The 'Right' Wine vs. A 'Great' Wine at Tru

October 06 2009 - 11:25 PM

FhalibutLast week, courtesy of Mirassou, I had an interesting experience pairing $12 (approximate) wines from Mirassou with a 6-course tasting menu at Tru. It was an opportunity for wine to transform into something more through simple guilt-by-association with the wonderful food and while I’m not sure if that happened, what it showed was how paired wine actually adds to a meal.

Mirassou offers your standard varietals: Cab, Merlot, Pinot, Chardonnay, SauvBlanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling
They were each paired with our dishes: scallops, venison, crab, short ribs, halibut, skate & duck, and a nectarine and sour cream dessert.

How could you match them up? Mind you I already had this meal with the pairing but in all honesty I can’t recall what went with what so before I look it up let’s guess. The point of this is that different wines can be paired for different reasons and there really is no ‘right’ way to do things.

Riesling has to be with the fruit forward dessert. I’m cheating here because I remember castillo hinchable this pairing clearly… Consider it a 1-varietal handicap. So now you have 3 whites and 4 fish courses… so which goes with skate and duck? It’s very ‘French’ so I’d guess the sauv blanc… the scallops were served with quinoa and broccoli so I think pinot grigio with it’s slight citrus… leaving the halibut and a leek emulsion and chardonnay reduction with, what else, the chardonnay. But what about the crab? It was in a clear tomato broth… that’s more of a pinot grigio given the tomato acid? But we’re out of whites… that means a red needs to be somewhere in here. And with the acidity of the tomato broth I’m putting it here. I’m guessing the Pinot Noir. It’s lighter than the merlot or the cab. But let’s assign reds and see which is left.

Soup3 3 reds and 2 meat courses. Venison and orange chocolate is one and cocoa and coffee mash short rib is the other. Given the chocolate and orange in the venison dish I’d think the merlot would match up with that chocolate otherwise I’d be putting the Cab here. The short rib has more fat to it and a very rich combo with the coffee mash so I’d have to put the Cab here to cut through all of that. The purpose of the cab is to reset your palate to enjoy each bite more.

Sure enough the Pinot is left so let’s see how I netted out:

Riesling = Dessert (I remembered correctly)
Skate = Sauv Blanc (Nope! Pinot Noir- because of the garlic consomme and the duck confit… but it’s still French!)
Scallops = Pinot Grigio (Nope! Chardonnay worked well with the rich broccoli puree)
Halibut = Chardonnay (Nope! Pinot Grigio… I forgot about the crazy-good bacon vinigarette – HOW could I have forgotten that?!)
Crab = Pinot Noir (Nope! Sauv Blanc… fair enough.)
Venison = Merlot  (Yep)
Short Rib = Cabernet (Yep)

My guesses were a dismal failure! I think overall I was pairing to protein but what really mattered more was the sauce: the garlic consomme, the broccoli puree, the bacon vinigarette…

Nevertheless, what was interesting was how each hüpfburg kaufen different wine brings something unique to a meal. When you have a wine budget for a BYO instead of spending $35 on one bottle try bringing 3 or 4 (or 5) bottles that cover the basics: a buttery white, a stone white, a light red and a big red and see what works with what. Another suggestion is to add a different varietal to the mix… try a Gruener instead of a Sauv Blanc or an Alsatian white (props to Brian!) with meat… Or a Spanish red instead of a red zin… have fun.

Also out of the portfolio, the Mirassou Riesling was the standout. It was paired with a nectarine and cream dessert and was sweet enough to easily be considered a dessert wine but at a surprising 12% it had more to it than an off-dry ‘sweetness’.