11 April 2017

The perfect match: When Greek wine falls in love with food

Have you ever thought about the perfect dish to match with a glass of Assyrtiko or Agiorgitiko? Which will that be? Such flavors that will be ideal to combine it with, embracing the variety and highlighting the terroir and its character; a perfect balance between wine and food? Well, here are my perfect couples:

The whites

ASSYRTIKO with oysters

Better go for the stainless steel, mineralic version of the variety. This is usually medium bodied with alcohol not exceeding 13.5%. Next move? Just to squeeze some lemon on top and enjoy the combination to the maximum. 

Why perfect? The briny flavours of oysters match with the salty texture of Assyrtiko especially if it is produced in the islands; Lemon on top pairs with the crystalline acidity of the wine. Stunning! 

MALAGOUSIA with curry

Try a glass of Malagousia with a curry and shrimp risotto or chicken and you can thank me later.

Why perfect? The high aromatic intensity of the variety and of the curry blend harmoniously. Also the contrast of low acidity and sweetness of the Malagousia with the spicy character of curry does wonders. 

MOSCHOFILERO with goat cheese or fried cheese

In this case the strong aromas of the variety balance and possibly refine the flavors of the goat cheese. And then, the fresh acidity of Moschofilero mitigates the oiliness of the fried cheese.

VIDIANO pork belly in the oven

To die for combination with the relatively high acidity of Vidiano balancing the crispy bork belly and the creamy character of the wine falling in love with the rich white meat. I would also match it with a delicious chicken dish but I had to choose only “a” dish.

The reds

MAVRODAPHNE with grouper

Try dry Mavrodaphne as it produces wines with relatively soft tannins, moderate acidity and medium body. So that when you combine it with a grilled fish that has a strong and deep flavour like a grouper then you might realize that some reds work better than whites with fish. Key is to get a Mavrodaphne with well integrated oak, otherwise the strong vanillin aromas will kill the pairing.

MAVROTRAGANO with tuna tataki

Tuna is not the classic fish with intense aromas but can be very refined with a deep flavor. For many - including myself - the best rib eye comes from tuna! The idea is similar to the grouper dish, but because Mavrotragano has a more vibrant character to Mavrodaphne, it needs peppers, soybeans and so on.

AGIORGITIKO with a hare stew

So here we are with a match that enters paradise with hare stew although all kind of stews will work nicely I think. The addition of sweet onions in the stew recipe works miracles.

XINOMAVRO with lamb chops

Food crying for tannins and acidity to ''cleanse '' the fat. Surely the most anticipated match but indisputably an absolute classic!

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