Sep 21 2010

Great Wines Think Alike: Perfect Pairings at Just Grapes

Published by at 8:47 AM under Savvy Sip Tips,Wine Reviews

I’m spending a few days at a resort in Colorado this week, and I’ve been eating my way through the property’s restaurants—good thing there’s lots of hiking available in the Rockies to balance it out!

Whenever I dine here, I always ask the sommeliers what they would recommend. Even if I know a certain style of wine will match the food I choose, the sommelier always knows which exact bottle in their inventory is the best match—the two go hand in hand when menus are developed. Not surprisingly, everything has been a perfect pairing. Also not surprisingly, two of the amazing wines I’ve had are available at Just Grapes!

Here they are, and the foods they were paired with:

NV H. Billiot Fils Brut Rose Grand Cru, Champagne, France [$63.99]
Paired with: Duo of Maryland Blue Crab Cocktail Claws with Mustard Sauce, and Spanish Blue Cheese Gnocchi with Onion Confit

90 Pts – Steven Tanzer

These dishes are textural and flavor opposites, and both brought out the versatility of this incredible Grand Cru. The crab claws and mustard sauce took on an almost butterscotch flavor when combined with the Champagne, and its bubbly effervescence easily cleared my palate when paired with the rich gnocchi. This multi-dimensional Grand Cru showcases equal parts beauty and power.

2006 Ambroise Cote de Nuits Villages, Burgundy, France [$30.99]

Paired with: Halibut Poached in Black Olive Oil with Morel Mushrooms

The chef here creates his own black olive powder, then mixes it into olive oil for poaching. Halibut is a sturdy fish with somewhat of a blank flavor canvas, so the dense, earthy umami of the concentrated black olive oil fills in the flavor gaps. This Burgundy matches that earthiness all the way, and brings out just a hint of red fruit/berry to accent the finish. This is a thoughtfully constructed, subtle Old World wine made to enhance dishes like this.

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