Gourmet Cuisine - Scallops with cauliflower and sorrel
Selecting wine to match a gourmet food
Acknowledgement: a goal of the posts published in 'Selecting wine to match a gourmet food' chapter is not to show a step-by-step gourmet dish recipe but instead to give an understanding of the process of defining of core characteristics of the dishes and to suggest ways to properly pair these dishes with wine.
It is clear that we have got three main ingredients here – scallop, sorrel, and cauliflower. However - and this is more important - each ingredient presented with two different textures.
We have got soft, fried scallop and dried scallop powder, we have got roasted cauliflower and light cauliflower cream. Finally, there’re fresh leaves of young sorrel and gel of sorrel. We also have here bottarga which is used as a natural spice.
We’re gonna fry scallops and cauliflower in French gourmet huile de noisette, which brings us a special mild nutty aftertaste. Also, we have to have in mind that sorrel acidity will help to remove liquid oils aftermath on a tongue and clean receptors. Which in turn significantly broaden the palette of wines we can offer.
As a result, a Merkadini oenogastronomic diagram will look like an almost equilateral triangle, which indicates the perfect balance of the ingredients of the dish with a small dominance of "Juicy/Oily" side.
This dominant, along with a fairly pronounced structuring of the dish, requires a structured, dense wine with an average aromatic profile and with alcohol from medium to high.
To my taste the absolutely perfect match for this dish is going to be Alcamo Cusumano.
Alcamo is one of the best wine produced by Cusumano. To produce it the winemaker uses the selected grapes picked from the vines with an average age of 12 years and harvested by hand in early September. The slops have a south-eastern exposure and are located at an altitude above 400 meters. Planting density is 5,000 vines per hectare, average yield - 7,500 kg per hectare. Before pressing, the grapes are processed using cold maceration for 12 hrs at 8 ° C. Fermentation takes place in neutral tanks for 20 days at a temperature of 18-20 ° C, and follows by sur-lie for 4 months.
This technology cycle allows producing a superb wine with multi-layered aromas, fresh fruity taste and a piquancy brought by a slight bitterness of almond. It has a long, refined finish.
According to Gambero Rosso, Alcamo Cusumano is in the list of wines with the quality significantly exceeding the price.