I truly believe we as an industry need to continually work at getting better at wine & food pairings. The food scene is always changing, with all kinds of new, really dynamic food preparations & whirlwind combinations of ethnic ingredients & cooking techniques. And, each require very different thoughts on what wine to pair.
With this thought in mind, I moderated a wine & food workshop recently held at the prestigious Halekulani Hotel, which was one of the many events held here in the islands for the 2018 Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. Conceptualized & put together by Warren Shon of SGWS, this workshop was a most memorable collaborative effort featuring foods created & presented by superstar chef Masaharu Morimoto, 3 sets of world class German wines from 3 truly iconic producers–Johannes Hasselbach (Weingut Gunderloch, Rheinhessen, Germany); Johannes Haart (Weingut Reinhold Haart, Mosel, Germany) & Andrea Wirsching (Weingut Hans Wirsching, Franconia, Germany) AND 2 color commentators–Richard Betts MS & Joseph Spellman MS. What an epic lineup of talent!!!
MIZUHIKI SASHIMI SALAD with white soy-onion dressing
WINES: The wines for this course came from the iconic Weingut Hans Wirsching of Franconia, Germany. Andrea Wirsching represents the 14th generation to run this large, privately owned estate. (Unfortunately she was not able to actually come, because of family emergency). The wines tasted were the–2016 Silvaner “Estate”; 2015 Silvaner Erste Lage “Iphöfer Kalb; 2015 Scheurebe Kabinett Trocken “Iphöfer” & the 2014 Scheurebe Kabinett Trocken “Iphöfer”. Chef Morimoto really showed much thought & execution with his food considering these style of these wines!
SLOW COOKED PORK SPARE RIB with hoisin-tamarind glaze
WINES: The wines for this course came from Weingut Gunderloch of the Rheinhessen, Germany, whose estate dates back to 1890. All 4 wines presented on this day came from their finest holding—Nackenheimer Rothenberg–a highly revered red slate vineyard rising from the Rhein River & owner/winemaker Johannes Hasselbach, a New Age winemaking phenom, who I have been working with for many years. the wines tasted were the 2016 Riesling Kabinett “Jean Baptiste”; 2016 Spätlese “Nackenheimer Rothenberg”; 2012 Spätlese “Nackenheimer Rothenberg” & the 2011 Auslese “Nackenheimer Rothenberg”. What a wonderful exercise with the sweet-salty, ever so slightly spicy, savory spare ribs!
WINES: Theo Haart was selected as “2007 Gault Millau Winemaker of the Year” & deservedly so. His Piesporter Goldtröpfchen wines were true Riesling thoroughbreds–combining purity, filigree, power & grace….so effortlessly. We have witnessed the same genius & masterfully skill from his son–Johannes Haart–who came to share their 2015 Riesling Kabinett “Piesporter Goldtröpfchen: 2014 Riesling Spätlese”Piesporter Goldtröpfchen”; 2007 Riesling Spätlese “Piesporter Goldtröpfchen” & the 2016 Riesling Auslese “Piesporter Goldtröpfchen”.
Thank you to all who came & were part of this incredible learning opportunity.
Also thank you to Kevin Toyama, wine cellarmaster of the Halekulani Hotel & his team of sommeliers for the complex & intricate execution. Wow!