This tasting was held by Wine Spectator with four famous chefs preparing the food, and one of the other chefs should match it with wine, and this is also done by Thomas Matthews, excecutive editor of Wine Spectator. Interesting to try, and interesting to see how they can hit and sometimes misses. But with José Andrés comment:'-When you eat, you eat, when you drink, you drink, why match?' you see the kind of attitude that is all about the ego of the chef, and who cares about the custommer.
As a restaurant customer, what you drink is normally as important as the meal itself. Anyone driving and sits at a nice restaurant drinking water, knows how utterly boring even the best dishes get to be. But, do José Andrés really mean it?
Terrine of Tripe and Maine Lobster with Wild Mushroom Jus and Saffron
Daniel Bouloud's wine:
1993 Viña Tondonia Rioja Reserva White;
Golden, the typical slight oxidation, minerals, oxidized apples, low acidity, a touch rustic finish, still one of the fresher bottles I've had. 86
Thomas Matthews' wine:
2009 Paul Hobbs Richard Dinner Vineyard, Sonoma Mountains Chardonnay;
Pale lemon, slight popcorn, flinty monerals, some flowers, good acidity, fatty texture, good length. 89
To sort of waste the lobsters delicate fragrance with all these ingredients is a bit strange to me, even if the onions gives it freshness and liven it up, the saffron over-shadows the aftertaste. The texture of the dish on the other hand is excellent.
Viña Tondonia complements it nicely on flavours, but barely, with a bit more acidity it would work nicely. The Paul Hobbs works even better on aromas, but the minerality of the wine drowns the allready exhausted lobster even more, and Emeril Lagasse finds it to heavy as well. I can't say I disagree.
Jamon Iberico de Bellota"Fermin"with Salmon Tartar and Trout Roe
Charlie Trotter's wine;
2006 Soter Vineyards Willamette Valley Brut Rosé; (Sparkling)
Pale pink with small bubbles, artificial strawberries, elegant mousse, OK acidity, short and lean, if refreshing. 75
Thomas Matthews' wine;
Champagne Barons de Rothschild Brut NV;
Pale lemon, tiny bubbles, brioch and apples, elegant mousse, fine acidity, refreshing. 87
Fantastic dish, salty and elegant, the Iberico giving texture and a slightly smoked taste, even nutty, then the roe exploding with licquid and salt, with the salmon tartar dampening the effect being a bridge between the two. The Soter is not to bad on the flavour match, but has no chance otherwise, it feels metallic and lean and just a bit to dry, you need some sweetness with all the salt. Rothschild Champagne works well indeed, blending the flavours of the wine and dish into a new flavour picture, even if a slightly fatter bodied Champagne but without more acidity would probably do even better. How about a Charta Riesling?
Stuffed Pig Trotter with Apple-Brussel Sprout Salad and Tangerine Brown Butter Vinaigrette
José Andrés' wine:
Antonio Barbadillo Olorose Jerez Dulce Amoroso San Rafael NV;
Deep amber, heavy minerals, some salt, oxidized. Fresh acidity, sweetness balances well, good length, softer style Oloroso. 88
Thomas Matthew's wine:
2009 Guigal Condrieu;
Pale lemon yellow, lime, minerals, elegant nose. Acidity keeps playing throughout the taste curve, even if never feeling fresh, as always with white Rhône, I'm confused. 85-92?
A bit too stuffed I'm affraid, heavy texture, flavours a bit bland and somehow confusing, to much going on, and in no particular direction. Luckily the vinaigrette is easy going, and even if vinaigrette's normally manages to overshadow everything else completely, this one was refreshing to the otherwise too heavy and compact dish. The sprout is slightly refreshing things up as well, but goes terribly with the wine, absolutely awfull, to green and harsh. The Oloroso working well flavor wise, but overshadows, it's too intense. The Guigal works with the spiciness of the dish, and somehow the acidity that feels like it isn't there manages, just.....
Rabbit Porchetta with Chorizo, Porcini, Argula and Hazelnut
Emeril Lagasse's wine:
2009 Joseph Drouhin Morey-St.-Denis;
Ruby, easy. fragrant, strawberries and a touch of spices. Elegant flavours, good acidity, ripe tannins, oak shines through in the finish. 87
Thomas Matthews' wine:
2001 Bodegas Roda Rioja Cirsion;
Deep ruby, dark plums, blueberries, vanilla and licorice. Rich Rioja, towards Baigorri de Garage, but not as complex. Fresh acidity, tannins soft, vanilla in the aftertaste, rich and still elegant, long. 90-91
This dish was exceptional on the balance between fresh and lively, refined in flavours and texture. Very elegant, complex, gorgeous flavours, how you needed to have all the elements of the dish in your mouth at once, or something would be missing. Andrés stated '-Amazing dish.' and Trotter said '-Delicious.' and I can't disagree. Superb. The Drouhin falls totally apart with this dish, doesn't stand a chance, it's totally over shadowed, the Roda works well, maybe on the verge of lean together with the food, but only maybe.
Then Andrés came up with something genious, I'have never heard anybody mention this before. '-Adding ingredient's to a dish, can alter it, even if a small, or bigger amount, it can lift or ruin it. (nothing new so far) It's the same with wine match, a sip, a mouthfull, just wetting the lips, makes the match different.'
So, the Roda, small sip, with the dish, became mineraly, earthy, blending nuances and matching delicately with the dish (still Bouloud's) Bigger sip, more fruit dominated, complement each other, works well, if not as great as the smaller sip.
Thank's to the four chefs and to Wine Spectator for arranging this event, this was my second tasting of this style, and so much better than the one in 2008!