December Wine: Pieropan Soave Classico

Ah, one of life's burning questions: What to pair with the ling cod?

Credit: Adam Blasberg

The burning question: what to pair with ling cod? Plus a cool new cookbook from C and the 
ultimate cult for wine snobs.

Ask a Sommelier

The Expert: Sebastien Le Goff, sommelier at Vancouver’s Cibo Trattoria/Uva Wine Bar
The Dish: Fillet of ling cod served with roasted red peppers marinated in red wine, $24

The Pairing: Pieropan Soave Classico, 2007, $60 list; Araldica Alasia Dolcetto d’Asti, 2007, $50 list 

I am looking to do one of two things when pairing food and wine. Either I’m looking for the food and wine to enhance one another – the food tastes good and the wine tastes good, but when you put them together, it’s great – or I’m trying to make one of the two elements shine, with the other becoming a supporting actor. 

Here I’ve chosen two wines to pair with the ling cod. It’s a winter take on a summery dish, allowing for a smooth transition from white to red. I am looking for a wine that’s fresh and has good acidity. The Pieropan is flowery and juicy, and with the parsley lemon butter that tops this dish, the fresh citrus flavour of the garganega grape really stands out. It’s extremely refreshing on the palate. 

Most people tend to pair a white fish with a white wine, but what’s important about this dish is the sauce itself: the red wine is already on the plate. A red such as the Alasia Dolcetto d’Asti that is light, fruity and low in tannin complements the dish perfectly; it’s light-bodied enough to remain in balance with the fish, yet robust enough to match the red pepper sauce.

as told to Alexandra Barrow

C Food

Dish Decoded

Harry Kambolis, owner of Vancouver’s C Restaurant, and his executive chef Robert Clark bring their passion for food to the printed page with C Food (Whitecap Books, $40).

Of the many mouth-watering dishes detailed within, the roasted duck breast with chokecherry cumberland and Chinese five-spice caught our attention. To make the sauce, you’ll need:

3¼ cups of port
¾ cup chokecherry jelly (or blackcurrant jelly)
¾ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup chopped pickled kumquats (seeds removed)
1½ tsp cinnamon and
1 tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns

California Cult Classics

Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Cult Favourite

It’s exclusive, premium and you can say you did it yourself. The brainchild of former BC Lions president Frank Gigliotti, North Vancouver’s California Cult Classics is an elite winemaking club that’s elevated the U-Vin concept to new heights. Clone 6 Cabernet grapes from the Napa Valley, Bruni glass bottles imported from Venice and state-of-the-art winemaking equipment are just a few of the draws for this members-only club. Ten thousand dollars and a bit of hands-on labour will get you 288 bottles of Gigliotti’s prime Cabernet Sauvignon – just enough to share with (good) friends.