The first question to ask: Food and wine pairing, or wine and food pairing? That’ll depend on the following two options:
- You know what you are going to eat, you’ll choose your wine.
- You know which wine you are going to drink, and you’ll choose the food.
In this post, I already knew which wines I’ll have, and I chose the food pairings. The wines are from France, Portugal, Austria and Australia. Here is the list of the wines and their food pairings:
- Portuguese Alvarinho paired with homemade sushi
- Austrian Gruner Veltliner paired with haddock ceviche
- French Viognier paired with scallops
- French Cabernet Franc paired with ossobuco and polenta
- Southern Rhône blend paired with barbeque
- Australian Grenache paired with pork ribs
Alselmo Mendes. Muros Antigos. Alvarinho 2017. Monção and Melgaço, Portugal
“I should drink more Portuguese wine.” is something that I hear more and more frequently. If you haven’t got your hands on a Portuguese wine yet, I’d suggest starting with Vinho Verde. Vinho Verde is one of the wine-growing regions of Portugal. Its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and moderate maritime climate allows growing white grapes to make young and fresh wines. Monção and Melgaço is a sub-region making 100 % Alvarinho wines, as this wine.
Wine tasting: Bright lemon color, aromas of orange blossom, pear and pineapple lingers from nose through palate, dry, well-balanced acidity with a medium body.
Paired with: Sushi and sashimi platter.
Weingut Schloss Gobelsburg. Gruner Veltliner 2017. Ried Steinsetz, Kamptal, Austria
Gruner Veltliner is a variety often described as “food friendly”. It gained this description thanks to its dryness, light body and refreshing acidity as a young wine. But, Gruner Veltliner is not always produced in this style, as in the case of this wine. Unlike the young versions mainly produced in stainless steel tanks to keep the freshness, this wine is matured in Austrian oak casks, gaining more body and complexity. Moreover, its peculiarity comes from the single vineyard called Gobelsburger Steinsetz situated in the Kamptal region of Austria.
Wine tasting: Its aromatic nose welcomes outside of the glass with flowers – jasmine, apple, pear, citrus fruits and white pepper aromas. On the palate it’s fresh, expressive and has a good balance.
Paired with: Haddock ceviche with side dish of sweet potatoes, corn and avocado.
Chateau de Saint Cosme 2016. Condrieu, France
Condrieu is a Northern Rhone appellation making hard-not-to-fall-in-love white wines from Viognier. Viognier actually originated from this region before spreading all around the world making mostly perfumed and full-bodied white wines. If floral aromas coming together with peaches and apricots make you happy, Viognier will make you smile.
Wine tasting: Impressive intense aromas of blossoms, honeysuckle, peach, apricot, a touch of white pepper and cinnamon. Fresh and balanced on the palate. Could this be the definition of “elegance”? It definitely can.
Paired with: Digby scallops cooked in butter, with side dish of fresh potatoes and beetroot puree.
Philippe Alliet 2016. Chinon, France
Chinon, the region where Cabernet Franc wines show their best. Cabernet Franc, although it’s the parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s earlier and easier to fully ripen. Therefore, you can see it grown in cooler climates, as in this case in Loire Valley. If you’re in hunt of crispy and fruity red wines, I suggest trying a young Chinon wine made for early drinking.
Wine tasting: Raspberries, red currants, white pepper and a touch of anise. Fruitiness continues on the palate, easy to drink thanks to its medium body and tannins with a balanced acidity.
Paired with: Ossobuco with side dish of polenta.
Clos de L’Oratoire des Papes 2015. Chateauneuf du Pape, France
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a red wine made as a blend of Southern Rhône varieties, dominated by Grenache, but also some Syrah and Mourvèdre among others. It’s the first wine region of France where appellation d’origine contrôlée rules were created. One of the most peculiar characteristics of the vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the galets – stones that cover the surface of the soil and create a unique ripening condition.
Wine tasting: Plum, blackberry and black cherry aromas are accompanied by some nutmeg and white peppers. Complex flavours linger in the mouth with round tannins.
Paired with: Barbequed meat, side dishes of barbequed vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, onion, garlic and corn), puree of barbequed sweet potatoes and Chilean style salad (pebre).
The Other Wine Co. Grenache 2018. McLaren Vale, Australia
Grenache is one of the world’s most planted grape varieties and successfully made its way until Australia. Hot and dry climates are a favourite place to be for Grenache. In this case, the wine is coming from McLaren Vale – a coastal region situated on the south of Adelaide. If you’d like to discover Grenache as a monovarietal from the New World, I suggest looking closer to this region.
Wine pairing: Three words to describe this wine: enjoyable, fruit forward and with soft tannins.
Paired with: Pork ribs with side dish of red cabbage, roasted purple potatoes and tomato salad.
This way, six different wine styles from four countries found their ultimate food pairings. Wine and food pairing is an infinite journey that’s designed to give us joy and elevate our dining experience. I hope some of these pairings can inspire you in your kitchen.
All images © 2019 by Wines of Nesli. All rights reserved.