Food and wine pairings are all the rage…and why not, it’s a fun adventure with your taste buds. We were recently invited over to our friend Lisa Pretty’s (owner of Pretty-Smith Winery and “Eat This With…” Cookbook) house to help her with some “research” for her next food and wine cookbook, I know, I know, tough work but we were game!
When we arrived we were super happy to see our other buddy Andy, this has nothing to do with this post, I suppose but he’s another great guy and it’s always nice to stop and reflect on the great people in your life. Anyway…after warming up with some sips of wine (poor Annie is so limited in her sipping capabilities so I double up) Lisa started busting out the food. I will pass the rest of the writing to Annie now as she tends to be the one to talk food being the foodie that she is…hit it Annie!
Okay…so we started the evening off with some delicious Smoked Salmon on baguette with Capers, which was paired with a Shale Oak White Blend called SUI. While we contemplated the pairing, the smokey flavors of the salmon and the salty capers, we all agreed that the wine cut through all that with a nice balanced acidity.
Moving right along, we partook in a refreshing Orange, Radish, and Avocado Salad with a Spicy Citrus Vinaigrette. The salad went surprisingly well with the very same wine! Turns out that well-balanced acidity can really do a lot for different foods!
And for the next course….hungry yet???….we had a Sweet Potato Soup with Chipotle, topped with Cashews. It was a toss-up for the pairing on the soup. You could either go with the Clavo Albarino, an oaky yet refreshing white that rode well with the smokey spice of the soup, or get crazy and try the 2008 Estate Venteaux Syrah, which has all the right stuff to hold up to a rich spicy soup like this!
Like this wasn’t enough food and wine, we had to move on to the main course! It’s a tough job, but we had to do it! Marinated, Braised Beef Ribs, with Pesto Pasta and Lima Beans went delightfully well with both the Venteaux Syrah and a little gem of a wine, a 2001 L’Aventure Syrah. Both of these wines were terrific, and the food was fantastic! The rich, beefiness of the ribs made both of the wines stand out for their very own richness.
So, this was where the food and wine pairing ended…but that doesn’t mean the conversation or the fun ended. Pairing wine with food is all about individual tastes and opinions. Everybody has a different palate, and we all have different tastes when it comes to foods and flavors. Lisa Pretty does a terrific job with all this, seeing as how she’s a winemaker as well as an excellent cook, AND she’s a cookbook author. Coincidentally, she’s also just released a tasty line of local vinegars, one of which was used to dress our salad. We’ll talk more about those very soon!
There is no right answer about what to pair with what, the answers lie in your experiments…so get out there and eat and drink, people!!! Let’s get some pairings handled!
Here’s the slideshow for you to check out all the pretty pictures…we’re working on smell-a-vision for you…but in the meantime be sure not to drool on your keyboards!
- “eat this with…” Food and Wine Pairing Cookbook (hootnannieblog.com)
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