Food & Wine Pairings
Criss Crossing Wine Country and tasting Wine from many different regions, we are also learning what goes well with the wine along the way. Food & Wine are an integral symbiotic arrangement especially pairing local food with Local Wine. This in some cases is what enhances the overall experience. Here are some of the Recipes and Pairing we have discovered along the Way.
Presqu’ile Rosé of Pinot Noir, Strawberry, Citrus and Avocado Salad
On our final day at the Santa Barbara Vintners Spring Weekend, we drove north to the Santa Maria Valley to visit the stunning Presqu’ile Winery. Located in the Northern part of Santa Barbara County the climate here provides a longer growing season giving deeper complexity to the wines and a natural acidity. The property is beautiful with beautiful vineyards and modern and inviting architecture and an amazing view.
The Rose of Pinot Noir is made from Pinot Noir from the Presqu’ile Estate Vineyard. It is fermented by native yeast and aged 5 months in stainless steel. It is Fresh & crisp with bright red fruits…crisp red apple, cherry & strawberry.
While we were at the winery enjoying this lovely Rosé of Pinot Noir, Ryan who was handling our tasting mentioned that he had scored a great pairing with this wine the week before. He took a bottle of the rosé out to a gathering and they paired it with a strawberry avocado citrus salad. Everyone cheered for his perfect pairing. Tasting the rosé I could envision the pairing and how well it would go. The sweetness of the berries, the tart acid of the citrus and the rich fattiness of the avocado with this beautiful rosé cutting through…so I popped back another of their Mississippi pecans to keep my mouth from salivating too much and decided that this inspiring recipe and pairing I would need to try for myself!
I used a couple of blood oranges for some extra depth of flavor. Here we go…Thanks Ryan!
So we went to one of local Farmers Markets, Downtown 3rd Farmers Market and picked up some fresh Strawberries, Avocado and Salad mix and went home and made a Perfect pairing of Rose and Fruit Salad. Enjoy.
Last week at the Downtown 3rd Farmers Market I asked Chef Stu for an inspiring recipe to make this week. His first question “Easy, Medium or Difficult?” Not wanting to look like too much of a wuss, I replied “Medium”. This recipe for early spring fell from his lips with such ease as he continued to ring up other patrons. It is that perfect early spring combination with fresh bright crunchy vegetables nestled in the soft warmth of sweet potato gnocchi. Like the feel of a brisk spring morning wrapped in your favorite sweater. Fresh English peas, asparagus and sweet potato gnocchi made from garnet sweet potatoes are all available there at the market.
We wanted to find a wine to pair with this. Asparagus is notoriously difficult to pair with. I was leaning toward an Alsace Riesling or a Gruner Veltliner from Austria with back up plans of a Sancerre or Pouilly Fume from the Loire Valley (as recommended by Food and Wine). So we headed to Marché Bacchus, which is a wonderful little wine shop and bistro here in Las Vegas. They were very busy with lunch, but Jeff Wyatt the owner was kind enough to take a couple of minutes to help me and make a recommendation. With the asparagus he recommended something with good acid but also a heavier viscosity and directed us to a Schieferkopf Riesling from Alsace. It was a perfect pairing.
View Wine Bar, Las Vegas
The location is a little hard to find, which is why we are talking about it here and giving you directions. You will find it above Brio at Tivoli Village. To get there, walk past the entrance to Brio and around the corner and look for LV Market! Enter there and cross through the downstairs bistro and take the stairs to the 2nd floor. Head to the front of the building and relax in the industrial decadence of the “View”.
You can see the fountain out the front windows and the mix of industrial architecture with exposed ceilings and ducts and tufted couches and seats with natural woods and wine bottle light fixtures in plumbing pipes is enchanting in my opinion. My advice is to go on a weekday mid day and sit at the bar. Joey will be working and she is full of great advice on food and wine. If you like a little more action, well then hit it in the evenings when Joey tells me the place is hoppin’!
Michael and I strolled up and had a seat at the bar to enjoy the view. The menu is full of great small plate items so you can order a bunch and enjoy. We ordered the risotto cakes (which I enjoyed last time) the tuna tartare tacos, the Tivoli wrapped dates and the Gnocchi Gratin. Michael started with the S.A. Prum, Essence Riesling from Germany and I started with the Cloudline Pinot Noir. The S.A. Prum is from Mosel, and the Cloudline is a Willamette Valley Pinot. We both enjoyed the wines and felt both were good food wines. We tasted with the Tivoli wrapped dates which are dates stuffed with goat cheese and almonds wrapped in prosciutto and then set in a balsamic reduction. We moved on to tasting with the Tuna tartare tacos, which were mini hard shell tacos with raw tuna, avocado, fresh lettuce and a little creme fraiche. Then the gnocchi gratin, which went surprisingly well with the Pinot! The acid cut through beautifully with the cheese and paired nicely with the risotto cakes which are breaded fried squares of risotto topped with grated parmesan and lemon zest. The lemon zest added a wonderful fragrance! Michael moved on to an Italian Pinot Grigio called VOGA which again paired great with the food. We talked about European wines and how they are meant to pair with food which makes them different from many new world wines that are blended to drink alone. As we moved on to dessert, we settled on the Dark Chocolate Nutella Cake and paired it with the Condundrum Red (which obviously is a whole lot of Zinfandel and a bit of Petite Sirah) and Joey’s favorite (that she let me taste when we walked in) Earthquake Petite Sirah from Lodi. The Earthquake was beautiful on it’s own while the Conundrum was a little hot. When paired with the Chocolate Nutella cake, both were stunning!
Food & Wine Pairing Recipes
Watch for more Food & Wine Pairing Videos in 2015