Classic food and wine pairings don’t just appear out of thin air, they’re discovered. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. One day, a lucky human being decided to drink a buttery, full-bodied California Chardonnay with his lobster. Can you imagine his delight as the Chardonnay’s butter, apple, lemon and tangerine flavors mingled with the lobster’s rich, succulent texture? If you can’t, then please go buy a lobster and a bottle of Grgich Hills Chardonnay right now. I’m not kidding. You can send me a thank you note later, but you owe it to yourself.
The #1 Rule of Food and Wine Pairing is…
If it grows together, it goes together.
Catchy, isn’t it? In fact, this rule says more about culture than it does about the complementary nature of food and drink produced within close geographic proximity. Classic food and wine pairings aren’t just born, they’re cultivated. People stumble upon delicious flavor combinations all the time, sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident. A classic pairing is born when we share what we’ve discovered with others and then they validate our discovery by sharing it again. In that spirit, I’d like to share two pairings that I’ve stumbled upon. I believe that the first is a bona fide classic and the other is well… a little off-the-wall. I hope you try both and if you agree; I hope you share them with others.
My Classic Pairing…
Venison Loin: Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir 2009
Here’s how to prepare the Venison loin:
Venison Loin 2 lbs.
Olive Oil 4 oz.
Greek plain yogurt, 4 oz.
Cumin, 1 tsp
Cayenne pepper, 1 tsp
Cardamom, 1 tsp
Salt, 2 tsp
Pepper 2 tsp
Garlic 2 tblsp
Two limes, juiced
Combine olive oil, yogurt, cumin, cayenne, cardamom, garlic, salt, pepper and lime juice together in a plastic bag. Place venison in the bag and work it around with the olive oil, yogurt, spice mixture. Marinate for three hours.
Wrap the venison in foil and place in a 350 degree oven for forty minutes to an hour until the red in the meat is gone. Open foil to reduce the juices and produce a crust. Serve with roasted potatoes and carrots.
Try this with the Drouhin Pinot Noir 2009 and you’ll know instantly how a classic pairing should taste. The tart, bright cherries and the Pinot Noir’s wonderful acidity perfectly complement the venison’s rich complexity. You’ll love it.
My Off-the-wall, yet completely awesome pairing…
Cheez-its Snack Crackers: Grand Marnier
You might think I’m crazy, but oh my goodness…please try this! The Cheez-its saltiness pairs perfectly with Grand Marnier’s orange-macerated sweetness. I’m not saying it’s Sauternes and Roquefort, but it’s pretty darn good!
Do you have a food and wine/spirit pairing you’d like to share?
Post a comment on this blog or on Kahn’s facebook page. We’d love to hear from you!
Recipe: Courtesy of Mr. C. Smith