Inspired by John of Loxton Cellars, who posted his ten top wines of all time if money was no object recently, I am putting together by own list of top wine and foods pairings that I've experienced. Lately. Except, I'm going the Hi-Fidelity route, i.e., half-assing it and choosing my top five experiences. It's tough trying to pick amongst your babies. I love none of you any less.
1. Tomatoes and Wine
Maybe this pushes my list to six, but I couldn't choose between a young Burgundy that I had with Zachary's deep dish, sausage and pepperoni pizza, and Barbara and tomatoes, any way, any day. Way to go, high acidity, meaty wines and sweet tomatoes and cheese.
My favorite Burgundy for pizza pairing:
2005 Perrot-Minot Bourgogne Rouge “Vielles Vines”
My notes on pairing Barbera with Tomatoes:
2. Herbed Aioli and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
I admit that a grassy, guava-bomb is not always my cup of tea, but with an herbaceous olive oil and garlic emulsion, few things are better than a spunky New Zealand sauvie.
A step-by-step herbed aioli recipe included on my blog, Vin de la Table, and the somewhat reserved Sauvignon Blanc that I choose to accompany this luscious sauce:
3. Crottin de Chavignol and Sancerre, Chavignol
Regional cheese and wine pairings always have a special place in my heart, and those that originated in France's Loire Valley top my list. In the following link I reveal my Chavignol and Sancerre dreams (a Sancerre from the tiny Chavignol appellation naturally edged it's way in), but I'm nearly just as happy when sipping other cheese and wine matches from the same region.
The cheese and wine suggestions:
4. Sparkling Wine and Potato Chips
High acidity, bubbling wine and crispy, salt-studded fried potatoes? Oh my god. Enough said. From Champagne to Lambrusco, I support bubbles and fat. Check out some serious research:
5. Chenin Blanc and Almost Anything, Especially Spicy Anythings
Chenin Blanc is a magic grape. Like it's aromatic friend Riesling, it comes in many shapes, flavors, sugar and mineral levels, and in ranging acidities, all perfect for pouring into my glass. In all the ranges it comes, Chenin Blanc just might be my favorite white for food and wine pairing. Except for all of the others, of course.
An ode to Chenin Blanc (Three of my top Chenins listed):
I just realized that this top five is nearly all white. Hmm… I may have to go for ten next time and make sure that reds don't feel left out.
What are some of your top pairings of all times?
Kirstin Jackson Ellis works as a wine bar manager and wine and food consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area and writes about wine and food pairing at Vin de La Table, her luxurious and lighthearted blog.