It has been a while since I last talked wine on Braised Blue but I have decided to give you guys some more wine tips with my recipes. Today we run into some wine pairing quandaries. What to pair with Indian food, what to pair with an appetizer and finally a grilled beef dish*. Before you do anything else please check out my IndieGoGo Campaign and contribute to get my upcoming book Braised Blue: Year One as well as tons of other cool stuff.
Pairing wine with Indian flavours has two schools of thought. You either want to use a white varietal which will cool the mouth and work with the complexity of the spices such as Gewürztraminer from Alsace france, or a red that will aggressively contrast the flavours with a high alcohol/high sugar content such as a Shiraz from Barossa, Australia. With this dish I would go with Schild Estate old vine GMS. This classic blend of Grenache, Mourvedre and Shiraz is a wonderfully delicate yet robust take on what is known as the holy trinity in Auz**. The juicy sweetness and great black pepper/white pepper spice in this wine will work well with the big spice in the dish. Enjoy.
Salads and appetizers normally get the raw end of the deal when it comes to interesting wine pairings. Most restaurants will throw a pinot grigio at you without much thought or care as to what great things you can do with pairing wine with lighter fare. For this reimagining of a caprese salad I am all about a super acidic Feudi di San Gregorio, Fiano di Avellino from the region of Campania near Naples. Fiano’s acidity will work wonderfully to brighten this dish and really play beautifully with the fried cheese portion. People may know Fiano from other regions as being very sweet but Fiano which is grown on the volcanic slopes outside of Avellino is very dry with great notes of minerality as well as creamy hazelnut and stone fruit. This wine will lift this dish to a different dimension of flavour.
Miami Style Short Ribs are wonderfully flavourful and fatty and one wine, I am a huge fan of pairing with something flavourful and fatty is a nice big California Cab. However I am not going to be going to Napa or Sonoma to find this wine. Castle Rock’s Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon is a monster wine for under 20 bucks a bottle. Paso Robles is a great region for big, concentrated, California style wine. Fruit up front, big dark notes lurking in the back ground and a heavy palate will allow this wine to stand up to the big flavours from the Miami Short Ribs while also standing on it’s own when you open the second bottle after dinner. This stunner is indicative of the unheralded region of Paso Robles, try it out and thank me later.
*Just joking Grilled beef is not difficult at all.
**The Blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre is the classic cotes du rhone blend from southern france but the Australian terroir adds some really great mint and eucalyptus notes to the fruit driven blend that in my opinion really makes it more approachable to new wine drinkers and grizzled veterans alike.