The Event
Unlikely Food and Wine Pairings
© by Sheral Schowe
All of the rules were broken when it comes to food and wine pairing last week, at Les Amis du Vin's wine dinner, held at the Homestead. First of all, we did not stick to a country theme, as we so often do. We went on a virtual wine tour of the world, with Italy, Germany, France, California, Australia, and Greece represented on the menu and in the glass. Next, we diverted back and forth from white to red, four times in the evening. And lastly, we paired wines that most would find surprising as accompaniments to the menu items.

Guests were greeted with a glass of Foss Marai Prosecco sparkling wine($13.90) as they arrived. A glass of Prosecco is a traditional way of greeting guests as they sit down to a wonderful meal in Italy, and what a beautiful greeting it was, poured from a gorgeous cobalt blue bottle. It is a refreshing and flavorful sparkling wine, full of floral, peach, and apple aromas.

The first course was a vegetable strudel with Farmer's cheese on Achiota chili and red bell pepper puree. Germany's only red wine available in Utah, the Affentaler Baden Spatburgunder 1998 ($10.95) was a perfect match for this dish. The wine, which is actually a Pinot Noir, has an apple smoked bacon flavor, but is as light as a Beaujolais with a light but satisfying acidity. The bottle has a brass-colored monkey wrapped around it, which made for another conversation piece on the table.

A salad was then served, with the anticipation of a white wine to go with it, but another red wine was selected, this time from France. Paul Jaboulet's "Parellele 45" 1998 ($9.95) comes from the Cotes du Rhone. It is a light-bodied red wine with a lot of minerals and earth in aroma and flavor with a little spice and forward fruit. The reason that it went so well with the salad relates to the salad's earthy ingredients of Portobello mushroom, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and roasted red pepper, and lemon oil. All earthy flavors with a lot of density and richness called out for a red wine, even though it was a salad. Matching preparation styles and flavors is the key to successful food and wine combinations.

A Lobster Bisque was served with Edna Valley Chardonnay 1998 ($15.95.) What could taste better with lobster than a Chardonnay? The buttery richness of the Chardonnay complimented the lobster and creamy texture of the soup to perfection. The main course was a Spring chicken filled with spinach, Macadamia nuts, and Brie cheese, covered with a Dijon sauce. Oxford Landing Shiraz Limited Release 1998 ($9.95) from Yalumba, Australia was an incredible red wine match for a dish that would typically be served with a white wine. The Kourtakis Samos ($8.50) dessert wine was served with an almond cup filled with peach mousse for the conclusion to an incredible evening at the Homestead.

April 25, 2000

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