which wine for which food or which food for which wine ?
Have you ever had to choose the wine to go with dinner; everyone’s eyes fixed on you with anticipation? Not an easy situation to handle but an everyday happening. If the restaurant has a Sommelier there is nothing stopping you from seeking his advice. If you’re a regular customer, the Sommelier will know your tastes, what’s more he’s familiar with the food of the kitchen, therefore he knows which wines will go best with particular dishes. A good Sommelier will always show you at least 3 wines with 3 prices, he will always bear in his mind the wine you have drunk on your previous visit and will know which wines you liked and which you didn’t. The Sommelier therefore will propose the same wines or wines with a similar taste.
Have you ever had to choose the wine to go with dinner; everyone’s eyes fixed on you with anticipation? Not an easy situation to handle but an everyday happening.
If the restaurant has a Sommelier there is nothing stopping you from seeking his advice. If you’re a regular customer, the Sommelier will know your tastes, what’s more he’s familiar with the food of the kitchen, therefore he knows which wines will go best with particular dishes. A good Sommelier will always show you at least 3 wines with 3 prices, he will always bear in his mind the wine you have drunk on your previous visit and will know which wines you liked and which you didn’t. The Sommelier therefore will propose the same wines or wines with a similar taste.
If the Sommelier doesn’t know your preferences he/she will ask you about your personal taste and will then propose wines close to your favourites. However when you give the Sommelier carte blanche, he will likely suggest wines you may never have heard of, like a white Hermitage from the Rhone valley or a Swiss wine from the Wallis area made from Arvine grapes or perhaps a German wine from Franken made from Rislaner grapes. With this you will discover a new world of wine and food pairings which will widen your horizon immensely.
The Old Rules
White wines with white meat and fish. Red wines with red meat and cheese. Champagne with dessert. Sherry with Consommé. Sauternes with Foie Gras and Port with Stilton.
There is nothing wrong with the old rules and you can live your entire life by them, undisturbed by any Sommelier or Chef who suggests otherwise. But if you want to experience something new, try these new pairings which take into account:
-Colour of sauce
-Taste of the food – spicy, fruity, creamy, herbal, sweet, sour, intensive, reductions etc.
-Preparation style, sautéed, grilled, poached, a la foiled, plancha, oven roasted etc.
-Premium food to premium wines
-Cheese with more white wine and dessert with sweet wines
Wine has been selected taking into account only the colour of the sauce of a dish. This is very often very nice as the sauce is so intense that it gives the dish the mark. For example at our Kayuputi Restaurant, we have a dish with chicken breast and vegetable foam and a meat reduction sauce. A white wine would be my first choice as the meat is white and the first sauce too but, once I taste the meat reduction it becomes clear that a soft and not too masculine red wine is be a better choice – like Kim Crawford’s New Zealand Pinot Noir or Carmenere from non-oaked wine, such as Vina el Aromo, Chile.
Wine has been chosen by looking solely at the herbs and spices of a dish. In Asia, this is very often the case and so I am careful with the selection of the wine. For example, with our Gindara Filet which is first cured and wisely marinated with Sake and matched with Kenyan beans, shimenji/enoki mushrooms, coconut milk, kaffir lime foam, red chili oil and citrus sea salt, you have mild and hot components and therefore my suggestion of wine is a (not too dry) Riesling, Dorsheimer Pittermaennchen, Grosses Gewaechs, Schlossgut Diel 2008, Germany or quite a powerful Chardonnay, Giaconda Estate Vineyard, Victoria Alps 2006, Australia.
Wine has also been selected based only on the preparation or cooking method. Very often this happens for dishes which do not have a sauce or for plain but intensive tasting first class meat / fish filets. For example for our Wagyu Sirloin grilled on our Lava Stone grill served with a Mushroom Tart Tatin, the grilled taste beckons something with bitter-tannins like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot Cabernet Franc, Sideral, Altair, Cachapoal, Valle del Rapel 2003, Chile or Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Cabernet Franc Chateau Cos D’Estornel, 2em Grand Cru Classee, St. Estephe 1996 French.
Some argue that premium food should also have premium wine as the taste of the dish is extremely long and intense. Lobster with Grand Cru Chablis, Veal Filet with Barolo Reservas, Caviar with Millesime Champagne, Turbot with Grand Cru Montrachet, Kobe Wagyu Beef with Grand Cru Vosnee Romanee.
As in the past we ate cheese mainly with red wine and the dessert with Champagne, today the view has changed toward the real matching of white wine. This does not apply to all the cheeses and desserts but most of it. The Fromagiere has helped us to rediscover the taste of cheese and white wine here. Only when you taste red and white wine with the same cheese will you discover the matches. Young Gruyere with dry Silvaner aged with Spaetlese which is not so dry or Mimolete hard cheese with a dry Gewürztraminer or Chenin Blanc from the Loire. With cakes and parfaits, the sweetness asks for sweet wines rather than sparkling and fresh acidity. Try here a Vin Santo from the Tuscany or a Muscat from Chile.
A Gourmand will never stop finding out the ideal matches of Wine and Food.
The St. Regis Bali Resort
Harald Wiesmann, Restaurant Manager of the Asian inspired Haute Cuisine Kayuputi and Chief Sommelier at The St. Regis Bali Resort, has a very interesting career history spanning a number of years with different roles in various countries. His 40 years of international experience has led Kayuputi to receive prestigious awards from the Wine Spectator Magazine (USA) for four consecutive years since its opening four years ago. While for the first two years the restaurant was awarded ‘Award of Excellence’, these last 2 years Kayuputi has been honored with ‘Best of Award of Excellence’, making it the first and only restaurant in the whole of Indonesia to win this coveted award.