Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pairings of the weird

I was in a sherry type of mood tonight, so I tasted a few manzanillas and one fino that I recently bought. From that bunch I selected the La Gitana Manzanilla Pasada to drink with dinner, which so far does not indicate any lack of natural order, normalcy, or rational thought. However, the pairing is where things got a bit wacky. Dinner was spicy sauteed purple cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, garlic, onions , sauteed with coriander, sichuan pepper and the searingly hot african bird pepper. There was also broiled okra with red bhutanese rice. Now I love my vegetables and spice, especially when I have a cold as I do now. But this ad hoc stir-fry dinner has all the stylings of a hippie vegetarian dinner: nutritious but lacking in harmony of flavors.

Dinner tonight was spicy, and while it did not totally cancel out the delicious manzanilla pasada, it came really close. My fault for insisting on a sherry liquid diet tonight, all the way through dinner. Young German kabinett or spatlese, or a beer, would have been the proper choice for dinner. Oh well - sometimes when you have your mind set on drinking something, you just want to drink it. In that respect, you could say that tonight was my wine geek equivalent of drinking oaky Napa chard with fish, or Turley zin with any sort of food.


David McDuff said...

While I'm not surprised that the food overwhelmed the delicacy of the "La Gitana," I'd also expect the Sherry's high alcohol to flame-up the spiciness of the dish. Your experience?

Joe M. said...


Exactly what I thought would happen. But truth be told, I think that any red wine, new world or old, 12.5% or 14.5%, would have made the heat more pronounced than this sherry did. At least if my past experience with hot food and reds is any indication. Somehow the manzanilla didn't make the dish much hotter (though it was plenty hot on its own). My taste buds were probably performing at about 80% due to a cold.