Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 16, 2021 - 42

in your
glass
Grilling has the amazing ability
to bring food and wine closer together.
Along with transforming simple
ingredients through char, smoke and
caramelization, the cooking method
also impacts elements in wine such
as tannins, oak and fruit - creating
opportunities for incredible pairings.
For insights on how grilled foods
interact with wine, we reached out
to three sommeliers in Houston,
Texas: June Rodil of Rosie Cannonball,
Marcus Gausepohl of Brennan's, and
Cary Attar of Fielding's Wood Grill
and Fielding's Local Kitchen + Bar. All
have extensive experience pairing wine
with wood-grilled dishes - they're
in barbecue-mad Texas, after all - from
steaks to poultry to vegetables. Here are
their tips for finding wines that thrive
on grilling's magical trio of char, smoke
and caramelization.
Char, smoke and caramelization
influence wine choices for grilled foods
BY TINA CAPUTO | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARC FIORITO
Channeling
CHAR
Char brings an element of bitterness to grilled foods, which can
accentuate the bitterness in tannic wines. That's why charred foods
work best with wines that have well-integrated tannins.
When choosing a wine to stand up to char, Rodil says this:
" You've got to step up your boldness. With char you have that
delicate balance of bitterness that turns into sweetness, or sweetness
that turns into bitterness. " To provide balance, Rodil chooses wines
with robust fruit and a bit of oak. " Oak is that parallel so it almost
foundationally levels out that pairing, " she says. " It lets the rest of
the wine's bouquet explode on your palate. "
She particularly loves wood-grilled vegetables with barrel-aged
whites, such as chardonnay. " Because of the char, you need a bit
more weight, " she explains. " You also want a wine that has that
lovely spice rack nuance that you find with French oak. And
you've got to have fruit as well. " One of her favorite pairings at
the restaurant is a blistered, wood-grilled string bean salad, served
with an oaked chardonnay. " The dish has brightness and freshness,
and it has a charred note to it, " Rodil says. " That's also exactly
what a beautifully made chardonnay has. "
Gausepohl finds that cabernet sauvignon is a particularly great
match for the char of Brennan's steaks, which are cooked over an
open-flame grill. " The added depth of flavor from the char always
works well with fuller-bodied red wines, " he says. " A dark and
seductive cabernet with beautiful fruit can do great things. "
42 THE GRILLING ISSUE

Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 16, 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 16, 2021

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