Matching Wine with Game – Part 1
With the approach of the fall season our menu will feature several game dishes, some returning specials from last year and hopefully some new favorites.
First to return was the smoked duck salad. Normally you would match the color of the meat with the color of the wine and go with a nice soft fruity red, however in this case we have two other factors to deal with. First a smoked quality and second a vinaigrette to dress the salad. Both of which lead me to suggest an off dry white wine like a northwest Riesling or Gewurztraminer.
Second was the quail. The chef is roasting it with a honey-cumin sauce and serving it with a date and pine nut couscous. The last two wines suggested both off dry whites, would match nicely with this dish but if you’re feeling edgy, try it with a super-ripe fruity red like Zinfandel or our northwest Sangiovese.
The buffalo hanger steak has come and gone, maybe to return later. The chef grilled it and served it with blue cheese butter and French fries. A classic dish and I couldn’t resist suggesting “Claret”, a northwest version of a classic French Bordeaux, with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The ripe fruit and softer tannins of the wine matched well with the leaner cut of meat and the assertive flavor of the blue cheese butter.
Tonight we re-introduced the duck “cakes”, imagine a crab cake made instead with duck. Served with stone ground mustard, caramelized onions, mashed potatoes and topped with a Rouille, a saffron infused mayonnaise. A rich, flavorful Chardonnay is an easy choice however if your feeling brave try it with a northwest Semillon. It’s a grape more commonly found in France and Australia but a few producers in Washington give it a go and the better ones are rich, floral and have almost an oily texture.
I hope you stop by the restaurant and try a few of these dishes while they last and if you come up with a wine and game pairing you like better than these. Please let me know.