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Roasted red pepper sauce wine pairing


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I've just finished roasting red peppers for the year and would like some advice

on a wine pairing.

I'm planning on preparing gnocchi with roasted red pepper sauce (garlic and

tarragon) with grilled shrimp.

Any suggestions on a wine to complement the sweet smokey flavors of the

red pepper sauce?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Wayne (log)

I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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I'm in the "go-with-the-opposite-of-what-the-food-is" camp. If the food is spicy, I tend towards a slightly sweet wine (Gewurtz, Riesling); if the food is mildly bland, then I say spice it up (Syrah, Zinfandel).

In the case of sweet and smokey, you've got a bit of a conundrum. You don't want too much smoke (like in a California Syrah) to fight the smokiness of the peppers and yet anything remotely sweet (aforementioned German varietals) could definitely conflict with the tarragon and garlic.

I'm curious if your red pepper sauce has any dairy in it... a touch of butter to smooth out the sauce or a little cream, perhaps?

My first inclination is to go with a Pinot Noir. It is mild enough to heighten the tastes of the red pepper and yet complement both the gnocchi, shrimp, and tarragon. I've been drinking both Rochiolli and Ryan Pinots lately but I wouldn't discount either a Sinskey or a Loring Pinot.

Alternately, a very crisp Viognier might also add a sense of brightness to the potentially heavy dish. It would bring out the flavors of the tarragon and not conflict too much with the garlic. Stag's Leap is a little pricey in the $23.00 range, but there are some under $20 that are pretty good: Miner and Trentadue for example.

I think a Sauvignon Blanc would be too astringent, a Chardonnay just plain too boring, and most heavier reds (Cabs, Merlot, Franc) to conflicting with your delicate flavors.

Edited by Carolyn Tillie (log)
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I agree with Carolyn's suggestions. And lest it seem intimidating to some to think about all this flavor matching, let me assure you that with a little practice it becomes almost second nature. The key, of course, is to have a glass of wine while you're cooking. Take a little sip, taste the sauce. Take another sip, taste the vegetables, take another sip, and taste a spice before adding. It's an easy and delightful way to play with the wine and learn how a specific wine pairs with individual ingredients. The danger, of course, is that in the morning you won't remember how you made that fantastic meal. :huh:

I'd like to add California Sangiovese to the list. They're usually soft, with a bright, tart cherry fruit and just a little spice. I always think of Sangiovese as a gypsy wine, with lots of delicate dancing flavors. and it's great with peppers, pasta and seafood.

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I find that foods with a sweetness about them go best with demi sec wines. Dry wines tend to come across as leaner in conjunction with the food. I also agree that some brightness will go a long way with this dish. I haven't tried the sauce but if the sweetness of the peppers is dominant then I would think that you're in Vouvray territory- high acid, decent body and some residual sugar. B&G makes a good one at around $10.00.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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The piquancy of this dish would seem to call for a wine with a bit of fruit-driven sweetness in a medium- to light-bodied package, and for that I would choose a New World rosé. I did a quick scan of the LCBO selection, and the Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare is a good candidate from the Vintages selection. I'd ask one of the staff at your local store for what is available there since, in speaking with Canadian wine friends, what shows up available on the web is not always in stock.

Kriss Reed

Long Beach, CA

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Kriss's idea of the Vin Gris de Cigare is intriguing (and with his knowledge of the LCBO, he must have spent time in the Big Nickel or environs...). Still, I'm pretty sure I'd reach for a white with a hint of residual sugar in it from Italy — a pinot grigio, say, or a Soave (Pieropan's La Rocca for a treat) or maybe Mastroberardino's Lacryma Christi — or France — a chenin blanc from the Loire or a marsanne/roussanne/viognier blend from the south (the 2001 Château Saint Martin de La Garrigue, a Coteaux de Languedoc, and Coudoulet de Beaucastel white are two excellent wines that I've recently enjoyed and either would do the trick). New world analogues like Phelp's Pastiche would work, too.

Edited by carswell (log)
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Kriss's idea of the Vin Gris de Cigare is intriguing (and with his knowledge of the LCBO, he must have spent time in the Big Nickel or environs...)

I long-distance dated a girl from Sudbury and yes, I have been to the Big Nickel! :raz:

Kriss Reed

Long Beach, CA

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Thanks for all the suggestions. We ended up going with a Pinot Noir

which worked out very well. I'll keep the other suggestions in mind

as this is a dish we make at least once a month.

I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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