Great memories happen with good food, delicious wine pairings, and great company. Your food and wine can work harmoniously together to enhance the overall flavour profile and your enjoyment.
That’s why I’m so excited to announce that I will be creating a menu for next month’s Cavallo Winery Long Table Dinner. I’m designing the menu so it will perfectly pair with their perfectly balanced wine.
What is wine pairing?
Wine pairing is somewhat subjective but has some science behind it. For example, certain ingredients can help bring out the sweetness of wine or mask its acidity. Wine pairing also considers the texture of the foods too.
While the process of wine pairing can be much more complex, at its essence, you’ll generally pair heavy foods with heavy wine and lighter foods with lighter wines. Here are some other wine pairing tips:
- Pair spicy foods with sweeter wines
- Pair sweet dishes with sweet wines
- If your dish has a sauce, pair the wine to the sauce flavour profile
- If no sauce, pair the wine with the protein used
- If in doubt, pair with the main ingredient of the meal.
Don’t forget that you can always ask your chef, sommelier, or caterer for advice on the best wine pairing for your menu.
Expert wine pairings
The right wine helps enhance the flavour of your food (and vice versa). Here are some great pairings I enjoy:
- Zinfandel: Grilled Haloumni cheese, ratatouille tartare, Basil oil
- Chardonnay: Smoked salmon Mixed greens, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, lemon vinaigrette
- Reserva: Marinated koji beef tenderloin steak, Beurre Noisette, Grilled zucchini, Mini Pommes Anna
- Merlot: Chocolate mousse, piment d’Espelette
Who is Cavallo Winery?
“If it isn’t the best, we are not interested.”
Cavallo Winery likes to say that perfection isn’t by accident. President and CEO Frank Gigliotti has spent the past 30 years perfecting his unique winemaking knowledge and craft. Most of that was spent operating a private wine club for 14 vintages.
In 2018 his first vintage was bottled and a year later he opened Cavallo Winery to the public with his three partners. They source their grapes from the most sought-after varieties in the Napa Valley and Lake Country in California. Their process is unique and meticulous to create a perfect balance in their wines.
Their Surrey BC tasting room is open daily.
Cavallo’s Long Table Dinner: October 2, 2021
Several times a year, the winery hosts a long table dinner in the middle of its picturesque wine cellar. They partner with local chefs to provide diners with a multi-course meal of elevated dishes that pair exquisitely with their wines and local produce.
In October, I am so excited to be their featured chef!
While I’m keeping the full menu under wraps for now, here is the dessert mousse recipe I’ll be “whipping” up for the lucky few who will be attending this exclusive dinner:
Chocolate Mousse Recipe
- 200 gr Sugar
- 100 ml Water
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Egg yolks
- 350 gr Chocolate, unsweetened
- 550 ml whipping cream
- Pinch of salt
- In a small pot bring the water and sugar to a boil. Do not stir, this will crystalize the sugar. Boil until it reaches 115 celsius (240F). You can use a meat thermometer to check it. Now reduce the heat to medium and cook the syrup until it reaches 121 celsius (250F).
- While it is cooking, chop up the chocolate and melt it au bain-marie. That’s with a bowl hanging over a water bath. Be careful not to cook it too high or have any water drip in the bowl with the chocolate.
- You can also start whipping up the cream with a pinch of salt. The whipping cream is done when it is stiff enough to form peaks. Store it in the fridge until later.
- Once the sugar syrup is done, let it cool down for a minute. In the meantime, crack the eggs and yolks in a bowl and whisk until it is pale. Slowly add the syrup to the eggs while whisking.
- Now fold in the chocolate. You can use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl. It may become a fairly solid mass, but that is ok. Now we fold in the whipping cream with the spatula. Create a homogeneous mass. The chocolate mousse is ready. All it needs now is time to set, about 2 to 3 hours. I recommend making this a day ahead and store it in the fridge.
When you book me for your next catered event, I can help you pair your wine with your menu or your menu to complement your favourite vintages. Contact me to talk more about wine and your menu today!