The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Wacky Food Pairings

Posted on | April 6, 2011 | Written by Kerry-Jo Rizzo | 1 Comment

One of my favorite things about working at IWM is the array of wines and food I get to experience on a daily basis.  Being a New York City native has allowed me to become quite versed in my knowledge of many cuisines and, of course, plenty of wines.  But lately I have become ho-hum when it comes to my usual indulgences.  These days I am inspired by chefs such as Wylie Dufresne, Pichet Ong and our very own Kevin Sippel.  I want more of the eclectic.  I want New York to be a melting pot that goes straight to my taste buds.   I want a new mixture of all I know, collaged with the present day abundance of history, art, culture and cuisine.  Therefore, I have taken the extreme challenge of creating a sort of wacky, yet classic, tasting with wonderful and proper wine pairings that teeter just over the edge of comfort.

First off, I was inspired by our client dinner last fall when I had an amazing experience of tasting a great array of Italian wines.  For antipasto, I would love to pair our Bruno Giacosa 2005 Spumante Brut with baked artichoke and traditional fried abalone.  The biscuity, bready taste of this frizzante wine combined with the tangy, crunchy aspect of the baked artichoke and fried shellfish is so exquisite that it’s sure to tingle the taste buds.

Next would be our Mastroberardino 2005 Taurasi Radici paired with one of my favorites, poached egg with wild mushroom soup and gruyere fonduta.  The savory yet complex flavors of this Aglianico wine paired with the mixture of egg, fungi and cheese would be a dream as our primi course.  Maybe not quite as wacky, but it’s a superb classic pairing that no one can argue with!

Sea urchin tends to be an iffy avenue when it comes to pairings.  After consulting with a few of my IWM coworkers,  the Chardonnay Querciabella 2007 Batar with its subtle complexity and soft oak seems to be the unanimous vote for our Chef Kevin’s Strigoli pasta dish with rock shrimp, roasted calamari and sea urchin.

For our fish course, I went down a road in Taiwan and have chosen to pair barbecued eel with an IWM favorite, the Merlot based Bodega Chacra 2009 Mainque.  Bodega Chacra’s hailing from Argentina and the eel dish’s coming from Taiwan makes this course the ultimate in wacky and enticing.

Last but not least, I would love to feature a Pichet Ong classic dessert, foie gras Napoleon! This dessert features cacao nibs, hazelnuts, salty foie gras and tangy red pepper jam.  My unusual pairing for this course would be our rich, sumptuous and berry-laden Begali 2005 Recioto.

Although we don’t have all of these wines currently in stock, this wacky tasting event will become a reality the day we do.  Here’s to the eclectic, the new and the experimental!



One Response to “Wacky Food Pairings”

  1. Pill AZ
    April 8th, 2011 @ 8:09 am

    Most awessome information. Your article is so interesting. This is the most well-thought-out, encompassing and agreeable article.

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