When I was working as a Bartender at my paternal grandmom Margherite’s trattoria, I was always amazed at how randomly people matched food and wine or cocktails at the bar as well as seated at the tables. So I have spent many months travelling through Europe and taking a variety of wine courses including The Government of La Rioja’s 4 Part Wine Tasters Course for Sommeliers and The Parador Network Hotel Course for Enologists. Thus, I have decided to put together this four part A to Z mini wine and food pairing guide … My no means, is it exhaustive and there is so much more I would like to add to the subject …
Here are my marriages from Letters P thru Z …
P … In Provence, Roses blend perfectly with many of the typical local dishes. My suggestions include, Ott and Tempier as well as a more reasonably priced Rose, called Mas de Gourgonpier. The color of watermelon and strawberry brighten up the dreary greys of winter and late autumn and are like a rainbow during the spring and summer months.
Q … Quinta da Aveleda is a lovely vibrant Portuguese Vinho Verde White hailing from a winery with the same name, and marries happily with a large array of appetisers, fish and shellfish dishes and tapas or meze. It always pairs with quail and almonds.
R … The southern Rhone, provides us with complex black cherry colored Chateauneuf du Pape which holds court with gutsy blue cheeses for example, Roquefort, Asturian Cabrales and Italian Gorgonzola. My favourite red wines with letter R are from Ribera Del Duero, Valladolid, Spain having produced some remarkable reds including … Vega Sicilia, Pintia, Alejandro Fernandez’s Pesquera, Prado del Rey, Protos and Emilio Mauro.
S … Semillion … This New Zealand and Aussie grape creates a distinct white all on its own too. New Zealand’s Cooper Creek is quite lovely. Also, Australia’s Tim Adam’s creates a lush Semillon that pairs perfectly with mollusks and dishes with saffron.
T … Hungarian Dessert Wine Tokaj is absolutely perfect with mango, pineapple and even gingery desserts, enhancing its own bouquet of mango and tropical fruit.
U … Urgiz Reisling … This Reisling hails from Wurzgarten in the village of Urgiz and marries quite happily with Japanese noodles creating a lovely contrast of textures.
V … Vouvray Chenin Blanc has an acidity and fruitiness that works superbly with vibrant flavoured Asian and Vietnamese cuisine.
W … White Asparagus is the match made in heaven for Reislings from Austria’s Watchu region along the Danube. White asparagus is one of the most difficult vegetables to wine pair correctly. After, numerous tries, I shall put my self on the line for this appellation and this luscious vegetable.
X … Xeres in French is Jerez in Spanish and this region produces the dry finishing Sherry which pair perfectly with the numerous tapas of the Andalusian region of Spain. The leaness of sherry is a dramatic foil to foods cooked with generous amounts of olive oil, including artichokes which is a vegetable that is notoriously anti social with wines, prawns and peppers.
Y … D’ Yquem and Yellowfin … This Sauterne is quite complex and profound with rich florals and strong acidity. How to do justice, is serve with Yellowfin, rare tuna and heaping portions of soy, ginger, scallions and wasabi.
Z … Zinfandel and Zuppa … This American grape pairs very well with spicy Italian American stews made with Northwestern shellfish and fish varieties. Dunk some Italian bread in the zuppa and sip …