Friday, January 22, 2010
White Wine With Beef
Last night I sat down at the wine bar with my good friend Kellie to have dinner. This is always a risky proposition because the unspoken rule when you own/run a restaurant is if you are on the premises and needed, you are working. However I really wanted to eat the menu for restaurant week. Kyle had been working on it diligently and I had sampled enough of his trials that I knew it was going to be really good. So I took a chance, picked out a bottle for us to share and sat down.
It is always a challenge to pick out one wine to go with several courses, and mostly nearly impossible. However I had just tasted this new Spanish wine that had really impressed me and thought it's weight just might do the trick, even with the beef.
Ovo is a new import to the US and the kind of wine only a small, devoted wine shop can sell. It is a varietal not too many people have heard of (Albarino), from a relatively unknown region (Rias Baixas), that retails for $30 ($45 in the wine bar). Not exactly a slam dunk in the world of wine sales, but I had to bring it in even if I was the only one drinking it. Albarinos tend to be very fresh, clean wines with a zippy backbone and lovely orchard fruit aromas. This one is left on the lees in open cement containers for 6 months to become this rich, mellow white with flavors of pear, almond, orange peel and candied citrus. It is bone dry and unusual in the best possible way.
I am happy to report it went perfectly with all three first courses and stood its ground with the truffle-butter tenderloin very well. What this proves is that the rules of wine pairing can be broken, you just have to know when. That's what we are here for.