So fun fact, me and my friend Courtney (who is also in the Geography of Wine Class) decided to go have lunch at Blu, and we were going to have an Italian theme Wine Dinner for lunch! Unfortunately for some reason they were only serving their Brunch menu – even though it specifically says on their website that the dinner menu is served from open to close. So Courtney and I had to get a little creative.
So what did we come up with? We both decided to roll with the punches and have some wine with our breakfast (brunch)! We did get a few strange looks, but it was all for the wine, so it was worth it! I decided to get the “American” breakfast, because it sounded tasty, and it had an abundance of different foods for pairings, and the Passport wine flight because it seemed like the best bet (besides the Crimson and Cream, but Courtney got that).
While we were waiting for the food and wine to arrive Courtney and I admired the general ambiance of the restaurant, which was really cool, and we noticed some Rorschach tests hung up on the wall. We debated about those, joked around, and generally had an awesome time!
(These were some of the decorations. I see a skull on top, a panda bear in the middle, and a crab on the bottom.)
Then the food arrived
followed shortly by the wine
and Courtney and I got started!
After Reading the descriptions of the wines provided by the restaurant, I decided to start with pairing the Domaine de la Damase Grenache with the scrambled eggs, because of the description provided.
I figure the eggs would help mellow out some of that initial acidity and allow some of the other flavors to express themselves more. First I tasted the wine by itself so that I could see how it changed with the food. It was good, and I could definitely make out the spicy tobacco flavors, along with cherry. It had a lot of tannins, and the description did not lie about the initial acidity.
Then I tried it again with the scrambled eggs. They definitely mellowed out the tannins and the acid, like I hoped they would, and the fruity flavors did become more pronounced. I also noticed some hints of plum that I hadn’t noticed when I tried the wine by itself. The food also brought out the spicy flavors, which I normally don’t like, but they weren’t so bad, probably because they were accompanied by the food. Pairing one = success!
I had some bread and water between courses to try and make sure that I was coming at each wine from the same place.
The second pairing I decided on was the bacon and ham with the Stemmari Nero d’Avola wine. I thought this would work out pretty well because I recognized the wine name as Italian, and I’ve almost always had Italian wines paired with prosciutto. Okay, so it was a guess, but it turned out great!
The wine by itself was really sweet when it hit the tip of your tongue with strawberry and pomegranate flavors. It had a lot of tannins, but it was really smooth. Having it with the bacon brought out the sweetness, but left the tannic component and mouthfeel unchanged. The ham, on the other hand, brought out the sweetness in a slightly different way, so instead of strawberry and pomegranate, I got more cherry and black currant flavors. The ham also mellowed out a lot of the tannins, which I think was really nice. Over all, both the bacon and the ham worked with this pairing, but the ham definitely went better with the wine.
After a little breather and some more bread and water, I moved right along to pairing number three! The final wine, a Loca Linda Malbec, was one that I was really excited to try based on the description.
I decided to pair it with the potatoes, because I thought that a neutral background might really let this wine show what it could do. I tried the wine first, like I did with all the others, and it smelled fruity and citrusy and fantastic. But then I tried it and I was very disappointed to be unable to find any of those fruity flavors I had been led to believe were there. The potatoes did let the wine express itself a little more, and I found some hints of chocolate and vanilla that weren’t detectable when the wine was on its own, but still no fruity flavors. I tried this particular wine three more times with different foods on my plate, in an attempt to find something that would bring out the fruit flavors that were supposedly there, to no avail. Honestly, I feel like that wine was a lie.
So Courtney and I tried each other’s wines, and then focused on finishing off our brunch, and just hanging out. It was really nice
Overall, I think two of the three wine and food pairings went really well, although I don’t think I’ll be having wine with breakfast food again any time soon. But this was a really fun experience, and I can’t wait to do it again!