Chef's Table-Much ado about Wine…
By Chef Stefan Martin
Translated by Annie Liu Photos by Monica Lin
"Red wine with red meat, and white
wine with fish and poultry." This old-world pairing
comes from the French tradition, but times change. Here
are some simple guidelines:
For sweeter whites check out German wines such as Riesling
or Gewurztraminer. Both pair well with Asian flavors.
If you prefer drier wines, look toward the French whites.
Chardonnay and Chablis are more medium bodied, with
a good balance of flavors. These wines are best served
with creamy and buttery dishes.
For reds, try lighter, fruitier wines
from California and New Zealand. Pinot Noir is very
versatile, having summer flavors like berries and deeper
spice notes. Merlot has fruity flavors and low levels
of tannin, giving it a light "mouth feel"
and making it palatable to the uninitiated. It is a
full bodied wine with strong flavors that helps the
deeper flavors of game, spice and dried herbs work together.
Heavy reds open a new door where flavors, age and alcohol
levels come into play. From Australia comes the punchy
Shiraz; a delicate earthy blend, heavy mouth feel, and
fruitiness. Then, decide what to eat. Think about the
food; if fruity and fragrant, match with a light white.
Combine fatty and rich food with dry whites. With meats
cooked in fruity or fragrant sauces and marinades, try
lighter reds. For grilled meats or deep spice flavors,
utilize the fullness of older, fuller bodied reds. Experiment
with different combinations.
Pan Fried Chicken Breast
with White Wine and Lemon-Caper-Butter Sauce
-Two cleaned chicken breasts, filleted lengthwise into
four equal pieces
-olive oil, 2 tbs
-butter (salted), four thumb-sized knobs
-white wine, splash
-caper berries, handful
-juice of one lemon
-parsley, one small bunch finely chopped
-salt and pepper
Lightly cover the chicken
in flour and season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive
oil and one knob of butter in a pan over medium to high
heat. Fry the chicken until lightly browned, about three
minutes per side. Remove the chicken to the plate. Turn
the heat up to high and, working quickly, add the white
wine to deglaze the pan of the chicken juices. Add the
caper berries and lemon juice and reduce to half. Remove
from heat and whisk in the remaining butter until a
creamy consistency forms, season to taste with salt
and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle
parsley on top. This dish serves well with a lightly
flavored risotto of parmesan and sweet peas.
*A top tip for this dish--cook with and drink the same
wine. Try a Pinot Grigio from Italy.
FYI SOUTH reminds
you not to drink and drive.