Wine Advocate Weekend Pairings: French Fare

Food lovers, rejoice: we’ve got a brand new series here at Wine Journal happening every Friday, where we bring forth a sample menu replete with recipes from chefs around the world provided by our friends at the MICHELIN Guide, all to be paired with wines by Wine Advocate reviewers. 

This week, we’re turning to French fare. At the stalwart Blue Ribbon Brasserie in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, chefs and co-owners Bruce and Eric Bromberg have been serving up their popular bone marrow with oxtail marmalade since 1992. It’s an ode to their days in Paris at Bistro Du Louvre. “The first time we ever tasted it, we almost fell over backwards,” says Bruce. “The addition of vinegar and sugar transformed a meaty stew into a revelation.”
(Photo by Steve Hill.)

“I’ve been experimenting with savory beef dishes and red wines—a recent pairing I loved was a classic [recent vintage] Nebbiolo,” says reviewer and former sommelier, Erin Brooks. “For a dish so big and savory, you need a powerful partner to pair. The 2014 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco is young but powerful and the perfect foil for braised oxtail in red wine sauce.”

Summer is the season for seafood, namely, halibut. Having a particular harvest season that peaks in the summer months when the water is warmer, the mighty halibut eats various bottom-dwellers ranging from octopus to cod, resulting in a firm flesh that is both meaty and sweet. At three-Michelin-starred Le Bernardin, also in New York City, poached halibut frequently graces the menu, where it is highlighted with a daikon-ginger dashi or with a fines herb vinaigrette

“Vinaigrettes often make wine-pairing difficult, but choosing a wine that has high acidity of its own and a bit of sweetness often works,” says managing editor Joe Czerwinski. “The 2016 RIppon Mature Vine Riesling from Central Otago in New Zealand has both of those features, plus a rich texture that will complement the richness of the halibut.”

No French menu would be complete without a dessert, like the simple and technically driven soufflé. At three-Michelin-starred B. Violier in Crissier, Switzerland, pastry chef Josselin Jacquet serves his soufflé with a simple raspberry sauce

“I’d pair a Saracco Moscato d’Asti with the raspberry soufflé,” suggests Italy reviewer Monica Larner. “You get the peachy sweetness of the grape with the mouth-cleansing effect of the wine’s acidity and its foamy effervesce to counter the creamy consistency of the soufflé.” For anyone looking for something off the beaten path, Mark Squires looks to a Chortais from Mercouri, “a lighter fortified red that has bright cherry and raspberry flavors.” 

Either way you cut it, we can cheers to that.  

Hero image by Steve Hill.

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