Friday, August 18, 2006

Wine Combinations

The exercise was to pair a wine with Lamb chops/mint julep sauce and slow cooked green beans. Since I make my home in St Louis, which is just a skip-hop-and-a- jump North of Memphis, home of Benito's Wines, the task master, the food was familiar and comfortable. Memphis has much better BBQ than we do, but what we do share is incredible blues music. Lots of hole in the wall places with incredible musicians.

I usually like to pair lamb with a Merlot or Syrah, but this time I went a little classier and chose a Pinot Noir from Domaine Drouhin. The whole story of Domaine Drouhin is so romantic. A legendary Burgundian family buys land in Oregon, the daughter moves to Oregon and makes new world wine with all that old world pedigree . The Oregon wine is a more vibrantly hued wine than most French Burgundies. The wine seems fresh and lively without too much complexity, but it still exhibits elegant structure with a balance of fruit, alcohol, and acid. The mint of the chops and the sweetness of the beans is enhanced by the fruit of the wine. The alcohol and acid of the wine matches well with the richness of the meat and sauce. I did add some garlic and chervil mashed potatoes, and I also added a bit of lamb demi-glace to the mint julep sauce to further round the flavors.

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