Southern Oregon will soon be flirting again with warm days, so cool food is on the menu. As part of our ongoing series about local “wineries that cook”, we’re featuring this recipe for mouthwatering sweet-salty Watermelon, Feta and Cucumber Kebabs. Created by Ashley Cates, Marketing and Sales Manager at Agate Ridge Winery, it was inspired by Bri Emery’s How to Pair Your Wine with Food on her popular lifestyle blog, DesignLoveFest.

I had the chance to taste these refreshing hot-weather bites at Agate Ridge Winery during last month’s Roam the Rogue event, sponsored by the Upper Rogue Wine Trail. A cooperative of seven tucked-away wineries in Southern Oregon, the event provides winer lovers the chance to learn valuable food pairing techniques specific to their wines while tasting some of the best from their cellars.

Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

Agate Ridge Semillon Sauvignon line-up. Image: Barb Magee

Paired with this dish was Agate Ridge Winery’s award-winning Semillon Sauvignon Blanc. Crafted in a traditional European style by winemaker Brian Denner, this picnic-worthy wine has a creamy medium body that is well balanced with mouthwatering acidity.

The minty, sweet and salty flavors of the dish paired well with the intense floral aromatics of this varietal. It joined citrus, cut grass and finish with the nuttiness of ripe dates, which made for a heavenly bite.

Watermelon, Feta, and Cucumber Kebab

Ingredients:

One large watermelon

2 English cucumbers

16 oz. firm feta cheese

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon finely zested lemon rind

2 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Directions:

Cut watermelon into 2 inch pieces and feta cheese into 1/2 – 1 inch pieces. Cut cucumbers into 1/2 inches slices, leaving skins on if using English cucumbers. If using regular slicing cucumbers, remove skins before slicing. Thread onto 6-inch wood skewers and arrange on plate.

Finely chop mint and place in small mixing bowl. Add lemon zest, olive oil and vinegar. Whisk until fully combined.  Drizzle on skewers.

Serves 10.