Category: Holy Grail

This Dish Works with Every Wine

Rather than gleefully imagine the WORST wine pairing in the world (after much drunken discussion,  Muscat and spaghetti with red sauce took the prize), honestly, I can’t think of a wine that wouldn’t work with this dish.

Leave it to the magical animal that is the pig to have borne such a blessed thing unto the world. The pork tenderloin is quite simply the Swiss Army knife of wine pairing: I dare you to find a wine which will not work with it.  The humble pork tenderloin is always there for you. It’s easy to cook and affordable, rendering it an even better friend.

Finding good, fresh pork tenderloin can be a challenge, however. As one might expect, Trader Joe’s is hit or miss, and I suspect this may have to do with their cold chain (often their expiration dates seem the stuff of fantasy, and a sour greenish odor awaits you upon opening the CryoVac well before the best by date). Any other number of stores’ CryoVac’d tenderloins similarly seem to sit for too long. Out here in NYC, Citarella seems to be a worthwhile step up.

Here’s the base recipe along with two different embellishments which allow you to “determine” the dish aromatically, adding layers that will act as bridge elements to a red or white. In a nutshell, it’s pork tenderloin with grain mustard and panko crust  = red, or, pork tenderloin with marmalade, ginger, honey sauce = white. Honestly, though, if you’re in a rush, you could just brown and then roast the tenderloin, skip the embellishments, and you’d still be just fine. But it wouldn’t be as magical — 80% less oohs and ahs at the dinner table. (Click to Read more)

The Magic of an Unexpected Perfect Fit

Food and wine pairing epiphanies can be magical, particularly when a risky gamble pays off in spades and the pairing elevates both the food and the wine. It’s quite rare that things work out that well, but if they do, it’s typically because you’re venturing on a well-trodden path for the first time. More often, the wine and food simply respect each other: neither subtracts from the other, and both taste just as good as they did alone.

But even if you don’t hit the ‘mutual elevation mother lode’, sometimes you have a legitimate discovery on your hands. And so it was with silex and salsa: the 2012 Pascal Janvier Jasnières “Cuvée du Silex” got down to business with Enchiladas Suizas (recipe below).

Genetically predisposed haters of cilantro need not apply.

Who pairs Chenin and Mexican?! (Click to Read more)

My Unending Quest for the Holy Grail

Wine collectors, stop me if you’ve heard this one before: you’ve got a cellar full of lovely, sturdy red wines which you never seem to find time to drink, simply because you’re not able to eat red meat every single night and continue functioning as a healthy, ambulatory human being.

Because one must eat fish and vegetables to stay alive, it’s typically the light whites—most often Riesling, Chenin and Chablis—which burn through my wine cellar quicker than acid alien blood through the hull of the Alien spacecraft.

I’m forever searching for food pairings; but more than anything else, I’m on the hunt for pairings which allow me to drink my more sturdy Pinot Noir, my Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Beaujolais crus, and the few Bordeaux reds I do purchase, alongside things that are healthier than sausages or steak.

The “Holy Grail” link is where I shall chronicle said pairings/recipes, for both white and red wines.