Blissful Matches

I’ve enjoyed two especially good wine-food pairings recently in restaurants. At Zola
on F St NW in DC, I winced at the thought of matching a red wine with
prawns and gingered grits, as shellfish always seems to kill red wine
for me. But on the advice of Ralph Rosenberg, Zola’s beverage manager, I
tried it with Schloss Gobelsburg 2001 St. Laurent from
Austria (Terry Thiesse Selections). Quite similar to a Pinot Noir with
its delicate floral nose, but with a smoky bacon note that also
suggested Syrah, I was glad I wasn’t asked to identify the wine blind.
The palate was dominated by cherries, with a medium mouthfeel and long,
delicate finish. It was a beautiful match, especially with the ginger in
the grits, and it had the acidity to match the prawns.
It was a more traditional pairing I enjoyed at Johnny’s Half Shell on P St NW near Dupont Circle, as I enjoyed chef Ann Cashion’s grilled scallops, squash and endive with a glass of Lucashof 2004 Riesling
from the Pfalz (HB Wine Merchants, Manhasset NY). The wine was long,
with apricot and passion fruit flavors and a stony, mineral finish. It
contrasted beautifully with the sweetness and smokiness of the scallops
and squash, and the bitterness of the endive.

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