{ SAVOR }

EXQUISITE PAIRINGS

By Wendy Lemlin    |    Photography By Noushin Nourizadeh

With jewel-like glints of ruby red, the playful giddiness of bubbles, or a hint of gold dancing in a crystal goblet, wine adds dimension to a meal, whether it is a casual gathering with friends, a romantic dinner, or a holiday celebration. Expertly paired, wine and food are much more than the sum of their parts—a magical symbiosis providing mutual enhancement to the dining experience. Together, they tantalize the palate with nuances of flavor that each element brings out in the other. Fine cuisine and exceptional wine belong together like romance and candlelight. Here are some of San Diego’s most remarkable pairings.

Quinoa with Vegetables and Pomegranate Seeds with
2017 Quady North "La Pistoleta" at Brockton Villa
Quinoa with Vegetables and Pomegranate Seeds with 2017 Quady North "La Pistoleta" at Brockton Villa

Brockton Villa
Quinoa with Vegetables and Pomegranate Seeds with 2017 Quady North “La Pistoleta”
Chef Mareyja Sisbarro’s pilaf of protein-rich quinoa, crispy artichokes, spinach, roasted tomato, olives, and juicy pomegranate seeds, which are in their autumn prime, will delight vegetarians and omnivores alike. Pairing Notes: “The young age of this white Rhone-style blend gives citrusy and sweet lemongrass influences with good acidity that pairs especially well with the pomegranate. The wine’s body and structure stand up to the earthiness of the dish.”

Caviar and Champagne with 2008 Louis Roederer Cristal Tête de Couvée at The Marine Roon
Caviar and Champagne with 2008 Louis Roederer Cristal Tête de Couvée at The Marine Roon

The Marine Room
Caviar and Champagne with 2008 Louis Roederer Cristal Tête de Couvée
According to Executive Chef Bernard Guillas, the ultimate romantic dinner this holiday season begins with a golden beachfront sunset, one of the world’s finest Champagnes, and Golden Oestra caviar spread on mini buckwheat blinis with crème fraîche and the classic accouterments. Pairing Notes: “Opulent bubbles add lightness and balance to the buttery, slightly nutty, and lightly salted flavor of this premium caviar. It’s a totally luxurious experience to be shared with someone special.”

Maple Roasted Carrot Salad with 2015 Leoness Melange de Reves at The MED - MANDY SCHAFFER
Maple Roasted Carrot Salad with 2015 Leoness Melange de Reves at The MED - MANDY SCHAFFER

The MED
Maple Roasted Carrot Salad with 2015 Leoness Melange de Reves
Executive Chef Timothy Ralphs brings autumn colors to the plate with multihued carrots and deep green kale accented with bright red pomegranate seeds, black truffle granola, Greek yogurt, and purée of yellow carrot. Pairing Notes: “This wine is a nice Rhone Valley red blend with jammy fruit, black pepper, and nuances of tobacco that set off the roasted carrots and sweetness of the truffled granola. The yogurt rounds out the wine’s tannic ‘edges’.”

Filleto Rustico and Saffron Rice with 2014 Bolla Amarone della Valipocella at Osteria Romantica
Filleto Rustico and Saffron Rice with 2014 Bolla Amarone della Valipocella at Osteria Romantica

Osteria Romantica
Filleto Rustico and Saffron Rice with 2014 Bolla Amarone della Valpolicella
As holiday season approaches, elegant filet mignon topped with a sumptuous gorgonzola and mushroom sauce will put anyone in a celebratory mood. The rice, with the delicate redolence of saffron, balances the richness of the meat and sauce. Pairing Notes: “Amarone, considered one of Italy’s greatest reds, is a big, bold, dry wine from the northeast. It works well with the meat and the wintery flavor of the gorgonzola and mushrooms.”

Mushroom Tortellini with 2007 Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Reserva at NINE-TEN Restaurant & Bar
Mushroom Tortellini with 2007 Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Reserva at NINE-TEN Restaurant & Bar

NINE-TEN Restaurant & Bar
Mushroom Tortellini with 2007 Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Reserva
Conjuring up a joyful romp through autumn woods, Sous Chef Rocio Siso-Gurriaran’s delectable mushroom-filled tortellini are surrounded by an assortment of umami-rich wild mushrooms, confit piquillo peppers, and pomegranate gastrique. Pairing Notes: “This rustic Spanish Rioja red is a perfect fall pairing—a little tannic with notes of chocolate-covered cherries and hints of forest floor. It’s very earthy, just like the mushrooms in the dish, adding a bit of acidity to pair with the pomegranate.”

Lobster Claws and Szechuan Green Beans with 2015 Bien Nacido Scar of the Sea Sparkling Chardonnay
at The Fishery
Lobster Claws and Szechuan Green Beans with 2015 Bien Nacido Scar of the Sea Sparkling Chardonnay at The Fishery

The Fishery
Lobster Claws and Szechuan Green Beans with 2017 Bien Nacido Scar of the Sea Sparkling Chardonnay
Chef Paul Arias melds East Coast and Far East with Maine lobster claws and garden-fresh green beans stir fried in a spicy soy glaze, which adds a touch of exciting heat to the natural sweetness of the luscious crustacean meat. Pairing Notes: “This bright, organic sparkling wine lightens up the richness of the dish. The citrusy nuances complement the Szechuan pepper and provide a refreshing contrast to the spice—and vice versa.”

Coppia di Potere with 2016 Imagery Cabernet Sauvignon at Bella Vista Social Club & Caffé
Coppia di Potere with 2016 Imagery Cabernet Sauvignon at Bella Vista Social Club & Caffé

Bella Vista Social Club & Caffé
Coppia di Potere with 2016 Imagery Cabernet Sauvignon
Tender herb butter rubbed flank steak topped with succulent grilled shrimp surrounded by a light pesto sauce is what owners Nicolas and Amanda Canniglia call Surf & Turf. You might even find it featured in one of Bella Vista’s upcoming wine pairing dinners. Pairing Notes: “The full-bodied wine beautifully balances the richness of the meat and shrimp—a hearty pairing to enjoy as the weather cools.”

Creamy Cauliflower Tortellini with 2014 Palmina Roca Nebbiolo at A.R. Valentien
Creamy Cauliflower Tortellini with 2014 Palmina Roca Nebbiolo at A.R. Valentien

A.R. Valentien
Creamy Cauliflower Tortellini with 2014 Palmina Roca Nebbiolo
Chef Kelli Crosson presents
a dish that is at once both comforting and elegant. The tender tortellini go luxe with generous shavings of rare Australian winter black truffles and chanterelles with melted leeks and a delicate Parmesan broth. Pairing Notes: “The creaminess of the tortellini softens the wine’s tannins while the Nebbiolo acids refresh and reinvigorate the palate. Together, the earthy nuances of the wine, wild mushrooms, and truffles make for a sexy and 
harmonious pairing.”

Rigatoni Bolognese with 2015 Hill Farm Estate Barrel Blend at Beaumont’s Eatery
Rigatoni Bolognese with 2015 Hill Farm Estate Barrel Blend at Beaumont’s Eatery

Beaumont’s Eatery
Rigatoni Bolognese with 2015 Hill Farm Estate Barrel Blend

Robust and satisfying, this pasta with Bolognese sauce from Chef Shahab Pourteymoor is a carnivore’s delight, loaded with beef, pork, and veal. A dollop of ricotta and shaved Parmesan add cheesy goodness. Pairing Notes: “This is a full, rich red blend with dark fruits up front. The wine rounds out and finishes with balanced tannins that work great with a rich meat sauce and the saltiness of Parmesan.”