We’re going to get a closer look at the wine pairings now offered at Abby’s Table during Her inspired dinner’s on Wednesday and Thursday nights. We’re also going to get some insight into the themes and how they can be paired with local, seasonal ingredients.
When it comes to pairing wine from your cellar to a four course dinning experience, a great place to start is through a simple and thoughtful balance of flavor.
Taking our current dinner as an example, inspired by Wild Northwestern, Coastal ingredients.
Our first course, an asparagus and potato savory tart served with a lemon “creme” (cashew based) was paired with Fausse Piste, Viognier 2011. One of our fast favorites, this particular wine from Fausse Piste (http://www.faussepiste.com) is a perfect introduction to a four course dinner. Fantastically different, It’s balanced acidity and minerality are working well with crisp pear and subtle floral hints. Starting with this lean white wine to match the lemon “creme” of the tart and bring forth the signature flavor of the asparagus effortlessly ties them together and will not run the risk of overwhelming the flavor of the hors d’oeuvre. Instead helping to harmonize with the first course.
Moving along while keeping the flavor palate stimulated you’ll want to introduce a wine with your second course that shows it’s full potential as well as showcasing your cooking. We’ve prepared a warm wild greens salad with a basil vinaigrette, cornmeal “Parmesan” and edible flowers. A dish like this, which already has acidity in the basil vinaigrette and a light saltiness in the cornmeal parmesan gives you an opportunity to pair a wine with a sweeter finish. We have chosen Alexeli Reisling 2010 ( http://alexeli.com/whites/) Pairing this reisling with the wild greens acidity will not only show off this fabulous salad, it will also show off the sweet, honeysuckle of this wine. Acidity and salt in the dish, the sweeter the wine will taste.
Our main dish is wild Oregon rock-fish and nettle sauce. Served with the rock-fish we have grilled chanterelles, hedgehogs (mushrooms) and onions as well as French breakfast, radish fritters drizzled in local honey. Delicious!
Alexeli Pinot Noir 2009 (http://alexeli.com/pinot-noir/), is paired with our main course.
Dark cherry and plum tiered with sweet tobacco best describes this pinot noir. True, there is a hint of cedar and lavender… We’ve all probably thought of red wine as being paired with steak or lamb, however it’s delightfully enhanced when served with a light and flaky fish. Pinot Noirs tend to be lighter to medium body so it really makes so much sense. In addition the mushrooms will be able to bring that bold flavor we love with red wines while the local honey drizzled on the fritters will be the little sweet that inches you ever closer to dessert.
Dessert… an opportunity to be bold once again!
We’ve paired almond tuile cookies, strawberry coulis, sliced strawberries and “whipped cream” (coconut milk based) with an outstanding red wine, Poboleda 2010. The key is to not overwhelm the flavor of the dish with the wine. This red is paired so nicely with the rich almond and sweet strawberry fruitiness. A bit of research reveals that “Poboleda” was founded by monks in the 12th century and was the first village of the priory of Scala Dei, the most important monastery in Catalonia, Spain. This wine comes from an ancient village “Far from a world where life is rapidly changing.”
A blend of Carinyena, Garnatxa, Merlot and Syrah (some from vines as old as 100 years) brings not only a fantastic flavor and finish to our dessert experience, but it also offers us a story to share together as we imagine another time and place.
It’s exciting and fun to piece together with great thoughtfulness a dinner party. To hand select wines for each course, to promote conversation between guest and to feel true enjoyment and gratitude for the moment you’re in as well.