In Vino Veritas: Recipe Redux Part 5

It’s been a while since I paired wine with my recipes. Yes this is the blogging version of the TV clip show or even a drunken directors commentary but either way lets strap in and start thinking wine.

Braised Chicken Thighs In a Spicy Ragu:

With the richness of chicken thigh and the spice and acidity of the sauce a wine with some softness and spice I find really would work well with this dish. As much as Sideways derided Merlot I love the varietal when done well. Chateau St. Jean Sonoma Merlot is a great example of what Merlot can do. Soft and powdery in it’s mouth feel, but with bold blueberry and plum notes make this the perfect pairing with the acidity of the sauce and the richness of the meat.  Usually I am all about weird or out of the box pairings but this one is sort of a classic. Give it a try.

Pappardelle with a Portobello Garlic Butter Sauce:

Now I am going to step out of the box a little bit. Normally a cream or butter sauce is going to see a white wine paired with it, because the need for acidity to cut the richness of the dish. Instead I will go with a pinot noir from the Eloa-Amity Hills AVA in Oregon. Argyle Nuthouse Pinot Noir is a very new world take on Pinot. Lots of big berry flavours, but also a herbaceousness that will go well with the earthiness of the mushrooms and the herbs in the dish. The acidity though not extreme in this wine will do just enough to cut the richness of the dish and the flavours will really do well to create the experience of both the wine and the food.

Grilled Vegetable Towers with a Mustard Scallion Dressing:

Salad wines are always a bit of a tough go, but with this salad having warm grilled elements as well as the normal cold elements it opens up the playbook when it comes to wine.  William Knuttel Pinot Gris is a revelation for a white wine drinker. On it’s own it’s a soft creamy almost nugetty expression of the Alsatian style of Pinot Gris. The same grape as the acidic and fresh Italian Pinot Grigio is left on the vines longer to mature and then sees a few months of oak to give the wine more presence and body. With the dish this wine actually balances against the acidity of the dressing and the smokey flavours of the grilled veggies perfectly. Enjoy.