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Are you getting the most from your expertly cultivated and perfectly aged wine collection?
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The pairing for a pork rack, and some undiluted cool.
The Expert: Sarah McCauley, sommelier at Vancouver’s Cin CinThe Dish: Alderwood spit-roasted pork rack with sunchoke purée, shallot confit, Brussels sprout leaves and poached cherry, $29.50The Pairing: Sandhill Barbera, 2006, $29.99
When I’m pairing a wine, my first concern is the weight of the dish. Although pork is a white meat, the sauce for the pork rack is a dark chicken jus roasted with some poached cherries and Madeira. It’s a nice, fairly rich sauce that gives some depth and concentration to the meat, which is why I would turn to a red wine for pairing. Sandhill is doing some great small lots programs – only 432 cases for the Barbera – and the Barbera is getting better and better every year.
We don’t want to do anything that’s too full-bodied or too tannic, and this Barbera has medium to low tannins. It’s also nice to have something that’s a little more fruit-forward for a lighter meat. This wine pulls out the natural sweetness of the meat as well as the sugars in the brine and shallot confit, while being robust enough to complement the earthiness and texture of the sunchoke purée.
Barbera is often seen as an uncomplicated wine, but it’s a versatile grape that has such a range in what it can produce. It’s nice to see Sandhill producing some Italian varietals, and I would love to see a little more focus on it.
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At Vancouver’s L’Altro Buca restaurant, lamb, favas, peas, artichokes and anchovy butter come together on the plate for a new dish that’s integrated, seasonal and classic. Anchovy and lamb? “It’s a combination that dates back over 2,000 years, which officially makes it a classic,” says chef Andrey Durbach. For perfect grilled lamb chops, Durbach recommends first letting the chops come to room temperature before putting them on the grill; this way they will have warm pink centres rather than being charred on the outside and raw in the middle. Grilled new season lamb chops with anchovy butter and Roman vegetables, $27, altrobuca.ca, campagnolorestaurant.ca