Wine & Mediterranean Food

Here are some very interesting pairings we did with some of VINO Chef Keith Endo recent specials.


 Monterey Sardines with San Marzano tomato sauce


2012 My Essential Rose–With tomato sauce, we look to pair really tasty, more ethereal styles of PINK wines.  Because this dish specifically is about sardines, a more oily fish, we wanted something that was grown in more calcareous kinds of soil & done via very light direct press, which keeps the palate fresh & alive between bites.  If you haven’t yet experienced this rose, we recommend you really keep an eye out for it.  Grown in Aix down in Provence, France & produced from several grape varieties such as Cinsault & Grenache, it is remarkably fresh, delicious, light & completely refreshing.  VINO14VINO16

Braised Octopus Salad

One of the locally grown & caught seafood specialties of Hawaii is the octopus, which is something I really love to eat.  On this night we chose to pair this rendition with the Punta Crena Lumasina from the steep, rocky hillsides of Liguria, Italy.  This wine is dry, wonderfully light, fizzy & citrus-y, which then acts like a squeeze of lemon with this dish.  The wine’s innate minerality also works wonders with the dish’s fennel & Kalamata olives.

Seared Short Rib with baby arugula, charred tomatoes,  anchovy vinaigrette & pickled red onions VINIO15 short rib

Short Ribs?  You would think red wine is the call, right?  In this case, because of the anchovies in the vinaigrette, we really don’t want too much tannins in the paired wine, which is why we chose a well chilled bottle of Provencal rose.  Domaine Gros Nore produces very masculine, wildly rustic, hearty RED Bandol.  It makes sense that owner/winemaker Alain Pascal is an avid hunter.  Up until the 2010 vintage, it seemed to me that his rose was an after thought…..looking to make something decent from the bled off juice of his saignee.  It now seems with the 2010 & now the 2011, however, Alain has figured out, if you want a good rose, you have to set out to make a good rose.  His answer….direct press the grapes.  The resulting PINK wines have become quite impressive since.  Still masculine & quite hearty, but well managed, harnessed & therefore much more delicious & UN-bitter.  This is a VERY tasty dish & this is an ideal wine to wash it down with.

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