|Click on the image to see all the shots from this event|
Among the familiar faces of Bridgette, Andy, Coreen, Lebeau, Deb, Michelly, Dorothy, Adriel, Joy and me were some lovely new faces.
Welcome new Gulpers: Patty, Sara, Meredith, Pete, Pam, Vince and Jaime. You were a welcome addition to the party!
Before I go any further I HAVE to give a huge round of applause to our adorable Gulp Founder, Coreen! Your food pairings were over the top!
Brava My Friend! (click here for her recipes)
Okay, I am now really going to talk about the pairings:
The Crossings Chardonnay from New Zealand matched flavors with a kiwi and avocado salsa and spicy wonton chips. This cool climate, unoaked chard was pale straw in color with almost no aroma. I got a very mineral-y flavor and Andy tasted unripe peach. It clashed a bit with the kiwi but the avocado really tempered the acid and brought out more of the peach . It was quite refreshing and the salsa with hints of cilantro and bits of black cherry was a great twist on the ever popular salsa. Yum!
I cannot lie. The best part of this pairing between the Chablis Premier Cru Reserve and Coreen's Tuna Niciosse Canape was the canape. In fact this was my favorite course of the day! You might be asking why has a chablis been invited to a Chardonnay party? Well I have the answer. It is made with Chardonnay grapes...tricky, eh. This chablis hails from the Burgundy region of France. It is another unoaked wine with almost no aroma. It is high acid and as Meredith said, "Tarty and refreshing." I noted a lot of mineral and grass. It doesn't get much more crisp than this. I didn't think it would pair well with the canape but boy was I wrong. The creaminess from the capers and black olive mayo and potato really chilled out the acidity. Then the smoky flavor from the soy sauce and olive tapenade marinated tuna really brought out a creaminess to the wine that I couldn't believe was real but Coreen agreed. Those canapes, I could have eaten all day long with or without wine!
Lebeau brought out the foil covered bottle and began the investigative process. Since we had several new faces he demonstrated how to check the color by using white paper, checking the legs to get an idea of how much alcohol might be in it, looking for the miniscus to help figure out the possible age of it. I reminded everyone to really get their sniffers in the glass and smell it. Does it smell fruity? spicy? like dirt? Then Andy talked about taste. He noted spiciness and cherries. Then everyone took a drink and started their own evaluation. The winner was Andy with his determination of Boujolais and he got it on the aroma! It was a Georges Duboeuf Boujolais. I know, I know it wasn't a Chardonnay but that would have been too easy. BTW, this boujolais is awesome with spicy pizza, spaghetti or tacos.
With this pairing we move to the more familiar style of chardonay. The Bramito Del Cervo Chardonnay was a medium bodied wine, light gold in color. The aroma was of ripple yellow apple, pineapple and a hint of clay. Pairing it with the decadent mac and cheese oozing with cheddar and bleu cheeses was really smart. The creaminess of the food brought down the Chard's acidity and brought out the oaked wine's own buttery flavor. This one was delicious. In fact, if anyone is interested Andy would go in on a case of this.
I know, I know you can't believe there is more but there is! This next pairing put pizza and Chardonnay together and it was a match made in California! Cuvaison Carnerro's Chardonnay doesn't get any yummier. The perfumy nose if full of spice, fruit and a little smoke. The taste doesn't dissapoint either. I got butter, vanilla, light toast, and mango. This medium body wine has moderate acidity that completely mellows out with the flatbread pizza of chicken & apple sausage, chardonnay carmelized onions, and italian cheeses. The sausage enhanced the spiciness of the wine while the cheese and onions brought out the tropical fruit sweetness. Again, kudos Coreen for the dish itself and the pairing with the wine.
We are at the end of this awesome event but we can't be really done without a little dessert. Now, normally one doesn't think of Chardonnay as a dessert wine. It is too crisp and too much acid for most sweet items but I gotta say this one was an exception. La Playa Chardonnay is a delightfully fruity without sweetness beverage. The nose is like an orchard in fall, full of pears and apples. This wine is aged in stainless steel so it is all fruit all day.
I think that is why it played so nicely with the Chilean Alfajores. These were sugar cookies with condensed milk carmel sandwiched between them. Oh, lord they were gorging delicious! The other little gem was a peach paradise cream in a phyllo tartlet with toasted coconut on top. A perfect ending to a delicious Gulp Pairing event!
So until next time my fellow Gulpers, be happy and drink wine a lot! Next month we are featuring the Pacific Northwest. Save the date for August 28th. You don't want to miss what Coreen and LeBeau will have come up with next!