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Jul 11, 2017
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WINE WITH…Mustard-Lemon-Sage Glazed & Grilled Veal Chops

This recipe is adapted from a dish that our good friend (and Wine Review Online editor) Michael Franz served at a dinner party many years ago. The glaze is tangy but also slightly sweet, and we’ve found
that it works wonderfully on grilled pork and chicken as well as veal. It’s easy to make and stores well in the refrigerator, so you can prepare it well before any guests arrive.

Veal chops can sometimes be hard to find. Happily for us, we have a local specialty grocery store that keeps them in stock. If you’re not as lucky, try the glaze with bone-in pork chops or skin-on chicken thighs (you need skin or fat for the caramelization). No matter which meat you choose, grill over medium rather than high heat. You’ll want some char, but nothing burnt.

Mustard-Lemon-Sage Glazed and Grilled Veal Chops

(Serves four)

4 bone in loin veal chops
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon dry rubbed sage
Juice of half a large lemon
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Season the meat with salt and pepper, and pat dry. Whisk together thoroughly all the other ingredients. Brush the glaze on all sides of the chops. This should use a little more than half of the glaze. Midway through grilling, brush on more glaze, flip the chops, and brush the rest on the other side. When the chops are done, remove them from the grill and let them sit for five minutes before serving.

* * *

The meat’s succulent flavors and almost caramelized richness from the light char might be pretty easy to pair with almost any good full-bodied white or red wine, but the rich, zesty flavors of the glaze turn this into an even more tasty and complex dish. You might think that this means giving a little more thought to the wine selection, but we found that of the ten wines we tried (three whites, one rosé, and six reds), almost all paired superbly with the chops. The reds we rejected, mostly Cabernets and a Zinfandel, were too big and overpowering, while one of our whites was too light to stand up to the dish.

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Approx. Price



Duckhorn Wine Company





This dish requires a rosé with a certain amount of rich fruitiness to stand up to its juicy, lightly charred flavors. Decoy’s packs a welcome medley of fruits into its roster of flavors along with a welcome, savory dose of lemon zest in the finish.


Santa Maria Valley


Pinot Noir

North Canyon Vineyard



Etude’s North Canyon is one of those rare California Pinots that exhibits enough earthiness and fresh berry fruitiness to be supremely elegant yet forceful. It is packed with layers of flavor and has a beautiful, silky texture, and it finishes on a rewardingly persistent note.

Famille Perrin

Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc


“Les Sinards”


(Imported by Vineyard Brands)


With hints of caramel on the nose and deep, rich flavors of white peach and nectarine, this fresh, elegant white wine has a long, pleasing finish. It hits all the right notes with this dish, connecting especially well with the sage. It’s made from a blend of the region’s leading white grapes, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, and Roussanne.


Sonoma Coast



Wildcat Mountain Vineyard



This wine’s vibrant flavors and rich, voluptuous texture wrap deliciously around the grilled meat’s richness. With a touch of minerality and a whiff of spicy oak, this is a Chardonnay with enough depth and breadth to stand up to complex flavors.

Medlock AmesAlexander Valley, Sonoma County (California)“Right Bank” 2014


With richer, more concentrated flavors than the Pinot Noir we liked so much, this beautifully structured blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot stopped just short of being too powerful. Indeed, it embraced the rich variety of texture and flavor in the dish, and its soft tannins added another layer of pleasure to a splendid pairing.