Perfect PairingsWords by Carolyn Gerin
Food paired with wine, like a couple joined in marriage, is about seeking the perfect balance: between beauty, sustenance, texture, and compatibility; a sublime combination that will carry you aloft for a lifetime. The presentation, flavors, ability to satiate, delight, and mystify is part of the dance between courses and libations (and couples). From the first champagne bubble and crostini, to the last amber drop of an indescribable dessert wine paired with a bitter chocolate soufflé, you might wonder how two unrelated things could fit together with such aesthetic symmetry. Perfect Pairings is about love and compatibility: the reason you and your betrothed have to be together is the same reason certain wines and foods do: it’s meant to be.
Many chefs, sommeliers and wine makers who come to California also feel that they are meant to be here: a perfect union of talent and ingredient. California is a magical mecca offering staggering natural beauty, clean air and water, purity and abundance of fresh and artisanal ingredients, and an appreciative and adoring audience, which puts food and wine center stage, and allows chefs and sommeliers to strut their stuff.
The Bay Area has also a proud fishing heritage, and is bordered by wine country, and organic farms up and down the coast. Chefs and sommeliers are like kids in a candy store, experimenting, creating, tasting, sipping, and having the time of their lives. The Bay Area culinary scene is one part think tank, one part lab, and 2 parts paradise -- you won’t find cuisine, wine, (or excitement about their pairing) at this level anywhere in the world, except for possibly Italy. There is a glorious, bombastic energy that our chefs and wine experts share: all flavor, and no pretense, with a dash of adrenaline. There is nothing precious or contrived -- the love, passion and the commitment is as authentic as the food and wines they join together. Kind of like the perfect marriage, non?
We have asked 4 top chefs, sommeliers and wine experts in the Bay Area to create their version of a model wedding menu. Use it as inspiration for your own fete, and raise your glasses to our creative culinary team….
KIMBALL JONES WEDDING MENU
on Crostini with Parmigiano-Reggiano
With Lemon, Sesame Seeds and Scallions on a Potato Chip
Grilled Pork Tenderloin Skewer
with Red Pepper Sauce
Domaine Carneros, Brut Rose, N/V
Duck Breast and Duck Liver Terrine
with Summer Fruit Relish and Brioche Toast
Ohlone Smoked Salmon
with Lemon – Asparagus Custard, Micro Arugula and Chervil
Selene, Sauvignon Blanc, 2005
Seasonal Soups and Salads
with Crème Fraiche, Meyer Lemon Oil and Spicy Croutons
with Pistachio Dressing, Fuji Apples and Point Reyes Blue
Vine Ripened Tomato Salad
with Basil Oil, Fresh Mozzarella and Garlic Confit
Robert Sinskey, Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, 2006
Roasted Painted Hills New York Steak
with Potato - Thyme Gratin, Chard, Spring Onions and Rosemary Sauce
with Caramelized Onion Risotto, Sautéed Spinach and Citrus Aïoli
Roast Leg of Local Lamb
with Grilled Summer Vegetables and Nicoise Olive Sauce
Hyde de Villaine, De La Guerra, Chardonnay, 2005
Scharffen Berger Chocolate Pot de Crème and Peanut Butter Cookie
Kaffir Lime and Coconut Tart with Toasted Coconut Sherbet
Wedding Cake sliced and served
Coffee and Tea Service
Honig, Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, 2005 (Napa)
KEVIN KOEBEL WEDDING MENU
Roasted Ramp & Potato Soup
2004 Tohu Unoaked Chardonnay Gisbourne, New Zealand
Pinion Grilled Portabello Mushroom/ Caramelized Onion/ Buckwheat Sprouts/ Harley Chevre/ Porcini Reduction
2003 Marina Cvetic Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Abruzzo, Italy
Local Baby Greens/ Crumbled Point Reyes Blue Cheese/ Smoked Bacon/ Candied Lemon/
2003 Domaine Alfred Pinot Noir Califa Edna Valley
Baby Tat Soi Salad/ Shaved Pecorino/ Fresh Strawberries/ Candied Pecan/ Caramelized Red Onion Vinaigrette
2005 Primosic Friuli Pinot Grigio Italy
Heirloom Tomato & Prosciutto de Parma Risotto/ Mascarpone/ Italian Parsley Pesto Crostini
2003 Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant Santa Cruz Mountains
Pan Seared Cornmeal Crusted Pork Loin/ Calvadoon-Black Pepper Applesauce/ Micro Greens Salad
2005 Earl Pichot Vouvray France
Dry Rubbed Roasted Flat Iron Steak/ Shredded Yukon Gold Potato Pancake/ Blackberry-Chocolate Reduction
2004 Burrell School Cabernet Franc Santa Cruz Mountains
Pan Roasted Local Wild Salmon/ Baby Sunburst/Forbidden Black Rice/Lemon-Star Anise Jam
2003 Chateau de la Gardine Chateauneuf-de-Pape Rhone Valley, France
Homemade Vanilla Pudding with Rasberry Puree
Martin Castillo, Executive Chef, Limon Restaurant, San Francisco
Richard Samaniego is a man after my own heart: he does French-influenced Napa style cuisine in East Coast portions –I could write a sonnet about his Cabernet braised short ribs. A graduate of the California Culinary Academy he has traveled (and surfed) his way through many well-known kitchens, notably, Mustard's Grill, and Heartbeat at The W Hotel. His sophisticated, rustic cuisine at the Sonoma Mission Inn, is a blend of classical training, and spending his childhood on his Grandfathers ranch, where food and family took center stage. According to Samaniego, “as soon as the breakfast dishes were being washed, someone was talking about lunch.” Mealtime was always a cornucopia of farm-fresh offerings, marinated meats, Latin flavorings, laughter, and a lot of people around the table. These days, Samaniego cooks for a bigger group, sometimes over 1000 at a time. But he always lets the ingredients speak for themselves, which means using them in their peak and season, and cooking them to enhance their flavors and maintaining their integrity. With sommeliers such as Eric Henson, pairing his exquisite picks with such elegant fare, the meal is certain to be unforgettable.
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