Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I recently received a copy of Alinea by Grant Achatz. What a great book! The website is also very impressive and I cannot wait to try some of the amazing recipes outlined in the book in 2010. I will keep a chronicle here of my attempts to re-create this technical food at home. They don't call it Culinary Arts for nothin.

Also I am trying The Black Chook Sparkling Shiraz Viognier for New Years with some friends I will let you know how it turns out!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It is all about the sauce

Here is a little tip and trick I like to key my clients into when trying to pair wines with their food. Look at all of the surrounding spices, flavorings, and sauce to determine what flavors will shine through and be dominant on your palate. For example take a hearty oso-buco the dominant flavor is in the stock not the meat. The stock will be rich, high in fat and veal/marrow flavor, but will be slightly acidic due to the tomato base, white wine and mirepoix. Knowing these things about the dish will help to breakdown your wine choices.

So in this case we can break it down like this:
Step 1. Choose a wine that can cut the fat = Full bodied wine
Step 2. Choose a wine that can reduce the acid = Look for a slightly tannic wine - which is more palatable when eating acidic foods
Step 3. Look to the dishes spices to determine the best finish - heavy sage, basil, oregano, thyme calls for a wine that finishes with a similar peppery sweetness

Looking at these factors you can determine that a full bodied red is definately in, preferably an Italian red since you are keeping with the regional cuisine. A hearty Sangiovese or Barbaresco would be the best match and will go a long way with the meal, but if I look on the white spectrum I would look to a hearty aged California Chardonay, or new South African Sauvignon Blanc.