A wine for many Eagle County plates and palates
Eagle County CO, Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Expert food and wine pairing requires the sommelier to possess a great knowledge of the food ” its seasonings, cooking preparations and flavor balance ” and of the wine ” its flavors, alcohol, acidity and tannin levels.
Food that is well-balanced, not overwhelmingly sweet, sour, salty, bitter or savory, allows for a broad range of pairing wine options. When chefs create dishes that highlight one taste aspect over the others, it narrows the number of appropriate wines that can be successfully paired with the dish.
Aside from the food’s flavor profile, another concern for the sommelier is that they are often asked to match a single bottle of wine with several entree selections. In this situation, I often find myself turning to producers of Chateauneuf-du-Pape for the ideal wine. Its name derives from a castle built by the Popes when they ruled from Avignon, France in the 1300s. Like Pinot Noir, the Grenache-based wines of this region are supple in tannin and offer a soft red-fruit profile, complementing several dishes. However, as Pinot Noirs from one region can be mono-stylistic, Chateauneuf-du-Pape offers 13 grape varieties. These variations create stylistic differences in the wines produced. I find the red wines of this region pair well with dishes that range from Provençal fish presentations, pork Ossobuco and Kobe beef short ribs. For individual dishes ” or a table of selections that require a wine to match with a variety of flavors and preparations, consider one of the wines of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Recommended red Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines:
Andre Brunel “Les Cailloux”
Domaine Saint Prefert
Vieux Telegraphe “La Crau”
Sean Razee is the beverage director and sommelier for Spago at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch on Beaver Creek Mountain. He currently holds the Master Sommelier diploma from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Razee is one of 96 Master Sommeliers in the United States and the only person in the Vail Valley that holds the distinguished certification.