Posts Tagged ‘food and wine pairing’

22nd June
written by The Chronicler

I love Pinot Noir for its versatility.  It is typically my go-to varietal when I go out for dinner because it pairs well with a wide-variety of dishes.   It is flexible and dependable.   Indeed, a good Pinot Noir can stand alone, as it can show a depth and complexity that will keep you on your toes.  Every now and then, I come across a remarkable Pinot Noir that amazes me.  ”Jayson” is one of those Pinots.

Yesterday, I prepared chicken with a creamy mushroom sauce.  Deciding what type of wine to serve with it was an easy task.  Pinot Noir often picks up notes of mushroom—complimenting mushroom dishes—and its medium body wouldn’t overwhelm the chicken or be drowned out by the creamy sauce.  So, I pulled out Pahlmeyer “Jayson” Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2006 which I received in one of my wine club shipments earlier this year.

Jayson is a beautiful Pinot Noir that perfectly balances the tension between delicate and powerful.  This California Pinot Noir is dominated by fruit including raspberry, currant, cranberry, and blackberry, but earth, smoke, and toasted oak isn’t hard to find.  It has a soft, velvety mouth-feel and long, elegant finish.  Soft tannins give it some backbone to balance the 14% alcohol content.  We continued to sip on this remarkable Pinot Noir long after our meal was finished, and it continued to reveal new complexity as it opened up.  In a phrase, I would describe it as: forbidden lovers.  Try it, and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

“Jayson” retails for around $50.  I give it an A and recommend that you treat yourself with a bottle.


1st June
written by The Chronicler

I have had several odd encounters with wine recently: the wine tasting that had only one wine; the fake wine expert who later confessed his lack of wine knowledge in an unintelligible email; and the wine pairing dinner that featured grilled local pigeon as the main course.  Yeah, you read that right—I ate pigeon better known as squab.  And, no, it wasn’t free.  Though I appreciate Garret Fleming, Executive Chef of Eatonville Restaurant, for putting his heart and soul into making it the best tasting pigeon possible, it just wasn’t too tasty.  However, the Pedroncelli Family Vineyards Petite Sirah that was paired with the squab was indeed tasty as were the other courses and wine pairings that rounded out the Pedroncelli wine pairing dinner at Eatonville Restaurant.

The dinner began with what turned out to be the best pairing of the meal—cauliflower and caper bisque paired with Dry Rosé of Zinfandel.  The cauliflower and caper bisque was amazingly delicious and paired so perfectly with Rosé.  I am learning to like rosé a bit more than I have in the past.  This particular Rosé wasn’t exactly mind-blowing, but it had the perfect balance of acidity and fruit to contrast with the creamy zing of the bisque.  The Rosé also paired well with mini ham on biscuit sandwiches.  As summer weather has finally arrived, the crispness of this Rosé is great for sipping in the front porch on a sunny day.

We also enjoyed pan-seared scallops with roast garlic black bean succotash and East Side Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2009.  The Sauvignon Blanc was tart and fresh with notes of citrus, lemongrass and starfruit.  The wine was a bit too tart for the creamy black beans and tomato that accompanied the scallops.  The third course of toasted benne seed and oyster stew paired with Mother Clone Zinfandel 2009 was fantastic.  The spicy oyster stew paired very well with this peppery Zinfandel.  Last, but certainly not least, was the Lady Baltimore cake and Four Grapes Port 2005.  The Port, fortified with Everclear, was syrupy with hints of raisin, toffee and chocolate.  It is enough on its own and was really a treat paired with the light, nutty Lady Baltimore cake.