How do you pull-off Food & Wine Pairing Ex-cellence?
Probably not a question you’ve ever wondered. And of course, now we are going to tell you!
First of all, the cuisine is normally seasonal fare, and secondly it is fresh and sourced locally. With that foundation, we sketch out a six-seven course menu, being mindful of vegetarians, but also delighting carnivores. Based on our knowledge of the cuisine–dominant flavors and textures–we “hypothesize” wine styles which will not overwhelm (or underwhelm) the cuisine pairing. It is tricky work to really make the pairings “hum.” Sometimes something as little as a touch of salt, or more/less acid (squeeze of lemon juice, dash of wine, etc.) can make/break the taste arrangement.
Which is why we test these out BEFORE we unveil them at class; and as such, some pairings are not shown in class as we couldn’t make them perform as we wished.
What follows is a synopsis from last evening’s Food & Wine Pairing Course by instructor, Debbie Ruskin. Debbie focuses on the class’ favorite combination: a German Bratwurst, some spicy horseradish mustard, and German Riesling. Finally, we are giving you as a download the recipe booklet we prepare for these classes (without you having to attend the class) so you can see one of the deliverables our guests enjoy getting. Buon Appetito!
–Michael Bryan, Founder & Director, Atlanta Wine School
by Debbie Ruskin
The winner was…… the Riesling and Grilled Bratwurst. From a menu of eight different food and wine pairings, the Pinestreet grilled bratwurst, grilled Vidalia onions and Spicy Horseradish Mustard paired combined with the St. Urbans-Hof Riesling won the most votes. We at the wine school offer a quarterly food and wine pairing class and last night’s focus was Summer Grilling inspired by our local farmers market.
This was a very traditional pairing from Germany–Bratwurst, a blend of veal, pork or beef sausage….is typically served with Riesling or Beer. Sauerkraut and potato salad are often served with the bratwurst and good, sharp mustard. They are grilled or cooked in a stock often with beer, then served on a plate or in a bun.
The Riesling, 2011 St Urbans-Hof Riesling, Kabinett from Mosel, Germany is a classic style Riesling with bright fruit and floral aromas, very good acidity and some minerality. This is a perfect wine for our Hot summer weather and can be enjoyed with so many foods. With this pairing, the wine’s fruit flavors worked to enhance the subtle spice in the bratwurst, and the gentle off-dry nature tamed the sharpness of the horseradish mustard. The sweet onions further matched the off-dry characteristics of the wine. The wine is crisp, low alcohol, and as famous German winemaker Ernest Loosen is known to proclaim, “this is a wine you could enjoy 2 glasses or more with lunch!”
We in the south love our pork, and are blessed with many purveyors that make delicious sausages. I love the many products that Pinestreet Market offers. I first discovered them at the Peachtree Rd. farmers market where they have a booth serving up wonderful samples. They have a meat shop in Avondale Estates and offer a variety of sausages, salumi, and cured meats including bacon, all from Gum Creek farm just SW of Atlanta. They even offer classes, such as sausage making and butchering and pop up dinners. Remember; get to know your farmers and learn more about your food!
- There is no single recipe this month–instead enjoy our recipe booklet from last evening’s class; you can download the PDF here.
- When serving bratwursts look for the Silver Springs brand “Beer ‘n Brats” Horseradish Mustard found at your fave grocer.
- And a grilling tip; grill the sausages over medium hot coals and cook low and slow and try to avoid piercing the casing.