Archive for Wine Thoughts
The wine world today seems so fascinated with big, rich, opulent, lavish wines. Isn’t there room for elegant, highly refined, more finesse oriented wines? Just to make sure our regulars remember that finesse & nuance is okay…we have put together a quartet of worldly red wines from 4 true winemaking Masters (at least from my point of view). Each of these wines are excellent….interesting….absolutely delicious….& so food friendly. REALLY cool wines!!!!!!!!….& certainly one of the most interesting tastings we have put together in some time, that’s for sure. Just another opportunity to learn.
Last night, we did a wine & food pairing workshop for the staff down at Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar & DK Steakhouse featuring some of their more popular dishes. The intent was for each of the participants to walk away with a first hand experience of wine & food & therefore have more knowledge of the hows & whys, as well as more confidence on the subject.
At our VINO Restaurant, Chef/Partner Keith Endo has been churning out alot of small plates specials every night, just to have fun (& our customers greatly appreciate his work). This also gives us an opportunity to have fun pairing wines to the onslaught of these new dishes.
Fresh Razor Clams–with white wine, lemon, Italian parsley & a little butter
Italian Lambrusco is yet another wine, which I would list under the “Ugly Duckling” category. It is sad that too many wine drinkers have some preconceived notion that sparkling (or fizzy) red wines are not “cool” to drink…..OR….that the rage of inexpensive, sweeter styled Lambrusco in the 70′s & 80′s has forever tarnished the wine.
I can readily understand. I, quite candidly, at one time thought the same. Then, I had my first glass of the Ermete DeMedici Lambrusco “Concerto”….back in the early 90′s…..well chilled…..with an assortment of salumi & cheese. I am now an avid fan of good Lambrusco.
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.
As I have noted many times before, especially recently after a tasting with Bruce Neyers, he is truly one of the most brilliant ”wine minds” I have run across in my years of doing wine. He is able to combine theory with practicality. Furthermore, because of his dual “hats” of acting as the National Sales Manager for Kermit Lynch Wine merchants in addition to having his own Napa Valley winery, the insight he speaks about is very comprehensive & worldly. It is for these kinds of reasons, I truly relish my conversations with him over the years.
In my day of working in table cloth, “fine” dining restaurants, such as the Maile, La Mer and Bagwell’s 2424 and their more classical French oriented menus, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon had its golden moments especially pairing with cream and butter infused sauces.
Today, however, the culinary world has greatly changed, especially at the top end restaurants. There is now a whirlwind of different “takes” on food, which incorporate a fusion of many different ethnic cooking ingredients, techniques and cultures.
From my point of view, paralleling this change in food trends, the art of pairing wines to these foods is also greatly changing.