Wine & Food

Snooth User: dmcker

Matching challenge *4*: what wine with these?

Posted by dmcker, Sep 6, 2014.

My previous challenges were for geographical locales and entire cuisines of difficulty. This time it's for difficult food items. What wines, if any, match these? Matches to specific recipes are welcome!

 

1)  Green, white or any other color

2)  California's official veggie

3)  Belgium's??

4) Mold as a good thing

5) Moctezuma's favorite food (and aphrodisiac)

6) Supermarket lunch (and dinner) offerings

7) Traditional Northeastern Asian preservative, flavoring and condiment

8) Southeast Asia's answer

 

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Replies

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Reply by Really Big Al, Sep 6, 2014.

Well, I'll give my answers for most of the items:

Asparagus:  Gewurztraminer

Avocado (just for OT):  perhaps a dry rose or dry white wine

Artichoke:  dry white

Brussel Sprouts:  Pinot Noir

Blue Cheese:  Cabernet Sauvignon

Chocolate:  Zinfandel

Sushi:  I would select a dry Riesling

 

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Reply by outthere, Sep 6, 2014.

Avocado? Where do you see Avocado?

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Reply by outthere, Sep 6, 2014.

The key to the Asparagus pairing is to serve it blanched in a salad. That way a number of light/medium bodied reds would work well. Trousseau Gris, Mourvèdre, Rosé of Grenache...

The Artichoke, or Avocado as Al puts it, really isn't that hard for us because we serve it with Mayonnaise so we need something with some acidity and tannin to cut through. We often have it with cool climate Syrah. I know we're weird.

Brussels Sprouts is something we often cook in a vegan style with Agave nectar, Tamari and Red Wine until tender then finish off with a bit of corn starch to thicken it up. It's a traditional Thanksgiving side although we use the recipe maybe 8-10 times a year. Here it is Pinot Noir and/or dry Riesling. 

Blue Cheese - Scherrer OMV Zinfandel

Chocolate and Sonoma Dago Blend red wine.

Sushi? Chablis or beer

Soy sauce really kills the palate with all the salt. Here again I choose beer.

I don't speak SE Asian. Is that Korean Soy Sauce? I use that in a Hanger Steak marinade along withe equal parts EVOO and Lime Juice, then microplane some fresh ginger in. Once grilled rare they are wonderful with Cab Sauv.

 

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Reply by Really Big Al, Sep 6, 2014.

You have to look real hard for it OT.  It's coming out from under a rock, right next to the tangerine tree.

So sue me for screwing up.  I meant artichoke.  :-)

It's still early this morning and I need more coffee after all that wine last night.

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Reply by outthere, Sep 6, 2014.

10AM is early? No wonder my process server couldn't reach you. Must have still been asleep.

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Reply by Really Big Al, Sep 6, 2014.

Some girl did come to the door trying to sell cleaning supplies.  I sent her packing and went back to drinking my coffee and posting in these forums.  I didn't think to ask if she was a process server in disguise. 

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Reply by EMark, Sep 6, 2014.

I haven't been playing in these, mostly, because they seem to be too much like work.  However, there is one very easy one, here, that, not only is not work, but, generally, causes my taste buds to orgasm.

Blue-veined cheese was invented for one thing:  to be matched with Sauternes.

I am with Al on the chocolate/zinfandel thing, and I'm pretty sure we're in the minority on that.

I have offered the above two opinions multiple times on this forum.    :-)

The first three do not match well at all with wine.  So, just drink whatever you like--Egri Bakaver, Veuve Cliquot, Primitivo, Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay, Ch. Petrus, White Zin, Screaming Eagle.

With the sushi, I'd go with a Loire Valley white.  Sancerre would be my first choice, but any one would be fine.

If you'r going to soak it in soy sauce, then, I agree that beer might be the best answer

I'm not sure what that last pic is.  Fish sauce?

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 6, 2014.

I've got some (very few) matches that actually do work, but will hold off for awhile longer. OT has the right idea with specific recipes for a wider range of matches.

The last item is 'nampla', or fish sauce. Essential to Thai, Vietnamese and a few other cuisines.

And avocado has several potential matches, so didn't make this list.  ;-)

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Reply by Really Big Al, Sep 6, 2014.

It's here now.  You can thank me later.

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 6, 2014.

I probably would've chosen this image instead.  ;-)

 

 

 

Your image of a Hass avocado represents the Guigal Cotes du Rhone of the avocado world. It's good, and fatty and grows all year around on lower, plump, easy-to-harvest trees. The Nabal above is like a 1989 Beaucastel or better yet an '89 Chaves Hermitage. The best tasting avocado I've ever encountered. 

Note the size using the scale on the right. This is only average sized. Bigger ones might have a diameter of 7" or so. Make softballs look comparatively like hardballs. They grow on tall, slender hard-to-harvest trees (tall ladders and long lanyards and long arms and still hard).

The 1960s was when the avocado market started changing. Back then you'd see a dozen different avocado varieties in any market, more in specialty grocers--at least in California, anyway. Avocado orchards (my family had four of them at the time, ranging from 25+ acres to 75+ in size) would have at least that many cultivars simultaneously growing in each (some, like the Topa Topa, just for rootstock since its fruit was small and meat not as tasty as others, and also because you can't grow avocados from seeds but have to graft, and plant saplings to be sure to get the cultivar you desire). Different growing seasons for each avocado, different tastes and consistencies of flesh, and consumers could enjoy the variety. That started changing when crafty growers realized the mass reproducibility of the Hass and tore out all the other varieties. Now far more than 80% of all the avocado trees in the world are grown to the Hass cultivar. To change analogies, it's like 80+% of all the beer in the world is Heineken and all the hamburgers in the world are McDonald's, but worse because conditions restricting the growth of good avocado alternatives are a lot more severe than those affecting creation of competitors to Heineken and MickeyD's. 

Plus right now it's impossible to import even Hass from California into Japan due to trade disputes. So for several years all I've had in this country are Mexican Hass grown cheaply and ineptly which are watery and grow fibers in the meat almost immediately, and have less flavor to boot. 

Color me a frequent-but-frustrated avocado consumer at present...

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Reply by napagirl68, Sep 6, 2014.

Gruner Veltliner is the only wine I've found that can decently pair with asparagus and artichoke.  Not nirvana or anything, but tolerable.

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 6, 2014.

Well, since satori (enlightenment) and nirvana signify the loss of all desire and effectively the self, and ascension from the wants and lusts and flavors and other vagaries of this world--as well as the whole cycle of existence--not sure I'd want the gruner to do that for me anyway!  ;-)

How about the other items in the list?

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Reply by napagirl68, Sep 6, 2014.

OK, Dman,... using 'nirvana' for the bolded def below.  You should still try a gruner with those wine unfriendly veggies before you shun it.:

nir·va·na
nərˈvänə,nir-/
noun: nirvana
  1. (in Buddhism) a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. It represents the final goal of Buddhism.
    synonyms: paradise, heaven; More
    "there are no shortcuts to nirvana"
    antonyms: hell
    • another term for moksha.
    • a state of perfect happiness; an ideal or idyllic place.
      plural noun: nirvanas
      "Hollywood's dearest dream of small-town nirvana"
       
       
       
       
       

 

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Reply by napagirl68, Sep 6, 2014.

Ok,

#4- looks like a nicely aged blue- many say port, but the real winners are late harvest whites such as Sauternes, which is exactly why I don't like blue cheese and wine for the most part.  I am not a fan of late harvest whites, except for one.  I have a beautiful moelleux Vouvray that needs to age for many more years.  I tasted recently one bottle to ck progress, and although low ETOH, this baby was all honeysuckle flower and honey, to the point that you can just imagine lazy bees flying about.  I could totally see this pairing gorgeously with blue cheese.  Hmmm.. now you've inspired my fall dinner party I'm planning..

#5- chocolate... not a fan of wine and chocolate... maybe a calvados or bourbon?

#6- allergic - no comment

#7- I use a food enhancer called Maggi.  I know, it sounds like cheating.  But I had a fantastic salad dressing at a German/French restaurant years ago in Carmel.  I was fortunate enough to get the recipe for their salad dressing...  secret ingredient was Maggi.  I since use it here and there.  One of my fav uses is on asparagus... I sprinkle roasted asparagus with a bit of Maggi and black truffle oil.  Anyhoo, I would class this as Asian flavors, and prolly pair with an acidic Sauv Blanc.

#8- IDK what this is.. enlighten me...

 

 

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 6, 2014.

NG, are you allergic to all fish? Bummer, to put it mildly.

Never use soy sauce for anything?

As noted in one of my posts above: "The last item is 'nampla', or fish sauce. Essential to Thai, Vietnamese and a few other cuisines."

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Reply by napagirl68, Sep 7, 2014.

Yes, allergic to all fish/seafood :-(

Yes I use soy sauce, until I discovered Maggi.  Like soy sauce, but more woodsy and has depth.

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 7, 2014.

Maggi's been around forever; knew it back from one of my grandmothers before I ever even went off to college. Have since encountered their bouillon cubes in almost *every* country I've been to, and I've been to a lot. Plus plenty of other universal foods and aids like those cubes and soups and sometimes that sauce, but also local delicacies that match the region, from that company. Maggi may have as much an international presence as Coca Cola. Soy sauce I view as being an entirely different animal, but then again I've spent many years in this part of the world with rather different cuisines and multitudinous applications for various types of soy sauce. That grandmother (who cooked lots more feelgood food than the other grandmother who benefited from the French tradition) also used Bragg's, though that was definitely a very close relative of soy sauce.

What is it that universally across all varieties of seafood treats you so badly?

I'm guessing you then don't use Chinese oyster sauces or Thai fish sauces to cook with. Also that you're careful when you eat out in those cuisines, if you do...

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Reply by GregT, Sep 7, 2014.

Asparagus - a green Sauvignon Blanc. Probably the artichoke too, although I've had some green reds, like Merlots from Spain, which remind me of nothing so much as artichoke.

Brussels sprouts - chop them up and saute them over really high heat, blackening a few, or put them in the oven and roast at a high heat with the same result. Then serve with some grilled steak and a Cab works really well, particularly if it's not all jammy.

The cheese? I love that cheese and I also love sweet wines but the cheese usually knocks them out in the first round, so I'd go with a sweeter sherry or perhaps Port, probably a tawny.

Chocolate does not pair with wine. Ever. Chocolate is sensual because it changes phase at your body temp. Wine or water "freeze" it and you don't get the explosion of flavor. And those chips!  Nestle's chocolate chips are like having 2 Buck Chuck!

Sushi? A fino, manzanilla, or a really light white - Albarino, Muscadet, etc.

Those sauces? Only thing I've found that works is oloroso sherry, maybe Madeira. But beer is better.

I'm with you on that avocado too - something I've only learned recently. The problem is that Big Al probably can't get them - the Hass ships well and produces reliably and you don't see any other types on the east coast except the "Florida" avocado, which has more water and less oil. A few short years ago I had no idea that there were hundreds of types of avocados, pretty much all descended from three lines. Some don't even have names.

So here are some other choices. As of now, I've only had five, so there's a lot of exploration to do.

http://ucavo.ucr.edu/avocadovarieties/VarietyFrame.html

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Reply by Mike Madaio, Sep 7, 2014.

...and I thought being allergic to shellfish was bad.

On the chocolate thing, red wine is a horrible pairing. BUT, Port can be great. Or Pedro Ximenez. Since cold skim milk is about as perfect a food-beverage pairing as can be achieved on mother earth, however, why bother?

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Reply by GregT, Sep 7, 2014.

Since cold skim milk is about as perfect a food-beverage pairing as can be achieved on mother earth, however, why bother?

Milk?????

 

 

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