When Montreal’s Restaurant Week, MTL à TABLE, runs from October 30 to November 9, 2014, the scrumptious culinary creations from the 140 participating restaurants will be exclusively paired with the finest wines from France…
Pairing food and wine is an art that nearly anyone can appreciate, but only those with a discerning palate can actually do. A restaurant sommelier works directly with the chef to pick wines and usually approaches each dish with one of two strategies: Complement or contrast. For example, a dish with earthy flavours would complement well with an earthy wine such as a Pinot Noir, and a crisp acidic Sauvignon Blanc would offer a pleasant contrast to a dish rich in cream. The participating restaurants of MTL à TABLE took the Vins de France wine tasting at the Rialto Theatre very seriously. It was their chance to taste and select the wines to design their menus around. While much of the “wine talk” went slightly over the head of this writer, it quickly became an opportunity to learn..
Wines With Character: Strong wines rich in taste that linger in the mouth. More common among the red, they are colourful, and muscly. These wines include a Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux, the South-West, and Vins de Pays regions of France, or a Syrah from the Vallée du Rhône region. They pair well with red meats, lamb, and tex-mex.
Curious Tasting Wines: These wines have a special surprising finish. Aromas that include lychee, pear, honey, mango, orange zest, and green apple. They are the dry, soft, and sweet white wines. Try a Gewurztraminer from the Alsace region, a Chenin from Vallée de la Loire, a Mauzac from Languedoc-Roussillon, or a Pinot Noir from the Champagne region. Pair it with blue cheeses, fresh fruit, desserts, and asian food.
Shy and Subtle Wines: These wines are lighter, go down easily, and hail from the northern regions of France. Words often used to describe them are “floral and fruity.” Pair a Muscadet from Vallée de la Loire or a Chardonnay from Alsace Bourgogne with a soft fish, sushi, white meat, and grilled vegetables.
Vivacious Wines: Wines that have that fresh citrus flavour are often white. Try a Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux, Vins de Pays, or Vallée de la Loire; a Riesling from Alsace, or a Mauzac from the South-West regions of France. If you want a red with similar properties, try a Gamay from Beaujolais! Pair them with shellfish, seafood, thai, pasta with white sauce, and charcuterie.
Sensual Wines: These are the sexy wines, and come in white, red, and rosé varieties. They are big, fleshy, and have a lasting taste. Try a Genache or Mourvèdre from the Langeudoc-Roussllon region, a Merlot from the Vins de Pays region, or Chardonnay from Bourgone, or a Viogner from Vallée du Rhône. These wines pair well with pizza or pasta with red sauce, grilled meats and fish, and braised vegetables.
Celebration Wines: When it’s time to party, look no further than a Pinot Meunier from Champagne, a Pinot Blanc from Alsace, or a Chenin from Vallée de la Loire. These are bubbly for big occasions. Drink them solo, with canapés, fish, seafood, chocolate and fruity desserts, and breakfast foods.
Ready to show off to your friends about how much you know about French wine? Look out for more information on the upcoming MTL à TABLE restaurant week from October 30 to November 9, 2014!
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