Sip and Savor - Food and Wine Matches Made in Heaven

 

by Doruk Gurunlu

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In Europe, wine is considered an integral part of the meal, just like sauce for the main course entrée and dressing on the salad. The right pairing of wine and food can elevate the flavors of the meal making even an everyday meal into a special occasion. The wine novice as well as the connoisseur will benefit from our tips shared here.

We’ll use salads as an example to start. At Pescado, our Arugula salad is very light, crisp and fresh so we suggest you match that with a sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio. If you order our Bibb Salad, which has bacon vinaigrette making it rich in flavor, you might want to pair with a chardonnay, rose or light red wine like Beaujolais.

Match body with body, place with place:
Most wine regions have culinary and wine cultures dating back centuries. That is the basis for the saying what “grows together- goes together”. For our fish features, a provencal rose or white Châteauneuf-du-Pape proves to be a natural pairing. If you order the lamb chops and truffle potatoes, however, Barolo from Piedmont is a wining match.

Complement and contrast:
Let's say you want to have a lobster tail with butter, French fries or popcorn for a movie night, all three are fatty and salty, you either want to compliment or contrast. A buttery California chardonnay will complement very well, or a sparkling wine - the acidity will clean your palate like a windshield wiper and make every bite clean and fresh.

It's the preparation, not the protein:
If you have seared scallops with vegetables, we recommend a medium to full bodied white like chardonnay. However, if you start adding sauces, bacon, legumes or mushrooms to the dish, then earthy reds will bring out the earthy flavors of the mushrooms and legumes. Red burgundy or chianti would also do the trick with such flavorful dishes.

We suggest you pay attention to the details of even the smallest ingredient in the dish since it can change the pairing. Take our ceviche with its fresh fish, citrus, onion, avocado, pineapple and jalapeno slices on the side. Nothing has been cooked with heat to deepen the flavors, everything is fresh. It's safe to say that it is a light dish and its match would be a white wine without oak aging. In that example, when you taste the ceviche, you realize that the dish is dominated by acid/sugar and there is but one answer for this in the wine world - dry Riesling.

We, at Pescado, have suggestions of wonderful pairings between all our dishes and just the right wine and we are ready to share our experience with you.

 
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DORUK GURUNLU

Originally from Turkey, Doruk Gurunlu has lived in the United States since 2005 when he came to South Walton. Doruk has many passions – wine being one of them. He truly enjoys talking about wine with his friends and guests at Pescado in a way that makes the knowledge of wine accessible and relatable.

Stop Saying Can't; Start Decanting

 

by Doruk Gurunlu

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Decanting is the process of gradually pouring wine or any solution from one container into another without disturbing the sediment. There are many reasons to decant; the first being to aerate the wine. Older wines or high tannin wines can benefit from decanting in order to show their true potential. Brunello di montalcino, Barolo, Hermitage, Bordeaux reds and older cabernet sauvignon wines are some of the wines which demonstrate the power of decanting to produce more exact flavors. Currently, Pescado has 2009 Rose Rioja and 2005 white Rioja which are great examples of non-red wines that need decanting. They both have so much potential and need a little bit of oxygen to flourish. Vintage champagnes can be decanted as they age. They may lose bubbles, but develop more complex even magical flavors. The second reason for decanting is to clear the sediments. As red wine ages, tannins in the wine solidify and become sediments. In order to catch those sediments, red wines should be decanted. The third reason to decant is to create a showy presentation for wine lovers. When guests buy an expensive bottle of wine, it adds to the appreciation of the wine to have the decanting process done at the table.

At Pescado, we have Bordeaux reds from 1982, 1989, 1995, chateauneuf du pape reds from 1998, Rioja red from 2006, Barolos, Brunellos, and Burgundies. No matter our preferences about our wine offerings, it is our guests who choose which wine to enjoy and whether to decant or not to decant. As sommeliers, we are on stage, creating memories for guests and making the meal as perfect as we can. We stand ready to assist in your enjoyment of our fine wines.

 
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DORUK GURUNLU

Originally from Turkey, Doruk Gurunlu has lived in the United States since 2005 when he came to South Walton. Doruk has many passions – wine being one of them. He truly enjoys talking about wine with his friends and guests at Pescado in a way that makes the knowledge of wine accessible and relatable.

Japanese Whisky: Why You're Missing Out

 

by Doruk Gurunlu

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Japanese whisky is relatively new, tracing its beginnings to 1870 and its commercial offering to 1924. Two of the most influential men in this enterprise were Shinjiro Torii and Masataka Taketsuru. Torii was a successful businessman who owned a beverage company that sold sake and other spirits, but his life's work was to make Japanese whisky for Japanese people. He built the first distillery outside Kyoto and hired Masataka Taketsuru who had worked in several distilleries and studied the art of distilling in Scotland. This experience was rare at that time and was key to the establishment of the Japanese operation known as Kotobukiya. The location of the distillery was important because the area was famous for its excellent water.  Although Masataka left Kotobukiya in 1934 to open his own distillery, Nikka, the partnership of these two men was critical to creating Japanese whisky which developed its own unique style, varying from lean and dry to fat and smoky. 

Scotland has always set the standard for whisky making and it was long thought that the Japanese product could not measure up. Before 2000, their market was almost entirely domestic. This changed in 2001 when Nikki's 10-year Yoichi single malt won "Best of the Best" at Whiskey Magazine's awards. Many gold medals followed and these days, when Japanese whiskies compete in blind tastings, they often best the Scottish brands.

One feature which is unique to Japan whisky production is that, unlike Scotland, distilleries in Japan don't trade single malt whiskies with each other. That causes producers to build different model of distillation such as, eclectic still shapes, to use peated and unpeated barley, experiment with different yeast strains, fermentation, cut points and cask options.

At Pescado, we have different styles of Japanese whiskies. If you like single malt whisky, you can try fruity, juicy Yamazaki or the floral and spicy Hakushu which provide a good gateway to Japanese whisky. If you prefer blended whisky, Hibiki would be a good option for you. Let us help you explore the exciting world of Japanese whisky and see what you've been missing!

 
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DORUK GURUNLU

Originally from Turkey, Doruk Gurunlu has lived in the United States since 2005 when he came to South Walton. Doruk has many passions – wine being one of them. He truly enjoys talking about wine with his friends and guests at Pescado in a way that makes the knowledge of wine accessible and relatable.

The Perfect Ending

 

by Doruk Gurunlu

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Dessert wines have, from the first recording of wine making, been the favored wines. These sweet wines relied on sugar as an important preservative in their production. Long ago, sugar was in short supply so it was considered a special treat when wine was made with the sweet substance. Today, dessert wines are sometimes just an afterthought because sugar is no longer exotic. Quality dessert wines are the most cost-intensive wines to make but certainly some of the most loved. The creation of these dessert wines is a complex yet rewarding process. We believe tasting great sweet wines can be a transporting experience. At Pescado, we pair our desserts with dessert wine flights. We ask you to pick your dessert and we offer three different dessert wines to complement the dish. We explain how those wines were made so that you can embrace the experience. For fruity, citrus desserts, we offer a flight of Sauternes, Tokaj and ice wine, which are from different countries. We recognize which grapes and style will pair well with your dessert. For chocolate desserts, we have a flight of Tawny port, Ruby port and Banyuls. These are very different styles of port, with Banyuls being my personal favorite. When it's chocolate, Banyuls rules. We can also offer wine pairing options for our cheese board. Please ask your server about pairing options so we can make your dining experience more memorable.

 
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DORUK GURUNLU

Originally from Turkey, Doruk Gurunlu has lived in the United States since 2005 when he came to South Walton. Doruk has many passions – wine being one of them. He truly enjoys talking about wine with his friends and guests at Pescado in a way that makes the knowledge of wine accessible and relatable.