River Valley, California)


Special thanks to Marla & Geoff Bedrosian and Domaine de la Riviere!

Very special thanks to my culinary collaborator/Sous Chef Cibeles Chirino. —————————————————————

Decorative wine bottle collar drip rings by:

(Special discount promo code: CFW15)

(Photo courtesy of Domaine de la Riviere)

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