Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Last Supper?

Faced with certain death and given the choice of a final meal, what would be your last supper?

My next course on Wine & Food Pairings doesn’t start until October, but I am already mentally preparing for the mission of matching wine with food. But rather than taking on the somewhat intimidating task of pairing “the” perfect wine with exotic, fusion-esque dishes, I’ve turned my attention to the simplest, yet most satisfying plates – think: comfort food, and the various wines that bring out their best flavours.

For example, what wine would you pair with grilled cheese? I suppose the snobbiest of wine snobs would answer that question with another question: which cheese are you using? My answer: Um… does process cheese count? I think this will have to be further investigated in my next course. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever had wine with grilled cheese. Milk has always done the trick for me. But I do know this much: wine goes great with bread and cheese! So I will beg the question and come back with an answer in the coming months.

Back to our last supper question…

My last supper would start with a glass of champagne. Real champagne… just because. I would then order a bottle of Californian red – a Syrah from the Lodi appellation or a Cab sauv from the Dry Creek Valley. Appropriately, a perfect wine for my final evening would quite possibly be The Prisoner, by Owin-Swift winery in the Napa Valley... combining Zinfandel, Syrah, Cab sauv, and Petite Syrah grapes in a sumptuous blend.  I would then have a small, but succulent filet mignon, cooked to medium perfection, with baby carrots smothered in butter (what do I care, I’m biting the bullet anyway). I would then follow with one of my all time favourite pasta dishes (and those who know me know that I’m passionate about this dish – ask me to make it for you!): tortellini stuffed with cheese, swimming in a Gorgonzola cream sauce, with little red grape buoys floating throughout. Yum! I would then proceed to finish my bottle of wine (there’s no need for me to share!), and then order a decadent chocolate cake – maybe a molten lava, chocolate explosion type dessert, to be paired of course with none other than an ice wine from Niagara. Perfection!

What would be your last supper? Tell me your favourite meals, and I’ll attempt to suggest some wine pairings as I embark on this next exciting part of my sommelier journey. With a basic understanding of wine and food pairings, though I would think that you could go one of two ways: either choose a wine that mimics the flavours and mouth feel of your dish, or choose a wine that compliments it in such a way that it brings out certain flavours in the food.

I, for one like to choose my wine first and then select a dish that would best showcase that wine. But then you must already know that about me by now… I’m all about the wine!

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