Archive for April, 2011

Wine of the Week

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Nuits-Saint-Georges 1 er Cru  2006 Red Burgandy

A truly sensual, old world depiction of what Pinot Noir should taste like. At $45 – $85 per bottle, it is well worth it for an elegant meal with earthy flavors.

Suggested Pairing: Roasted Pork Tenderloin with a tart cherry demi-glace and mushroom risotto.

From The Grape Vine…Noble Varieties

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Here is my second article written for the Culinary Business Academy newsletter.

When beginning to pair food and wine together, it is important to lay a foundation of general knowledge as it pertains to grape varieties.  The easiest way to do this, in my opinion, is to begin with what are called “The Noble Six”.

The Noble varieties are so named since they are the most commonly planted varieties and the standard by which all grapes are grown and fine wine is made.  These six varieties are Sauvignon Blanc [SOH-vihn-YOHN BLAHNK], Chardonnay [SHAR-dun-nay], Riesling [REEZ-ling], Pinot Noir [PEE-noh-NWAHR], Merlot [mehr-LOH], and Cabernet Sauvignon [KAB-er-nay SOH-vin-NYOHN].  Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling are all white grapes and Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are all red grape varietals.  Both these red and white grape varietals make wines that have general aromas and flavors.  Knowing these generalities will assist you in knowing which wine to pair with your food.

Sauvignon Blancs are known for their citrusy and herbal aromas and flavors and are best paired with lean poultry, lean finfish and fresh goats cheese.  Chardonnay can be a tricky because you will need to know if they are oaked or un-oaked.  Old world varietals are usually lightly oaked, or un-oaked making them very food friendly.  With aromas and flavors resembling apples and pears, they go very well with lean poultry and pasta dishes with cream based sauces.  Oaky, New World Chardonnay (think California), go very well with butter sauces and rich seafood such as crab and lobster.  Then there are Rieslings, known for their rich honey and citrus notes, as well as their tendency to taste like dried apricots.  Rieslings can also have a lot of minerality making them a great pairing for pork, game birds, sushi and blue-veined cheeses.

Moving on to the reds, Pinot Noir, which is one of the most food friendly wines since it is fruit forward with good, balanced acid and medium tannins (the astringency in grapes), is known to be lush, fruit forward (resembling cherries and cranberries) and very earthy.  Pinot lends itself to be a great partner to mushroom risotto, Boeuf Bourguignon and braised lamb.  Merlot, a varietal known for its plum notes as well as having a vegetal quality goes very well with roasted or grilled meats, pizza and skin-on roasted poultry.  And lastly, Cabernet Sauvignon.  Similar in aroma and flavor to Merlot, there are also some subtle hints of black olive and eucalyptus.  These qualities make it a great match for meats done in robust cooking methods, and blue-veined cheeses.

Keeping these general, broad-stroke descriptions in mind will enable you to make a better pairing for all of your food.  Remember that wine can be the final sauce an accentuation of the flavors of your cuisine.

In the next issue…Classic Pairings and Gastronomic Identity.

Red Tricycle Biznik Seattle Picks Facebook Twitter