PAM LONG – Food and wine pairings for December’s gatherings are as varied as there are, well, foods and wines. I called around to a few local wine pros and asked them to share their favorite combos.
If domoic acid is still a Dungeness crab issue when this goes to print, Trinity River Vineyards winemaker Wil Franklin has this meaty mushroom take on the savory crab cake: “I pick chanterelles and hedgehog mushrooms. Last year I altered my crab cake recipe and made mushroom cakes with a little sheep feta and diced red bell peppers. It is awesome with Trinity River’s Willow Creek Rosé.”
Southern Humboldt’s son, Andrew Morris, winemaker and proprietor of Briceland Winery, heralds Pinot Noir as his go-to holiday wine. He said a juicy, round, layered, lip-smacking Pinot will pair with just about anything. It won’t over power and it won’t under perform. Briceland’s 2013 Alder Point Vineyard Pinot pairs perfectly with a traditional turkey feast or a less laborious que’d pork loin.
I caught up with Don Bremm of Moonstone Crossing. Don and his partner Sharon Hanks have some good deals this month. Through Jan. 2 purchase 12 bottles or more and receive a 15 percent discount. They love pairing their 2012 John Chiarito Vineyard, Mendocino Nero D’Avola (medium-bodied red) with eggplant – – grilled, Parmigiana, marinated or stuffed. This release is only available in the tasting room in Trinidad. Moonstone’s winter hours are Wednesday and Thursday, 2 to 6 and Friday through Sunday, noon to 6.
Lastly, consider a simple yet elegant sweet ending to a meal. Bob Stockwell, wine buyer for the Arcata Coop, reports his affinity for the Mas Amiel from the Maury region of southern France. This is a fortified Grenache in the Port style. “My favorite wine to have with chocolate. Dark chocolate works well but if you can find a rich well-made milk chocolate…even better.”
*Pam Long is a Master of Wine student and wine educator. She presents seminars through HSU’s College of eLearning & Extended Education, and OLLI programs. firstname.lastname@example.org.