Wine Parings, Lisa H.

7 06 2008
Recently, on June 3, 2008, our class held a special meal in where we had a Tapas buffet with a wine paring for each dish.  The purpose for this class was to learn the importance behind paring the proper wine with food as well as the different choices that can go with each dish.
 
In this blog I will discuss what I have learned including the different wines that were pared with a description of each dish as well as the reason behind why that wine was chosen.
 
The layout of the evening was starting with whites, moving on to roses and finishing with reds.  The reason for this is because the heavier wines can over power to flavor of the lighter wines.
 
Our first dish was a bound potato salad with peas and carrots.  This style of salad is traditional to Argentina.  Pared with this dish was an Argentinian wine.  The reason for this paring is to complement the traditional Argentinian dish with the Argentinian wine for for a regional paring.
 
Our next dish was asparagus with aoiloi.  This dish was served with a Sauvignon Blanc from California.  The wine is known to have a flavor of asparagus so the reason for serving this wine with this dish is because similar flavors in food heightens the flavor in the wine.
 
Our third dish was an artichoke dish.  This dish was served with a white wine blend.  The reason for this paring is because the artichokes have a very earthy flavor while the wine is robust and complemented the earthiness.
 
For our fourth course we had a shrimp and garlic dish.  This dish was pared with two different wines.  First we tried a Sauvignon Blanc “San Cerre” which is considered a classic paring with shellfish.  The next was a sparkling wine because the bubbles in a sparkling wine/champagne bring out a new flavor and mouth feel from the shellfish.  One of my favorite parings of the evening was the San Cerre with the Shrimp.
 
At the fifth course we were served two dishes:  An egg tortilla dish and potato croquettes.  Both dishes were served with a white wine “Albarinio”.  The reason for this paring is because the wine is highly acidic and the acid content of the wine is good to cut though fatty foods.  The acid cut the protein of the egg and the fat of the croquettes.
 
Moving on to a Rose and olives paring.  The olives were pared with the rose because olives, being Mediterranean, and the Rose coming from the Tavel Region complemented each other as a regional paring.
 
Our seventh course was dates wrapped with bacon with a red sauce.  The dish was served with a Barranger White Zinfandel.  While the white Zinfandel is not a real grape the flavor of the wine heightened the flavor of the of the dish.  This paring was my favorite of the night.
 
Course eight moved us to the start of the red wines.  We were served a tomato and potato dish popular in South Africa.  The dish was served with a South African Chen. Blanc.  Not only was this a regional paring but due to the high acid and round body of the wine it contrasted with the starch in the potato.  This wine was pared to complement and contrast.
 
Our ninth course was a skewered chicken dish.  This dish was served with both a Riesling and also a beer.  The purpose of this wine was the sweetness created more of a mouth feel while the carbonation of the beer cut through the spiciness of the chicken and represented less of a mouth feel.
 
Moving on to our tenth course of ham and mushrooms served with a “Vouvray” 100% Chen blanc.  The sweet, round body creates a much rounder mouth feel.
 
For course eleven we were served meatballs in a red sauce along with two red wines.  First a Modren that was bold and pungent and secondly a Reohal from Spain.  The purpose of this paring was to demonstrate how different wines react to the same dish.
 
Our twelfth course was beef skewers served with a Cabernet Sauvignon.
 
Our final course was a Ibergo Ham and raw goats Manchego Cheese platter and a hearty egg dish.  This was served with a 100% Reohaja Tempedo.
 
I really enjoyed this class “lecture” as I learned more about wine then I thought I would.  Tasting the different wines with the different dishes opened me up to new ideas as to how I approach food.  I have gained a new found excitement for wine and because of this class I plan to learn more about wine.  More importantly, I am excited to create new dishes and research the perfect wine to pair with the dish.
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