Saturday, April 4, 2015

Last minute Easter Wine and Food Recommendations by guest Dawn G. Land postd by Philip S. Kampe


Selections for Easter from Dawn G. Land



Spring is not off to such a great start – more snow and cold.  With all the white, brown and black of the past months, I’m in the mood for a little green.  Asparagus, leeks, fresh peas and beans – the ideas below are for a multi-course meal that celebrates the best of Spring ingredients.  Happy Easter!

Appetizer:
Spring Vegetables with Bagna Cauda or Bruschetta of Spring Vegetables
Both of these dishes include bright, zippy lemon, asparagus, fava beans and garlic.  With the anchovy in the Bagna Cauda, I was thinking of a savory wine that would hold up to bold flavors like Fiano or a structured Rose.  I like the idea of starting a meal with something bubbly and refreshing.  The bruschetta has very straightforward flavors that would pair well with a grassy Sauvignon Blanc or a citrusy Champagne or sparkling wine.

Suggestions: Mastroberardino Fiano di Avellino, Ca del Bosco Franciacorte Brut Cuvee Prestige Rose for the Bagna Cauda or Seresin Sauvignon Blanc, Piper Sonoma Brut for the Bruschetta.

Soup:
Creamy Asparagus Soup with Lemon Dumplings or Chilled Zucchini Soup with Purslane
The creamy asparagus soup has bright, acidic dumplings to balance.  As a result, the wine pairing can be either an oaked Chardonnay that has more of a citrus backbone than a tropical fruit core or a pinot gris would also work wonderfully.  The chilled zucchini soup is a vibrant bright green punched up with lemon juice.  A great foil would be Albarino – as this is a bright, flavorful wine that can carry a chilled soup with grassy purslane or spicy baby arugula notes.  Gruner Veltliner is a very food friendly varietal with notes of apricot and white pepper.  It would add a lush, spicy character that would pair very well with the zucchini.

Suggestions: Hartford Court “Four Hearts” Chardonnay, Ponzi Pinot Gris for the Creamy Asparagus Soup or Do Ferreiro Albarino, Sohm and Kracher Gruner Veltliner for the Chilled Zucchini Soup

Salad:
Spring Panzanella with Asparagus or Kohlrabi, Fennel, and Blueberry
These are very disparate salads.  The panzanella requires a racy wine to stand up to the mustard greens, radish, asparagus and hard cooked eggs.  I like the idea of a zippy rose or the slightly petillant txakolina.  Both wines will act as a palate cleanser and marry well with the red onion.  The kohlrabi salad has ginger, almonds, shallot, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and white balsamic vinegar.  A more delicate style of rose that has an earthy character would pair very nicely as would a saline, mineral muscadet.

Suggestions: Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose Pitt-Jolie Perrin, Ulacia Txakolina for the Panzanella or Domaines Ott Bandol and Domaine la Haute Fevrie Muscadet 

Pasta:
Herb Fazzoletti with Asparagus or Parsnip Triangoli with Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Parsley, Chives, Tarragon and Chervil marry with Burrata in the Herb Fazzoletti.  With the herbs and the creaminess from the cheese, I like the idea of Godello or Riesling.  Both would punch up the flavors of the pasta sauce without overwhelming it.  With a little kick of acidity, the dish would meld seamlessly.  The sweetness of parsnip and aged balsamic marries with chives and parsley in this wonderful pasta dish.  Chenin Blanc or Viognier will add complexity and richness and will bring out the earthy sweetness of the parsnip.

Suggestions: A. Coroa Godello, Hugel Riesling Jubilee for the Herb Fazzoletti or Eric Morgat Savennieres L’Eclos, E. Guigal Condrieu for the Parsnip Triangoli

Fish:
Halibut with Mixed Beans or Salt Baked Branzino with Citrus, Fennel and Herbs
Cranberry beans, fava beans, haricot verts, sugar snap peas and baby peas in a buttery sauce – what could be better with halibut?  The pairing for this would be a complex Pinot Grigio (they do exist) or Chablis.  The wine should be clean and unoaked.  You definitely want acidity cutting through the buttery sauce.  The branzino already has a fair amount of acidity from the orange and lemon slices in the cavity.  This dish should be paired with something lightly oaked and toasty.  Bordeaux blanc or a Greek white would go very well with the branzino.

Suggestions: Jermann Pinot Grigio, William Fevre Vaudesir Chablis for the Halibut or Les Hauts de Smith Blanc, Biblia Chora Estate White for the Branzino

Meat:
Grilled Flank Steak with Corn, Tomato and Asparagus Salad (and Morels!) or Boudin Blanc with Leeks & Mustard Sauce
The grilled steak has so much going on and the colors – bright yellow, red and green are just the antidote necessary to a brutal winter.  This dish looks like summer on a plate.  Cabernet Franc will add a pleasing bell peppery flavor to the bright salad while marrying very nicely with the garlic-infused marinade on the steak.  A good Brunello will add spice and punch up the flavorful dish.  The Boudin Blanc is taking the meal in a different direction.  Mashed potatoes, leeks and a mustard sauce complement the sausage.  I like the idea of serving a lighter-style red wine – Pinot Noir or Gamay.

Suggestions: Wolffer Estate Cabernet Franc Caya, La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino with the steak or Michel Lafarge Volnay Vendanges Selectionnees, Domaine de Prion Fleurie “La Madone” for the Boudin Blanc

Dessert:
Pistachio Meringues with Lemon Cream and Berries or Lemon, Poppy and Chevre Cheesecakes with Rhubarb
The meringues have a slight green color from the pistachios and make a perfect ending to an already green meal.  I like keeping the same flavors throughout a meal and having a running theme.  It makes buying wine easier – since one wine would likely work with every dish.  The meringues feature a lemon cream with barriers.  Since this is a sweet/sour dessert, I would pair it with a New World take on Sauternes or a complex, sweet sherry.  The individual cheesecakes with the lemon and rhubarb will need a Tokaji or and Ice wine to complement the chevre.
Suggestions: Dolce, Lustau Solera Reserve East India for the Pavlova or Royal Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos “Red Label”, Inniskillin Riesling Ice Wine for the cheesecakes
 
Philip S. Kampe
philip.kampe@thewinehub.com
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