When you cook at home, what is your favorite dish to prepare and which of your wines do you like to match it with? Why does the combination work?
Laurence Féraud, Domaine du Pegau (Southern Rhone, France). I like to cook green Thai curry with rice or rabbit in tomato sauce with polenta. Any red Chateauneuf du Pape or Barolo will match wonderfully.
Olivier Humbrecht, Domaine Zind-Humbrecht (Alsace, France). In Scotland (my wife’s home): Freshly caught mackerel with our Riesling Clos Hauserer 2004 (salt/mineral). In Alsace: when we’re tired of Alsace wines, slow-cooked lamb (from Windsbuhl) with a Clos Puy Arnaud 200 from Thierry Valette
Brian O’Donnell, Belle Pente (Oregon). Moving towards summer, one of my favorite dishes for a simple supper is homemade pasta with fresh pesto. I use “estate” garlic and basil, but unfortunately the olive oil and cheese are not indigenous. But we do make it “Willamette Valley style” by substituting local hazelnuts for the pine nuts. And the pasta is made from locally grown flour and “picked that day” estate eggs. The wine pairing is our estate grown Belle Pente Vineyard Chardonnay. We discovered this pairing by accident five vintages ago, and it makes a killer combination every year! The pesto (without the cheese) also freezes well. Last night we enjoyed the last of our 2010 vintage pesto along with our 2007 Estate Chardonnay . . . life is good.
Andrea Felluga, Livio Felluga (Friuli, Italy). Risotto ai fasolari with Terre Alte . . . because I’m a great chef!
Michael Twelftree, Two Hands Wines (Barossa Valley, Australia). Simple food and complex wine would be my motto when cooking at home, and with four young children to feed we usually have to work within their timing and portions.
My favorite is a lamb butterfly rubbed down with extra virgin olive oil, sage and rosemary. We cook the lamb slowly over three flames on the BBQ; meanwhile, my wife prepares roasted vegetables in the oven while I head to the cellar to grab a bottle of Châteauneuf du Pape. I love the aromatic and textural match between the juicy lamb and the depth and round tannins of the CdP. Interestingly, I gain more pleasure from the less touted vintages at the table, such as 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2006. I am personally struggling to come to terms with the levels of sweetness and glycerol in the 2007s but can’t get enough of the brilliant 2005s.
Rupert Symington, Symington Family Estates (Douro Valley, Portugal). Without a doubt our family favorite has to be rotisserie chicken done on the ingenious Weber kettle barbecue accessory (every home should have one!)—the preferred accompaniment being my wife’s snow peas sautéed with shiitake mushrooms, and garlic mashed potato. And what better wine to go with this dish than the magnificent Chryseia 2004 from Prats & Symington, a wine that has proved beyond doubt the ageability of well-made Douro reds, and one that seems to be getting better every year that goes by. So much so that at dinner in London last Thursday given to celebrate my cousin Paul’s nomination as Decanter’s Man of the Year, an authority on wine no less experienced than Michael Broadbent was heard to declare the Chryseia 2004 as being “on a par with a First Growth Bordeaux.” Music to our ears and no doubt to those of our winemaking partner Bruno Prats. The wine is still full -bodied with a delightful garrigue nose and with a nice fresh plummy acidity that sets off perfectly the smoky flavors of the barbecued chicken.
Marc Hugel, Hugel et Fils (Alsace, France). I love cooking all kind of dishes like pastilla, tajin, couscous, curries, bolognese, ragu, pesto Genovese . . . but my favorite ones are Alsace recipes and especially original Hugel family recipes like baeckaoffa, paté, foie gras and meatballs. And my really favorite one may be a traditional Vosges mountain ferme-auberge specialty only made perfectly by a handful of people (maybe in the whole world). It is called Roïgabraggeldi, wild to pronounce but heavenly good to eat.
You take a cast iron casserole (stew-pot), you put 200 grams of minced smoked bacon in the bottom, and then three alternative layers of sliced potatoes (firm ones), onions and butter (plus salt and a lot of good pepper). Potatoes +/-3kg, onions +/- 1kg, butter +/-250g!
You cook this gently (180/200°) in the oven for three to four hours. A good lettuce salad is very necessary.
Invite about six people, open a magnum of a great Alsace riesling from about 15 years ago, and send me some news about how you felt. Bon appetite!
Lamberto Frescobaldi, Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi (Tuscany, Italy). Italians love pasta. I am Italian and I love pasta. I cook at home on Sunday night and when I have friends visiting. One pasta I love is made with cooked onions and cream. That combination, along with a generous amount of parmesan cheese, is perfect with a bottle of our nicely chilled Pomino Benefizio, a barrel-fermented chardonnay made from a lovely estate vineyard at high altitude. The wine remains crisp with good acidity, the oak is almost invisible, and every sip cleans your palate of the taste of the onions and cream. One bottle of Benefizio will not be enough!