What dish, or dishes, have you had to work with in recent years that were the most difficult to pair with wine, and what wines did you ultimately go with? Assuming the combinations worked, what made them successful?
The first revelation was back around 2005, when I was working at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. We had tasted a dish composed of artichoke and olive with a touch of honey. A tough one for any sommelier. Later that same day, we tasted a really cool wine from Spain that was 100% xarel-lo. We (three sommeliers) looked at each other and looked at the rep and ordered 60 bottles to be delivered the next day. The next day, the wine came in, and we had the Executive Chef make the dish for us to try with the wine. I’ve never chewed on aluminum foil, but the sensation in my mouth with that dish was what I imagined that would be like. READ MORE »