Geyserville, Food & Wine Pairing, and My Latest Discovery!

I am always interested in food & wine pairing no matter what, but I am particularly intrigued by rather more unorthodox pairings; being the employee of a producer whose portfolio is heavy on the red side, I confess to growing just a tad bored with the red-wine-and-meat paradigm that seems to come down the pipe so often, and accordingly, I find myself often investigating the more rarefied options out there.

One way to do this, though certainly not the only way, is to go sans meat altogether. Whenever I set out on this particular trail, I’ll confess to loading my pack with Geyserville more often than not; it is such an extraordinarily complex wine, yet it manages to compress its complexities into such a lethally seamless and gentle package, that I find it almost always does the job regardless of the “weight” of the dish.

Which leads me to the pairing in question which is the core subject of this post, and let me preface this by saying that this pairing is truly OTHERWORDLY!

Ok, one more digression:

As far as food & wine pairing goes, I feel there to be essentially four tiers:

 1. The pairing is so bad it actually makes two independently tasty options taste terrible when tasted together.

2. The pairing is essentially neutral; they don’t clash, but neither do they harmonize, they simply co-exist.

3. The pairing is a good one; the two components interact effectively, and complement one another’s respective profiles.

4. The pairing is magic! A pure case of the total being greater than the sum of the parts; what you end up tasting is neither the wine nor the food per se, but rather, some new third taste that doesn’t independently exist without the cojoinment of the components. When, like true love, each independent entity dissolves and disappears into the other, and from this miasma emerges something ever more stronger altogether.

This was just such a pairing; that last one. With the mojo.

I am as of yet nearly speechless as regards trying to describe it.

The title of the dish itself may sound inelegant, if you’re not conversant with some of the peculiarities of vegetarian and vegan cooking, but rest assured, the proof is in the pudding, or should I say, the sauce. In this dish’s case, the sauce-sponge of record was braised seitan — probably the meatiest of the non-meat options out there, and a particularly adept absorber of umami savoriness — making the dish Braised Seitan with Black Pepper Plum Sauce.

And it’s with  the Black Pepper Plum Sauce that the mojo resides; a mouthful of this spicy, savory, unctuous, salty deliciousness is enough to make a man make inappropriate noises at the table; add to this a heady quaff’s of Geyserville, and a moment alone is decidedly required.

2008 Geyserville and Braised Seitan w/ Black Pepper Plum Sauce. The mojo.

Categories: Food & Wine Pairing, Geyserville


3 replies

  1. Really enjoyed the post. It’s of great interest to me what Zin pairs with since it’s one of my gave varietals. I’m learning it’s more versatile than I thought! Love the 4 degrees of pairing as well!

  2. OK, so I am an incurable retard. I am a dinosaur.
    Yesterday was Christmas day. Yesterday, I uindulged one of my fantasies. TWO, yes, TWO Ridge wines with the festive feast. For those of a white disposition, the 2008 Ridge Chardonnay. Sublime with the lighter elements of the feast; turkey, sprouts (yes!) parsnips and bread sauce. Then for those made of sterner stuff, a truly great vintage Geyserville, the 2000. OK, so Mr Draper says that its best over the next five to seven years (from 12/01), but even he is not perfect. Either that or my palate is different from his, which is the most likely!
    This wine picked up on the fabulous richness of the ‘pigs in blankets’ (sausages wrapped in bacon – for the uninitiated); the spiciness of the carrot & swede mash and the fruitiness of the cranberry sauce.
    I am reminded of the immortal words from the song “I wish it could be Christmas every day.” Then I could have indulgences with different vintages of Monte Bello Chardonnay and Geyserville. Which IS the best combination? You gets to choose, no one can complain. Your taste is your taste. Finito.
    Me? I am now indulging in a post prandial 2007 Geyserville essence.
    Heaven in a glass.


  1. BBQ Spaghetti and Zin « ENOFYLZ

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