It is very rare for us, particularly me, that we decide the dinner first and then try and gear a wine towards that. Usually, we decide on a red wine (as Sara has pointed out before, the moons have to be aligned for us to drink a white wine) and then cater our meal towards that. That isn’t to say that we don’t love food, because we do. Hey, we are friends with James, right?
None the less, we are doing our best these days to eat better, but still try and make it fun. We decided well in advanced that morning, that we were going to eat fish that evening; Amy had purchased this great new organic marinade from Whole Foods and it goes well with fish. So we knew we were having Grouper along with a couple of vegatables, so I had to decide on the wine after the fact.
The weeks before have seen both couples try white wine, and we didn’t want to give off this idea that we actually liked white wine. So, I felt obligated to find a compatible red that would completement the fish well, and not over power the fish.
While our pallat and knowledge have grown recently, we still haven’t grasped the art of pairing the right food with the right wine (except when talking about a steak and a bottle of Cabernet). None the less, our first stop was to the internet to find out what our options were. With a quick look, we not only found our wine, we learned a little something new about Pinot Noir that we didnt know before…
Obviously, we are out to enjoy what we like to enjoy and not try and pigeon hole ourselves with ridged tradition when it comes to pairing wines with food. But at the same time, it is important to respect tranditions and conventions as there is a reason they are in place. When paired correctly, you will find that a wine can really flourish and bring out things that you didnt notice with the wine if not paired with the appropriate food.
So we did our best to cater to both in the case with hopes of not compromising too much. What we found by looking through a couple of sites on the internet is that a Californian Pinot or even better a Oregon Pinot actually completements a darker or oiler fish rather well. The actual example we saw was of an Oregon Pinot, with almost a full-body, went well with a Applewood grilled Salmon.
However, in our case, we were working with a lighter fish in grouper. As we read more, we learned that French Burgundies are, more often than not, less “ripe” and more delicate than American Pinot Noir. The crisp, light characteristics of a french pinot noir, while not a slam dunk could provide compatibility, if not complementary to our dinner choice.
So now I was off to find a French Pinot, and give ourselves another opportunityto sample french wines. A note, while we are making another fourier back over to France, we are obviously sampling wine from a vastly different region and vastily different wine. So we might as well have been sampling the wine from another country as it wouldn’t be fair to lump either region (Bordaeux and Burgundy) together.
Here is what we came up with…
Name – Roux Pere & Fils ~ Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes de Beune
Region – Burgundy, France
Grape Varietal – Burgundy, 100% Pinot Nior Grapes
Vintage – 2009
Price – 14.99
Alcohol Content – 14.9%
Food Pairing – Grouper Fillets broiled in a Greek Marinade consisting of oliver oil, spices and feta. Fish was accompanied with sauted green beans and roasted garlic and tyme potatoes with a touch of olive oil.
Color/Appearance – Translucent garnet
Nose/Aroma – Alcohol and not much else
Mouth/Flavors – Mild cranberries, minerally with a sour tart flavor
Rating (out of 10) – 5
Impressions – Yet another example of a very young wine that might be a little better with another couple of years behind a cork. Quite thin which should be expected from what we read, there were some flavors to it. None the less, we really are going to have to do some searching to find us a good value in a french wine. Still searching.
Food Recommendations – It did fine with the fish, but there is probably something else out there that works better with this wine. James, what do you think? I do know this, do not drink this wine with a cream based dish, or ice cream for that matter. Oil and water on that one.