by Doruk Gurunlu
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.
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.