Wine and Food Pairing:a talent to be honedChardonnay?Zinfandel?Cabernet?
Though wine and Food pairing isintricate and diverse, there aresome basic rules one can follow.It’s not just the protein that ispaired, but everything on the platein balance; like the wine.
Grüner VeltlinerWhen a dish has lots offresh herbs…Austrian Grüner Veltliner’scitrus-and-clover scent islovely when there are lots offresh herbs in a dish. Othergo-to grapes in a similar styleinclude Albariño from Spainand Vermentino from Italy.Pinot GrigioPairs with seafood…Light seafood dishes seemto take on more flavorwhen matched with equallydelicate white wines, suchas Pinot Grigio or Arneisfrom Italy as well as aChablis from France.
Off-Dry RieslingPairs with sweet &spicy dishes…The slight sweetness ofmany Rieslings,Gewürztraminers andVouvrays helps tame theheat of spicy Asian andIndian dishes.Moscato d’AstiLoves fruit desserts…Moderately sweetsparkling wines such asMoscato d’Asti, Demi-SecChampagne and AstiSpumante help emphasizethe fruit in the dessert,rather than the sugar.
ML/Oak y ChardonnayFor fatty fish or fish in arich sauce…Silky whites—for instance,Chardonnays from California,Chile or Australia, aredelicious with fish like salmonor any kind of seafood in alush sauceRosé ChampagneGreat with dinner, notjust hors d’oeuvres…Rosé sparkling wines, such asRosé Champagne, Cava andsparkling wine fromCalifornia, have the depth offlavor and richness to go witha wide range of entrées
Dry RoséFor rich, cheesy dishes…Some cheeses go better withwhite wine, some with red;yet almost all pair well withdry rosé, which has theacidity of white wine and thefruit character of red.Pinot NoirGreat for dishes withearthy flavors…Recipes made withmushrooms and trufflestaste great with reds likePinot Noir and Dolcetto,which are light-bodied butstill full of savory depth.
Traditional Tuscan dishes, for example, haveevolved along with Tuscan wines over centuries,and have resulted in a symbiotic relationshipwith each complimenting the other.Old World Wines and Old Worlddishes are intrinsically good together
Malbec, etc.Stands up to strongsweet & spicy barbecuesauces…Malbec, Shiraz and Côtes-du-Rhône are big and boldenough to drink with foodsbrushed with heavily spicedbarbecue saucesCabernet SauvignonGreat with red meat…California Cabernet,Bordeaux and Bordeaux-style blends are terrific withsteaks or chops; their firmtannins refresh the palateafter each bite of meat.
Syrah, etc.Matches with highly-spiced dishes…When a meat is heavilyseasoned, look for a redwine with lots of spicynotes. Syrah fromWashington, CabernetFranc from France andXinomavro from Greece areall good choices.Zinfandel, etc.For pâtés & mousses…If you can use the sameadjectives to describe a wineand a dish, the pairing willoften work. For instance, thewords rustic and rich describeZinfandel, Italy’s Nero d’Avolaand Spain’s Monastrell wines,as well as duck liver mousse.
But what about wine and cheese? Because wine and cheese are both naturalproducts that improve with age, they have limitlesscombinations, pairing well as their flavors evolve The acid in wine and the fat in cheese complimenteach other well, as one provides what the other lacks Many cheeses also help to soften the tannins inwine, creating a fuller and fruitier taste New cheese varieties, many incorporating creativeflavors/ingredients, provide new pairing possibilities
PortugalThough Portugal has recently emerged withsome fabulous still wines, we will focus ontheir main claim to fame:Madiera and Port
PORT WINE HISTORY Established in 1756, the port wine producing Douroregion of Portugal is the third-oldest protected wineregion in the world after the Tokaj-Helgaja region inHungary, established in 1705, and Chianti, in 1716 Port became very popular in England after the MethuenTreaty of 1703, when merchants were permitted toimport it at a low duty, while war with France deprivedthem of French wine The long trip to England often resulted in spoiled wine, sothe fortification with brandy was introduced to improvethe shipping and shelf-life of the wine for its journey The continued English involvement in the port trade canbe seen in the names of many port shippers: Cockburn,Croft, Dow, Gould, Graham, Osborne, Offley, Sandeman,Taylor and Warre being amongst the best known
PORT WINE Brandy began to be added during fermentation tokill the yeast and leave un-fermented sugar Subsequently, Ports have a reputation for beinghigher in alcohol, noticeably sweeter, with morebody and palate density than other still wines The two styles of Port, therefore, pair well withdesserts, as they accommodate a number ofdessert options with ease and added versatility Ports also pair well with many cheeses. RubyPort, for example, is traditionally paired withStilton blue-vein cheese
PORT WINE STYLES Port wines can be split into two distinctcategories: Wood-Aged (Tawny color) Bottle-Aged (Ruby color)The only true bottle aged port is a Vintage Port Port starts life as a red wine (unless, ofcourse, it is a “White Port”) and then itstypically aged in wood casks or in thebottle (if it’s a Vintage Port)
PORT WINE STYLES II Basic Ruby Ports are inexpensive and madefrom a mix of both grapes and vintages and are“aged” 1 year in oak and 2 years in the bottle However, they do not technically continue to age inthe bottle because they are already oxidized and aredesigned to be consumed young Tawny Ports are lighter (in color and body) asthey spend more time in oak; their color fadesfrom ruby, to brick, and ultimately to mahogany The taste becomes nuttier and develops the richcaramelized flavors of dried figs, dates and prunes
TAWNY PORT STYLES Tawny ports are commonly classified in 10,20, or 30 year designations which refer to athe average of a blend of various vintages Tawny Ports come in three different styles: Colheita: Made from grapes that all share thesame vintage year Crusted: An un-filtered Tawny that developsvisible sediment (“crust”), which then needs tobe decanted before serving Indicated Age: Made from grape blends thatare older in average age
VINTAGE PORT Vintage Ports are made of blended grapes fromvarious vineyards which are all from the samevintage year; hence the name Aged 6 months in oak and then bottled (unfilteredand not oxidized) and aged for another 20 years! As a direct result of this long-term aging, one canexpect a pretty heavy layer of sediment, requiringdecanting and a good bit of aeration prior toconsumption If Ruby Ports are entry-level, then Vintage Portsrepresent the upper-echelon of quality and cost
LBV PORT A classification that is commonly mistaken withVintage Port is "Late-Bottled Vintage" Port (LBV) Originally wine that had been destined for bottling asVintage Port, but because of lack of demand was leftin the barrel for longer than had been planned Over time it has become two distinct styles of wine,both of them bottled between four and six years afterthe vintage, but one style is fined and filtered beforebottling, while the other is not LBV provides some of the experience of drinking aVintage Port without the need for lengthy bottle aging
WHITE PORT As the name implies, White Port is derivedfrom white grape varietals and can be madein both the very dry to semi- sweet styles White Port is typically fruitier on the palateand a bit fuller-bodied than other fortifiedwhite wines Often served as an aperitif, this particularPort has found favor as a replacement forGin in a “Port & Tonic” on the rocks
MADEIRA Madeira is a fortified white wine that isavailable in several different styles of dry tosweet variations The base white wine is fortified with neutralgrape spirits at differing points duringfermentation, depending on the level ofsweetness the maker is going for; the moresweet the Madeira, the earlier point infermentation the base wine was fortified
MORE MADEIRA MY DEAR… Madeira is a unique wine because it is notonly fortified and oxidized, but also “cooked”under controlled temperatures in specialbuildings called “Estufagems”, making foran indestructible wine In fact, the term “Maderization” refers to theprocess of oxidizing and heating a wine Madeira is typically an amber-colored gemof a wine with caramel and nutty flavors
MADEIRA GRAPES AND STYLES Sercial: A white wine grape that is used toproduce a dry-style of Madeira, which isserved as an aperitif with salty foods, olives,almonds, walnuts, and broth-based soups Verdelho: A white wine grape used to makea semi-dry variation of Madeira, which isserved with richer appetizers like prosciutto,fancy mushroom dishes or caviar
MADEIRA GRAPES AND STYLES II Bual: A white grape that makes a semi-sweet Madeira, which is served as a dessertwine with fruit-based or caramel desserts Malmsey: A white grape that makes thesweetest, richest, most full-bodied Madeira,which is an excellent dessert wine that iscommonly paired with cheesecake, flan,tiramisu, crème brûlée or dark chocolate-based desserts
GENERIC MADEIRA A “Generic" Madeira labeling basicallydenotes that the wine is not made fromone of the four key noble grape varietals It will also typically come with a "hint" onthe label as to whether it is: Sweet (Doce) Medium-Sweet (Meio-Doce) Dry (Seco)
MADEIRA AGING CLASSIFICATIONS Finest: Aged for a mere three years Reserve: Aged for five years 10 & 15-Year: As the name implies; agedfor 10 or 15 years Vintage: Dated for a specific year
AUSTRALIA In just 200 years, Australias wine industry hasbecome renowned throughout the world for theirquality, innovation and depth Consistently one of the top-ten wine producingcountries in the world Australia is such a large country, that almost everyclimate and soil type can be found on the continent One of the few countries that produces every one ofthe major wine styles: Reds, whites, fortified wines (such as port), sweet wines,and sparkling wines
AUSTRALIAN INNOVATION Australia also has some of the oldest-survivingoriginal Vitis Vinifera vines in the world Since many of Europes established vineyards weredestroyed by disease in the 1800’s, some of the onlysurvivors had been brought to Australia In order to preserve these, Australian viticulturistshave developed cutting-edge vine-managementtechniques now used throughout the world Also developed methods using fewer chemicals The home of the wine cask (aka “bag in the box”), itwas invented and patented in Australia in 1965
AUSTRALIAN WINE REGIONS Wine is produced in every Australian province,with more than 60 designated wine regions However, Australia’s wine regions are mainly inthe southern, cooler parts of the country, withvineyards located in: South Australia New South Wales Victoria Western Australia Tasmania Queensland
AUSTRALIAN WINE REGIONS The wine regions in each of these states producedifferent wine varieties and styles that takeadvantage of the particular Terroir such as: Climatic differences, topography and soil types With the major varieties being predominantly: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot,Semillon, Pinot Noir, Riesling, & Sauvignon Blanc Wines are often labeled with the grape variety,which must constitute at least 85% of the wine
NEW ZEALAND New Zealand wine is distinctive for its purity,vibrancy and intensity The long ripening period (a result of cooltemperatures) allows flavor developmentwhilst retaining fresh acidity, a balance forwhich New Zealand wines are renowned New Zealand is home to what many winecritics consider the world’s best SauvignonBlancs
NEW ZEALAND WINE REGIONS There are a number of distinct majorwinegrowing regions spread throughout NewZealand, with the majority on the East coast ofthe Islands in the rain shadow of the mountains Within these diverse regions, sub-regionalcharacteristics are beginning to show throughand wines are now being distinguished as beingnot just from a wine region, but from a sub-region and a place
Historically,French SauvignonBlancs have beenconsidered theworld’s best,especially theLoire’s Sancerreand Pouilly Fumé New Zealand’sstellar SauvignonBlancs, however,have garneredquite a world-widereputation
SOUTH AMERICA The wine producing nations of South America aremaking great strides in improving the quality oftheir product Chilean wines are the most predominant on theforeign market Argentina, Chiles larger neighbor, is increasingquality, and is beginning to make an impact As well as these two countries, there is also asmall amount of wine coming out of Uruguay
CHILE West of the Andes, Chiles climate varies fromthe heat of the arid, rocky, mountainous desert tothe north and the icy, Antarctic expanse in thesouth Midway between the two are the warm, fertilevalleys that are home to this nations vineyards Like many New World nations Chile has onlymade an impact on the foreign market in thepast decade, viticulture has been establishedhere for centuries
CHILE II There are a wide selection of internationalvarieties planted, including: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay In truth, much of what was once thought to beMerlot has recently been correctly identified asCarménère, a rarely-planted Bordeaux variety Many wineries are bottling Carménère as avarietal, though it continues to be common toblend it with Merlot
ARGENTINA Malbec, historically thought of as a minor blendingBordeaux variety, is behind some of Argentinas topreds and has become a trendy choice forconsumers Torrontés is another interesting Argentine grape; awhite variety with some character With good winemaking, this variety can produce freshand aromatic wines, not unlike those made from Muscat Some of the world’s highest altitude wineries arefound in Argentina
SOUTH AFRICA The heart of the South Africa’s wine industryencompasses the Cape Peninsula and theCoastal region, both of which are exposed tothe maritime influences of the Atlantic andIndian oceans A significant development in the South Africanwine industry has been the enforcement of the“wines of origin” (WO) program, whichdictates the way that wine regions are definedand how they appear on wine labels One of the main features of the program is thata wine stating a WO on its label must be madeexclusively from grapes grown in those areas.
SOUTH AFRICA II South Africa demonstrates a mix of Old and NewWorld winemaking styles Its sparkling wine, and the majority of still wines, followNew World winemaking practices There are many well-known fortified and dessert wineswhich are more in line with their Old Worldcounterparts Diverse grape varietals are grown in South Africa: Chenin Blanc (locally know as “Steen”) and Chardonnaytop the list of whites Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah are notable reds Pinotage is another important variety and produces asignature-style of South African reds
Wine # 1 Vintage: 2010 Name:Pinotage Producer: MAN Vintners Region: Stellenbosch, South AfricaWine # 2 Vintage: 2010 Name: Morse Code Shiraz Producer: Henry’s Drive Region: Padthaway, Australia
Tasting & Wine Evaluation Let’s Taste Our Wines:See: (color/clarity), Swirl & Sniff: (viscosity &aromas; F.E.W.), Sip: (mouth-feel & flavor),Swallow: or expectorate, Savor: the finish Take a minute to savor your wine:15 seconds Mouth-feel30 seconds Fruit flavors & body45 seconds Are other flavors present?1 minute Tannins, length of flavors
Fermented in stainless steel tanks over 5 days withfrequent pump-overs. The skins were removed and thewine was pressed and racked back to tank for completion ofalcoholic and malolactic fermentation. 20% of the wine was matured in American oak barrels(25% new) for 6 months. 15% Shiraz was added for its silkytannin structure and spicy fruit flavors. A small portion of the Pinotage was co-fermented withViognier to enhance the aromatics. After further tankmaturation, the wine was fined and filtered, then bottled. Vintage conditions: Good winter rains in 2009 keptvineyards healthy throughout summer. Excellent ripeningconditions started the 2010 season, with cool temperaturesprevailing. Strong winds resulted in some crop loss, butincreased concentration of flavors in remaining fruit.2010 MAN Vintners, Pinotage, Stellenbosch, SouthAfrica
It all started as a simple plan: to make a winethat we’d love to buy. We wanted quality wine thatoffered excellent value and great packaging. Notexactly an epiphany, perhaps, but enough tomotivate us into action. Of course, first we had to come up with a name.To keep peace in the families, we took our wives’initials (we each have one wife) - that is how weexplained to Marie, Anette and Nicky that we weregoing to be “busy” most weekends. “It’s for you!”we told them. And mostly it’s true.Fun Information about MAN!
Morse Code Shiraz is a fruit driven wine made with minimaloak contact to allow the fruit flavors and regional characters tobe at the forefront. With lifted floral lavender, spearmint, plum,cherry fruit and hints of spice and licorice this is a veryaromatic wine.The palate is medium-bodied and elegant with fleshy plumfruit and cool climate rose and lavender characters as well ashints of spearmint; finishing with a soft and smooth tanninstructure. Vinification: The vineyards destined for the Morse CodeShiraz are harvested when flavour ripe, and fermented onskins for a period of 5 days. Only the free run fraction of thewines is selected for the Morse Code as we aim to have a softrounded palate with a velvety finish. It is matured for a periodof around 12 months and a small proportion of the wineHenry’s Drive, Morse Code Shiraz, Padthaway, Australia
Simply put, this is a big, big wine and an outstanding value. Ithas a sappy, black cherry and blackberry nose woven withbright perfumed accents. The palate is full and fruity, withslightly jammy blackberry and plum flavors. There’s a littlecocoa on the finish, which is relatively short. I’d like it if it hada touch more tannin, but it’s still a great wine at this price!Another opinion:Admittedly this is a rustic version of the Malbec grape, but itoffers full-throttle black and blue fruit scents and flavorsunderscored by notes of bitter chocolate, licorice andlavender and a touch of Malbec’s cedary, leafy, dried thymequality. Tannins are a touch roughshod but essential andenjoyable too, in a sort of “these-boots-are-made-for walkin’”way. Call it succulent AND brutish2011 Diseno Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina
Amber golden in color, soft and rich on thepalate with a fine and mellow fruit flavorblending in with the almond overtones ofprolonged cask aging. A very fine Port to be savored in areasonable sized glass so that the aromasand color can be appreciated. Serve slightlychilled in warm weather.Dow’s Tawny Port, Portugal