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FYI SOUTH Magazine, March 2007.

The 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.

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