Wine & Food

Snooth User: GhostLemur

Pairing with old Pinot

Posted by GhostLemur, Feb 11, 2010.

I just scored a bottle of 1990 Martinborough Vineyard Pinot from my local and am curious as to what to pair with it. Have a feeling that it might be a little past it but it's a great learning opportunity and might even still be good. By coincidence I have a tasting with their winemaker Paul Mason next week so will ask his thoughts on it too. In no hurry to open it.

As an aside also picked up a bottle of 1996 Te Mata Bullnose Syrah and a bottle of 1999 Kerpen Riesling.


Reply by GregT, Feb 11, 2010.

Well, don't they have a lot of sheep in New Zealand? It's not like they've been making wine and eating young lamb for centuries, but it's another reason to eat lamb.

I don't know that wine but I would guess that something you'd pair with an old Burgundy, an old Rioja, an old Barolo or Barbaresco, or an old Brunello or Chianti might work pretty well. Those wines tend to have an earthy, sometimes mushroomy note to them and usually pretty high relative acidity. So for me, anything with mushrooms and herbs would be a pretty good match, like roast pork and some kind of risotto or pasta with assorted mushrooms.

OTOH, New Zealand has plenty of fish too, so who knows. Maybe a firm-textured fish like tuna or swordfish or something along those lines. But then again, I'm just listing the stuff I like so maybe it's just me.

Whatever you end up with, enjoy!

Reply by Nz BoUNd, Feb 11, 2010.

I'm familiar with the winey but not specifically that vintage. As for my guess, i think that wine is likely long over the hill. New zealand pinot will age but 20years...?

As for a pairing i would keep it simple because you don't know what the wine will be like in flavour or character respects. Something like good smoked salmon is my suggestion.

Sounds like it should be a fun little trial, enjoy!

Reply by GhostLemur, Feb 11, 2010.

Just found out that in 2005 they had a vertical tasting of all vintages to celebrate 25 years. Here's the wine note's for the 1990...

Savoury fruitcake with some ripe tomato. Still some ripe dark fruit character evident. Good concentration with savoury tannin profile.

Gives me a little hope that it could still be interesting. Curious as to how those of you who drink old wine pair it. Do you pair it the same as youthful wine or does it require somthing more subtle than it would young?

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 11, 2010.

I would definitely opt for something more subtle. A quick saute of veal and wild mushrooms served with saffron risotto is always a nice counterpoint to an older wine. It will probably have some aged flavors like mushroom, forest floor, or the like and with the tannins and body fading is likely to be more obviously acidic than a younger wine.

That acid can make it work well with a nice piece of Salmon and one of my favorite marinade for Salmon to be served with pinot involves chipotle peppers, oregano, and sundried tomatoes all pureed to a paste. That sounds like it could work very well here.

I think those would be my two top suggestions.

Reply by GhostLemur, Feb 11, 2010.

Great suggestions GDP, noted both down. I may actually do small portioned meals and try multiple dishes with the wine.

Reply by VegasOenophile, Feb 11, 2010.

GDP is very right. I had an older 1978 Leroy Savigny les Beaune and it was very mushroomy and earthy. I'd recommend tasting it on its own first, it will almost certainly need some time to breathe as pinot does, especially being older. Then once you have a taste and it opens up, you will know what to pair it with as well. Fish would almost certainly work, perhaps halibut or salmon. Any lighter meat, like pork should be OK too. Let us know how it goes!

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