Not only do all of our employees here love tasting and exprimenting with wine, many of them also enjoy cooking! In The Pairing Challenge our Wine Director, Josh Farrell, picks out interesting wines for an employee’s menu. We get to see how they match up each wine with their meal and which pairing they enjoy best. Lately our Web Developer, Marina, has been bringing Josh some great menus for her family dinners. Here is how the latest one went…
Most people in the United States don’t eat much buckwheat, even though it’s bursting with nutrients and has a very strong flavor. However, growing up in Ukraine, it often accompanied any sort of meat dish starting from meat patties, pork chops or even roasted duck. The romesco sauce is not exactly Eastern European but carrots are my next favorite and often overlooked vegetable. Their combination with pork and buckwheat was the inspiration for the menu I prepared:
I told Josh about the menu I planned and he chose 4 wines to mix and match. He truly outdid himself this time! Here’s how the pairing went…
The marinated eggplants and tomatoes were acidic from all the herbs and very light, especially because I grilled the eggplants which required even less oil than on a skillet. Flavored with just herbs and fresh garlic, it required a fresh and delicate wine making the Belle Ambiance 2014 Pinot Grigio from California a perfect choice! It was fragrant with nectarine & meyer lemon, dry, light bodied and fruity. It was very refreshing! This wine was a winner and definitely my favorite combination for this dish.
The Apple, Celery Root, and Carrot Salad was on the sweeter side, which called for youthful and fragrant wine. Josh specifically recommended the Rueda Sauvignon Blanc. It’s grown in stony soils that are high in limestone which give this wine a minerality that balanced the carrots and celery roots’ earthiness. The region’s climate also allows the wine to retain a natural, fruity acidity that cut through the sweetness of the apples and raisins.
I was recently gifted with a 5lb chunk of some excellent dry, low-salt greek goat feta cheese. So when the spinach pie called for cottage cheese I substituted it with an equal amount of feta and added a handful of dill and parsley. Again, the light minerality of the Rueda Sauvignon Blanc paired perfectly with spinach and herbs. The citrus notes on the wine are a classic combination for feta cheese.
And now, for the main course! I’m not sure what was more prominent: Savigny-Lavieres Premier Cru 2010 Domaine Tollot-Beaut or the main dish of Roasted Pork Loin with Toasted Buckwheat. Perfectly done medium-rare pork is a delicate meat which needs perfectly elegant wine. This Cote de Beaune Burgundy Premier Cru had raspberry and strawberry notes to accompany the sweetness of the carrots in this dish. The wine’s light smokiness, spices and leathery undertones complimented the delicate roasted meat. My husband was an absolute fan of this pairing!
I, on the other hand, became an out-an-out fan of the romesco sauce paired with Percecco 2009 Petit Verdot, Maremma IGT, Tere Di Talamo! The nuttiness of the romesco accentuated by a hint of barnyard, intense black fruit, and aroma of exotic spices. Excellent!
The finale to this meal (and to celebrate the peak of apple season!) was a Russian Apple Sharlotka and black tea with rose petals.
For those who enjoy listening to music while you cook, I think this is a great Music Playlist to set the mood while preparing this menu!