Last week on our first ever menu post, we included wine pairings by our friend and consult, Catherine Boyd. She put so much thought into her selections, and spent a great deal of time educating us about each wine. She has made a special point to select at different price points, and include both foreign and domestic wines.
Each wine is something you can enjoy with or without our menu! Catherine has also made additional pairing suggestions. If you wish to contact Catherine about a dinner party or event you would like pairings for, we have included her information.
Michel Picard, Vouvray France, Chenin Blanc, 2014
Vouvray is a wine growing region in the Loire Valley of France. East of the city of Tour. The Loire Valley is known for all the beautiful chateaus and gardens where the French royalty would vacation during the summers. Chenin Blancs can be made in to many types of wines from sweet to dry and even sparkling. This Chenin Blanc is known for its green apple, floral and mineral aromas. Very easy to drink on its own. But would pair great with goat cheese, soufflés, roasted pheasant, soft shelled crab with a lemon aioli.
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, Marlbrough New Zealand, 2015
New Zealand is a great growing area for wines. I like to think of it as a region that bridges the old world (Europe ) to the new world ( U.S, South America, South Africa and Australia). New Zealand has an innovative spirit and a commitment to quality when it comes to making wines. Sauvignon Blanc is probably what they are most famous for and Marlbrough is one of they most well know regions. With this wine you will get aromas of nectarines, yellow peaches hints of grapefruit. Even some smells of herbs and minerals from the soil. Foods that pair well with this wine are any type of Asian style sea food, especially if marinaded with garlic and citrus. It also works with baked salmon and dill. Any grilled fish or shellfish.
Z D Chardonnay, California, 2014
Z D is a California winery that gets its grapes from several different locations Carneros, Monterey, and Santa Barbra counties. This is not your typical Cali Chard. It does not have that big buttery flavor like most of them have and that has to do with how they ferment and age the grapes. This is done in 100% American Oak for 10 months. The oak gives the wine some body so it hangs out in your mouth for a little bit after you swallow it. Z D Chardonay has great aroma and favors of pineapple, guava , vanilla and honeysuckle. This is a more full bodied white wine. One of my favorite things to do is debunk the myth that white wines can’t go with red meat. So I suggest trying this with a steak and berinaise sauce. If a white wine is full bodied enough it will hold up to the flavor of a steak and great sauce. You could also pair this with a pumpkin or butternut squash ravioli or grilled veal or pork chops with a mushroom sauce.
Moving onto the Reds
Domaine de Cause, Cahors France, Malbec 2011
Malbec has gained its popularity over the years from mostly Argentina wine makers, but the grape originated in the southwest of France and was used mainly as a Bordeaux blending grape. The region of Cahors is known for growing Malbec and it is pretty much all they produce there. Wines from Cahors are even known as the black wines of Cahors because the Malbec is so dark that most the time when you pour it into a glass you can’t see the bottom. This Malbec is amazing for the price in my opinion. You get great fruit flavors like blackberry and blueberry, along side some tastes of baking spices like cinnamon and anise. This you can drink by itself but goes great with rich foods like Fois gras, Duck confit, traditional cassoulet (think rustic dishes). You could even pair it with a dark chocolate cake as long as the cake is not overly sweet.
Vietti, Langhe Nebbiolo prebacco, Piedmont Italy, 2012
The Piedmont region of Italy is probably one of the more famous regions. It’s located in the northwest part of the country. Other well know grapes out of that area are, barbera, dolcetto and Moscato. Vietti in my opinion is a great wine producer and has a conistently good wine year after year. This is a 100% Nebbiolo, aged for about 3 years, So it’s ready to drink now but could also be aged up to 15yrs. It has flavors and aromas of fruits and spices. A good description of Nebbiolos aromas are tar and roses. The tar smell is from the Slovenian oak that is popular in the Piedmont region (don’t worry it doesn’t taste like tar). Food pairing for this wine would be wild game like venison or rabbit, Pasta w Robiola (creamy cheese) and truffles, braised short ribs.
Alexander Valley, Sonoma county California, Cabernet Sauvignoin 2011
Jordan which was est. 1972 in Alexander Valley Sonoma California has always been influenced by the great wines of Bordeaux. The Estate was constructed to even look like a French chateau. I personally traveled to taste the wine and tour the property when I was younger and I absolutely fell in love with everything there. They have their own veggie gardens and olive trees to make olive oil, and the chef is inspired by the garden and other local products. A very farm-to-table estate and they have been doing it that way for decades. As a result, food and wine pairings have always been a part of who they are. Their Cab is a great representation of a California Cabernet Sauvignon. It has flavors and aromas of cranberry, red cherry, red currant, all spice, coffee, tobacco and toasted vanilla from the barrels. The Jordan wines can be cellared for up to 15yrs or opened now. Food pairings Hanger steak with asparagus, herb roasted pork belly porchetta, and leg of lamb.
One thing I like to keep in mind when buying wine is you can find a lot of amazing wines at great prices wether you want to drink them now or cellar them for a special occasion. When it comes to food and wine a good rule of thumb (especial when using and old world wine so France, Italy, Spain) is they made the wines to go with local ingredients. When you have a great food and wine pairing they both enhance each other making for a memorable experience.
Regional sales Manager for Birdrock imports
Owner of The Wine Cat LLC
Studied wine at the International Wine Guild
Wine and food lover.