We have created these special dinners for pure enjoyment AND because we want to always add a new dimension to learning a thing about wine. This is the next episode in our quest to shed light on what pairing wines and foods can be. The culinary world has greatly changed during my professional career and this is my opportunity to show another dimension to it all. Nothing fancy……..just plain good!
Wine experts often say, white wine with seafood, red wine with meats. While that may be true in many instances, it is not always true. There is never just one answer to such a topic. So, for this night’s dinner, we will pair three white wines with meat, just for the fun of it all. Once you experience these pairings, I bet you will also try them at home somewhere down the line. That is part of the goal here.
We also wanted to remind attendees about “country” styled wines which typically are those that are served at cafes/neighborhood eateries with their casual fare. They are so very different from the “trophy” wines that win all of the awards, high scores and accolades and need to spend years in the cellar before consuming. They are more for tastiness and enjoyment NOT for swirling, analyzing and taking notes. They unpretentiously and deliciously wash down the foods and freshen the palate between bites
The challenge is finding the “good” ones, as not all café styled wines are created equal. We will feature three very tasty, interesting and unique renditions for this evening. We have worked hard to get these wines because they are so different and each provides a glimpse of their respective region, their indigenous grape variety and each done in a VERY different style.
Chef Keith Endo created dishes for each and we hope the wines and the pairings will not only taste good, but will shed light on what can be.
WINE: Elvio Tintero Bianco (Italy)–an off dry to dry, remarkably light, mineral driven, crisp, FIZZY & completely refreshing Italian “country” styled white wine. “Located in Piemonte in Italy’s northwest, this family has been growing & making their wines since 1900. I was say, they have a pretty good handle on their craft. This is the very style, however they would serve at their lunch & dinner table to gulp down the foods with wine. Produced mainly from three indigenous grape varieties—Favorita, Arneis & Moscato, we were so happy when this wine finally arrived to us. It took way too long!” The bresaola itself is air cured with a salty edge. The shaved pecorino also has a salty edge. The salad itself is baby arugula (slightly bitter), grape tomatoes (earthy & high acidity), thinly sliced crimini musrooms (earthy, higher in acidity), herbs (high in aromatics) & freshly squeezed lemon (acidity). This “country” styled white has delicate perfume (a smidgeon of Moscato), mineral driven, slightly fizzy & crisp, all ideal for the dish & washing the food down the gullet.
Bresaola Salad—air-dried cured beef with baby arugula, grape tomatoes, pecorino cheese, crimini mushrooms, fresh herbs, fresh cracked pepper & lemon
WINE: Domaine Skouras Moschofilero (Greece)–Moschofilero is one of Greece’s top indigenous white wine grape varieties. We love its aromatics—white flower/honeysuckle with wildly tropical nuances and a very lemon-lime finish. Because it is a colored grape, it has to been grown and vinified with nurturing and care, to minimize bitterness and alcohol levels. “This rendition is grown in Martinia of southern Greece at 2400 feet in elevation & very sandy soils. The vines are now at least 35 years in age. To produce a tasty, seamless, well balanced white wine like this, Giorgio Skouras uses free run juice for over half of the wine. No wonder it is good!” This wine’s aromatics works wonders with the dried herbs used in the dish with just enough viscosity for the pork & enough crispness to keep up with the fresh squeeze of lemon.
Grilled Marinated Pork Belly—linguine, pork jus, red onions and haricot vert
WINE: Meulenhof Riesling Kabinett “Erdener Treppchen” (Germany)–This is an ever so slightly sweet German Riesling from the Mosel region. We were looking for its slate driven minerality, its lightness on its feet & its uplifting, vibrant acidity to refreshen the palate, like freshly cut apples would, between bites of this rich, savory dish. “The Treppchen vineyard of Erden is widely regarded as one of Germany’s finest single vineyard. Its steepness and remarkable rockiness is awe inspiring, but it really is about the innate pedigree that separates this vineyard from any other” What a wine!.”
Braised Pork Cheek—mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, mustard aioli & cilantro pesto
Caramel Panna Cotta—warm caramel sauce & vanilla ice crem
a completely different slant on wine & food pairing.