One of the most interesting aspects of the restaurant industry is pairing wine to food. The very complex matrix of understanding how they interact is really totally fascinating & compelling to say the least. I am so lucky to work with a group of chefs who are continuously churning out new foods. Here are some of the most recent–
2010 Gysler Silvaner Halbtrocken–most aficionados of fine German wine, would wince with the word Silvaner. In fact, one lady the other night shared her real distain for the Silvaner grape variety. Still, I distinctly remember dining at a restaurant & trying a myriad of wines/different grape varieties with all kinds of foods & being the food friendliness of Silvaner. In short, it may not be a noble grape variety, but good ones certainly have a place at the dinner table. We needed a hint of sweetness to the wine, because of the innate fruitiness of the tomato & the saltiness of the goat cheese. Silvaner seems to work well with earthy dishes like this.
(On the right)–Bruschetta with porcini-olive tapenade, roasted peppers & sunny side quail egg. (Chef Partner Keith Endo, VINO)
(On the left)–Fresh Burrata with crab & charred tomatoes (Chef Partner Keith Endo, VINO)
2012 Domaine Skouras “Zoe“–this is a “quietly” exotic, absolutely delicious white wine from the Peloponnese of southern Greece. We love these kind of aromatic wines (in this case of Roditis & Moschofilero) with these kinds of foods. It really does heighten the earthy flavors & help top wash it down.
(On the left)–Kampachi Crudo, with avocado puree, chili pepper water aioli & ogo (Chef Partner Keith Endo, VINO)
(On the right)–Curried Cauliflower with truffled aioli & pickled Maui onions (Chef Partner Keith Endo, VINO)
2012 Birichino Malvasia Bianca–here is another example of a terrific, wonderfully food friendly “aromatic” white wine. You really can have alot of fun with these kinds of wines with a whole myriad of foods. The real challenge is finding good ones.
Lobster “Roll” with baby arugula pesto & cole slaw (Chef Partner Keith Endo, VINO)
2012 Hans Wirsching Scheurebe DRY— by reputation, Hans Wirsching is the top producer of the Franconia region of Germany. (I would also add Rudolf Furst). Wirsching excels in dry white wines, which in this case is light, airy & iressistable. It also scores high on the gulp-ability scale.
Duck Confit with home-made linguine, XO sauce & Sumida Farms watercress
2012 CF Euro-Asian Riesling Medium Dry–in case you are not familar, the XO sauce is some kind of scallop reduction–salty & full of dried scallop character, which is why we are pairing it with a medium dry Rheinhessen Riesling, which was crafted by Fritz Hasselbach of Weingut Gunderloch. It certainly can stand up to the duck with enough sweetness to offset the XO sauce & still keep the palate fresh & alive between bites.