Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 15, 2020 - 47

Todd Knoll, Jordan's executive chef, is a master
at conceiving unexpected pairings for the winery's
complex, elegant cabernet sauvignon. While some
may think of pinot noir as the go-to wine for pork, he
says, " There are numerous things you can do to make
it even more compatible with cabernet. "
STAR ANISE
This Asian spice's aroma can often be found in
cabernet, so it does a beautiful job of connecting
the wine to many dishes. Use ground star anise
to season roasted duck, or simmer whole pods
into broths.
Starting with a pork chop from Sonoma County Meat
Co. in Santa Rosa, for example, Knoll created a dish
accented with ripe peaches and a syrup of reduced
coffee kombucha. " I use a tablespoon each of butter
and reduced kombucha to finish the carrots in a sauté
pan. The naturally sweet carrots take on a familiar
bitterness and more acidity, bringing the dish in
balance with the wine, " he says. To further connect the
dish with the wine, he incorporated other cabernetfriendly
ingredients such as fennel pollen, fresh herbs
and black pepper.
When putting together dishes to pair with cabernet,
Knoll adds, " The ingredients are either going to
complement or contrast with a component that's in the
wine. " Because Jordan's Cabernet Sauvignon tends
to lean toward darker fruit flavors, Knoll often includes
blackberries, black cherries or currants in glazes.
For an older vintage cabernet that has lost some of
its fruitiness, Knoll gravitates toward earthy bridge
ingredients. " If I use bright fruit in the dish, I risk
overpowering the fruit in a wine, particularly
in the case of an older cabernet
sauvignon, while subtle notes
are
fading and precious, " he
says. " Instead, I would go with
something like mushrooms, so
I'm not competing with the
subdued fruit in the wine. "
Here are some of the bridge
ingredients that Knoll uses
to make Jordan Cabernet
Sauvignon shine in delicious
and unexpected ways.
FENNEL SEEDS
With its licorice-like character, fennel is
another classic aroma descriptor for cabernet.
Incorporate fennel seeds into spice rubs for
roasted meats or add dried fennel pollen to
vinaigrettes for a subtle anise spice.
PEPPERCORNS
Black pepper's pungent flavor is a natural
complement to the berry notes found in
cabernet. Simmer peppercorns into sauces
during the last five minutes of cooking to
preserve their aromatics, or grind peppercorns
with fennel seeds to create a spice rub.
MUSHROOMS
Mushrooms play off of cabernet's earthy,
oak-aged character and add a savory note to
sauces, vinegars and stews. Dried porcini add
complexity to risottos, soups and pastas-or
simply sauté them in butter.
FRESH HERBS
Herbs such as thyme, rosemary and sage
reflect the subtle notes in the wine. Add freshly
chopped herbs to dishes at the last moment to
elevate cabernet's classic dried herb notes.
DRIED OR FRESH FRUIT
Cabernet's dark fruits can be elevated by
adding dried or fresh cherries, blackberries or
currants to sauces or glazes.
COCOA POWDER
Chef Knoll uses cocoa powder to add depth to
savory sauces and long-braised dishes such as
coq au vin. It also picks up some of the
dark chocolate notes in the wine.
CHARRED SHALLOTS
The savory flavors of caramelized
onions can stand up to red wines'
tannins. Use charred alliums
in
consommés
and
sauces,
or serve as an edible garnish.
The charred flavor complements
the wine's toasted oak nuances.
47

Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 15, 2020

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