Random thoughts on the world of wine, presented in no particular order.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A food pairing!

A friend of mine, living in Italy, had this for lunch the other day -- due to the magic of Facebook, of course, I got to see the meal.

It's salmon, wrapped around Mozzarella, with honey and sliced almonds on a bed of fresh greens.  Immediately, being a wine geek, I wondered "what would I drink with this?"

It's a well-balanced meal -- creamy, heavier Mozzarella, with slightly more delicate salmon bringing an oily and salty note, the sweet honey, and the slightly bitter almonds and greens.

So what would you pair this with?

The easy way out would be to say "a brut or extra-dry sparkling wine."  And that would work; the acidity of a sparkler would clear out the salmon and Mozzarella, the sweetness of the honey counterbalanced by the dryness of the wine (or, in the case of an extra-dry, echoed by the sweetness of the wine).  But that's a cop-out; sparkling wines are incredibly food-friendly.

So what would you drink, if it were still wines only?

My first thought is a fruit-forward Pinot Noir; it's light enough to not overpower the salmon, but if it's got a good fruit note (and, indeed, perhaps a bit of residual sugar!), it'd pair nicely here.  A Monterrey Pinot, perhaps, then?

Another good pairing would be a Soave -- an Italian white made from Garganaga, which can show off some nice peachy and mineral notes, but still have enough acidity to clear the palate with this meal.

Ditto a Riesling.  I'd look for a good Sp├Ątlase or Kabinett Riesling; the sugar would go well with the honey, the acidity would clean off the fattiness of the food.

And my friend?  Alas, he didn't know what they served.

So what would you have with this?

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