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Wine & Dine for Under $20: Veuve du Vernay

How far can you stretch $20 when dining for two? Below you’ll find a guide to the perfect summer picnic. An elegant combination of light, easy to prepare foods paired with a delicious bottle of sparkling wine. No wine opener required!

Wine & Dine for Under $20

NOTE: It’s easier to find high quality white wine at $8 than red wine.

We packed up a cloth grocery bag and settled down in the shade at Green Lake park in Seattle to test drive our meal. The most satisfying part was not needing a cork screw or glasses in order to enjoy the wine. Veuve du Vernay is zesty and dry with faint aromas of pear and apple. Because the salad is simple, the wine actually adds floral and fruity notes if you taste them together. With the bread and dukkah, the wine acts more as a palate cleanser than a perfect pairing.

Egyptian Dukkah Recipe

  • 1/3 cup Raw Hazelnuts
  • 3 tbsp. Seasame Seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp. Flaked Sea Salt
  • Olive Oil for Dipping


Roast hazelnuts at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until light brown. Fold hot hazelnuts into a cloth and rub to remove skins.

Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat until light brown. Set aside. In the same pan toast the coriander and cumin seeds. Keep off direct heat and stir occasionally until lightly browned or the seeds pop.

Using a food processor, finely grind the cumin and coriander seeds and set aside. Place cooled hazelnuts into food processor and grind to desired consistency. Combine all ingredients and stir in salt and pepper as desired.

Rocket & Parmesan Salad Recipe

  • Arugula (aka Rocket)
  • Parmesan (peels)
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp. Lemon
  • 2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp. Sugar


Combine all wet ingredients and whisk until emulsified.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss arugula in dressing.

Garnish with Parmesan peels.

About Justin Hammack

When I'm not drinking wine, I'm also.. a rails developer, vegetarian foodie, coffee addict, casual gamer, lover of cult movies, driver of insane turbo-2.0L ... in Seattle.

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