Last quarter, my life as a student at the Northwest Wine Academy led me to the Food and Wine Pairing Varietals II class in which we studied the craft of pairing red wines with food. In this class our instructor, Chef Lenny Rede, challenged us with an assignment he titled Iron Chef: Malbec.
What made this so challenging? Each team of students was randomly assigned a course to pair with a Malbec. Which Malbec? That’s the thing – we wouldn’t know ahead of time. Pairing a dish to a wine we haven’t yet tasted? What a great opportunity to see if the food and wine pairing principles we’ve learned along the way will work!
Flavors in Malbec and Why They Matter
Before tackling this assignment, we took into account Chef Lenny’s tips for pairing food with Malbec. First, consider the flavors typically found in Malbec. These may include blackberry, blueberry, cocoa, citrus, black pepper, and a general smokiness. You can match the wine with food by selecting similar or contrasting flavors.
Ingredients That Work with Malbec
Then, select a base ingredient that is likely to partner well with the varietal. Recommended base ingredients to pair with Malbec include beef, lamb, veal, pork, smoked salmon, tuna, chicken, duck or sausage. When preparing these ingredients to pair with Malbec, the best cooking techniques include grilling, roasting, smoking, or barbecuing. (more…)